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The Campy Forum

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  • My downfall is time: listening to recordings of myself, I notice that my timing can be random and erratic, often dragging, but sometimes rushing too. Probably the worst I've heard on record! I'm failing at my goal, to maintain a groove and a tension that propels the song forward.
    The only thing I know to do is to practice with a metronome, and be more conscious of the beat when I play. Do you all count eighths or sixteenths in the back of their head while playing? I would rather not have to think about it consciously while I play... I should have internalized this stuff when I was a little kid!
  • Hi Bradley- Thanks for posting and it's never too late to start working on a new challenge.

    Me? I practice with a metronome and if I need to, I'll count quarter notes and occasionally eighth notes. Practicing with a metronome at a reasonable slow tempo will improve your time greatly but that's assuming technique isn't the issue.

    Eliminate technical challenges by playing a low open E to a metronome - quarter notes, sixteenths, eighth note triplets etc and move up the open string series for variation. This exercise is all about time and not chord grip challenges. I improved my execution and understanding of rhythm by playing open strings to Ted Reeds book "Syncopation for the Modern Drummer".

    And last but not least- when you practice rhythms - try to relax and tell yourself occasionally - "Relax". No good dancer is uptight! ha ha

    As you've experienced - the other thing that helped my time is playing and recording rhythms on my Boomerang looper. Upon playback, one can get a 20/20 insight into strengths and weaknesses.

    Have a great day- Jim
  • I had issues with my time as well. What helped me was recording myself playing with a metronome and listening back. This way you can judge where you are in relation to the beat and correct as necessary. Good Luck!
  • Thanks for the generous reply, Jim. It's helpful to know that even the greats have to work at it.
    It's hearing myself on recordings that has made me realize how bad my time is. I don't know why I didn't hear it the same way while I played it. I know people are able to deliberately play on top of the beat, behind the beat, and swing any direction they want to, whereas I'm usually just trying not to totally lose the beat...

    Have you ever heard anyone and thought "great tone, interesting melodic playing, but.. too bad about the spastic rhythm"?
  • Incidentally, the great Adam Levy has recently posted a video on his weekly "zen guitar tips" that covers this subject. I am not sure if it will be of any help to you but I thought it would be cool to share it, even if only to make forum members aware of these incredibly valuable lessons Adam posts each friday.

  • Fantastic thread! And it reminds me I have been meaning to get out my looper again, for this very reason....
  • Yeah, this is something I definitely need help with. I didn't realize how sloppy my rhythm playing was until I got a looper pedal. And practicing as needed with a metronome, even if you're an experienced guitarist, is solid advice. Thank you all for the tips!

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