Developing solid meter by Rob Brown

bud7h4

Silver Member
I could sit and watch Rob's videos for hours whether he's sharing tips or just drumming.
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
Yet another great video by Rob.

I think David Stanoch wrote a book about all of this a number of years ago with his tables of time.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Yet another great video by Rob.

I think David Stanoch wrote a book about all of this a number of years ago with his tables of time.
Rob is great, but to sum this video up in one sentence:

Study the Tables of Time to a metronome.

David Stanoch's book is one of the most precisely aimed books that deals with the very essence of our goals.... time and subdividing it. Every drummer needs to study it.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Good video, I'm not totally satisfied with his method there: reducing everything to a running subdivision. I'm sure it will work pretty well for most people who make a serious effort with it, but it can be really hard to tell if an undifferentiated pulse is steady, especially when you're the one playing it on a bunch of different sounds, along with some other musicians who may not be playing 100% accurate time themselves. I need some more points of reference.

What I've found works best with my students and with my own playing is reducing all the parts (of whatever thing you're practicing) to a single rhythm, and being able to vocalize that-- counting the rhythm out loud, Disco-solid-- and paying attention to how the parts interlock.
 

spleeeeen

Platinum Member
What I've found works best with my students and with my own playing is reducing all the parts (of whatever thing you're practicing) to a single rhythm, and being able to vocalize that-- counting the rhythm out loud, Disco-solid-- and paying attention to how the parts interlock.
Todd, could you say a bit more about this? Do you mean a rhythm that's implied or stated in the song (e.g., clave)? I imagine "backing up" out of the minutia of subdivisions for the "points of reference" you mentioned, but I'm not sure if that's what you're talking about here.

Thanks!

Jason
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Jason, the idea is that there's more to hang onto with a mixed rhythm than there is just an even string of pulses-- a rhythm is more specific-- it has an identifiable shape, and it's easier to tell if it's distorting. Playing based on even pulses, and just trying to get the rate right, maybe partially relying on muscle memory-- I think it just leaves you open to rushing or dragging because of what you feel or hear. I've heard a lot of other people besides Brown give that advice-- it's not wrong, and obviously it works well enough for many people that they continue saying it, but by itself it's not enough for me.

To do my thing you just have to be thinking rhythm all the time-- you practice a lot out of Reed so whatever you do on the drums, you're just thinking a single source rhythm. When practicing written-out patterns, you reduce them to one rhythm, be able to count that, then play the pattern. Awareness of how parts interlock helps, too-- paying attention to your coordination, and to how the things you play fit together with things played by any rhythmically reliable people you play with.

When you get used to thinking that way, it becomes pretty effortless and simultaneous-- you don't have to be thinking out the rhythm verbally or anything. It just takes reasonable focus to keep your time on the money. For me it's easier and more reliable than trying to call the subdivisions exactly consistently for 3-7 minutes of musical activity.
 

spleeeeen

Platinum Member
Jason, the idea is that there's more to hang onto with a mixed rhythm than there is just an even string of pulses-- a rhythm is more specific-- it has an identifiable shape, and it's easier to tell if it's distorting. Playing based on even pulses, and just trying to get the rate right, maybe partially relying on muscle memory-- I think it just leaves you open to rushing or dragging because of what you feel or hear. I've heard a lot of other people besides Brown give that advice-- it's not wrong, and obviously it works well enough for many people that they continue saying it, but by itself it's not enough for me.

To do my thing you just have to be thinking rhythm all the time-- you practice a lot out of Reed so whatever you do on the drums, you're just thinking a single source rhythm. When practicing written-out patterns, you reduce them to one rhythm, be able to count that, then play the pattern. Awareness of how parts interlock helps, too-- paying attention to your coordination, and to how the things you play fit together with things played by any rhythmically reliable people you play with.

When you get used to thinking that way, it becomes pretty effortless and simultaneous-- you don't have to be thinking out the rhythm verbally or anything. It just takes reasonable focus to keep your time on the money. For me it's easier and more reliable than trying to call the subdivisions exactly consistently for 3-7 minutes of musical activity.
Got it, thanks for elaborating Todd.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
I could sit and watch Rob's videos for hours whether he's sharing tips or just drumming.
Me too. He breaks things down in a very "real" way to those of us who are not professionally trained.
I'd like to meet him one day just to thank him personally for how he's helped me.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
He also has a video explaining how to keep tempos in live situation without a click. Very very useful. Thx to him.
 
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