Help,I discovered i'm rhythmically deficient

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by skydawg, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. skydawg

    skydawg Member

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    Well all those years in in jam oriented blues bands has left me so deficient in my proper musical understanding and rhythmic execution.I've been playing for over 20 years,took lessons and tried to learn music the formal way but was lazy and took the easy path and simply learned to jam like most rock and blues guitarists do.Well i thought i was a pretty good player but after joining my current band it has shown me my glaringly obvious deficiencies.The band i'm in now does a lot of soul,old school R&B and jazz.all stuff that requires a pretty good understanding of rhythm and how to count.i have a rudimentary understanding of counting but i get lost and loose it becasue i'm used to just kind of jamming.well that don't cut it,i need to start getting on track and getting a better understanding of rhythm and how to count and all that.I know i kind of need to go back to basics but how should i go about it?yes i can read music,at least i know what the notes and have a basic knowledge of how to long to hold each beat but i couldn't at this stage get through a piece of music very well at all.what would you suggest?
     
  2. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    I am sure others will have good suggestions, but 2 things come to mind immediately. First is to get a rudimentary reading book out and just clap out the time and subdivisions until that becomes easy.

    Second thing is working the above and other stuff with a metronome. I spend a bunch of time working with band in a box, which helps me with time.
     
  3. ndemattheis

    ndemattheis Member

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    I have the same problem. In the past I spent 95% of my practice time working on running scales and improvising and about 5% on rythym. Those percentages really need to be about equal I think. I have been using Tomo Fujita's Accelerate DVD. This DVD is directed at building a strong foundation for rythym playing for all styles of music. I'm sure many on this Board would agree. It really helped me.
     
  4. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    Here's a cool exercise

    set your delay to roughly three repeats at at nice tempo.
    make the delay of equal volume

    play harmony/melody to the repeat.

    If you're tight, it will sound like "one"

    practice subdividing the beat
    4ths to 8ths to 16ths and then triplets

    All in sync with the delay.

    The sounds can be so cool and melodic/harmonic
    making it more than just a rhythm exercise. You
    can exercise creativity.




    The delay will tell you if you're off.
     
  5. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

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    Waking up to your problem and actually paying attention to time is the first step.

    A couple of ideas:

    When jamming, really listen to the drums and focus on locking in with the snare.

    When practicing, use a metronome. Even when noodling (maybe ESPECIALLY when noodling?), use the metronome. It helps ground you in time.

    The slower the pulse, the harder it is to feel the time. Gradually work slower. Or, adjust the 'nome to click on every other beat instead of ever one. Then, adjust it to click only on beat one (or four).

    Whether playing with drums or a metronome, you know you got it when the click or drum melds with what you are playing.
     
  6. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    Learn drums. Basic drum instruction really focuses on accurate timing, and will run exercises in the different beats, and have a lot of syncopated exercises to get you playing right. Reading multiple rhythm lines at once is good training too.
    Learn a bunch of metallica tunes using a metronome to lock in too.
     
  7. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Guitar is really difficult to master (be able to play freely). Your problem is maybe play too fast. (not about speed). You need to listen more carefully. Try not start to play right away.

    Work on rhythm guitar. Again, listen something very carefully and try to capture details.. Take your time... don't hurry to play (bulid)...

    For blues. Can you play simple bassline? Play it very simple.. no fills.. no fancy...

    Then, sing very specific melody (notes, rhythm) even root with rhythmic idea.. while you play bassline.

    You need to understand your old habits really well. Many things you can change and develope... many things are possible if you can find right path to enter...

    Hope my notes will help you some %.

    Tomo
     
  8. Ooogie

    Ooogie Member

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    I second that recommendation big time, Tomo really hits home on some of the core fundamental techniques that may be missing from your playing.

    Mark
     
  9. purestmonk

    purestmonk Member

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    make sure you practise 8th note swing and of course straight notes
    usually straight notes come easy, and if your band starts to swing a little you might be catch up ..
    8th note swing will definitely lock your rhythm beautiful and sweet ;)
     
  10. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    Right after I had a stroke in 7/06,the first thing I bought,before groceries,when I got home from rehab,was a metronome.I work with it most days.Before,on,after the beat.
     
  11. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    +1 You've got to hear it before you can play it. When you talk about learning to count that makes me think that you're not hearing things right. Really break things down and look at how they fit in the group.

    The thing with rhythm parts is all the good ones (especially in r+b and soul music) blend in with the rest of the group so well that what you think you're hearing often isn't what's really being played. Most players tend to hear more than what's really there (I think because your ear is compensating for the lack of drums, percussion, keys, etc). If you listen again and really try and break it down I think you'll be amazed at what's really being played.
     
  12. Gene

    Gene Member

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    Hearing it and feeling it is key in any rhythm. I would transcribe rhythms you like. Don't transcribe the pitch if you find it difficult. Just the rhythm.

    As for metronomes, I think it is a good tool to measure time and a useful tool for some practice. I have my doubts on whether metronomes can give you "good" time.
     
  13. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    rather than go with a metronome or a delay pedal which is pretty rigid, i think it's better to pick a strumming/picking pattern that i'm comfortable with, and play it, and listen to the whole thing once I'm done. that pretty much shows if i've been speeding up (my worst trait). then i know i have to just "slow down" in general. but i don't want to get too tied to the clock and lose "feel" either, so this is my compromise.
     
  14. jtindle

    jtindle Member

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    What do you actually mean by "locking in with the snare"? I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to music theory and I can't read a lick of music. Does the snare usually sound at a certain beat and you listen for it to stay with the beat?

    Thanks

    Jeff
     
  15. OminousPoultry

    OminousPoultry Member

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    erm - sort of. I looked for a basic drum intro - this is the best I can find
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r6ijyUx-8w&NR=1
    he's playing a four beat bar with the snare on the 3 and the bass on 1. It doesn't always work like that (duh!) - a beat may have a snare at any division (subdivision) of the bar but the rhythmic bit comes from the repeats....by locking onto the snare he means finding the groove and tempo of the song.

    another variation here http://djtutor.com/drums_tutorials.php?subgroup=drums&pagename=drums&ref=_byW0SxUDEw

    and here http://djtutor.com/drums_tutorials.php?subgroup=drums&pagename=drums&ref=rvVeRDRlmso
     
  16. skydawg

    skydawg Member

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    thanks for the pointers guys,lots of good ideas to work with.
     

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