The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 07-30-2021, 04:52 PM
oakalla oakalla is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 4
Default Timing Tips and Tricks

I am having a great deal of trouble with my timing.

Even with a metronome, Iím finding it very difficult to maintain decent timing. I drift off very easily, and if Iím trying to pick out a melody... well, forget it.

Just about the only time I can maintain decent time is when Travis picking. The alternating bass makes it quite easy to ďlockĒ onto the metronome.

Iíve tried a couple of things. Tapping my foot in time with the metronome seems to help somewhat. Strumming or picking a single chord several times at the beginning of a piece helps set the timing.

But all in all, itís a hot mess.

Iím not looking for shortcuts or a silver bullet; I know itís going to take time. Iím looking for ideas (tips and tricks!) to put me on the right track.

Perhaps some of you have been here.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-30-2021, 05:53 PM
rick-slo's Avatar
rick-slo rick-slo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 14,822
Default

Best way IMO is to have down what piece you are playing through repetitive play until there are
no memory lapse delays and loses of focus and motor memory has become well established.

A few pieces like that and your internal timing clock will improve in general and span over longer
time frames (at least measure by measure if not longer).
__________________
Derek Coombs
Youtube -> Website -> Music -> Tabs
Guitars by Mark Blanchard, Albert&Mueller, Paul Woolson, Collings, Composite Acoustics, and Derek Coombs
Woods hands pick by eye and ear
Made to one with pride and love
To be that we hold so dear
A voice from heavens above
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-30-2021, 06:03 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Kirkland, WA USA
Posts: 1,604
Default

Back when I first started attempting to play to a metronome, I found my biggest problem was playing too fast.

I had to slow down to 1/10 speed in order to maintain a steady tempo. I slowly ratcheted up the tempo until things fell apart, and backed it off until I could keep the tempo solid.

Over time, it was EXACTLY like all the other 10 million fundamental things guitarists need to learn. Conscious repetition to embed it permanently into muscle memory.

I've watched guitarists struggling with a tempo, say 120 bpm. I suggest slowing down the tempo. They set it to 100.

And they were surprised it didn't help...
__________________
-Gordon

1978 Larrivee L-26 cutaway
1988 Larrivee L-28 cutaway
2006 Larrivee L03-R
2009 Larrivee LV03-R
2016 Irvin SJ cutaway
2020 Irvin SJ cutaway (build thread)
K+K, Dazzo, Schatten/ToneDexter


Notable Journey website
Facebook page

Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art. - Leonardo Da Vinci
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-30-2021, 06:50 PM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 199
Default

As with allot of other things, once your fingers know what they are doing just think about what you want to hear and not what your hands are up to.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-30-2021, 07:18 PM
srick's Avatar
srick srick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 5,283
Default

Oakalla -

I had a big problem with that too. A wonderful teacher, Martin Grosswendt, was able to get me on track.

I arrived at his weekend workshop about 15 minutes late on a Friday morning. I had had a difficult week and left the house at 6:00 to arrive at 9:15 am. When I sat down to play, after about twenty seconds, he said, "Whoa, whoa, stop!" I suspect all of my stress came out in a burst of arrhythmmia.

Martin said, close your eyes and play along with me. We simply played the sixth string at a steady thrum - thrum - thrum at about 40 bpm. Then he had me tap my foot and move my body at the same time. He reminded me to breathe. He turned the rhythm into a meditation. Then we added in an index finger - thrum, pinch, thrum, pinch.

Any time I can't get to where I want to go, I go back to that lesson and work with that slow beat. Over time, my timing has gotten better. So my big suggestion is to just play the bass line, get it down, and gradually add in the melody, but get that bass line down.

Keep at it.

best,

Rick
__________________
ĒLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.Ē
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-30-2021, 07:46 PM
TBman's Avatar
TBman TBman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 30,374
Default

Once you get the tune under your fingers, play along with the original recording - a lot.
__________________
Signature begins here....

Barry

An Daingean {William Coulter}:


More music videos = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmcW...NGUleVBEl4FGf_

My SoundCloud page


Alvarez AP66SB
Avalon Ard Ri L2-32C
Cordoba C5
Furch Yellow Gc-CR
Gibson J-45
Guild D-120C
Larrivee OM-05
Martin D-16GT
Seagull Folk
Washburn D-10S

Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-30-2021, 08:08 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 8,608
Default

Set fire to your metronome, put out fire with kerosene.

Metronomes are not musical, so they are easy to ignore. Metronomes are for working on tempo once you have decent time. They will not ever teach you to have "good time," because if your time is bad, you will play right through and over the click.

The best way to work on time is to play with others. If thats not possible, play with recordings and tracks and record yourself a lot. Definitely tap your foot. Good time is internal, it is a physical thing. Research the concept of tresillo and clave.
__________________
Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-30-2021, 08:31 PM
jklotz jklotz is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 2,871
Default

I'm with you. I have struggled with it over the years. Playing in a band with a really good drummer for a few years helped a lot. I'm currently exploring using a drum machine app instead of a metronome. It feels more natural to me.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-31-2021, 08:24 AM
oakalla oakalla is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 4
Default

Thank you EVERYONE for your responses. These are great ideas. I am getting started.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-31-2021, 09:03 AM
Big Band Guitar Big Band Guitar is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 884
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Currie View Post
Back when I first started attempting to play to a metronome, I found my biggest problem was playing too fast.

I had to slow down to 1/10 speed in order to maintain a steady tempo. I slowly ratcheted up the tempo until things fell apart, and backed it off until I could keep the tempo solid.

Over time, it was EXACTLY like all the other 10 million fundamental things guitarists need to learn. Conscious repetition to embed it permanently into muscle memory.

I've watched guitarists struggling with a tempo, say 120 bpm. I suggest slowing down the tempo. They set it to 100.

And they were surprised it didn't help...
Exactly, If the tune needs to be played at 120 I start at 60 or even 30.

With slowness comes speed.
__________________
"My opinion is worth every penny you paid for it."

"If you try to play like someone else, Who will play like you". Quote from Johnny Gimble

The only musician I have to impress today is the musician I was yesterday.

No tubes, No capos, No Problems.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-31-2021, 10:55 AM
ljguitar's Avatar
ljguitar ljguitar is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: wyoming
Posts: 40,634
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by oakalla View Post
ÖIím not looking for shortcuts or a silver bullet; I know itís going to take time. Iím looking for ideas (tips and tricks!) to put me on the right track.

Perhaps some of you have been here.
Hi oakallaÖ

A friend who is about the same level (or just a bit better) who will jam with you regularly is one of the best things for musical growth. Not only timing/counting, but many other skills emerge when playing with others.

They don't cost tons of money and they go home after an hour or two.




__________________


Baby #01
Baby #02
Baby #03
Baby #04
Baby #05

Larry's songs...

ÖJust because you've argued someone into silence doesn't mean you have convinced themÖ
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-01-2021, 12:03 AM
Doug Young's Avatar
Doug Young Doug Young is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Mountain View, CA
Posts: 8,346
Default

A couple of suggestions:

Play *slow*, like half speed, or even less. And start with something simple. as someone else suggested, just a steady thumb on a bass note, or an alternating bass. Or straight quarter-note strums if you're strumming.

Use a metronome that emphasizes 1, most apps will do this. Know in your music where 1 is for each measure. If you're reading tab or music, mark the first beat of each measure if you need to. Make sure the metronome's emphasized "1" beat lines up with those spots. If they don't, you got off somewhere.

Make sure you can really hear the metronome, crank up the volume of it if you can.

Tap your foot with the metronome, so you feel the beat. Also try clapping to the beat - no guitar, just clap to the beat. If you can't just clap hands or tap feet to the beat, you won't be able to play something, which is more complicated. Try tapping/clapping to different speeds so you get used to following the metronome if it's different. I've been working with a student who taps at 120 no matter what the metronome is set to - that's a problem! The first trick is to learn to really hear and follow the metronome.

Clap the rhythm of what you're playing without playing the guitar.

Make sure you actually know the music - in some ways, the metronome is a test of that, if you're hesitating because you're unsure of what comes next, the metronome will go on without you. Practice the tune at "zero speed" until you know every note, then practice with the metronome so slow that you have plenty of time to think about the next note - so slow you "can't" mess up. once it's ingrained, then you can start to increase speed slowly.

If you're having trouble, it's probably something best worked on with a teacher, in person, until you get the hang of it.

Last edited by Doug Young; 08-01-2021 at 12:14 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Thread Tools





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=