Intuitive time

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
And a whole lot of studio work occurs without clicks, more than some may presume. Clicks are great for slow pieces with lots of open air and caesuras, but for faster beats that beg for pure feel and freestyle grooves, submission to clicks can have a prohibitive effect. Clicks are an invaluable tool, but I prefer to treat them as a situational resource, not as an ever-present crutch.
But a click is such a Godsend when you don’t feel like having to think or try, because it’s a crap gig that you’re doing for the money. You just space out and stick with the click. Easy money. LOL
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
And a whole lot of studio work occurs without clicks, more than some may presume. Clicks are great for slow pieces with lots of open air and caesuras, but for faster beats that beg for pure feel and freestyle grooves, submission to clicks can have a prohibitive effect. Clicks are an invaluable tool, but I prefer to treat them as a situational resource, not as an ever-present crutch.
I have rarely used a click in the studio either, and never use it live. To me, live is the test. Live is where I mix click timing with moment-to-moment adjustments based on what I hear, what the band is feeling and what the audience is feeling. But for me, I can't make the adjustments without having the click timing foundation.

The only time I use a click in the studio is if I am recording a part that might be spliced later, or the person in charge requests it. Playing to a click also does not throw me off. I am used to it b/c of marching band/corps, so it is like a heartbeat for me.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
But a click is such a Godsend when you don’t feel like having to think or try, because it’s a crap gig that you’re doing for the money. You just space out and stick with the click. Easy money. LOL
I've never used a click or in-ear monitors in any live situation. I like to experience the setting too much. But I know drummers who are just the opposite, which is fine.
 

tfgretsch

Junior Member
I guess these things depend a lot on tempo and feel as well. Are we talking the sme stuff exactly?

Metronome exercises would be to start putting click on the ands, the eventually e' and ahs. It automatically makes it easier to think of the metronome as something you pay along with rather than follow, too.

If you want some loops, which can be more fun, I recommend checking out DrumJam, the Pete Lockett app. You can do a lot of different stuff with that one.
Thanks O A
 

mrthirsty

Junior Member
Working on your time and rhythm by practicing to a metronome is never a bad thing, I wish more musicians saw the benefit of this that play other instruments. I've encountered a few players that claim they can feel a 1 to 2 bpm shift over a 3 minute song, put a metronome in front of them they struggle to stay in time with it.
 
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Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
I had an experience a bit like this when I started working more with the metronome.
I found that I had to sort of share my attention between listening to the click and playing - a bit like 'expanding my awareness' while playing.
What I could play was sort of limited to what I could play in the remaining headspace.
It did take a while until I was comfortable with it, but it was well worth it.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
I never use it in the group. I have used "live bpm" with the group as it allows for flexibility.
My goal is to tighten up my rhythm and tempo senses. That's why it is interesting that those very things are suffering right now at the beginning of this quest. I trust you guys and the process though, and will pay those dues required to get to where I'd like to be with it.
Good to see that some others have noticed the same thing. I enjoy playing to a click, but Really don't want to need it to be able to play.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I think there are two different skills. A) Keeping time. B) Playing with time. To develop keeping time, you need to record yourself without a metronome, then look at how accurate you were at keeping time. Playing along with a metronome won't exactly do that, as you have continuous feedback as to whether you are ahead or behind, and can adjust.

I think at some point you have to develop an ear for what is in time and what isn't. Developing the ear is different than developing the coordination.

One of the things I like to listen to that I feel develops my ear for time are listening to powwow drums, and how all the drummers are finding their place in the pulse, and splitting the hairs on being behind or ahead of the beat.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I found that I had to sort of share my attention between listening to the click and playing - a bit like 'expanding my awareness' while playing.
What I could play was sort of limited to what I could play in the remaining headspace.
It did take a while until I was comfortable with it, but it was well worth it.

I can relate to absolutely all of this. In fact, even though I have metronomic time while playing simple stuff, or playing complex stuff I’ve practiced a lot, my time can still wander unconsciously if I’m working on something really hard that I don’t know well.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
One of the things I like to listen to that I feel develops my ear for time are listening to powwow drums, and how all the drummers are finding their place in the pulse, and splitting the hairs on being behind or ahead of the beat.
And that, my friend, is the essence of a groove. It's not so much a calculation as it is being an inseparable part of the pulsation going on around you. Every drummer does it differently, inevitably "splitting the hairs" just in front of or just behind the metronomic measurement. It's what makes music uniquely human, and it's what separates drummers from drum machines.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I know all orchestral musicians , as others, play metronomic time but lots of rock-garage bands, punk/grunge, etc has more intuitive time-since many were just self taught musicians. Even part of it's charm. We are so digitized now-laying it on a grid and lining everything up. Every musician has to play in time-even if it's not LOL.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I know all orchestral musicians , as others, play metronomic time but lots of rock-garage bands, punk/grunge, etc has more intuitive time-since many were just self taught musicians. Even part of it's charm. We are so digitized now-laying it on a grid and lining everything up. Every musician has to play in time-even if it's not LOL.
Let’s draw a distinction between good feel and good time. The two are fairly independent of each other. You can have a lot of one and not very much of the other. Abundant examples exist of players who have one but not the other.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
And that, my friend, is the essence of a groove. It's not so much a calculation as it is being an inseparable part of the pulsation going on around you. Every drummer does it differently, inevitably "splitting the hairs" just in front of or just behind the metronomic measurement. It's what makes music uniquely human, and it's what separates drummers from drum machines.
I don't about all that, different cultures are more or less into splitting hairs. After looking at various Native American art and reading about their theory of continuity. I went back and listened to these pow tracks, and realized that there was a lot more to that thump, and listening even more I realized there is actually space in between what sounded in unison before.


I think listening to that music is a great way to sharpen ones intuition about time especially the pulse. The melodies are also pretty good for sharpening ones sense of pitch in much the same way, similar to in the way mathematicians like to sharpen their theory of infinitesimals.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I don't about all that, different cultures are more or less into splitting hairs. After looking at various Native American art and reading about their theory of continuity. I went back and listened to these pow tracks, and realized that there was a lot more to that thump, and listening even more I realized there is actually space in between what sounded in unison before.
Well, these cultures have a more intuitive approach to EVERYTHING than any even vaguely-Westernized culture. Their approach to spirituality is worlds apart from atheism OR mainstream Christianity. They believe we have multiple souls, that we reincarnate, and they regularly go on journeys into the spirit world. I don’t even begun to know how to draw a connection between what they do musically and ANY music any of us have performed.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Let’s draw a distinction between good feel and good time. The two are fairly independent of each other. You can have a lot of one and not very much of the other. Abundant examples exist of players who have one but not the other.
Both are mandatory for good drumming in my book. A drummer with timing but no feel is mechanical. A drummer with feel but no timing isn't doing his job. I don't want to hear either play.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Well, these cultures have a more intuitive approach to EVERYTHING than any even vaguely-Westernized culture. Their approach to spirituality is worlds apart from atheism OR mainstream Christianity. They believe we have multiple souls, that we reincarnate, and they regularly go on journeys into the spirit world. I don’t even begun to know how to draw a connection between what they do musically and ANY music any of us have performed.
Its hard to generalize about so many distinct cultures. The western cultures that practiced in the Kuksu tradition had an interesting belief , essentially people are born from a world of potentially infinitely many souls. I think it is consistent with the theory of continuity, as a way for people to express their individuality.
 

Lennytoons

Senior Member
I practice with a metronome from time to time. I've found that when I'm "off" I'm almost always late, even if I'm close. Playing live requires pushing the beat on almost all songs. I think of the beat as a surfboard and I want to be out on the front edge most of the time. Sometimes, even when I think I'm dead on there's a bit of dragging going on. I recently recorded myself and that was very revealing. Playing along isn't the same as playing.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I practice with a metronome from time to time. I've found that when I'm "off" I'm almost always late, even if I'm close. Playing live requires pushing the beat on almost all songs. I think of the beat as a surfboard and I want to be out on the front edge most of the time. Sometimes, even when I think I'm dead on there's a bit of dragging going on. I recently recorded myself and that was very revealing. Playing along isn't the same as playing.
interesting...

I have always thought of the beat as being a hammock...and when you are "on", you are comfortably placed in the middle. sort of cozy and swinging; getting in is tricky, and you have to practice. Every once in a while, you have to bounce out to the less stable and tighter wound parts at the end, but you need those ends to create that place in the middle.
 
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