Cause of Meter Speeding Up Discovered.

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
You guys are being weird and focusing on the wrong things. I have played more kits than I can count, setup in countless ways. Some were easier to play than others, but never once could I claim that I sped up part of a song because of how the kit was setup.

We rush or drag because our sense of meter is not as aware as it should have been. The best way to fix this is to setup the kit in a comfortable way, then stop focusing on it. Instead, get your metronome out and practice those parts in a very exacting way.

Think about it. If you rushed the section, you actually had more time to get around the kit than you used.
 

spleeeeen

Platinum Member
I think about perception a lot. Just last week, practicing with a metronome....when I would stop, the metronome would sound to me like it was going faster than when I was playing to it. I stopped multiple times to try and test my perceptions, and every time the met sounded like it accelerated whenever I stopped playing. Of course it didn't, it was all in my head. The next day was the same story. So now I am trying to reconcile my perceptions while playing compared to stopping. Hopefully one day I will perceive them as the exact same. Perceptions majorly affect what/how drummers play, and perceptions can definitely trick you.

Hearing things as they actually are takes getting over my own perceptions. My own perceptions fool me sometimes, so it can be a little unsettling, like I can't trust my own ears. Awareness is the first step.
Larry,

Thanks for this--it resonates a lot with my own experiences and ongoing work in developing my time. It's something I wish more people would talk and write about. Coming up, I had all kinds of people tell me that a good sense of tempo is something "you either got or you don't." I disagree, I think it's a skill that like any other, can be continually developed. I think part of the reason people don't talk/write about this sort of development is that it tends to be less concrete and more conceptual.

But I dig the direction you're going in finding ways to talk about this that are in addition to the more "concrete" things like "practice with a click, put spaces into your click track, etc." These are very useful but I think there could be a lot of value in discussing conceptual things like "perception"

So, if you don't mind, my questions for you: What do you do to "get over" your own perceptions? And when you say "awareness is the first step," what do you have in mind as the steps that will follow?

Thanks brotha and hope this makes sense,

Jason
 

spleeeeen

Platinum Member
I think about perception a lot. Just last week, practicing with a metronome....when I would stop, the metronome would sound to me like it was going faster than when I was playing to it. I stopped multiple times to try and test my perceptions, and every time the met sounded like it accelerated whenever I stopped playing. Of course it didn't, it was all in my head. The next day was the same story. So now I am trying to reconcile my perceptions while playing compared to stopping. Hopefully one day I will perceive them as the exact same. Perceptions majorly affect what/how drummers play, and perceptions can definitely trick you.

Hearing things as they actually are takes getting over my own perceptions. My own perceptions fool me sometimes, so it can be a little unsettling, like I can't trust my own ears. Awareness is the first step.
Larry (& Wait For It Drummer),

Thanks for this--it resonates a lot with my own experiences and ongoing work in developing my time. It's something I wish more people would talk and write about. Coming up, I had all kinds of people tell me that a good sense of tempo is something "you either got or you don't." I disagree, I think it's a skill that like any other, can be continually developed. I think part of the reason people don't talk/write about this sort of development is that it tends to be less concrete and more conceptual.

But I dig the direction you're going in finding ways to talk about this that are in addition to the more "concrete" things like "practice with a click, put spaces into your click track, etc." These are very useful but I think there could be a lot of value in discussing conceptual things like "perception"

So, if you don't mind, my questions for you: What do you do to "get over" your own perceptions? And when you say "awareness is the first step," what do you have in mind as the steps that will follow?

Thanks brotha and hope I've made some sense,

Jason
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
You guys are being weird and focusing on the wrong things. I have played more kits than I can count, setup in countless ways. Some were easier to play than others, but never once could I claim that I sped up part of a song because of how the kit was setup.

.
First, Everyone is not as experienced as you.

Second, I don't see where anyone was focusing strictly on the set up. A LOT of things can affect your meter and the set up is is just one of them. You need to be comfortable in order to play properly. If you are worried that you may have trouble getting around the kit for certain fills, your meter may suffer.

If necessary, most experienced players would simply adjust what they play on a difficult or oddly set up kit. When you are learning however, consistency is important.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
First, Everyone is not as experienced as you.
I suppose that's true, but I'm far from any kind of drumming "great", and what I'm talking about has always applied through my entire time as a drummer, and indeed musician. Going from electric bass to a full size stand up fretless monster might make for a challenge, but you shouldn't let it affect your meter mentally. The solution isn't just to go back to the smaller bass, or a tighter setup because that's easier than addressing the mental issue of your psyching-out over something being different than you think it should be.

You need to be comfortable in order to play properly.
Nonsense. I was just reading a thread about all kinds of mishaps and terrible drum kits setup in odd ways. The prevailing notion was that each player got through the gig, and a lot of the time, the audience has no idea.

If you are worried that you may have trouble getting around the kit for certain fills, your meter may suffer.
And instead, if you're comfortable and know you've got a great meter, because you put in the time, you won't be thinking this regardless what setup you're sitting at. I don't often "learn" other people's fills, but when I do, I always work them out by the sticking, and then first learn them on a pad or a snare to a metronome. No getting around the kit at all. It's much more important to think about where each note falls within the pulse than it is to think about what kit part (and where it is) you're going to hit next in this awesome fill.

If necessary, most experienced players would simply adjust what they play on a difficult or oddly set up kit. When you are learning however, consistency is important.
I'd argue the opposite, as I suppose I have. In a way, you're supporting my point. The "adjustments" you're talking about here is really just a different voicing of the same notes.

Play your fills OVER your sense of time. Never let your fills dictate the time.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
So, if you don't mind, my questions for you: What do you do to "get over" your own perceptions? And when you say "awareness is the first step," what do you have in mind as the steps that will follow?

Jason
What do I do to get over my own perceptions. Well I really can't escape them, but I can learn to question if what I think I am hearing is what is actually going on. What I mean is to try and hear what is honestly happening, despite my own fallibility in perceiving something. So it's like a mental focus to make sure my own misconstrusions don't get in the way. A cynical ear may be another way to put it.

Awareness...the metronome speeding up is a great example. I heard it and said, damn, it seems like it's accelerating. Of course, I realize that the problem is, as always, with ME. Awareness = realizing my own shortcomings, and being totally honest about them. Knowing where I am deficient is essential to correcting the deficit. Then it comes down to work ethic, talent and just being able to be a freestylin white chocolate.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
I've said it earlier and I'll say it again:

Trying to place blame or credit on anything except yourself for your playing is a sure ticket to mediocrity. The "cause" is always you.

The OP commented that he didn't have a metronome at the beginning of the thread. I'd say the cause for his meter speeding up is that he has never worked with a click before and thus his meter is poor.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
I've said it earlier and I'll say it again:

Trying to place blame or credit on anything except yourself for your playing is a sure ticket to mediocrity. The "cause" is always you.

The OP commented that he didn't have a metronome at the beginning of the thread. I'd say the cause for his meter speeding up is that he has never worked with a click before and thus his meter is poor.
Reminds me of something a teacher at school once said. He was the basketball coach and we were training.

He remarked how a lot of the time, people would say 'bad luck' when you lose or you miss the basket - or get your footing wrong and can't turn back to defend in time. In his view, it was always 'poor skill' rather than 'bad luck'. He was absolutely right. It's not like there are atmospheric conditions getting in the way.

I would say the same is true most of the time in music. Things can go wrong that are out of your control but it is your job as a musician to be skilled enough to right those situations. If you forget to take a tom with you, you should be able to play with a tom missing. If a cymbal cracks through no fault of your own, decide whether or not to use it (as an effect, is it appropriate?). There are very few things that can go so spectacularly wrong that the gig is cancelled. Instead, it's up to you to have the skill to put in a performance.
 

spleeeeen

Platinum Member
What do I do to get over my own perceptions. Well I really can't escape them, but I can learn to question if what I think I am hearing is what is actually going on. What I mean is to try and hear what is honestly happening, despite my own fallibility in perceiving something. So it's like a mental focus to make sure my own misconstrusions don't get in the way. A cynical ear may be another way to put it.

Awareness...the metronome speeding up is a great example. I heard it and said, damn, it seems like it's accelerating. Of course, I realize that the problem is, as always, with ME. Awareness = realizing my own shortcomings, and being totally honest about them. Knowing where I am deficient is essential to correcting the deficit. Then it comes down to work ethic, talent and just being able to be a freestylin white chocolate.
Ah, it's definitely the freestylin while chocolate element that I've been missing. ;-)

A cynical ear, like that. Or perhaps a critical ear. If you're like me (and god I hope for your sake your not), the deficits in perception aren't consistent and this makes it a bit tougher. There are times when I'm on a gig and I can't not play consistent time, it's just so obvious and easy (kind of like when you are playing back a recording of yourself--any fluctuations stand out in a big way). Other times it seems to require more effort to focus. Then there are times when the recording presents a different "reality" than what I experienced. This happened on a recent gig where I was sure I had the tempo of one particular tune dead nuts on, only to find out later that it was much too slow. Ouch.

One thing I've been toying with lately is sort of "letting go" of the time but then checking back in regularly. Hard to explain, but I recently heard a drummer (Joe Crabtree) use the analogy of bouncing a ball against the wall, that there's a part in the cycle where you let go of it, let it do its thing and let it come back to you. Again, hard to describe but for me, it's a mental process that makes use of imagery and then, I reckon, memory systems in the brain. And I suppose it's also a way to remind myself not to focus too much.

But going back to perceptions, I've discovered I'm in much better shape for time keeping if I'm well rested. If I've not been getting enough sleep, then it's time to be extra careful so I can play well in spite of myself.
 

whiteknightx

Silver Member
Interesting thread. I've actually discovered in my own playing, is that if I start listening too much to the rest of the band - waiting for a cue or a lick or some vocal hook, I start to subtly slow down my tempo. A friend of mine made me aware of this, I had no idea I did it. It took some self analysis to find the exact problem, it just happens during songs I'm not familiar with.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Perish the thought it may be the drummer who is responsible for the way the drummer is playing. That would mean accounatbility for what we are doing. And I'm well aware that in 2014 there is no accountability......not when it's far easier to blame the drum kit than turn the eyes inward and focus on the actual crux of the issue.
 
J

Jazz Man

Guest
Yep......you guys are right.
I was just fired from the band.

All my fault. Not the kit.
A lesson learned.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
Yep......you guys are right.
I was just fired from the band.

All my fault. Not the kit.
A lesson learned.
Many times failure is the best teacher. You have learned something about your playing and have taken steps to improve it by buying a metronome.

Don't sweat it about the band, there are a million bands out there and a good drummer will always find a band. Just put in your hours in the shed and you'll get there.

Good Luck
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Then there are times when the recording presents a different "reality" than what I experienced. This happened on a recent gig where I was sure I had the tempo of one particular tune dead nuts on, only to find out later that it was much too slow. Ouch.
In my drumming life, this is the thing that needs constant attention, tempos.
It's why I record, mainly. So I can reconcile what it felt like onstage, compared to listening the next day. Sometimes the 2 don't line up. Sometimes, like you, I think I'm dead nuts on. Only to be proven wrong by my friend the recorder.

Sometimes if I listen on the ride home, while still "under the effect" of the music, it sounds fine. But the next day, I'll re-listen and say....why did I think this was fine? So my perceptions trick and fool me. Having a recorder is the only chance I have at getting my perceptions to line up with what actually happened. It's something I think will always need attention, fine tuning my own perceptions.

Critical ear, that's a fine way of terming it too. It's weird when your own perceptions fool you. Not a good weird either.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Bummer about the band, bro.

Hit that metronome. Blow em away with your solid fills over unbreakable beats next time.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Sometimes your timing is off acoustically. I use to play in a church and behind the kit and close I was right on time, but if you would step into the back it was like milliseconds behind. Recording it was spot one, but by ear and in the audience it did sound delayed. Sometimes you couldn't even hear the drum in the church-like they just melted into oblivion-which was frustrating when you thought you really did well for a change. They finally got a sound engineer to help with there problems.
 

spleeeeen

Platinum Member
Yep......you guys are right.
I was just fired from the band.

All my fault. Not the kit.
A lesson learned.
Sorry to hear this man but I'm glad to hear there's been some learning that's come from it. Remember that it's a skill that can be developed.

In my drumming life, this is the thing that needs constant attention, tempos.
It's why I record, mainly.
Same here. With this instrument in particular, chops, coordination, independence, etc. aren't of much value if it doesn't groove. And yes, sometimes making it groove means pushing or pulling the tempo but I always want to be in control of that in the moment. So for me, there's this ongoing part of the work (or play?) that entails exactly what you are talking about, making use of the unbiased recorder who has the ability to hear things unfiltered by perception. Of course, our listening of the recording is moderated by processes involved with audio perception but it's a very different context to be listening back later than it is to be listening "in the moment" while performing.

Sometimes if I listen on the ride home, while still "under the effect" of the music, it sounds fine. But the next day, I'll re-listen and say....why did I think this was fine? So my perceptions trick and fool me. Having a recorder is the only chance I have at getting my perceptions to line up with what actually happened. It's something I think will always need attention, fine tuning my own perceptions.
Know what you mean. I sometimes do professional writing related to my day job and waiting until the following day to read a draft offers a much clearer perspective that allows for critique. Same thing with music when you're "under the effect" as you say.

And I'm also with you regarding the fine tuning being an ongoing process. It's a worthy pursuit, I believe, as it makes me better equipped to do what I do at an increasingly higher level. Sort of an apprenticeship without end but in a very, very good way.
 
J

Jazz Man

Guest
Thanks!

This is a GREAT community.
MANY years of experience generously shared and appreciated.

LOTS of shedding ahead.....and listening!

Thanks again.
 
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