The first bar "settling in" period

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Playing live, do you guys notice the first one or two bar adjustment period where everybody has to get their own internal tempo meshing with everyone else's?

I mean I know the goal is to not have this, but it still happens. Very subtle, something that only musicians might catch.

Does this sound familiar?
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Playing live, do you guys notice the first one or two bar adjustment period where everybody has to get their own internal tempo meshing with everyone else's?

I mean I know the goal is to not have this, but it still happens. Very subtle, something that only musicians might catch.

Does this sound familiar?
Sure can happen. I know there is usually an eternity between the first downbeat and backbeat of a song, as if everyone's hoping we land as a unit on the "2" (especially at jam nights). From there, it's usually all good.

In this, as with everything, practice makes perfect. If there's a lead-in figure, such as a guitar triplet leading into a slow blues or a way you can do a quick fill into the 1 of the song, that often gets it kicked off correctly or at least in unison. But if there's no lead-in figure, practice, practice, practice.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
I noticed it sometimes also.I guess it depends who counts the tune in.There were times my guitar player,for what ever reasom,wanted to count a song in,and it always seemed to start too fast,dispite the hours of rehearsal we put in,and the bass player and I,had to reel him in a bit.

Zep was notorious for speeding up and slowing down,and their timing was far from metronomic,but the Beatles on the other hand,were spot on in the BPM department.I guess it's what "feels " better at the moment.

Steve B
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Yes....sometimes even more bars. We start every performance with the same song (Get Ready - Temptations). We do an intro with a typical Benny Benjamin 'Motown pickup' - by far my most favourite thing to do the whole set, and I try hard to never screw it up, lol.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I've always felt that, if it's not a jam, and everyone knows the song, shouldn't the "settling in" happen during the count-in? There's nothing I love more than a musician who counts to 4, or even does the whole quarter and 8th count off, only to play at a totally different speed than counted.

Anyway, I do know what you mean, and it's happened more than once, especially at jam situations. One thing I like to do is, continue the count-in in my head for the first few bars. Stick to the pulse that was counted, and then switch over to listening and reacting/leading as need be. If the musicians are really good, they will have already "adjusted" by the first 1 after the count. If they need a bit more leading, then it gives them a few bars to hang on where you're not letting them off the hook. If they still haven't adjusted to the right place, then after that you'll have to just meet them where they go... They obviously aren't listening and will do what they like.

TD;DR: Even though I almost never actually count when I play, I like to continue to count a few bars after the count-in as I play. I think it just helps get everyone on the same page and discourages the off-the bat rushing or dragging.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Yep, depends on the song and how comfortable everyone is with the groove. Tends to happen more often with things that are fast as different people have different ideas on how much to push it.
 
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