How do you keep time?

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john
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Re: How do you keep time?

Post by john » Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:44 pm

another example of what rog said on jacos solo album "used to be a cha cha" speeds up heaps . when you get to the end skip to the beginning . but they do it together . if you were playing bass and stayed like a metronome it would sound off. but not many people do notice . i dont think a little waver matters as long as its not extreme

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Re: How do you keep time?

Post by beagle » Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:07 pm

Yep... doing it in sync is what's most important.
To get back to ryla's original question... I lock into the drummer. If he changes tempo (on purpose or not) so do I and that's what a proper rhythm section does.... stick like glue. I personally think tempo changes are not good unless it's intentional... the most important thing is that the rhythm section is 'in-sync'.
foal30 wrote:"Time" is not "Groove".
I agree... timing is not feel, although speeding up or slowing down can induce a change in feel.
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Re: How do you keep time?

Post by foal30 » Tue Aug 28, 2007 5:14 pm

play-along C.D.'s are good for learning or solidifying ideas.
the Jamey Aebersold series is well worth a look.

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Re: How do you keep time?

Post by raynor » Sun Sep 02, 2007 5:45 pm

Good day mate
How do you keep time?...........
You slap a wristwatch to your arm and glance at it now and again.......

To get serious...... Have you watched Eric Clapton? If not do it and try to get hold of a dvd or video and watch his left foot. That is all I have to say. The best method of keeping time to the beat is foot tapping. :roll:

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Re: How do you keep time?

Post by foal30 » Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:37 am

been doing some bits and pieces with a drummer using an electronic kit.
It's different in the response or attack, particularly the snare... I've found myself absolutely on top of the beat, for the first time in many years. Also queer is the lack of air being pushed by the pads.
It's been a good experience, you know something different to learn/feel.

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Re: How do you keep time?

Post by beagle » Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:38 pm

I played a gig once with a drummer who had an electric kit... He had a great PA and a Roland kit but it sounded like poo and timing was his personal issue.
Other than that I had one practice recently where the drummer (who's a good drummer) was using an electric kit.
Twas strange at first but did get used to it. Sounded ok.
I can't say I noticed any timing issues hooking into it
It was great being able to practice at a low volume level though!

I also have another drummer who has a Nord trigger system that goes on his acoustic kit. Gives the best of both worlds... Nice acoustic characterists while some great sampled sounds through the PA.
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Re: How do you keep time?

Post by Crazykiwi » Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:00 am

I don't keep time, thats the drummers job.

If I end up setting the time and he's not listening then the song ends up becoming a mess. What I have to do is fit in with what the drummer is doing in order to make the song groove. What I do depends very much on whether the drummer is playing in front of the beat (driving the song like some punk/indie), on top of the beat (like a dance/club tune) or playing behind the beat (like hiphop/rnb/funk).

If he's driving the song, then I try to keep up. Split Enz "Six Months In A Leaky Boat" is a good example of the drummer in front with the bass behind the beat.

If he's on top of the beat then it means he's pretty neutral groove wise and there's more responsibility on me to make the song swing by how I play the notes I'm playing in relation to his.

If he's behind the beat then I can lock in with him to create a lazy feel or I can play in front of him to drive the song more. Anyone remember Level 42? The bass player in that band often drove the song while the drummer was often behind the beat.

Sometimes there will be a range of feels within one song or even within one section. Some of Chic and Led Zep's riff based tunes had the bass behind the beat for some notes and in front of the beat for extra emphasis. Doing that sort of thing will create The Pocket. The Pocket is the degree by which you can play in front or behind each other without losing the feel of the groove.

A classic funk 4-on-the-floor groove on drums is to have the hihat driving in front of the beat, the bass drum on the beat and the snare as far behind as possible without falling out of the pocket. Whats most important is that you and the drummer are listening to one another and playing consistently. When you play consistently, both your playing will relax a bit and thats where tightness and confidence comes from.

Have a listen to me and my band playing "Higher and Higher" in the video below (its towards the end of the medley) and see if you can tell where the drums and bass are in relation to the actual beat. I'm playing in front and behind depending on what emphasis is required.
http://www.hulagroove.co.uk/video.html

With the Chic stuff (not in the vid unfortunately), I have to play as far behind the drummer as I possibly can apart from key notes. Like for example 'We Are Family', the first note of each bar is almost half a beat ahead but the rest of riff is way behind the beat. Usually I play the notes that need extra emphasis in front of the beat with the rest behind. Thats really tough to do when you're on stage and pumped full of adrenalin.
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Re: How do you keep time?

Post by definite » Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:06 pm

i find myself setting the groove/ time/ tempo alot but thats probably something to do with sparking up all the new ideas/ grooves/ songs!
in saying that, once the groove is established i like to 'move around' the beat a bit (just intuitively-not too conscious) sometimes pushing sometimes pulling it back.

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Re: How do you keep time?

Post by Randomplay » Sat Aug 16, 2008 3:09 pm

For the most part i think i have alright timing myself... but really feel its the the drummers job too keep it... nothing better than jamming with a "good" drummer! But ive found if the drummers got crap timing it dosnt matter what i do, it still crashes and burns... Ive had a few painful jams where the drummer progressively slowed the further into the song we got.. i tried keeping the tempo, even deliberatly thumping the root every beat... and itd just end up with me playing a ahead o the beat :x A train wreak! Quite frustrating :evil:

In saying that im not worried about deliberate tempo changes... when yah playing to a crowd, go with it if its working... crank it if it feels a lil lack luster.

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Re: How do you keep time?

Post by BluesBass » Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:40 pm

When it comes to playing live in my (limited) experience, songs generally take on a life of their own (especially when the band really nails the groove) and due to nervous energy or adrenalin, they will have a tendency to "speed" up all by themselves.
Sometimes a songs tempo will fluctuate, maybe not a lot and maybe not noticeably as far as the audience is concerned.
This isn't necessarily all bad, as long as the whole band are in time.

A good rhythm section certainly helps, but in my opinion, its not just the job of the drummer or the bass player to keep time.
In good ensemble, the job of keeping steady time can rest firmly on the shoulders of everyone.
All members of the band should all strive to have good time-keeping skills, because they all play an integral part in maintaining the time.
Your time doesn't have to be that great it makes a Swiss watch look sloppy, but it should be decent.
If everyone in the band has decent to good time, the groove won't suffer... especially in the style of music I play the most (e.g. blues).

Having said that a good timekeeper is only as good as his ability to groove.
There are as many quirks to playing a good Texas shuffle or a really smoking straight-ahead feel.
These intricacies, like playing on top of the beat or laying back can make a huge difference, and it can mean life or death to the groove and take a life time to master.

The hardest thing to do, and make it sound good on stage (IMHO), is play 'slow'.

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Re: How do you keep time?

Post by beagle » Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:11 pm

You make some great points and that's so true about playing slow ... the holes just get bigger and any mistiming get more obvious.
I find that some of those blues songs leave absolutly 'no room to hide' ;-)
Great to have you on the site Sean!
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p.s. Sean's the bass player for 'The Jukes' who are a really great Akl blues band so def check them out if you get the chance 8)
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Re: How do you keep time?

Post by BluesBass » Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:25 am

beagle wrote:You make some great points and that's so true about playing slow ... the holes just get bigger and any mistiming get more obvious.
I find that some of those blues songs leave absolutly 'no room to hide' ;-)
Great to have you on the site Sean!
Beagle (aka Steve BP for - Los Diablos)
p.s. Sean's the bass player for 'The Jukes' who are a really great Akl blues band so def check them out if you get the chance 8)
Hey Steve, glad to be here...
It's taken me a while but better late then never huh?
Thanks for the plug... so no pressure then :wink:

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Re: How do you keep time?

Post by beagle » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:01 pm

ha ha :lol:
Credit where credits due mate ;-)
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Re: How do you keep time?

Post by definite » Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:05 pm

definite wrote:i find myself setting the groove/ time/ tempo alot but thats probably something to do with sparking up all the new ideas/ grooves/ songs!
in saying that, once the groove is established i like to 'move around' the beat a bit (just intuitively-not too conscious) sometimes pushing sometimes pulling it back.
Our drummer (he was brand new to the band when i made the above post) is unlike nearly every drummer ive ever played with - he likes to pull the beat back (actually staying in time - wow LOL) and NOT TAKE OFF like many drummers tend to - especially when you play rock.

Its a good challenge/ discipline to play with him when it comes to timing :)

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Re: How do you keep time?

Post by ryla » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:17 am

nice to have a drummer who can pull back def (thats called listening) i reckon if everyone just listens to everyone there should be no problem at all (looking can help too)

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