DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > Drum Technique

Drum Technique Tips - Tricks - Practice - Rudiments - Educational DVDs & Books.....

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 12-22-2008, 12:03 AM
sciomako sciomako is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 579
Default Is there an "internal clock"?

There have been quite a few threads on timekeeping and practice with metronome. The general idea is, if you practice enough with metronome, you'll develop your internal clock and a sense of steady pulse.

But I read Peter Erskine practices and recommends "singing the subdivisions" in order to lock in the time; Willy Bard talks about "mechanics", playing the unplayed notes by moving body parts; David Weckl plays the unplayed subdivisions as ultra quiet ghost-notes on the snare; and, countless drummers bounce the HH foot for timekeeping.

To me, all these are not internal at all. It seems timekeeping relies strongly on physical movement of body parts, regardless the subdivision is played on the drums or not. It seems to me rhythm by its own nature is physical. The crowd in a concert dance, swing their bodies, tap their feet and shake their waist with the beats. Rhythm is physical. Not internal.

But then, I asked my wife who was trained up on classical piano. I asked if she tapped her foot or do whatever to keep the time. She gave me a blank look and said any reasonable good pianist who know their stuff should be able to keep the time internally without any kludge.

So, apparently, with years of training, the classical people manage to do it. But the very best drummers recommend using physical means.

Any thoughts?
__________________
John - An absolute drum beginner
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-22-2008, 01:43 AM
ddamm27913's Avatar
ddamm27913 ddamm27913 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 59
Default Re: Is there an "internal clock"?

i think its an internal clock. if you just count time in your head its as easy as banging off quarter notes or whatever you have. but it probably is a lot of muscle memory too
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-22-2008, 02:18 AM
Ironcobra's Avatar
Ironcobra Ironcobra is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,209
Default Re: Is there an "internal clock"?

100% internal clock. When you're on stage with thousands of people cheering, lights flashing, sound volume deafening, it might be a little harder to read that clock. Both are right.
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-22-2008, 02:26 AM
Matty G. Matty G. is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Burlingame, CA
Posts: 122
Default Re: Is there an "internal clock"?

I think Billy Ward has it right when he talks about mechanisms (the physical motions of your body) acting as different gears, like the gears inside of clock, which dictate your overall time-feel and sense of pulse.

Time is motion, don't forget that. Our whole system of time is based on the Earth revolving around the Sun (a year), or the Earth spinning once on it's axis (a day). Or a light year (how far light can travel in a year) etc. Without these exact movements of motion and distance, we'd have nothing to measure time against.

But, you can feel time without tapping your foot, or without conscious mechanisms. as in the case of a pianist. Usually a pianist is playing so many notes EXTERNALLY, that is to say, on the keys, plus they pedal in time, that their internal state can stay relatively relaxed, maybe only feeling half-notes, and probably they aren't even aware of how those notes are manifesting themselves.

Does that make sense?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-22-2008, 02:31 AM
jonescrusher's Avatar
jonescrusher jonescrusher is offline
Pioneer Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portsmouth
Posts: 2,207
Default Re: Is there an "internal clock"?

Any external measure still relies on internal time - tapping ghost notes, bouncing your foot or counting subdivisions still have to be executed accurately and from the internal clock.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-22-2008, 02:38 AM
oops's Avatar
oops oops is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 579
Default Re: Is there an "internal clock"?

Both Jojo Mayer and Steve Smith talk about keeping time with your motions.

Play a single stroke roll on the snare with full strokes at a medium tempo. Now double the speed (so you're playing double-time). Your strokes should be coming from a 45 degree angle off the head, rather than the 90 degrees of the previous stroke.

I would venture to guess that drumming is both internal and external. We do many exercises to feel where the beat is, and to nail the click, but to make the groove 'feel' good it's often necessary to add in ghosts, or bounce the left foot.

It just makes the groove feel more solid.
__________________
Wishing I was Stanton Moore...
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-22-2008, 03:18 AM
Serious Pie Enthusiast Serious Pie Enthusiast is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 34
Default Re: Is there an "internal clock"?

personally, i dont like bobbing my left foot since it makes me feel unbalanced.
some people suggest singing the song in your head over subdividing
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-22-2008, 03:21 AM
Matty G. Matty G. is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Burlingame, CA
Posts: 122
Default Re: Is there an "internal clock"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonescrusher View Post
Any external measure still relies on internal time - tapping ghost notes, bouncing your foot or counting subdivisions still have to be executed accurately and from the internal clock.
Really good point. This is kind of a chicken/egg debate :) Do your muscles operate from an internal clock, or do the muscles themselves just get used to tapping and/or repeating at certain intervals (muscle memory) creating the illusion of an internal clock?

I'm actually not sure about the answer to this question. Having just read "This is Your Brian On Music", it is clear from recent brain-imaging, that music-making activates a tremendous amount of brain activity, which could suggest evidence for an internal clock. But then again, it is the motions of playing, that stimulate that brian activity and create and deepen the synaptic connections, etc. My girlfriend, who is studying psychology at Stanford claims to have a professor who was convinced that "muscle memory" is a myth. Another crazy thing; IMAGINING that your limbs moving also stimulates a similar brain activity.

So, in other words, "it's not a question of where he grips it, it's a simple matter of weight-ratio - a five ounce bird could not carry a one-pound coconut!"
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-22-2008, 04:09 AM
sciomako sciomako is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 579
Default Re: Is there an "internal clock"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonescrusher View Post
Any external measure still relies on internal time - tapping ghost notes, bouncing your foot or counting subdivisions still have to be executed accurately and from the internal clock.
But.... keeping time by tapping one's foot etc is easier than just feeling it internally. it's hard to argue against it. Otherwise no one will do it...
__________________
John - An absolute drum beginner
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-22-2008, 04:32 AM
jonescrusher's Avatar
jonescrusher jonescrusher is offline
Pioneer Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portsmouth
Posts: 2,207
Default Re: Is there an "internal clock"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sciomako View Post
But.... keeping time by tapping one's foot etc is easier than just feeling it internally. it's hard to argue against it. Otherwise no one will do it...
But i'm arguing that tapping the foot is an external manifestation of an already internalised sense of time. If you have poorly internalised time, you'll tap your foot out of rhythm. If you're tapping your foot naturally and it's helping you keep good time, then your internal clock is in place. Guys like Vinnie or Weckl do these kind of things even though their internal clock is masterful - it's just a reaction. Every drummer has an internal clock - the difference is in the level of development.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-22-2008, 08:22 AM
deltadrummer1 deltadrummer1 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 211
Default Re: Is there an "internal clock"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonescrusher View Post
But i'm arguing that tapping the foot is an external manifestation of an already internalised sense of time. If you have poorly internalised time, you'll tap your foot out of rhythm. If you're tapping your foot naturally and it's helping you keep good time, then your internal clock is in place. Guys like Vinnie or Weckl do these kind of things even though their internal clock is masterful - it's just a reaction. Every drummer has an internal clock - the difference is in the level of development.
Foot tapping has been proposed to be a tool of limited value. This may be true while sitting behind the kit. If a highly internalized sense of time is present then all 4 limbs can be free.

But you're right, external timekeeping relies on internal facility.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-22-2008, 11:33 AM
cantstandyourfunk's Avatar
cantstandyourfunk cantstandyourfunk is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 330
Default Re: Is there an "internal clock"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonescrusher View Post
But i'm arguing that tapping the foot is an external manifestation of an already internalised sense of time. If you have poorly internalised time, you'll tap your foot out of rhythm. If you're tapping your foot naturally and it's helping you keep good time, then your internal clock is in place. Guys like Vinnie or Weckl do these kind of things even though their internal clock is masterful - it's just a reaction. Every drummer has an internal clock - the difference is in the level of development.
A big thumbs-up to that one :)
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-22-2008, 11:46 AM
Big_Philly
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Is there an "internal clock"?

I do think there's an internal clock, but for some people thisd comes more natural than for others.
After years of playing, I noticed that, whenever I listen to music, I more or less naturally hear a "grid" of whatever subdivision is appropriate. I know my former teacher had this too. Still, if I want to be very precise while practising, I use a metronome and adjust my internal "grid" to the click.

Does anyone else here hear a grid in their heads?
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-22-2008, 11:52 AM
aydee aydee is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,413
Default Re: Is there an "internal clock"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonescrusher View Post
Guys like Vinnie or Weckl do these kind of things even though their internal clock is masterful - it's just a reaction. Every drummer has an internal clock - the difference is in the level of development.
Everyone has one and I'm currently looking for mine. Vinnie and Dave have a Big Ben each.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-22-2008, 01:49 PM
jonescrusher's Avatar
jonescrusher jonescrusher is offline
Pioneer Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portsmouth
Posts: 2,207
Default Re: Is there an "internal clock"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aydee View Post
Everyone has one and I'm currently looking for mine. Vinnie and Dave have a Big Ben each.
With your interest in fusion music, i'd guess yours is more advanced than most. Fusion is a great test of the internal clock, especially with the odd times. I've been listening to the Dyno 4 stuff with Vinnie, Laboriel and Landau - it's been nice to discover that i've improved in being able to feel where the 1 is when those guys start soloing. Concentrated listening alone can do wonders in training the inner clock.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12-26-2008, 08:34 PM
diosdude's Avatar
diosdude diosdude is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 951
Default Re: Is there an "internal clock"?

Ex marchers have the best developed timekeeping/ internal clock. You heard it here first. Four years in high school marching band sharpened my natural timekeeping ability to almost perfection. I can count out a full minute at 60 bpm plus/minus less than a half beat. I can count out a 200bpm pulse exactly in tempo. Back when i was in my speedmetal band i recorded all 12 tracks of our CD without a click track. I blew away the engineer when he played back the first track: 188 bpm ten seconds into the song, 188 bpm 3 minutes later at the last chorus. I don't mean to brag, i'm sure there's actually a ton of drummers, especially the top ones that hang out here in the forum that have this ability.
__________________
I don't want to work, I just want to bang on the drums all day!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-27-2008, 05:59 PM
Jonesy's Avatar
Jonesy Jonesy is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Newfoundland
Posts: 185
Default Re: Is there an "internal clock"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by diosdude View Post
Ex marchers have the best developed timekeeping/ internal clock. You heard it here first. Four years in high school marching band sharpened my natural timekeeping ability to almost perfection. I can count out a full minute at 60 bpm plus/minus less than a half beat. I can count out a 200bpm pulse exactly in tempo. Back when i was in my speedmetal band i recorded all 12 tracks of our CD without a click track. I blew away the engineer when he played back the first track: 188 bpm ten seconds into the song, 188 bpm 3 minutes later at the last chorus. I don't mean to brag, i'm sure there's actually a ton of drummers, especially the top ones that hang out here in the forum that have this ability.
Hey man, it's OK to brag when you've got an internal clock like that.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-27-2008, 09:03 PM
TheGroceryman TheGroceryman is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 641
Default Re: Is there an "internal clock"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by diosdude View Post
Ex marchers have the best developed timekeeping/ internal clock. You heard it here first. Four years in high school marching band sharpened my natural timekeeping ability to almost perfection. I can count out a full minute at 60 bpm plus/minus less than a half beat. I can count out a 200bpm pulse exactly in tempo. Back when i was in my speedmetal band i recorded all 12 tracks of our CD without a click track. I blew away the engineer when he played back the first track: 188 bpm ten seconds into the song, 188 bpm 3 minutes later at the last chorus. I don't mean to brag, i'm sure there's actually a ton of drummers, especially the top ones that hang out here in the forum that have this ability.
dude, your soooo lucky to have had a high school marching band....my high school's one of the richest in the surrounding area and what do we get....crappy equipment and the only replacements come out of the conductor's pocket...stupid school district doesnt care to invest in anything musical at all...it only costs $200,000 which is pocket change for our school district, gets me soooo mad, i just hope im good enough for college marching bands when i get there.

do you guys think just listening to a specific bpm will help you play in it? kinda like that metronome while your sleeping thread...
__________________
"Defeat is crowned by Success, Only if you Persist."
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-27-2008, 09:29 PM
zambizzi's Avatar
zambizzi zambizzi is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Big Bad Boise
Posts: 4,042
Default Re: Is there an "internal clock"?

There is certainly and internal clock...everyone has one whether they sit behind a drum kit, run a sewing machine, work as a cook in a kitchen, or whatever. Everything in life has a pulse and a rhythm...it's universal.

Aside from all the obvious stuff like working with a metronome, counting, etc. it can be measured by the amount of space between motions. This is how I best feel time. As my time develops I tend to notice the blanks spots between notes and physical movements....the amount of space between the tip of my stick and a drum head. As I become more aware of the space around the outside of notes I'm noticing that I can more easily flow with the rest of the band and improvise more creatively.

Looking at guys like Vinnie or Weckl, you can tell that they've taken this to a level that most drummers can only dream about. Having 7/4 or 11/16 to ingrained into your subconscious that you can solo on it and use it freely and creatively while steering the band...seems unattainable to a mere mortal like myself.

Groovy...
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 10:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com