Developing sense of time

Hicks

Junior Member
So learning the hard way, in the studio I've noticed that I'm having timekeeping issues, in some parts of a song I tend to speed up and in others I slow down. In a way, I think the whole band is little affecting it, for example in the chorus the guitars change and get more feeling and I think that too affects time.
Anyway, as drummer of the band, timekeeping is my main job and I would want to focus on improving it!

I always practice nowadays with a metronome and I find it helps... But are there any other specific exercises or tips to improve time?
I'd like to hear what methods you use for this! Any input appreciated...
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
one that works best for my students is using this

http://bestdrumtrainer.com/tt/

start by programming 3 measures of time and one measure off

as soon as you can nail that extend the amount of off measures

when you can do 4 measures on and 4 off and nail the 1 when it comes back in ...I would say you are doing ok

do this with just a straight groove before attempting fills in the off measures

be patient this will be frustrating if you let it...... but it is a fail proof exercise

there is also a phone app that will do this called PolyNome
here http://www.polynome.net/
 
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Otto

Platinum Member
Gvdadrummasum , I wan't going to log in...but i read your post.

Great study technique!

Wanted to keep this bumped to the top to help other folks see it...
 
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plangentmusic

Guest
3 Tips that took me years to discover and are the most important things toward learning good time.

One -- record -- a lot.


Two -- play another instrument. It develops your "inner ear" and time feel as opposed to just listening to the drums.

Three: Any song you play -- play to a drum machine -- not a metronome, not a click -- a drum machine. Then play it slower, then faster, then back at the best tempo -- all with the drum machine. Record THAT. And feel the time space between each note.

Trust me. You won't be sorry. This will save you years of exercises, suggestions and mistakes.
 

dmacc

Platinum Member
one that works best for my students is using this

http://bestdrumtrainer.com/tt/

start by programming 3 measures of time and one measure off

as soon as you can nail that extend the amount of off measures

when you can do 4 measures on and 4 off and nail the 1 when it comes back in ...I would say you are doing ok

do this with just a straight groove before attempting fills in the off measures

be patient this will be frustrating if you let it...... but it is a fail proof exercise

there is also a phone app that will do this called PolyNome
here http://www.polynome.net/
These are great on-line options for sure.

I use the Dr. Beat DB-88 which allows for the same thing to happen.

The silent clicks are paramount to be able to play time and fills with. My opinion is to strive for the click on the first of every 8 measures with all other clicks silent and be able to play with that consistently and accurately. It takes time but once you do it, it becomes the norm of how you'll practice.

The main issue many musicians (not just drummers) have with timing is space between the notes played. You need to be able to internally feel the pulse at all times. Playing to a silent click is one way of strengthening that.
 

Liebe zeit

Silver Member
Listen out for when you're going out of time. Like with me I had a problem rushing fills and ending up ahead of the one. Just being aware of it really helps get it back in line
 

Witterings

Silver Member
The 2 things that helped me most were playing the fatbacks excercises moving the kick initially every 4 bars and then every 2 bars and going straight from one to the next, for some reason that just gave me a much better "lock in" to the whole of my playing.

The other thing was practice !!
 

Hicks

Junior Member
Good stuff!

I got the Polynome app for my ipad and I tried out playing with the click and leaving some rest measures in between. All I have to say is that it is harder than I imagined, especially at lower tempos! One and two measures of rest is easy but three and four measures is quite challenging. One thing I instantly learned was to move my body with the beat and also to feel where the one is of every measure. This was a really good exercise!

Another thing I've started to do is to use a feature called Groove Check on my e-drums. It is basically a rhythm gate, you set the difficulty which can be set to easy, normal and pro and then you set the resolution, for example eight notes. So you enable groove check and then you play with a metronome and then the gate will make so that when you play out of time, the sound will be muted. This is really challenging, especially on the pro setting.

I'll also try to record more, this is a thing that I've never really done... I think it's because I fear that I will suck, haha. But yeah, recording is something I'll definitely.

Anyways, thanks for the tips so far and keep it coming!
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
You must learn to love the space between the beats at much as the beats you play, love the space as much as the strokes.
 

AndyMC

Senior Member
Yes recently I got a recording setup, and I'd thought I was pretty solid, but I drag some fills. Noticing this has really helped as I feel the pulse just fine but, in the fills I'm focusing on sticking more than timing, but not anymore. Metronomes and good and all, but recording will show you all your mistakes (and successes) in black and white.

Also the more you can subdivide the easier it is to keep track of microtiming. Play very slow beats and count in 16th trips, 32nds, etc. Another technique that works but can be a crutch is keeping time on the hihats with your left foot if it doesn't change the beat negatively, this also needs practice but is great for solos.
 

svinohryak

Junior Member
Singing a melody is very useful. Sing melody out loud or just keep it in your head during playing and try to correlate the melody with stuff you play under it.
 
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