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> 70 Bpm Has Become Very Difficult!
Fingerspasm
post Jun 3 2009, 03:09 AM
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I have been playing for 4 to 5 years without an instructor. I have taught myself some scales and cool licks and can play pretty fast. Recently I have been in a rut and have been getting discouraged so I found a good instructor because I know I needed someone to make me accountable so I would make myself learn some of the things that I do not typically enjoy when I play.
The first thing my instructor did was make me go back to playing the pentatonic scale which I have avoided for the last couple of years and he made me slow the metronome all the way down to 70 BPM (I have been typically playing at 120 to 150 when playing scales). His instructions were to play quarter notes then eight notes etc. etc. Oh and I have to tap my foot on every beat! I have been very humbled by how difficult this is! I am totally stuck on trying to play 5 notes per beat and beyond... not to mention tapping my foot the whole time. He has proven to me that when you do this and play various patterns at 5 or 7 notes per beat it can sound really cool. When you mute it and make it really staccato it really sounds cool. I have already noticed an improvement in my playing when I speed back up. It is much tighter and clean. Just thought I would share this. Try it if you have not done it before and see how difficult it is to play slow while tapping your foot. ohmy.gif People who have had formal lessons have probably been through this long ago. But it might be useful for some people that are like me that have been teaching themselves and have skipped some of the more basic stuff that seemed to boring and easy to try. It will make a big difference.


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leedbreak
post Jun 3 2009, 03:56 AM
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QUOTE (Fingerspasm @ Jun 2 2009, 09:09 PM) *
I have been playing for 4 to 5 years without an instructor. I have taught myself some scales and cool licks and can play pretty fast. Recently I have been in a rut and have been getting discouraged so I found a good instructor because I know I needed someone to make me accountable so I would make myself learn some of the things that I do not typically enjoy when I play.
The first thing my instructor did was make me go back to playing the pentatonic scale which I have avoided for the last couple of years and he made me slow the metronome all the way down to 70 BPM (I have been typically playing at 120 to 150 when playing scales). His instructions were to play quarter notes then eight notes etc. etc. Oh and I have to tap my foot on every beat! I have been very humbled by how difficult this is! I am totally stuck on trying to play 5 notes per beat and beyond... not to mention tapping my foot the whole time. He has proven to me that when you do this and play various patterns at 5 or 7 notes per beat it can sound really cool. When you mute it and make it really staccato it really sounds cool. I have already noticed an improvement in my playing when I speed back up. It is much tighter and clean. Just thought I would share this. Try it if you have not done it before and see how difficult it is to play slow while tapping your foot. ohmy.gif People who have had formal lessons have probably been through this long ago. But it might be useful for some people that are like me that have been teaching themselves and have skipped some of the more basic stuff that seemed to boring and easy to try. It will make a big difference.

Well, this is just called the real world. When I came to GMC and started intense metro work I had to go back into the 80's (BPM) and that pissed me off I almost quit. Mind you I have play for many years before so this was more painful. Here I am 2 years later and and now at 127 or so, Let see that would be what? 1.25 BPM a month. If I can keep that up I will be at 140 in the next year and that is why I am here. I do strict metro work for 20 -30 minute about 5 times a week and the rest of my time I spend writing and learning new songs. GL2U


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maharzan
post Jun 3 2009, 07:56 AM
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Great Share. Almost everyone suggests we play slow and clean before moving on to fast. Fast automatically comes. But if you try fast then its never clean and you will not get there soon.

I am trying it slow although I am so tempted to play faster. wink.gif


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wrk
post Jun 3 2009, 09:50 AM
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Tapping your foot helps you to physically feel the beat and stick to it while playing.
Maybe at some point it's not necessary anymore, but it is for sure a useful technic.

I found this interview with Al Di Meola quite interesting.
Starts at around 2:00 and the main point is at 4:10.
Check it out ...




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Muris Varajic
post Jun 3 2009, 10:13 AM
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Your instructor pointed out very important thing and hopefully on time,
you do need to be able to tap with your foot and play very slow, no matter what. smile.gif


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Pedja Simovic
post Jun 3 2009, 10:45 AM
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Your instructor gave you some very useful advice.

I used to tap foot all the time for years, then after my first lesson with Mick Goodrick I was told to stop doing it. The reason was quite simple and logical. When you have metronome doing work for you (which is perfect time keeper by the way), if there are two or more players in the room, there will always be some delay or up front tapping by millisecond, sometimes more sometimes less.

So when you play with metronome, your foot is actually your enemy.
I found this hard to believe but thanks to his advice it opened a whole new rhythm world to me and my phrasing became even more tighter then it was when I was tapping foot. Especially with off beat phrasing !!!
Ear was focusing on metronome not on foot, mind was composing melodies and figures - it became greater overall playing.


Hope this helps smile.gif


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Muris Varajic
post Jun 3 2009, 10:54 AM
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QUOTE (Pedja Simovic @ Jun 3 2009, 11:45 AM) *
I used to tap foot all the time for years, then after my first lesson with Mick Goodrick I was told to stop doing it. The reason was quite simple and logical. When you have metronome doing work for you (which is perfect time keeper by the way), if there are two or more players in the room, there will always be some delay or up front tapping by millisecond, sometimes more sometimes less.

So when you play with metronome, your foot is actually your enemy.
I found this hard to believe but thanks to his advice it opened a whole new rhythm world to me and my phrasing became even more tighter then it was when I was tapping foot. Especially with off beat phrasing !!!
Ear was focusing on metronome not on foot, mind was composing melodies and figures - it became greater overall playing.


Well yeah, specially if you tap too loud and not 100% tight as metronome does.
But tapping with your foot is only one and most common way,
you can pretty much "tap" with just moving your shoulders a bit etc,
The idea is to feel the beat and not just play random notes without any real guide,
no one has to tap IF he feels the beat nicely inside, no doubt. smile.gif



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Pedja Simovic
post Jun 3 2009, 11:47 AM
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QUOTE (Muris Varajic @ Jun 3 2009, 11:54 AM) *
Well yeah, specially if you tap too loud and not 100% tight as metronome does.
But tapping with your foot is only one and most common way,
you can pretty much "tap" with just moving your shoulders a bit etc,
The idea is to feel the beat and not just play random notes without any real guide,
no one has to tap IF he feels the beat nicely inside, no doubt. smile.gif


That was one of the arguments as well. Most people tap too loud by lifting the whole foot and slamming it to the ground. You can just lift your heel and tap with it, or also tap with your fingers on your feet biggrin.gif
He also told me that when you are home you should put metronome on do all sorts of rhythm with your body. Arms, shoulders, hips, head... Its basically what dancers do - to feel the rhythm and explore metro sweeps smile.gif


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Fingerspasm
post Jun 3 2009, 12:27 PM
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QUOTE (Pedja Simovic @ Jun 3 2009, 04:47 AM) *
That was one of the arguments as well. Most people tap too loud by lifting the whole foot and slamming it to the ground. You can just lift your heel and tap with it, or also tap with your fingers on your feet biggrin.gif
He also told me that when you are home you should put metronome on do all sorts of rhythm with your body. Arms, shoulders, hips, head... Its basically what dancers do - to feel the rhythm and explore metro sweeps smile.gif


When my instructor first had me do this I asked him if he thought I was out of time when I played for him when we first got started. He said that I was on beat but that I was typical of many students that he has had that want to play fast all the time. I had fallen into playing triplets and sixteenth notes at high metronome settings and it was locking me into predictable patterns. And he was right because when I heard him playing at a slower setting and starting off at quarter notes and then working his way up to 5 , 6, 7, 8, and 9 notes per beat and accenting the note on the beat at say 60 or 70 bpm it developed some really cool sounds. Especially when he would play a repeating pattern. He would play the same pattern back and forth between the first 3 positions in the minor pentatonic scale connecting them in a repeating pattern. As he added one extra note per beat and changed the accent. It changed and sounded really cool. Reminded me of Paul Gilbert which was a big deal for me since Paul is one of my favorites. It really drove home how you can make many variations within the same scale. Sorry if my explanation is hard to follow. I am also trying to improve my knowledge of theory. Like I said before this probably seems very basic and obvious for the players that have been playing with instructors and have had formal training. But for me it was a real Eye opener and I cannot believe after playing for 5 years almost every day. I am just now understanding this. It has helped me in many ways. Kinda like one of those moments when you have a breakthrough finally and you get excited about playing again. smile.gif


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Pedja Simovic
post Jun 3 2009, 12:35 PM
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That is great to hear.
Concept your instructor was teaching you was ODD vs Even. In other words if you have 4/4 time signature (4 beats per measure) you are playing odd time signature against it. That includes 3/4 5/4 7/4 9/4 11/4 13/4 etc
Since these odd time signatures dont fit in one bar of 4/4 perfectly, this is where the secret of turning around lies in. That is also why accents change and original phrase/melody/lick/sequence changes place within a bar !

Very cool concept for arranging composing and improvising but also like your instructor is teaching you - it will make your rhythm playing much stronger and tighter then ever before.

Keep up the good work !


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Muris Varajic
post Jun 3 2009, 05:24 PM
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QUOTE (Pedja Simovic @ Jun 3 2009, 12:47 PM) *
That was one of the arguments as well. Most people tap too loud by lifting the whole foot and slamming it to the ground. You can just lift your heel and tap with it, or also tap with your fingers on your feet biggrin.gif
He also told me that when you are home you should put metronome on do all sorts of rhythm with your body. Arms, shoulders, hips, head... Its basically what dancers do - to feel the rhythm and explore metro sweeps smile.gif


Even moonwalk!!
Doesn't work on rocks tho. laugh.gif


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Pedja Simovic
post Jun 3 2009, 05:34 PM
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QUOTE (Muris Varajic @ Jun 3 2009, 06:24 PM) *
Even moonwalk!!
Doesn't work on rocks tho. laugh.gif


laugh.gif
Yesssssss in deed smile.gif


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Startear
post Jun 3 2009, 09:26 PM
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this was really enlightening biggrin.gif

how about lesson on this topic?
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Ctodd
post Jun 4 2009, 12:20 AM
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QUOTE (Startear @ Jun 3 2009, 04:26 PM) *
this was really enlightening biggrin.gif

how about lesson on this topic?


no need for lesson!

just start playing 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10notes per beat! laugh.gif

I will experiment with this the next time I want to learn something new!

thanks for the post, and discussion guys!

-Chris


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