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Old 08-30-2017, 09:08 PM
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philrudd philrudd is offline
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Default Re: Time observations

Originally Posted by spleeeeen View Post
As someone who has tried doing this after learning the concept/practice from Larry, I can say that it has helped my time quite a bit. I started doing it at 40 bpm and I'm currently at 30. The biggest challenge for me is to not subdivide and just listen and feel. For me, it engenders a meditative state with a quiet mind and relaxed nervous system. And as Larry mentioned, it equips me with a good amount of "headroom" that makes it easier to maintain faster tempos where there is less space to manage between quarter note pulses.

I think subdividing is a very useful thing, it's just that this particular exercise isn't about that. It's about training yourself to be able to hear big gaps of space, one big gap at a time.
This. I, too, started the 'slow practice' routine when I read Larry suggesting it. The difference it's made in my time and groove is palpable.

I don't even go super slow - I'm really only to where I can accurately play 50bpm; any slower and I lose the pulse before too long. But for the practical application (as questioned by many of the posters above), though the bands I participate in rarely play anything below 100bpm, having to work on my time perception on slower tempos has only solidified my regular playing. It's like playing with mental hand-weights - the super-slow tempos make my 'time muscles' work that much harder, so when I'm going at 100bpm, it's a relative breeze.

I'm still working on it - admittedly nowhere near as frequently as I should. But the little bit of work I've done with the slow tempo practice has yielded results, and it just sounds like Larry's going with more and more extreme examples in the quest to ingrain a deeper and deeper feel for time. Can't see how that could possibly be anything but beneficial.

And to add to what some have already alluded to - I know my sense of time is improving because I'm hearing more and more inconsistencies in my own playing! It's a frustrating learning curve - the better I get, the more I recognize how much I suck. Oh, to be nineteen and stupid again...

Where it becomes a practical liability is when it comes to my bands. I recently did a low-budget recording with one of them, and listening to the playbacks, I was agonizing about fluctuations in tempo, lagging beats, coming in too fast/slow on the '1'...and they all looked at me like I was crazy. They emphatically assured me it was all in my head - and I'd love to believe that, but the truth is that it only showed that my sense of time has become more refined than my bandmates'. What they heard as solid time stuck out to me as flawed - but we only had so much time to work with, so I had to let it go and trust them. (Listening to the recordings now, sometimes I think they were right...and sometimes I think they were wrong. This whole concept of timekeeping is a real rabbit-hole...)
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