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  #1  
Old 01-18-2015, 09:46 PM
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BillRayDrums BillRayDrums is online now
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Default The natural meter challenge!

OK, very simple. NO CLICKS ALLOWED.

Play a simple beat for five minutes. No wanking about, just a simple beat. Record this part of the process.

When you have completed step A, see what the starting tempo is and compare it to the ending tempo. Discover the drift and post your results (w/ video)

Here's mine: My drift was 3bpm over 5 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqpelvCfEhQ
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Old 01-19-2015, 02:27 AM
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8Mile 8Mile is offline
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

I don't have access to my drums right now, but how about doing it with a practice pad? Would that pass the contest rules? If not, I'll have to wait a week or so before I can put something up.
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  #3  
Old 01-19-2015, 04:26 AM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
I don't have access to my drums right now, but how about doing it with a practice pad? Would that pass the contest rules? If not, I'll have to wait a week or so before I can put something up.
I think drumset would be a better medium, as it's more of a musical thing. But then again, might not be too bad doing it on a pad either! THe idea is to "check thyself" and see what your "drift" is.
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Old 01-19-2015, 04:33 AM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

I'm willing to give it a whirl. I will be in the studio Wed and will try to get time to try it.

On a similar topic, I walk a lot, and sometimes check my steps per minute when I start vs when I stop. Over an hour long walk my tempo usually stays withing 5 spm or so.
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

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Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
I'm willing to give it a whirl. I will be in the studio Wed and will try to get time to try it.

On a similar topic, I walk a lot, and sometimes check my steps per minute when I start vs when I stop. Over an hour long walk my tempo usually stays withing 5 spm or so.
There will be a definite correlation between your walking pace and your drumming meter.
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  #6  
Old 01-19-2015, 10:17 AM
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Swiss Matthias Swiss Matthias is offline
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillRayDrums View Post
OK, very simple. NO CLICKS ALLOWED.

Play a simple beat for five minutes. No wanking about, just a simple beat. Record this part of the process.

When you have completed step A, see what the starting tempo is and compare it to the ending tempo. Discover the drift and post your results (w/ video)

Here's mine: My drift was 3bpm over 5 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqpelvCfEhQ
Interesting idea, maybe I'll try! Actually if you count your last few bars, when
you're kind of showing that you can play more notes ;), it's more like
a 15bpm drift, but I suppose you meant before that. That was indeed very
steady, well done!
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Old 01-19-2015, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

How are we tracking bpm drift, by the way? I have the LiveBPM app on my phone. Are you guys using something similar?
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

Yeah I checked it out with that app :). Awesome tool!!
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  #9  
Old 01-19-2015, 06:37 PM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

Well I am gonna put up a clip as soon as I have my drums in front of me. Seems like a fun challenge!
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Old 01-19-2015, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swiss Matthias View Post
Interesting idea, maybe I'll try! Actually if you count your last few bars, when
you're kind of showing that you can play more notes ;), it's more like
a 15bpm drift, but I suppose you meant before that. That was indeed very
steady, well done!
The last 30 seconds was sort of a "thank GOD I can now release!!" and was actually not part of the original 5min. It was just a bit of frill I left in. :D
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  #11  
Old 01-19-2015, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

3 bpm difference over five minutes is really good BillyRay. If you were doing multiple takes of a 3:30 minute song the variation from version to version would be one or two seconds. That kind of tempo change is imperceptible to the human ear. Good clock man!
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  #12  
Old 01-19-2015, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

See, I can't do any one thing for 5 minutes, but I can already tell you that my time has always been fine on just a single groove. Almost always, if I lose or gain time on a song, it happens between parts or in a transition.
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:51 PM
GetAgrippa GetAgrippa is offline
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

Play Bolero (easy little repetitive sequence no problem) on your snare for 15 minutes-I think that is the short version. You may not test your time but you dang sure will your sanity. LOL.
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  #14  
Old 01-20-2015, 01:13 AM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

I like the push pull of human time better than "always the exact same" metronome time. My bandleader likes most stuff relentlessly on top, with nothing laid back.

We differ there, in that I like some very subtle playing around with feel (which translates to meter). Bass solo for instance. I usually like to lay it back just slightly, and then resume the regular feel when it's done. I'm not supposed to be doing that in this band but it's my natural inclination. I like elastic time...in certain places. Unwavering meter has it's place most definitely, but the thing that makes it interesting to me is the ever so subtle manipulation of the feel, but only during certain parts that benefit from it. Like if I played Billie Jean, there's no room for laying back. But if a song has a big drop in volume, that's a candidate to play with feel a little. There's a noticeable difference between lagging the time and laying back on the feel. I heard it described best as either reclining in a seat as opposed to being on the edge of your seat. Your ass is still in the seat, but the attitude takes on a different feel.

I might take the challenge and just report the results. 5 minutes is a long time with no variation.
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

OK I did this. 1 take with a quick and dirty audio only recording. Afterwards, I played it back over the PA with a metronome in my ear for a quick and dirty evaluation.

The tempo started off at 120, and at 5 minutes time it was at 120...HOWEVER, during the 5 minutes I went as high as 122 and as low as 118. I only lagged one time, the rest of the drifts were in the faster direction. I'd say I was drifting about half the time and on the mark for the other half. At 6 minutes time I was back up to 122. (I accidentally went a minute longer) So I had a 4 BPM drift. I had some long stretches where I lined up for like 45 seconds, but there would be drifts mostly up eventually, where the down beat on the metronome eventually became the upbeat and back. The drift was only 2 BPM in one direction so I guess I'm pretty happy for a first attempt. When I did drift, I stayed on it for probably 30 seconds before drifting back to 120. Sadly, it all felt even to me lol.

I played quarters on the hi hat, a full shuffle pattern on the bass, with the back beat on 2 and 4 and ghost notes filling in all the space between backbeats ala a half time shuffle.

With that beat, the quarters on the hi hat is my rock. I just zen in on the quarters as best I can and everything else falls where it falls. The backbeats and ghosts and the bass were sometimes a tad sloppy but I tried not to let it affect my quarters.

But I'm no metronome.

The real test for me is to play a tempo or maybe a beat that doesn't come naturally. This beat is totally within my comfort zone.

If I really need to post the recording for proof I will. My recording machine is getting to be 10 years old and it's slow slow getting files off. Like 45 minutes slow.
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
OK I did this. 1 take with a quick and dirty audio only recording. Afterwards, I played it back over the PA with a metronome in my ear for a quick and dirty evaluation.

The tempo started off at 120, and at 5 minutes time it was at 120...HOWEVER, during the 5 minutes I went as high as 122 and as low as 118. At 6 minutes time I was back up to 122. (I accidentally went a minute longer) So I had a 4 BPM drift. I had some long stretches where I lined up for like 45 seconds, but there would be drift up or down eventually, where the down beat on the metronome eventually became the upbeat and back. The drift was only 2 BPM in one direction so I guess I'm pretty happy for a first attempt. When I did drift, I stayed on it for probably 30 seconds before drifting back to 120. Sadly, it all felt even to me lol.

I played quarters on the hi hat, full shuffle pattern on the bass, back beat on 2 and 4 with ghost notes filling in all the space between backbeats ala a half time shuffle.

With that beat, the quarters on the hi hat is my rock. I just zen in on the quarters and everything else falls where it falls. The backbeats and ghosts and the bass were sometimes a tad sloppy but I tried not to let it affect my quarters.

But I'm no metronome.

The real test for me is to play a tempo or maybe a beat that doesn't come naturally. This beat is totally within my comfort zone.
THat's amazingly steady, Larry! Great work!
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

Thanks ID. You'd think I'd feel good about that but all I can think of is I was drifting at least half the time lol. I might do this with a straight no frills money beat to see if a beat with less notes and no ghosts still has the drift.
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Thanks ID. You'd think I'd feel good about that but all I can think of is I was drifting at least half the time lol. I might do this with a straight no frills money beat to see if a beat with less notes and no ghosts still has the drift.
I've been thinking about that, too. I don't have access to my kit yet, so I've been experimenting on a pad to see if more notes vs less notes has an effect on meter. So far nothing conclusive.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:14 AM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

OK, here's the video-- I started at 96.0 and ended at 95.1. It is a challenge to keep your focus-- I'll have to try that again at some different tempos and feels-- a 66bpm/quarter note ride groove could be a real bloodbath.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:26 AM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

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Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post
OK, here's the video-- I started at 96.0 and ended at 95.1.

Great job Todd.
I'm gonna' have to try this.


Hey Bill Ray, you have figured out a way to make us create some really boring videos.

Next challenge: Can you watch ten five minute Natural Meter Challenge Videos all the way through in one sitting. LOL

.
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Old 01-21-2015, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

Nice job Bill, Todd & Larry. I'm planning to give this a try as well when I get a chance. As Todd & Larry mentioned, the real challenge would be to do it with a tempo that's a bit (or maybe a lot) outside your wheelhouse.

Also: I'd be interested in hearing about what methods people have used and found particularly useful in developing their meter.

For me, listening to a song or groove in my head and then essentially playing along with it has been helpful. For example, if I conjure up a John Phillip Sousa march in my mind and just play along, then I can do c. 120 for a good stretch, especially if I switch up the different parts that I'm "listening" to in my mind, keeping it fresh & more interesting. I also try to let go of any physical sense of being in my body and just listen as if I were sitting out in front of the kit listening to, say Vinnie. Might even develop an image of that in my mind, kind of channeling them.

What about you?
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Old 01-21-2015, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

Interesting idea. I'll have to try it sometime. In my orchestra gig, I've found that even professional directors/conductors have tempos all over the place. One of our directors (who is also a percussionist) in particular is really bad about tempo to the point I would rather not rehearse with him.

I wonder if I could get HIM to take the challenge! :)
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

Quote:
Originally Posted by spleen View Post

Also: I'd be interested in hearing about what methods people have used and found particularly useful in developing their meter.
I try and recapture however it feels in my body to play for one bar (or section).... and then repeat it so it feels exactly the same, and so on. I go on my own steadiness, which isn't spot on perfect. Everybody feels time in a different way, I'm convinced. Some are more stickler about it than others, and everybody has tendencies that they are convinced are right. Not saying they aren't, it's just that people perceive the same thing in different ways. So I adjust to whoever I'm playing with. I try to categorize their feel generally and try and complement that.
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Old 01-22-2015, 01:28 AM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

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Originally Posted by spleen View Post
For me, listening to a song or groove in my head and then essentially playing along with it has been helpful.

What about you?
Well, that's where I blew it-- I was singing Duck Walk, by Booker T and the MGs, but I was hearing it 10 bpm too slow... I was playing 96 and the track is actually at 106.
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:40 PM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

OK, here is my attempt. I set up the BPM meter so the camera could see it but I could not. The meter is sitting on the bass drum.

I started at about 118 BPM. The tempo varied 117, 116, 119 and one time even went down to 115. Might be due to me changing the way I was playing. It is just too hard for me to play a constant no changing groove for 5 minutes. But I ended up at 118 in the end.

Here is the video:

http://youtu.be/8LuDZdO_lDA



.
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:56 PM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

That was highly entertaining Jim!!!!!! I watched the whole thing smiling and laughing the whole time.
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Old 01-23-2015, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

All right, nicely done!
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  #28  
Old 01-23-2015, 02:50 AM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

Brilliant .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
OK, here is my attempt. I set up the BPM meter so the camera could see it but I could not. The meter is sitting on the bass drum.

I started at about 118 BPM. The tempo varied 117, 116, 119 and one time even went down to 115. Might be due to me changing the way I was playing. It is just too hard for me to play a constant no changing groove for 5 minutes. But I ended up at 118 in the end.

Here is the video:

http://youtu.be/8LuDZdO_lDA



.
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  #29  
Old 01-23-2015, 03:43 AM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

Great job, guys. Probably be another few days before I can post mine.
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Old 01-23-2015, 06:11 AM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
OK, here is my attempt. I set up the BPM meter so the camera could see it but I could not. The meter is sitting on the bass drum.

I started at about 118 BPM. The tempo varied 117, 116, 119 and one time even went down to 115. Might be due to me changing the way I was playing. It is just too hard for me to play a constant no changing groove for 5 minutes. But I ended up at 118 in the end.

Here is the video:

http://youtu.be/8LuDZdO_lDA



.
That was awesome!!! Thanks, Jim!
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: The natural meter challenge!

.........Good stuff Jim
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