Timing


PlatonicShred
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PlatonicShred
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03/30/2007 7:14 am
Is everything. If anyone's interested in developing a killer sense of timing, a good way to do so--besides metronome--is to play funk music. To me it's more fun than working with a metronome. Plus, it really does develop your rhythm chops because those guys will be playing the same chikka-chikka 16th note vamp straight through the entire 5 minute song. It seems really easy because usually the chords are really easy, but holding the steady groove in the proverbial pocket is pretty hard. That's another thing that I don't think metronomes convey---the pocket. My teacher likes to say 'there's guys that play on time, and then there's guys that play in time.' It's a lot harder than it looks.

Try it, who knows, maybe it'll work!
Back In Black isn't a song. It's a divine call that gets channeled through five righteous dudes every thousand years or so. That's why dragons and sea monsters don't exist anymore.
# 1
ren
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ren
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03/30/2007 8:44 am
A drum machine is a nice metronome alternative for exactly that reason... gives it all a bit more groove..... :cool:

Check out my music, video, lessons & backing tracks here![br]https://www.renhimself.com

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Julian Vickers
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Julian Vickers
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03/30/2007 9:17 am
You can make a metronome sound groovy, believe me. Keeping the metronome beats as the 2 and 4 and a good jazz comp rhythm can make the metronome acutally sound groovy. My jazz guitar tutor is friggin awesome at it.
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# 3
PlatonicShred
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PlatonicShred
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03/30/2007 10:17 am
I have to confess, I never really got anything but a click-clack-click metronome. Personally, I like playing along with real records. My BOSS studio thing has some beats on it...but I still don't get the same flavor just telling it to 'accent this beat or that.'

On another beat--do you guys think that guitarists practice in an isolated fashion? Because it seems to me, coming from my side, that if you practice with a machine all the time---even if you have it doing drumbeats--you still might have to do some serious work when it comes time to play with actual musicians that speed up and slow down without warning. Whereas, if you play with some really raw records, you may have less work to do.

Is this the case? I don't really know, since my practice with a metronome is limited to technical excercises and learning new ways to finger this that and the other. The rest of the time I just try to play with actual musicians, or actual music.
Back In Black isn't a song. It's a divine call that gets channeled through five righteous dudes every thousand years or so. That's why dragons and sea monsters don't exist anymore.
# 4
ren
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ren
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03/30/2007 10:30 am
I can't make my metronome do anything resembling a groove either... :( But I too only use it as a learning tool - if I'm playinng at home on my own I'll use a drum machine / jam track or whatever - something more real.

A lot of guitar players never play outside their bedrooms, so yeah, practice is isolated but then I guess if you're not going to play live it doesn't matter.

I play live quite a lot, although I'm lucky that my bandmates are solid and we don't tend to wander about on time far too much. I also play jam nights, and most of the musicians who go there are pretty good, and again solid on time. Playing to a metronome promotes eveness, and helps you feel a rhythm... and it's that which helps when playing with other musicians in my opinion.

I've never bought it when people say something like 'don't use a metronome, it'll make your playing too robotic and less organic'.... which really means, 'my timing is crap and I don't care....'

Some people may be blessed with good timing wihtout the metronome - mine wasn't good enough...

Check out my music, video, lessons & backing tracks here![br]https://www.renhimself.com

# 5
PlatonicShred
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PlatonicShred
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03/30/2007 11:03 am
Well, I didn't mean necessarily that the timing of other musicians was bad. It's more like...hmmm...well, if you tap your foot to a song made by any band, chances are the tempo will not be even throughout the song. Not to say that the changes are that noticeable, but they are there...maybe a few beats per minute throughout an entire song.

A great example, I think at least, are the recordings made by Paco De Lucia, John Mclaughlin, and Al Di Meola in the late 70's-early 80's. De Lucia and Mclaughlin's sense of timing is spot-on, but they vary, it varies--they aren't married to 100-something bpm on-the-dot, whereas Al Di Meola, god love him because he's a fantastic guitarist, is more machine-like in his timing. On the dot and such. As a result, Paco and John's playing, to me, sounds a little less stiff and more inspired.

More an emphasis on the 'pocket' over the set bpm of the piece. An emphasis on where the other musicians around you are and are going. So, I think what you're describing is the same as what I'm talking about...

because in a jam situation all you have is a pocket :D to work off of.

Oh, and I hope it didn't come across as me saying 'never use a metronome.' I think it's absolutely necessary to use a metronome for vertical growth as a guitar player. Just sometimes you have to change things up a little, or at least I have to...to avoid a rut.
Back In Black isn't a song. It's a divine call that gets channeled through five righteous dudes every thousand years or so. That's why dragons and sea monsters don't exist anymore.
# 6


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03/30/2007 11:27 am
I personally use drum loops even for practice. Altho I will use a metronome sometimes I prefer to play with a "real" drummer. The loops I have are actual studio recorded so no midi stuff. I like how everything doesn't sound the same all the time :)

I probably like them so much because they make exercises less boring to do lol
# 7
PlatonicShred
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03/30/2007 12:03 pm
Originally Posted by: BenoitI personally use drum loops even for practice. Altho I will use a metronome sometimes I prefer to play with a "real" drummer. The loops I have are actual studio recorded so no midi stuff. I like how everything doesn't sound the same all the time :)

I probably like them so much because they make exercises less boring to do lol


drum loops, now that's interesting. Sometimes I wish more drummers could play like a drum loop, ha ha, like the guy from Rush!
Back In Black isn't a song. It's a divine call that gets channeled through five righteous dudes every thousand years or so. That's why dragons and sea monsters don't exist anymore.
# 8
FingerSpasm
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03/30/2007 2:38 pm
I have been confused a little on Metronome use. I use mine to get my right and left hand in sync. So I will start at say 100 bpm and then have it increase 10 bpm every 20 seconds until it hits max. I will play one note for every beat. Here is where I get confused and this is because I have only been playing about 18 months and am self taught. Guys like Petrucci say he always uses a metronome and then I shreds a 9 billion beats per minute solo. How in the heck to you use a metronome for that! Does he fit so many notes in between every beat of the Metronome? I would really Like to see a lesson on how to properly do this kind of thing? I am sure after I finally have it explained to me and I understand it I will feel silly. But for now its a little confusing to me.
# 9
PlatonicShred
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03/30/2007 5:59 pm
Originally Posted by: FingerSpasmI have been confused a little on Metronome use. I use mine to get my right and left hand in sync. So I will start at say 100 bpm and then have it increase 10 bpm every 20 seconds until it hits max. I will play one note for every beat. Here is where I get confused and this is because I have only been playing about 18 months and am self taught. Guys like Petrucci say he always uses a metronome and then I shreds a 9 billion beats per minute solo. How in the heck to you use a metronome for that! Does he fit so many notes in between every beat of the Metronome? I would really Like to see a lesson on how to properly do this kind of thing? I am sure after I finally have it explained to me and I understand it I will feel silly. But for now its a little confusing to me.



Well--and this is just MY opinion, so let's keep it in that context--you usually don't play quarter notes with a metronome if you are working on your 'shred' skills. What you do is start really really really slow, and play sixteenth notes---four to a beat. When you start really slow, make sure to just be able to play sixteenths at that tempo perfectly. Don't increase the metronome speed until you can play all your scales, arpeggios, and for some--improvisations---at that speed, utilizing sixteenths as the fastest note duration. Think about every single note, and try to isolate every finger's movement as best you can while at the same time eliminating any excess tension in how you hold your arms and hands and force you apply to the frets.

Then, when you can play at that tempo without any effort whatsoever--perfectly in time, in tune, and with perfect technique*---move the metronome forward.

Just continue doing this until the metronome is cranked up to around 240 bpm and you'll be a world-class next gen virtuoso. That's how all the fastest players did, and that's why you can do it to. Just takes practice. Lots and lots of practice.


*This varies depending on who you talk to. Just try to do what feels comfortable for you, but also eliminates all excess motions---no sense in having your pinky flip flopping everywhere if you're trying to play at Petrucci speeds, eh?

The reason I suggest practicing sixteenths is just because they readily become other note denominations. They can function as 32nds and as sextuplets at different tempos, and are generally the note that guitar solos revolve around.

With all that said---it's just an opinion, a certain approach---if there's something else that sounds better to you than what I described, then do it!
Back In Black isn't a song. It's a divine call that gets channeled through five righteous dudes every thousand years or so. That's why dragons and sea monsters don't exist anymore.
# 10
FingerSpasm
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FingerSpasm
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03/30/2007 8:59 pm
Originally Posted by: PlatonicShredWell--and this is just MY opinion, so let's keep it in that context--you usually don't play quarter notes with a metronome if you are working on your 'shred' skills. What you do is start really really really slow, and play sixteenth notes---four to a beat. When you start really slow, make sure to just be able to play sixteenths at that tempo perfectly. Don't increase the metronome speed until you can play all your scales, arpeggios, and for some--improvisations---at that speed, utilizing sixteenths as the fastest note duration. Think about every single note, and try to isolate every finger's movement as best you can while at the same time eliminating any excess tension in how you hold your arms and hands and force you apply to the frets.

Then, when you can play at that tempo without any effort whatsoever--perfectly in time, in tune, and with perfect technique*---move the metronome forward.

Just continue doing this until the metronome is cranked up to around 240 bpm and you'll be a world-class next gen virtuoso. That's how all the fastest players did, and that's why you can do it to. Just takes practice. Lots and lots of practice.


*This varies depending on who you talk to. Just try to do what feels comfortable for you, but also eliminates all excess motions---no sense in having your pinky flip flopping everywhere if you're trying to play at Petrucci speeds, eh?

The reason I suggest practicing sixteenths is just because they readily become other note denominations. They can function as 32nds and as sextuplets at different tempos, and are generally the note that guitar solos revolve around.

With all that said---it's just an opinion, a certain approach---if there's something else that sounds better to you than what I described, then do it!


Thanks thats the best example I have gotten to date. Most people I ask just scratch their head and say that they do not use a metronome much. Then follow that up by saying that they probably should but its to much of a hassle. I do know that if I play even quarter notes one note for every beat it makes me faster just because it gets my left and right hand in sync and this allows me to start picking faster without getting out of sync. I am going to try what you suggested and see if that moves me forward. Thanks again
# 11
PlatonicShred
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03/31/2007 5:06 am
Glad to have helped in any way. One positive thing about practicing with perfect technique is that you can easily imagine yourself as playing at warp speed! I know it sounds weird, but when you're playing something very slow--with total control--you can just feel how it would be to do it at 220 bpm.

Speaking of....have you heard Theodore Zirgas?!!

!!!!

Insanity!!!!

He has a video where he plays 16ths at 300 bpm!
I did a post here awhile ago called how fast the 'fastest' are playing and I put it at around 220 bpm +/- 10 bpm ((fastest player before Zirgas I'd heard was Francesco Ferari, and he's usually rocking at 230 bpm))

Well fuggedaboutit!

300 bpm is 20 nps. Phew!

Yet, they asked how he got to be so f*cking fast and he just said "I practiced with a metronome, making sure to get everything perfectly."

On the other hand, Yngwie Malmsteen CLAIMS to have never done anything like that. He says he just played all the time, to music, and if he couldn't play something, he didn't play it until he could. I'm not sure how much of that I believe---but if it's true, it means that both approaches CAN work!


Oh, and that's a good thought---coordinating your right and left hand with each click of the metronome. There are metronomes that click out different note durations for you, and maybe that would help?
Back In Black isn't a song. It's a divine call that gets channeled through five righteous dudes every thousand years or so. That's why dragons and sea monsters don't exist anymore.
# 12
damaged
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damaged
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03/31/2007 11:13 am
Wow another Platonic Shred thread telling me how to play practice or who's fastest. Any way check this out 20nps is fast but not the fastest. http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=366820
"Make money your god and it will plague you like the devil."
# 13
FingerSpasm
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03/31/2007 11:35 am
I have not heard of Theodore Zirgas but I will have to check it out. I just watched a video on Guitar One of Frank Gambale Sweep picking. Pretty insane. On another note I tried out one of Benoits speed picking drills using the metronome like you suggested 4 picks for every beat. It worked really well and I had to work a little harder on the timing. I am still working on getting it down with scales. But this seems like it is going to get me to the next level.
# 14
PlatonicShred
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03/31/2007 11:50 am
Originally Posted by: damagedWow another Platonic Shred thread telling me how to play practice or who's fastest. Any way check this out 20nps is fast but not the fastest. http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=366820


Umm. the thread is about timing. And the reference to speed was more just to encourage Fingerspasm, to let him know that even the fastest players had to start somewhere. ;)

Oh, and that other stuff on the ultimate guitar thread is based on legato--which, is very hard to measure. Not only that, but they are talking about 'one-shot' deals. None of those players on the list there can alternate pick at 300 bpm for any real amount of time---half of them can't even do it at 220---at least not from anything of them that I've ever heard ((recorded and/or live))

Trust me. 20nps as a sustainable speed is blistering.
Back In Black isn't a song. It's a divine call that gets channeled through five righteous dudes every thousand years or so. That's why dragons and sea monsters don't exist anymore.
# 15
PlatonicShred
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03/31/2007 12:05 pm
Originally Posted by: FingerSpasmI have not heard of Theodore Zirgas but I will have to check it out. I just watched a video on Guitar One of Frank Gambale Sweep picking. Pretty insane. On another note I tried out one of Benoits speed picking drills using the metronome like you suggested 4 picks for every beat. It worked really well and I had to work a little harder on the timing. I am still working on getting it down with scales. But this seems like it is going to get me to the next level.


Fantastic!

Gambale is pretty awesome. He's a master of economy picking. Also, pay attention to your right hand and forearm as well and really get a good idea of what way of picking suits you.

There's no real right way of doing it, either.

Some do it from the elbow, some--like Petrucci--twist their forearm, some use just their wrists, and still others use their fingers alone for the motion. But yeah, work that out early as well. Right hand efficiency is very important! Without it you can't do, IMO, the coolest solo-trick of them all---switch back and forth seamlessly in the middle of a phrase between legato and alternate picked. It almost sounds like you're accompanying yourself.

And, this is what some people have told me works pretty well, at those slow tempos---just try and play a piece of music you hear in your head. Think of a line, then try to recreate it on the guitar. If you can't do this at the same tempo that you can play sixteenths at, then slow down the metronome to wherever it is you can do it. Improvise at this tempo until you can play instantly what you hear in your head to perfection---then increase the metronome's speed.

I'm just starting out trying the approach I just mentioned to you---and it's pretty hardcore. Like always, these are just little bits that helped me, maybe they'll work for you.
Back In Black isn't a song. It's a divine call that gets channeled through five righteous dudes every thousand years or so. That's why dragons and sea monsters don't exist anymore.
# 16

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