Using MIDI to develop time and pocket?

nocTurnal

Senior Member
Since I can't afford that new metronome I want, I decided to program the drum grooves I'm practicing into Guitar Pro 4. Anyone have this program? I set the Marker to play looped for each Groove that I'm on. I'd programed each groove into three bars. One for 8th notes, one for 16th notes and one for 8th.

Is this a bad idea? Any drawbacks from playing along to a MIDI drum track? I feel like I understand better how to keep in time already.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Nothin wrong there; just make sure they're kinda generic. Don't program in fills and what not, just use it like a metronome. Lots of pro players like to loop a midi or sample selection instead of a regular click. Up to you!
 

nocTurnal

Senior Member
Nothin wrong there; just make sure they're kinda generic. Don't program in fills and what not, just use it like a metronome. Lots of pro players like to loop a midi or sample selection instead of a regular click. Up to you!
Cool, Dr. Watso. I'm relieved now. And just to make sure, I'm programming every note that I play in these grooves. I'm palying along to hi-hat, snare and bass. I haven't programmed fills into it. Just out of curiosity, what would be wrong with that if I did? And now that you know new information, what do you think of that also. GP4 has real drum sounds. No click. Although, I could use a click if I wanted with it. But the reason I'm doing this is because the click isn't good enough for me anymore. I'm not developing time and pocket with my single click metronome.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Programming in a whole fill would simply limit what you do to that fill rather than help you understand how to replace part of a measure with any fill you want. In simplified terms, using a metronome to practice fills helps because it keeps the basic quarter-note backbeat while you play grooves and fills around and over it.

Rather than map out a fill and copy it exactly, you should strive to put fills in perfect time with the backbeat of your programmed groove. Listen to where in the groove your loop is and play fills over it.

Think of it like a math test. Programming every little note you want play and playing it; you're essentially copying a "sheet" with all the correct answers to the metaphorical math test on it. Sure, you put in some effort in memorizing or copying, and you get an A... But you've also robbed yourself of really understanding the how and why those answers make sense and work. The greater your understanding of timing at a basic level, the better your timing, pocket and feel will be the more you work at it.

You should try and stick to a metronome or very simple programmed beat sequence to play along with if you want to improve your own sense of fills and time. I also like to play along to "hip hop" or other programmed commercial music when I get bored of clicks and want to work on timing. The key is simply a steady predictable beat. I can play around with it from there!
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
Also programme in 1 or 2 silent bars - this is a great check on whether you can keep the beat without the metronome.

Davo
 

nocTurnal

Senior Member
Also programme in 1 or 2 silent bars - this is a great check on whether you can keep the beat without the metronome.

Davo
Now that's an awesome idea! Wow. Didn't think of that. Now this will really test me better than anything could. Thanks for that, Davo-London!~
 

nocTurnal

Senior Member
Someone posted this vid here recently ... it's like an easier-to-organise version of Davo's suggestion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X1fhVLVF_4
I saw that, but didn't really understand it the first time I viewed it. I posted in that thread actually.

But aside from that, I already feel like I've improved my timing greatly. I just did this exercise today for an hour on three of the five grooves my teacher gave me a couple of months ago. I don't think it's possible to fix timing issues this fast, but I feel I've certainly improved in just one day. Sometimes I was on the money coming back in, and sometimes just a bit early.
 

nocTurnal

Senior Member
This seems to be working. More and more I'm coming in right on time after the empty measures. Wow, feels nice to finally "feel" it somewhat. I'm speaking too soon to say that my problem is fixed... but I feel it now more than ever before. Amazing what one week of practice can do.
 
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