timing issues

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Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Groups: None
timing issues

I played at a Jam last Sunday and when a bass player was leaving he said we ought to get together and I could help him and he could help me with some "timing issues" in my playing. I first thought what timing issues? I play everyday, so what was wrong with my timing. I played to day and realized that while I play everyday, I play a lot alone without others. I noticed that unless I really concentrated I got lax with a steady beat. Really who cares when you are playing alone but it could drive a bass player crazy if you were standing next to him and your improvisation causes a half beat off at times. When you play alone one needs to realize your doodling needs discipline when you go out to play with others. I am going to take the bass player up on his offer.

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Joined: 15 Mar 2011
Groups: None
Timing is everything when it

Timing is everything when it comes to playing with others. Heck with good timing even bad notes are acceptable. Since the banjo is the loudest instrument in the group, if your timing is off everyone hears it and stumbles to correct to you and then the timing of whole group may spiral out of control in domino fashion. Unless you are one that has perfect timing built into your brain pan then practicing with a metronome is one way to develope good timing. Another would be to play along with a Cd or prerecorded song. The later is more difficult because in order to play a specific lick where it precisely fits in the recording means that everytime you mess up you must stop and restart the recording at the point you are trying to put the lick into. Therefore, practicing with the metronome is the best option for learning the timing of any new lick. Good luck!!

Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Groups: None

I agree with your comment regarding a metronome. My earlier forum opening was addressing we sometimes fail to notice ourselves when we switch from playing alone to jamming with others. In a jam everyone is trying to keep the beat especially on an unfamiliar song. One has to really concentrate by ear. Even your best jammers do not have the steady cadence of a metronome. Practice is great but what is everyone's experience when you enter that jam? It is like a team sport, familarity with the players styles in my experience timing issues decrease, but be always vigilant or you may offend.

Joined: 8 Sep 2007
Groups: None
Timing is Important ... but..

The most important thing about playing music is HAVING FUN doing it. Some people are obsessed with timing (to the point that they cannot play and cannot have fun). Most groups have a tendency to speed up at the bridge (particularly with familiar songs). Most groups start a song too fast (in the first place)(so it turns into a mess when it speeds up). Bass players and drummers are not always right (but they think they are). When you are backing a singer the singer may not count -- so they determine the timing (not the side-man). Counting: at the end of a phrase there is often 7 or 8 beats until the next phrase begins (2-3-4-5-6-7-8) COUNT THEM in your head. Use a metronome if there is a major timing problem (there is one on an I-phone that can be audible only to you (on ear phones). Lastly try not to nitpick songs too death (that's OK for practice .. but learn to just "deliver" a performance to your audience. They will not care if they are having fun.

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