Learned things at my first guitar lesson

blacksoultyler

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
344
any of the mathy bands i had to count in my head...those were the riffs that didnt land right. even odd time sigs you should just feel or it's not musical enough... for me.

i think just playing with people or even playing along to music should fix your timing issues. i suggest doing whatever is fun to you and timing and stuff will come but as a bonus not as the goal.
 

70 Mach 1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,036
I had to overcome this and I'm not out of the woods yet.
I had to Learn to stop listening to myself

Not easy to do.

Learn to React to what i hear.
Learn to trust that my hands will be there

This was the hardest thing for me to overcome. I'm not the only sound in the room

Also as mentioned take short rests to reevaluate what's going on around you
 

Redblur

Member
Messages
321
Start counting the beat when listening to music for pleasure. Don’t do it all the time, just once in a while when you’re really grooving on something. Most pop music is 4/4 (aka common time), but some isn’t, so start with really straightforward pop stuff. (Avoid The Pretenders!)

This definitely helped me get the sense of time in my body and mind. If you can’t find the 1, remember that lyrics (almost) always start there.

Note- you will sometimes find that things that sound like they are in 4/4 aren’t - a good example of this is “Trash” by Roxy Music, which starts out in no obvious time signature, and then settles into 2/4. OutKast’s “Heya” is also in 2/4.
 

Tuned

Member
Messages
49
If you want a drum machine using your browser, Mike Johnston makes groove scribe available to all for free. You can play along to it. It’s easy to make new ones and modify them. There is also a metronome that can shift the location of the pulse for practice.

Here is a quick 12 bar drum groove that intentionally has a lot of variation. You can play along to it. There are a lot of other features. You can share the groove which also saves it. This is set with swing to it. If you have a smart phone and don’t hear it, make sure the ringer is turned on.


This one uses advanced edit and adds a crash cymbal.

 
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Messages
1,206
Start counting the beat when listening to music for pleasure. Don’t do it all the time, just once in a while when you’re really grooving on something. Most pop music is 4/4 (aka common time), but some isn’t, so start with really straightforward pop stuff. (Avoid The Pretenders!)

This definitely helped me get the sense of time in my body and mind. If you can’t find the 1, remember that lyrics (almost) always start there.

Note- you will sometimes find that things that sound like they are in 4/4 aren’t - a good example of this is “Trash” by Roxy Music, which starts out in no obvious time signature, and then settles into 2/4. OutKast’s “Heya” is also in 2/4.
Also when counting or tapping to the music you're listening to....the kick drum and the bass often announce beat 1 for the new measure. And the bass usually hits the root note on beat 1
So if you lose the beat somehow you can hop back on by waiting for kick and bass
 

Tommy Biggs

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,231
Plus +1 for “tap your foot”. You kind of practice that once you make it a habit.
Recording yourself periodically is good too. You may be worse (or better!) than you think. An iPhone recording is good enough at home.
 

ViperTim

Member
Messages
353
disclaimer: I'm not a guitar teacher

something I didn't see mentioned: practice your application of counting to do the following to a metronome beat that's moderate, or where ever you are starting from.

quarter notes: '1 2 3 4 ' rinse-repeat
eighth notes: '1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & ' rinse-repeat
triplets: '1 & e 2 & e 3 & e 4 & e ' rinse-repeat
sixteenth notes: '1 e & uh 2 e & uh 3 e & uh 4 e & uh ' rinse-repeat

Yes, it's a little tedious maybe, but once you are feeling comfortable with that, then do a bar of eighth notes, then a bar of triplets, then a bar of sixteenth notes, back to a bar of eighth notes, then repeat. Work up to intermixing the counts in a bar of 4 beats like... this... ex1: '1 & 2 & e 3 e & uh 4 & ' or ex2: '1 & 2 & e 3 & 4 & e'. I still cycle through the different note values when practicing new or existing goals so as to help prevent me to go on autopilot which leads me to tune out or noodle.

The end goal is to feel eighth notes or triplets or sixteenth notes so that you don't necessarily have to count them consciously or mechanically. When it comes time to learn passages from songs/solos, you will better know what the subject matter count is.

By way of example: I recently was splitting up guitar roles with another guy playing lead guitar (I was rhythm guitar). On a well known, popular song, for the verse, guitar-1 was playing single note repeating triplet lines, while the 2nd guitar joined in with a riff at the latter half of the verse. He had demonstrated he couldn't 'sit out' on other songs, so I took the latter verse riff so he could keep playing thru the verse (and the latter verse riff was the most noticeable content backing the solo section). He plays pretty darn good lead guitar, but surprise-surprise... he can't play triplets. It was a tad messy.

Lastly, I only embraced the metronome in the past 5-ish years. Before, I considered it a cruel taskmaster. After I started getting better with it (and sidestory: learned to play basic drum beats, always practicing to a metronome), I came to embrace the metronome to the point that I almost always use it when practicing new techniques/skills, and sometimes can even push & pull ('groove') against the beat effectively once warmed up & relaxed. I found my attitude towards the metronome means everything to using it effectively.

YMMV,

Fretsalot/Scott
This I believe I also need to work on.
I’m only up to eight notes. No way I can do triplets as of now…
Also added to my to-do list.

Playing to metronome as much as I can but it’s difficult. It’s not easy at all…
And tapping my foot while playing is an impossible combination as of now. My multitasking abilities are limited :D

Thanks to everybody who has contributed to the thread, I will try to incorporate all of it in my learning process.
 

Tuned

Member
Messages
49
Drum practice pad, drum sticks and a free metronome app will help you with timing and rhythm. ;)
 

M1A1

Member
Messages
659
Can you sit down and get lost in playing and 3 hours later go holy cow I’ve been playing 3 freaking hours or is it after 15 minutes you sit there and go wow that torture is over for the day? I don’t want to know that’s something to reflect on and guide you into how much you want it. How much you love it. If it’s a part of you.
 
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apoyando

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,253
Lots of great suggestions here…one thing to be cautious of is the concept of “ just feel the rhythm”.
While ultimately this is how musicians may experience their relationship to time/groove this is not a good training approach. Music has rhythmic building blocks that need to be mastered… as mentioned (quarter notes , eights etc). The frustration for many ( even advanced players who have not addressed this) involves metronome use. Most of us have good time… meaning we can tap a steady even beat. The issues come up when the guitar is in hand -these issues could be
technical or conceptual. One very effective strategy to metronome use:
1) TAP a comfortable tempo into your metronome. This is where you feel on a body level your natural/biorhythm for the moment.
2) play quarter notes at that tempo on open strings, then chords ( through a blues progression if that is your goal)possibly minor pentatonic scales.
3) When that is comfortable try 8th notes.. if not comfortable double the tempo and think 8th notes as you play…accenting the “numbers”.Next try accenting the “ands”.
Eventually move to triplets etc.
4)Now vary the tempo around your tapped tempo… but not in even multiples.. say move 60bpm for example to 67bpm or 53bpm.
The metronome is a training tool to help transcend our natural biorhythm…a trained musician can freely move through a variety of tempi without losing the subdivisions. This should be the goal.
But START by aligning the metronome to YOU- this will give you the most success.
Time is NOT subjective in a musical context when playing with others - as anyone in a band will quickly notice should someone drag/rush.
I’m not suggesting this is the only thing to practice- backing tracking are great ways to explore different grooves in a
context closer to a band. But don’t ignore “ basic training” :)
 

Ed DeGenaro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,354
Any song you dig while commuting. No intrument and rhythmic solfege

Pakacha etx triplets
Paka 8s
pakachaka 16s

Make it groove against music you dig. Too fast go half as fast
Music starts within the person not the hands and for sure not the instrument.
 

Fretsalot

Member
Messages
1,905
This I believe I also need to work on.
I’m only up to eight notes. No way I can do triplets as of now…
Also added to my to-do list.
Embrace it as part of the journey. My shifting my attitude to that mindset has been helpful. And remember it's playing guitar - it's fun! (even though it takes some work sometimes).

Fretsalot/Scott
 

Lephty

Member
Messages
1,707
You are not alone. Almost every time I meet with a student who has been playing for a while, but hasn't had any lessons, we end up spending 75% (if not 100%) of our time on rhythm. A lot of people simply don't realize that the picking/strumming hand is really driving the bus. All of the theory, scales, arpeggios, modes, blah blah blah, is basically useless if you can't do it in rhythm.

The good news is that it can be learned, and when you start to get it, it feels really good...everything about your playing will come more naturally and have a better flow.
 

Tuned

Member
Messages
49
tapping my foot while playing is an impossible combination as of now. My multitasking abilities are limited
I play drums so I somewhat obsessed about these “abilities” in the past.

First, I would separate playing an instrument and tapping. Just practice tapping when you are doing something else. It sounds silly but you just need to train yourself how to tap. If you can tap sitting down for ten minutes and can keep time with a metronome, you are fine.

Second, there is very often a coordination dependency or disconnect between limbs. Often one limb follows another. So, practice tapping the foot on quarter notes and hand tapping on eighth notes. Then switch to offbeat notes on the hand only (just the and) while the foot stays on the quarter notes. This usually can’t be done immediately. After a while, you will get it.

Third, practice a smooth transition back to quarter notes with the hand, where it goes & & &2 3 4 (back to quarters) then 2 3& & &2 3 (etc).

Essentially, this starts where foot and hand beat at the same time, then the hand breaks away and expects the foot to keep going at a steady rate, and then go back to the same time as the foot.

Now you should be better prepared to play your guitar and tap your foot at the same time.

A slight modification is to be able to switch to swing beat with the hand &2 &3 etc with the & very delayed. When you do it, you may notice your foot slows down to compensate. You should not let it. The foot should be steady and the hand needs to get on same down beat as the foot (assuming the foot is your reference point).
 




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