Offbeat note spacing problem

schist

Silver Member
I'm having immense trouble with offbeat note spacing at the moment.

For those unsure of what I'm referring to, consult this chart:



Let's assume the 'x' is the click and the quaver is the snare. Before long, my brain will want to align the snare with the click at any speed. I play along to a lot of songs with thrash/skank beats in them, and the only thing that is keeping me from nailing these songs 100% is this offbeat note spacing problem.

That said, can anyone offer any suggestions to help clean this up? Eg. Practicing this at what speed and for how long each day?
 

Styx

Senior Member
Try keeping a quarter note pulse with the bass drum and play the upbeats hand to hand on the snare. You can also keep the quarter note pulse with your hi hat and play the upbeats hand to hand on the snare. Do these exercises with a metronome and start slowly and try to feel the upbeat as apposed to just playing it like a robot. Slowly increase the tempo as you feel more comfortable with the exercise and you should get it in no time(excuse the pun)
 

tbmills

Gold Member
Try keeping a quarter note pulse with the bass drum and play the upbeats hand to hand on the snare. You can also keep the quarter note pulse with your hi hat and play the upbeats hand to hand on the snare. Do these exercises with a metronome and start slowly and try to feel the upbeat as apposed to just playing it like a robot. Slowly increase the tempo as you feel more comfortable with the exercise and you should get it in no time(excuse the pun)
also try playing the downbeat with your hat hand on your thigh and the upbeat on the snare. you can play with how loud the downbeat is and play the down without hearing it. like its there... but its not...
 

schist

Silver Member
Yeah thanks all, but the thing is I'm not playing thrash beats with the hands alternating 8th-notes - the right hand is playing 8th's while the snare hand is playing offbeat quarter notes (and in some songs even involving broken-up kick patterns instead of straight bass drum quarter-notes), so I need to be able to play the offbeats on the snare without depending on my other limbs.
 

Joe P

Senior Member
Try and think of it all intertwined. As the snare and click NOT independent of each other, but INTERDEPENDENT. At first try to think of the snare and the metronome click as one instrument, as one playing surface (disregard the way they sound), with your goal being to make it sound evenly spaced. Basically... practice.
 

schist

Silver Member
Try and think of it all intertwined. As the snare and click NOT independent of each other, but INTERDEPENDENT. At first try to think of the snare and the metronome click as one instrument, as one playing surface (disregard the way they sound), with your goal being to make it sound evenly spaced. Basically... practice.
Yeah, trying to 'concentrate' on the separation is one thing - I've noticed that with polka/thrash beats that are 'bass-snare-bass-snare' 8th-notes, the snare sound becomes too overpowering and my brain gets drawn to it, if you will, therefore switching it to a downbeat rather than an upbeat.
 

rockitman

Senior Member
Yeah, trying to 'concentrate' on the separation is one thing - I've noticed that with polka/thrash beats that are 'bass-snare-bass-snare' 8th-notes, the snare sound becomes too overpowering and my brain gets drawn to it, if you will, therefore switching it to a downbeat rather than an upbeat.
If your displacing notes to the point that the up and down beat are trading places, thats a timing and phrasing issue. You have to understand the value of each note that your playing and give each one it's entire value. Shaving note value results in rushing. Allowing a note to much time will disrupt the rhythm. The result will force your rhythm out of time.

Break it down, slow it down and count out loud. Internalize the rhythm

There is nothing stopping you from mastering this figure and the technique required to play it.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Counting out loud is important as stated. You really need to constantly subdivide the time in your head. If you want accurate eighth notes, sing sixteenth notes in your head or out loud. That way you're not just "flying the notes in from somewhere" ( Peter Erskine quote).
 
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