Timing problem

StratoStrummer

Strat-Talker
Feb 26, 2021
238
Puglia
I have a problem with playing in time.
If I improvise, I can follow the beat. But if I play an exercise or a solo from a song, I go off time.

I practice with a metronome, I play with backing tracks, I try to practice at slow timings... I try to tap my foot when I play...
So far nothing seems to help much. So I'm seeking help from you, do you have any suggestion?
 

amstratnut

Peace thru Music.
Dec 1, 2009
22,045
My house.
I have a problem with playing in time.
If I improvise, I can follow the beat. But if I play an exercise or a solo from a song, I go off time.

I practice with a metronome, I play with backing tracks, I try to practice at slow timings... I try to tap my foot when I play...
So far nothing seems to help much. So I'm seeking help from you, do you have any suggestion?

Make simple exercises for yourself and dont expect results too quickly.

I have similar issues.

For example: Make up a short riff and the improvise a short phrase. The riff and phrase should last 2 measures.

Make it simple. The riff could be a couple notes and the improve could be one note. Just make it fit in two measures. If even thats too hard, practice playing one note on the 1 every two measures.

As you begin to be able to track your place, gradually increase the complexity of the improv. If you lose track, dumb it down again.

Do a little a day. 3 to 5 minutes. Slow but steady.
 

Baelzebub

Dr. Stratster
Nov 1, 2019
16,041
State of Disbelief
I can't say that it will work for you, but I obtained a Soundbrenner Pulse in a bulk purchase that is basically a metronome device controlled by an app.

The device is like a large watch which you can either wear on you wrist, or use and extender strap to wear on your upper arm/leg..wherever it works for you,m a vibrates in time.

You can set the beat on the app or by tapping on the device and it will vibrate, and flash, in time, while you can set the app to a number of audible cues and place the emphasis on whatever beat you like similar to most metronome apps. But it works with the "watch" via bluetooth.

Might be something to try. Wearing it on your picking arm let's you coordinate your picking with it.
 

StratoStrummer

Strat-Talker
Feb 26, 2021
238
Puglia
The key is gonna be playing it until you don't have to think about it.

Make simple exercises for yourself and dont expect results too quickly.

For example: Make up a short riff and the improvise a short phrase. The riff and phrase should last 2 measures.

Make it simple. The riff could be a couple notes
Do a little a day. 3 to 5 minutes. Slow but steady.

Metronome and tapping your foot. Without an instrument.

If you can read music, try clapping the notes while tapping your foot to a metronome.
Ok now I have three strategies to focus on my issues: back at work.
I can't say that it will work for you, but I obtained a Soundbrenner Pulse in a bulk purchase that is basically a metronome device controlled by an app.
Might be something to try.
And an idea for my next purchase.

Thank you
 

Baelzebub

Dr. Stratster
Nov 1, 2019
16,041
State of Disbelief
Ok now I have three strategies to focus on my issues: back at work.

And an idea for my next purchase.

Thank you
Good luck! I struggle with the same issue, but just keep at it.

I think probably the best thing for me has been when I can play with others, but that's been problematic in recent years.

I'm not one for throwing money at a problem thinking it will replace the hard work but one of my best purchases has been a Trio+ since it allows me to take a simple line and create drum and bass lines around it in different genre's, styles and time signatures. I can then take one basic idea and change the genre or style and try to play over it. Keeps me from getting stuck on one idea.
 

AxemanVR

I appreciate, therefore I am...
Silver Member
Feb 8, 2014
5,982
Minnesota USA

The best way I found to get rhythm engrained into the very core of your being is by listening to a lot of different types of music.

Get to know each tune intimately - to the point of “feeling” the rhythm without having to think about it.

As a matter of fact, I learned more about music just listening to it than everything else combined.

Transferring that rhythm from your brain to your hands may not happen overnight, but as long as you get the rhythm from your ears to your soul, then you’ll at least be that much closer to at least “feeling it”.

Feeling the music is feeling the rhythm, which is far more important than “counting time…

 

dspellman

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 24, 2013
1,296
Los Angeles
I have a problem with playing in time.
If I improvise, I can follow the beat. But if I play an exercise or a solo from a song, I go off time.

I practice with a metronome, I play with backing tracks, I try to practice at slow timings... I try to tap my foot when I play...
So far nothing seems to help much. So I'm seeking help from you, do you have any suggestion?
Find a nice Dominican nun with a three-cornered ruler and point to a spot on your noggin where you'd like her to keep time. After a while, you'll come to anticipate that ruler.
 

thomquietwolf

Dr. Stratster
Silver Member
Dec 2, 2010
21,068
Peardale CA
Make simple exercises for yourself and dont expect results too quickly.

I have similar issues.

For example: Make up a short riff and the improvise a short phrase. The riff and phrase should last 2 measures.

Make it simple. The riff could be a couple notes and the improve could be one note. Just make it fit in two measures. If even thats too hard, practice playing one note on the 1 every two measures.

As you begin to be able to track your place, gradually increase the complexity of the improv. If you lose track, dumb it down again.

Do a little a day. 3 to 5 minutes. Slow but steady.
images (1).jpeg
 

3bolt79

Dr. Stratster
Oct 16, 2018
15,600
Oregon
I got an old Franz metronome. Just like the one I had in the eighties. It clicks or will just blink a light. It’s wood and the previous owner wired it up with a few feet of cord.

The sound of tuners with metronomes is something that makes me cringe. The old time ones that actually have a needle that sways are probably the most pleasing sounding ”click.”
 

Higgins1980

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 11, 2013
3,034
North Carolina
Good luck! I struggle with the same issue, but just keep at it.

I think probably the best thing for me has been when I can play with others, but that's been problematic in recent years.

I'm not one for throwing money at a problem thinking it will replace the hard work but one of my best purchases has been a Trio+ since it allows me to take a simple line and create drum and bass lines around it in different genre's, styles and time signatures. I can then take one basic idea and change the genre or style and try to play over it. Keeps me from getting stuck on one idea.
I really want to try a Trio+ but they’re so pricey.
 

Baelzebub

Dr. Stratster
Nov 1, 2019
16,041
State of Disbelief
I really want to try a Trio+ but they’re so pricey.
They are that but they can be had used for a bit less. Yikes...just looked and $400 new? Don't think I paid that. Used looks like about $260.

You really do get a lot for the money, especially if your opportunities to jam with others is limited. Along with that, though, is a steeper learning curve than most pedals, but you just have to spend a little time with it.

Even if you don't you can pretty quickly just play as little as a snippet of a melody or bass line to train the band and then you have ton of combinations of genres and styles to select from.

You're not limited to what the settings were when you did it, and as you do through them you can play various rhythms till you find you you like and then used the looper to lay that on top and then you an practice leads against that...and overdub when you like one. And it autosaves as you go.

You have 12 songs you can work like that and it saves them to a chip.

That's the basic functions..then you can change timing, tempo, create sections for a song and sequence them, modify the timings and the complexity of the bass lines...damn thing does a lot.

And I know that you buy to keep and that one is one that won't lose it's utility. Maybe ask Santa... ;)
 

StratoStrummer

Strat-Talker
Feb 26, 2021
238
Puglia
Some musicians are never capable of having good timing but obviously that doesn't preclude them playing an instrument in a band.
It's even worse when you have a drummer that can't count.
I have been in a band for several years.
Nothing professional but we never had timing issues. The drummers were always very good, better musicians than any other member.
My problems began when I sat down with some tabs and books and told myself: you have been improvising deep purple solos for ten years, but what if you try to learn some basic solo note for note?
 


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