I don't keep time.

Funnyman

Senior Member
Does anyone else here not keep time? I don't, it's weird but instead of keeping time I feel like I know the song and feel a pulse in the music and play things still on beat. Even though it might be slightly different when I play the song. I still do the same major parts of the song the same.
 

groovy

Member
I don't know about not keeping time, I feel like I keep good time, but I don't count in my head if that's what you mean. I have thought about this many times, it's almost like an internal metronome or something, but I just feel it when it has been 8 measures or 16 measures or whatever. I have never counted in my head, when I try it usually screws me up.
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
Keeping time = staying in tempo, so unless you speed up and slow down constantly, you keep time.

Now, if you mean you don't count, then that's fine, but it's a good skill to learn, because there are times when it will bail you out of a rough situation.
 

cnw60

Senior Member
I LOVE the name of this thread! If ever there was a thumb your nose statement, this is it!
yeah - you gotta' love it.

Of course there's always - "I feel a pulse in the music and play things on the beat", somebody else might say... ??

But I think mrchatter nailed it.
 
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motojt

Guest
I can't tell time. I just look at the clock and know what time it is.
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Come on, you knew I was gonna have some smartass response, right? :)
Larry?! Aw, come on, man!
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I also don't breath. My lungs just kinda.... never mind. The moment has passed. :`(
 

Travis22

Senior Member
This title indeed got my attention...thought all musicians "kept time." Otherwise, why did my teachers growing up make me and the rest of the band tap their foot? All kidding aside, I'm kind of in the same boat, I like to "feel" the music instead of using a click track or counting everything out. But when it comes down to recording, this could get a little tricky since timing really becomes important. Then again, how many times have you heard "oh, we'll get it with ProTools..."
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I don't keep time either. I enforce it within the band. I make the beat felt by the listener even if nobody (including me) is playing the unit of measure. I imply time. I keep everyone on the same page rhythmically. I tie it all together. I like being the guy people look to when they need to know what to do within the song structure.
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
I play bass as well as drums and last night a kid played drums and he couldn't keep time either. He played the verse at one speed (140 bpm) then slowed into the chorus (about 124 bpm) then never really got back to the verse tempo - by which time I'd stopped the song. And, not proud of myself, said: "What are you doing? There's only one tempo for this song. Please try and maintain that tempo."

Not sure I said please. I have "issues" with this drummer as he is not a beginner and thinks he really can play. He's all one dynamic and full of fills. Yuk. My absolute worst nightmare as a bassist. I do anything I can to avoid playing with him.

So, not everyone keeps time.

Davo
 

Biscuit

Senior Member
When i'm listening to a CD and basicaly covering a song then no i don't count anything. I feel like as long as i'm playing with the drummer then i should be ok. When playing with other musicians in a live setting...yes i do count and try to keep time as best as i can.
 

Lex

Senior Member
I don't keep time either. I wear watches to do that for me.
Sorry, lame joke. :) Every melody has it's rythm patterns, whenever I listen to songs and try to drum on them, I listen closely to the melody of the song.

Not sure I said please. I have "issues" with this drummer as he is not a beginner and thinks he really can play. He's all one dynamic and full of fills. Yuk. My absolute worst nightmare as a bassist. I do anything I can to avoid playing with him.

So, not everyone keeps time.

Davo
Being dynamic and full of fills can be a very good thing, as long as the rythm pattern of the song is maintained. If he did that, I think you wouldn't have a problem with him doing many fills. Try and persuade him to use metronomes.
 
I agree with most of comments said before, not the silly ones. The important is to maintain the evenness while playing and speed control (fast, slow) in time and space.
 

JT1

Silver Member
Keeping time = staying in tempo, so unless you speed up and slow down constantly, you keep time.

Now, if you mean you don't count, then that's fine, but it's a good skill to learn, because there are times when it will bail you out of a rough situation.
Too true, generally I don't count as I rely on cues from the vocals or other instruments. However if you are in a position where at a gig, you can't hear the other instruments clearly or can't hear the vocals, it's handy to have. There is one beat I play in a new song that I need to count as it is awkward so I definitely see the advantages.
 

BrewBillfold

Silver Member
One thing that's really fun to do, although you need very seasoned musicians for it to not be a trainwreck, is to have everyone stop playing time for a bar or more--so just play free-jazz style more or less, in the middle of an otherwise normal tune, and then all come back in together on the downbeat of the next bar. The only way to pull it off is to have everyone able to feel the pulse internally (or at least able to count to themselves in time) regardless of whatever else might be going on.

If you've got guys who can do it, there are a lot of interesting things you can do based on the ability. One that I like a lot is doing something like an uneven, maybe speeding up or slowing down figure--say 7 notes over 3 beats or something, where the way the 7 notes actually fit over the three beats would be impossibly difficult to figure out precisely, but where everyone can just feel it together, while the 3 beats, though not played by anyone, go by in time with the rest of the tune.

However, do not attempt this type of thing with guitarists who can't keep time even when you're playing a disco tune and you're pounding out foor-on-the-floor. ;-)
 
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