time keeping/ guitarists

jimmyjazzuk

Junior Member
Has anyone had the problem of being in a band where the guitar player thinks he is the time keeper?

They always want to push the beat and i feel like im getting pulled along with them.

So i looked into how to be rock steady with timing and so on (benny greb and Billy ward) and
so i stubbornly play what i think the timing is but when i listen back the band sounds like a trainwreck because they are still not playing to me!

I have talked to them about rushing problems and discussed what tempos the songs should be. They say they want to give the song 'energy'. I also wanted to count the songs off but they didnt like that idea.

One of the guitarists has improved but its still not good. You can hear noticeble flammig between our playing and the songgs have no energy at all, in fact it makes the drums sound dragging when they are bang on the beat!

Any ideas?
 

cutaway79

Silver Member
That's one benefit to playing to a click... As long as you're on the click, they have no leg to stand on.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
Has anyone had the problem of being in a band where the guitar player thinks he is the time keeper?

They always want to push the beat and i feel like im getting pulled along with them.

So i looked into how to be rock steady with timing and so on (benny greb and Billy ward) and
so i stubbornly play what i think the timing is but when i listen back the band sounds like a trainwreck because they are still not playing to me!

I have talked to them about rushing problems and discussed what tempos the songs should be. They say they want to give the song 'energy'. I also wanted to count the songs off but they didnt like that idea.

One of the guitarists has improved but its still not good. You can hear noticeble flammig between our playing and the songgs have no energy at all, in fact it makes the drums sound dragging when they are bang on the beat!

Any ideas?
Personally, and for the record I don't know shit. But if your band, as a unit, thinks songs are dragging and lack energy at the speed being properly played at. Then, even though you are in the right, you should take them up a few BPM. It will likely tighten things up a little.

There is a speed I find that often just feels "right". For example, we occasionally play Blitzkrieg Bop....probably around 40BPM faster than the original record speed. Now, the original record speed may be "correct". But God it's tighter, more exciting, and easier to play, played significantly faster.

Just my thoughts, for what they're worth (which is sod all).
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Sounds like they're just speeding up, that's nothing to do with you, just means they're crap players with more ego than talent if they wont listen. Never heard of a band being funny about letting the drummer count a song in??!!?? Failing from the first note springs to mind.

Polyrhythms are cool, polytempos not so much.

As a band you should be listening to each other and they should be listening to you for the tempo. You are the time keeper. You'll never be a tight band if you can't all play at the same tempo.

I guarantee if you start faster, they'll still speed up. Good luck trying to record to a click.

Find another band, you're wasting your time.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Do a few rehearsals. Run a click track. The entire band gets the click.

See what happens.

If they can't figure it out by then, chances are they may never.
 

cutaway79

Silver Member
It's a pyrrhic victory though to be proven right, and for everything to sound and feel shite do you not think ?
If the band decides on a speed that feels right for the song, and then uses a click that is that speed whenever they perform it, it will always sound/feel "good" to the audience. It's not about victory... It's about doing one's job properly.

It's very easy to rush and drag songs in the heat of the moment. There are nights when a click track I've been playing to for years, feels slow to me, or fast to someone else, or whatever... Having the click means it will always feel good, as long as everyone grooves with it, and no one tries to fight it.

And I wasn't saying that it's always best to use a click. I just said that that's one benefit of using one... It ends the argument of who's rushing/dragging... So long as you (the drummer) are on it. Cuz I've met very few guitarists who will jump to admit that they're the reason the song isn't grooving.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Harsh (even though more than likely true). They may just be inexperienced and need to learn.
We've been there, seen it, done it, got the T-Shirt in terms of gigging and we're still learning. You do encounter some 'characters' along the way!

Life is short and your gigging life is even shorter to be putting up with the crap the OP is by the sounds of it :)
 

jimmyjazzuk

Junior Member
Personally, and for the record I don't know shit. But if your band, as a unit, thinks songs are dragging and lack energy at the speed being properly played at. Then, even though you are in the right, you should take them up a few BPM. It will likely tighten things up a little.

There is a speed I find that often just feels "right". For example, we occasionally play Blitzkrieg Bop....probably around 40BPM faster than the original record speed. Now, the original record speed may be "correct". But God it's tighter, more exciting, and easier to play, played significantly faster.

Just my thoughts, for what they're worth (which is sod all).
No no i appreciate it! I forgot to say that i have relented and let the guitar player dictate the tempo, i got tired of the feeling of fighting him for tempo 'dominance' and the irritated glares when i slow down after he speeds up XD Naturally i like to lay back on a groove (i listen to a lot of funk and hiphop) whereas he listens to uptempo rock so naturally plays with nervous energy.

Im a lot more relaxed now that i play to him rather than expecting him play to me. Im just dissapointed and frustrated I wasnt able to articulate what I want and explain that the song will have energy if everyones playing is in sync, no matter the tempo. I do understand that there is a school of thought that playing faster live is better for excitement but were talking 20 bpm faster here for most songs haha

Another factor is, it is their original music. I came in 2 years later. And most songs start without drums. So i think, they think they know their songs better than me to count them off and second they actually said it looks unproffesional for me to count them in when they start the song..he actually said that just before a gig started when we had agreed i would count in...i didnt argue! XD maybe they found it patronising, but Zak Starskey counts off Oasis even if its a guitar starting, and thats the big headed Gallagher brothers!
 
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jimmyjazzuk

Junior Member
Sounds like they're just speeding up, that's nothing to do with you, just means they're crap players with more ego than talent if they wont listen. Never heard of a band being funny about letting the drummer count a song in??!!?? Failing from the first note springs to mind.

Polyrhythms are cool, polytempos not so much.

As a band you should be listening to each other and they should be listening to you for the tempo. You are the time keeper. You'll never be a tight band if you can't all play at the same tempo.

I guarantee if you start faster, they'll still speed up. Good luck trying to record to a click.

Find another band, you're wasting your time.
Polytempos haha.

They are good songwriters (like they get really good reviews of their music) but a little green when it comes to playing professionally.
 
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jimmyjazzuk

Junior Member
Do a few rehearsals. Run a click track. The entire band gets the click.

See what happens.

If they can't figure it out by then, chances are they may never.
Good idea

We recorded an album, i recorded first to a click, everything ok. Then they record over that and it all becomes a mess. Post production, or whatever you call it, fixed most of the timing issues. I spent hours trawling through the recordings pointing out all the tempo irregularities to the producer to be fixed! He was literally lifting the guitar parts and dragging them backwards to line up wih the drum parts!
 
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jimmyjazzuk

Junior Member
Another reason I have stuck with it so far is that I have put work in on the arrangements of songs too so invested time and effort. Also I was fairly green two years ago myself but a lot of hardwork and i think im a decent performer now.


Conveniantly we have agreed all the tempos for the album recording so hopefully they still have them. We can set up the p.a. and rehearse and record. I do think it will still be a mess. But it will be proof that it is not me! (or maybe so!!!)
 
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mikyok

Platinum Member
Polytempos haha. Ive seriously been thinking about quitting because of the effort involved.

They are good songwriters (like they get really good reviews of their music) but green when it comes to playing professionally. I guess you could call them bedroom players, but i see the potential.
Ah wet behind the ears! They'll learn the hard way seeing as they don't listen. Empty pipes make the most noise!

I'm just disappointed and frustrated I wasn't able to articulate what I want and explain that the song will have energy if everyone's playing is in sync, no matter the tempo.

Naturally i like to lay back on a groove (i listen to a lot of funk and hip-hop) whereas he listens to up-tempo rock
Stick with this ethos and you'll go far, you'll get paid and paid well in bands playing for the song.

they think they know their songs better than me to count them off and second they actually said it looks unproffesional for me to count them in when they start the song..he actually said that just before a gig started when we had agreed i would count in...i didnt argue! XD maybe they found it patronising
Nope they're dicks with egos. Go get some paid gigs and look back and laugh at their diva crap!
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Well time/keeping is the drummers part as far as the song is concerned but each musicians should keep good time-just like an orchestra. Part of playing any instruments is keeping time. I joined a band from Bandmix (tried three bands through it and had bad experiences) and I ran into same problem with rhythm guitarist and bass player. They had their time and the singer and I played the dang song. It was awful so I finally acquiesced to follow them-sounded worse and it was screwing up my time and singer. I quit and it was a good call as the band has morphed through numerous guitarist and drummers and still no band that has played a gig. When I was in the band we went through several lead guitarist (all through Bandmix) trying to find one and though some could keep good time most had a penchant to riff out a solo that always sounded the same in every song. I'm like play to the song dude. I shy from Bandmix now.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
we have agreed all the tempos for the album recording so hopefully they still have them. We can set up the p.a. and rehearse and record. I do think it will still be a mess. But it will be proof that it is not me! (or maybe so!!!)
I'd love to be on that session.

Waiting for the metronome is broke argument or the click is slowing down excuse.
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
I play the drums in one band and the guitar in another. There is something about the mechanics of playing the drums that make timekeeping easier. I have been praised over the years for my steady time behind the kit, so I know I have a solid internal metronome. I practise with a click quite a bit, and have actually playeds in bands where we use a click live with no difficulty.

The guitar is a different story. The drummer I play with is really good, and I know he is keeping solid time, but Ill be damned if it doesnt feel like I am always ahead or behind the beat. Something about the way a guitar is played just makes timekeeping more difficult. So I have learned over the years to trust the drummer and follow him, but maybe guitarists who aren't also drummers have a more difficult time learning that lesson.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
We recorded an album, i recorded first to a click, everything ok. Then they record over that and it all becomes a mess. Post production, "He was literally lifting the guitar parts and dragging them backwards to line up with the drum parts!"
This is all I need to know to determine where the problem is.
The tempo of the song, too fast or too slow is irrelevant.
A guitar player should be able to maintain a steady tempo throughout the song.


.
 

Gottliver

Senior Member
Run a click track through the PA system and play along with it. Pick the right BPM as a group.
This is a great suggestion.

If they feel a need to play fast, great, maybe that’s the bands sound. So like Mr. Porkpieguy said, pick the tempo together and groove to it. If they are still speeding up and willing to work on bringing it back, then it’s a noble cause. If not, and they want to keep speeding up the tempo, then find new bandmates.
 
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