Geez I was poor last night

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I recently bought one of those Beatnik Analyzer pads. It's an unforgiving beast. I've been tapping away all week.

So I walk into band practice with this microscopic view, closely monitoring every stroke like an auditor. Bleagh. Where's the groove gone FFS?

It feels better when my listening is more ... fuzzy ... like there's not only an awareness of the notes as they happen (like last night) but there's also a little of what came before and some of what's about to come.

Just sharing. I suppose we all have out crap nights ...
 
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M

mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Polly, it's probably not that your playing is any less great, but it's probably that you're noticing it more. This kind of self-analysis is no doubt helpful in the long run, if a bit disheartening to begin with!
 

Masheanhed

Senior Member
I don't need a machine to tell me I suck at drumming. That is what I have bandmates and the audience for...and so far they do a good job!
 

AJNystrom

Member
Polly, if you rush or "drag" the beat a little bit as the creator of this--- thing--- says in the video then that's what we call being human and letting the music breathe a little.

If someone wants every hit precisely on the nuggets every time by, like, and iota then they'll program them with a digital drumset and use sound replacement to get the sound they want. If they want the music to breathe at all or have any natural sway or feeling then they'll bring you on board.

Your timing and metronomic knowledge/ feel is probably 10 times better than that of the other musicians. Last night I was jamming with my recording partner and I had to throw my metronome on because I could feel myself swaying more than I felt comfortable with. After I turned it on and was following it, I could certainly feel the groove being rooted a lot more.

Don't doubt your abilities... or, worse, let a machine instill that doubt. Machines make beats, humans make music. Keep making your music.

AJ
 

spleeeeen

Platinum Member
You could be forgiven for thinking it's a device for analysing beatniks. Hmm ... scruffiness 83% ... smelliness 78% ... industriousness 17% ...
Too funny!

I've not tried out a Beatnik buy I'm a bit curious about them--how does the pad feel?

Re: your experience, I've had (and have) experiences of becoming hyper-analytical while playing (like you mentioned, seeing/hearing the notes not only as they happen but a bit before and after) and have injured the pulse and feel as a result. For me, it's sort of like my mind gets too caught up in the micro level of things and loses sight of the macro level, the place I go when I "step back" and listen to the whole deal and get back on a first-name basis with the groove.

Curious, does this at all resonate with your experience?

best,

spleen
 

motleyh

Senior Member
I think that getting the feel of consistency and evenness in your hands has a lot of value. But trying to apply that to performing standards -- and especially judging your playing by it -- is counterproductive. This thing looks like an interesting training tool, but it won't teach you how to play drums -- unless of course you want to play like a machine.

You have to feel the music, and your playing has to sound like you feel the music. If we're producing perfect consistency of note spacing and dynamics, we're just supporting the argument for using drum machines instead of live drummers. And we're pretty unmusical and uninspiring.

This seems to go into the category of useful hand/brain exercises. But I'd put it out of my head for rehearsals or performing. You take the training into them but your mind has to be on the music, not on the technique, which should be automatic by then.

That being said, I could probably benefit from using that gadget ... :)
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I've not tried out a Beatnik buy I'm a bit curious about them--how does the pad feel?
I like the pad. It's soft and quiet with smooth bounce.

Re: your experience, I've had (and have) experiences of becoming hyper-analytical while playing (like you mentioned, seeing/hearing the notes not only as they happen but a bit before and after) and have injured the pulse and feel as a result. For me, it's sort of like my mind gets too caught up in the micro level of things and loses sight of the macro level, the place I go when I "step back" and listen to the whole deal and get back on a first-name basis with the groove.

Curious, does this at all resonate with your experience?
For sure, Spleen. It's ironic, but when I think clinically my playing is less accurate. Like we're all saying, it all goes better when you relax and just enjoy the music. My feeling is the Beatnik isn't the best thing for me to practice on last thing before playing. My mindset's better when I just groove, noodle and listen before playing. Better to get that broader view of the song's journey.

As others have suggested, I'm going to mix things up my home play more rather than just beating the Beatnick ... income scrounged 98% :)

Cheers Duncan but the recording doesn't lie. This one really was a dodgy ... and no, I ain't posting to prove it :) You're right, though, it's ultimately positive. It's a valuable tool (a couple of threads about it here BTW) and has its place ... as long as it stays in that place, eh?

@ AJNystrom Next week I'll be rich! ...:p
 
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keep it simple

Platinum Member
or, worse, let a machine instill that doubt. AJ
Best bit of real world info right there, & applies directly to your experience last night. Why one of the most consistent time posters on this forum would go & buy a percussive pacemaker is beyond me. Go play some music Pol, you're good at it.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I have the same problem every time I listen back to a recording. The worst is when it feels good while you're playing it but sounds unbearable upon playback. So disheartening.

This device intrigues me. Micro-timing is something I'm always self-conscious about. Can it double as a Drumometer and count your bpms as well?
 

eddiehimself

Platinum Member
When you seriously analyse your playing in terms of beats using a piece of technology like a beat analyser or DAW software, it makes you realise just how crap you are at playing. I found that anything under 1/32 of a beat (or a 128th note) is pretty difficult to notice, depending on factors like tempo obviously. If you're a really good drummer, you can get almost all of your beats to fall within that range.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
As someone who has only recently forced myself to get into metronomes to help me understand the nature of all those little microtiming issues that drive me crazy, I think I would be as intrigued by this device as I would be depressed by my initial results.

I've been noticing at band practice that if I use a metronome for a song or two, then not for a song or two, that often the songs where I used it will tend to feel stiff and the ones where I don't use it feel stronger than they would have if I hadn't just used it minutes earlier.

So that tells me that it's working. Sure, playing to machine time seems like setting yourself up for failure, but having the machine to recalibrate your internal time now and again is really worth it's weight in gold, IMO. It does something for the confidence after clumsily hanging with it, and then just turning it off.

I've heard your playing, Polly, and I know you have great feel and beat placement, so I hope you're not beating yourself up over this too much.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Too funny!

. For me, it's sort of like my mind gets too caught up in the micro level of things and loses sight of the macro level, the place I go when I "step back" and listen to the whole deal and get back on a first-name basis with the groove.

Curious, does this at all resonate with your experience?

best,

spleen
Pol, you're a fine player, why do you torture yourself so?
Spleen, good point you make. I totally agree with not going all micro.
It's kind of like when you have to walk across a log spanning a creek.
You don't look at your feet (microtiming) you look at the destination and don't even look at your feet. (macrotiming)
 

inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
I have the same problem every time I listen back to a recording. The worst is when it feels good while you're playing it but sounds unbearable upon playback. So disheartening.
That is so true. I record almost every time I play, and sometimes it is so depressing listening afterward, especially after you thought you sounded good while playing.

Keeping consistent time seems to be getting more and more difficult for me. I play in two totally different bands, with a wide array of types of songs, and at least 8 different singers with different styles. To top it all off, I need to try and stay on track while I'm singing lead vocals on some songs.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
I think this sort of thing is useful, but you've got to get far enough into it that it becomes mostly unconscious before you'll stop sounding like a robot. I have certainly found that myself.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I have the same problem every time I listen back to a recording. The worst is when it feels good while you're playing it but sounds unbearable upon playback. So disheartening.
Yep, singin' the playback blues. Earlier I said "The recorder doesn't lie". Actually, the recorder does lie - especially the budget recorders we use at band practice. They strip away much of the presence, feel, mood and sound quality and a lot of our efforts are devoted towards those things.

A band performance can be scorching and uplifting yet the recorder will just tell you that it had a bunch of errors and sped up by 10bpm. A lot of detail gets lost in the sound cloud when you play live so it's never as dire as the recording suggests :)


This device intrigues me. Micro-timing is something I'm always self-conscious about. Can it double as a Drumometer and count your bpms as well?
I haven't checked out all its functions. Maybe the Click/Tap button can give you a very rough ballpark, but all I've done is play to the metronome and check results. If you can be precise with 16th notes at 250bpm you're scary :)


@ Andy, Mike, Larry ... I'm not posting my worst stuff :)

Fair points. We are not just timekeepers; we're also mood creators. When I play I'm mostly concerned with sound, dynamics and note choice to get the drum parts to fit. Having said that, my bandmates all have timing issues so if I'm not strong it gets dire fast lol.

The Beatnix is brain-bending. You hear the taps and look at the histograms and it's like "Stupid machine - that's on time! Where's the flamming?". Then you focus more and it's like, "um, yeah, it is flamming a bit" ... then it's like, "How do I get back from monstering the top of the beat?". Those processes have to be good as long as you retain confidence in your ability to produce a vibe on the drums (which, of course everyone on this thread has, which is why other musicians like us in their bands) and, as PQ said, don't start thinking robotically.

I need something like this because I can't get motivated to practice at home on the #u<%!^@ pads ... my work at the office is more interesting than farting around on dull-sounding rubber pads. Now I have a toy to play with :)

But yes, when all the gang's in the room it's time to leave the drum nerd stuff behind and play music.
 
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