Better time, 2

Check out part 1

Do you want to improve your playing drastically? If so, check out the exercises with the metronome at the bottom of the page.  You can use either Weird Metronome, Beatcraft or Garage Band.

I’ve been working on good time for awhile now.  I practiced with a metronome since I started playing guitar but I never really thought about rock solid time until a few years ago.  It didn’t seem that important to me.  If I had understood the significance of really good time at earlier point in my life, I would have practiced good time earlier.

Having good time makes everything come into focus.  It helps connect the different player.  It’s the starting point for getting people to dance.

Here’s some ideas for working on your time.  These ideas have helped me a lot.

  1. get enough sleep, rest and food
  2. practice with a metronome in the morning at a slow speed
  3. with a metronome pick a speed and groove to it for at least 5 minutes
  4. Get a beat machine or fancy metronome or mp3 that has long pauses where you have to keep the time yourself

R & R

Getting enough food, sleep and relaxation helps me to play with better time.  Of course, practicing helps, too.  But getting enough sleep really helps.

Lock in your time early

Besides being a good warm up for my hands, I find playing with a metronome first thing in the morning gives me a better sense of time. It reminds my body of what a solid tempo feels like.

Groove with a metronome

Playing a with click and trying to make it groove opens up a lot of feel and technical questions.  I definitely have been surprised that something I was playing didn’t really work as well as I thought it was working.  But keeping that feel going for a 5 minutes or more (the length of song) will help you get to a higher level of playing.  Creating a groove, whether it be a single line solo, a repeated riff or chords, takes time.  And part of the challenge of grooving is to keep the groove going as long as possible!

Solidifying your time

One way to check that you are starting to solidify your time is to create a beat that has a measure or two pauses.  You keep playing and once the beat comes back to the beginning, you should still be locked in with the beat.

  1. try something like what I’ve done with Beatcraft
  2. or try check out Weird Metronome if you have a PC
  3. if you have a Mac, you can use Garage Band
Here’s some beats that I have programmed on Weird Metronome and in Beatcraft.  Basically, you keep adding longer pauses in the metronome so you have to focus on keeping better time on your own.  I do these for chords, solos and melody.

Good solid time

More Challenging

Beginning to develop solid internal time

Start using these daily at a variety of tempos.  You can have to ticks be on the 1 and 3 instead of the 2 and 4.  And you can add more pauses latter on.

Here’s the patterns on Weird Metronome, make sure you take the spaces away.

3101 0101 0101 0101
3101 0101 3000 3000
3101 0101 3000 0000

The beats for Beatcraft can be found here.

Here would be some ideas for the next level of patterns for Weird Metronome, make sure you take the spaces away.

3101 0101 3000 3000 3000 0000 3000 0000

3101 0101 3000 0000 3000 0000 0000 0000

3101 0101 3000 30000 3101 0101 3000 0000 3000 3000 3000 0000 3000 0000 0000 0000

3101 0101 3000 0000 3000 0000 0000 0000 3000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.