Problems With Rhythms
29a
Jan 11 2009, 05:47 PM
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Hi Guys,

I'm having lots of troubles with even just slightly complex rhythms. The first thing you should know is that I'm probably the most untalented guitarist on earth. When I started I wasn't able to play quarter notes with a metronome. Well, I've fixed that with hard work so now I can play quarter, and eighth and sixteenth notes quite accurately*. Anyway my problem is that a fail horribly at slightly complex rhythms. Current example: Metallica Seek & Destroy. I can play it with the song in the background, not perfectly but I can play it and it sounds quite good. Now, when I try to play it with a metronome I fail - horribly. I can't even play the first bar without losing track. I think my problems are notes that are of beat and mixed note values.

My Question is now, what can I do to learn that? Trying and trying over and over again might work, but it's very frustrating and probably not every efficient.

I already asked my guitar teacher and he proposed some simpler exercises with mixed or offbeat notes. But I fail even at those simple exercises.

* With a standard deviation of ~0.06 from the metronome. biggrin.gif

Cheers,
Jonas

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Ivan Milenkovic
Jan 11 2009, 06:47 PM
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Definitely slow things down and go bit by bit. Carefully analyze every part of the guitar track, split it into smaller parts that you can play with no problem, slow it down a lot, and play it until you get it right. The more time you spend in doing this, it will become easier and easier.

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29a
Jan 11 2009, 07:08 PM
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Hi Ivan,

Thank you for your suggestion. I've played that intro about a thousand times (literally!), starting very slowly, working my way up to 110% of the speed of the original track. And I do get it right, the problem is playing in sync with the metronome. With the backing track I can now even play it while talking to my girlfriend. With the metronome I just can't get that feeling for the groove. If I make the metronome go really slow it's even less groovy and harder to keep track of. If I make it go fast there's no time to consciously analyze my playing. But maybe I've just found a solution. I'll play without the metronome for now and just use my foot to keep track of time. I can't loose track of my own foot biggrin.gif

- Jonas

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This post has been edited by 29a: Jan 11 2009, 07:17 PM


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sigma7
Jan 11 2009, 07:19 PM
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i have the same problem, but i found that trying to playing along with a metrenome helps a lot. Like you, i cant find the groove with a metrenome. So i just sit there sometime hours trying to go along with beeps. just keep trying man and you will get it

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David Wallimann
Jan 11 2009, 07:20 PM
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I remember struggling like you bro.
The key is to clearly understand each beat division.
A suggestion would be to set you metronome to a comfortable speed, then play a series of measures using the same note value.

For example, start with simple quarter notes. Do it long enough so that you are warmed up and have a good sense of the groove you are playing with. Then do the same thing with eight notes. Once both note values are well "locked" into your playing, alternate a measure of quarter notes with a measure of eighth.

Gradually work your way up creating more complex measures. Just take your time assimilating each note value and creating new ways to mix them up.

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berko
Jan 11 2009, 07:25 PM
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If I know it correctly, this Metallica track mainly consists of eighth notes and sixteenth notes but at a quite fast speed (around 130-150bpm). It's totally natural that following the track is easier because drum fills and the backing track as a whole can lead you with the main guitar more steadily.

But it's also important that you practice with a metronome, so i'm glad you're doing it already. It's much easier if you have a guitarpro! You can basically slow down the track if you download it from ultimateguitar.com (for example) in gp format. You can also adjust a metronome to the track.

However, if you choose to continue with the metronome, then, as Ivan said, slow down the metronome (not too much, since it gets difficult to count VERY slow rhythms) and try only different bits of the guitar part. One great riff here, one great riff there. The metronome won't run away, you can play a little section over and over again (the one you are most comfortable with). If you then be able to "feel" the click it gets much easier.

Rock on man, I'm sure you'll make it, just a matter of some dedicated practice cool.gif

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Ramiro Delforte
Jan 11 2009, 08:14 PM
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I think the problem is that you don't feel the beat while you're playing over the song, or you don't realize of it. So my advice is to tap everytime you play anything so in that way you're your own metronome. In that way when you go to practice with the real metronome would be easier to feel the beat.
You can tap with your head, foot, the whole body, but you MUST feel the pulse going behind all the rhythms.
I wish this will help you buddy smile.gif
If not let me know and I'll try to thing in something else.

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kahall
Jan 11 2009, 08:27 PM
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QUOTE (29a @ Jan 11 2009, 10:47 AM) *
Hi Guys,

I'm having lots of troubles with even just slightly complex rhythms. The first thing you should know is that I'm probably the most untalented guitarist on earth.


No, you're the second most untalented guitarist. I am the most. I understand your frustration for sure as rhythm is my main problem as well. Not just on songs you give as examples but everything. Lately I have been getting better but it has taken a long time. I found that backing tracks work better for me than the metronome but I have to slow them down and slowly speed them up to full speed until I get it. Same thing as using a metronome only better for me.

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Gerardo Siere
Jan 11 2009, 09:13 PM
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I think your missing this little detail then playing and struming. There is a deley between the order and the execution, the executions means pressing the string and releasing it, for slow tempos you should asing some constant and as shortest as posible rythm value to presure and release on the beat. For strumning we have to hit several strings so, the last one we play should go on the beat, so the others should be played with some anticipation.
Instead of unsing a slow metronome time as 40bpm, use 80 or 120 pm so you can still get the 40bpm strong beat with subdivisions to help you.

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Vasilije Vukmiro...
Jan 12 2009, 08:28 PM
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I know what you mean. Generally, slower tempos are much trickier then faster. There is a big gap between clicks on the metronome, the slower the tempo, the bigger the gap, silence I mean. So get the double tempo, if the songs is in 40 bpm, use 80 instead, or 160. You will get more clicks, so you can get the feel where you are. You have the "rhythm feel", don't worry, just that situation is sticky.

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29a
Jan 13 2009, 12:30 AM
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Thanks guys for all the tips, I really appreciate them!

Gerardo Siere, I don't think anticipation is my problem. As I can play simple rhythms pretty tight.

Vasilije Vukmirovic, I'll try that. Maybe it's better to let the metronome do the subdivisions for now. The problem is tough that I tend to loose track of all those clicks. But it's sure worth a try!

Right now I'm trying to just clap the rhythm, that kind of works already so maybe... mellow.gif

- Jonas

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Vasilije Vukmiro...
Jan 13 2009, 06:21 PM
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You'll be ok:)
Subdivision always works. Also practicing(anything) in sloooow tempo improve your technique as well your rhythm.
I used to count clicks in my head while I was practicing this slow-tempo songs. da da da, da da da, da da da...

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Pedja Simovic
Jan 14 2009, 12:35 PM
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It sounds like you have to spend some more time with metronome.
The thing with metronome is if you don't spend time enough practicing with it, your rhythm playing will get weaker and you will fall out of beat always. That is why its essential to practice every day, even with one single note and apply different rhythms in time.


I would go for these first:

- Whole note (4 clicks long)
- Half note (2 clicks long)
- Quarter note ( 1 click long)
- Eight note (half click long or 2 even notes per click!)
- 16th note (quarter click long or 4 even notes per click)

Then you do some triplets

- Quarter note triplet (3 notes over 2 beats/clicks evenly)
- Eight note triplet (3 eight notes over 1 beat/click evenly)
- 16th note triplet (6 16th notes over 1 beat/click evenly)

After you do all this, start mixing rhythms up , write your own examples that are 1 bar, 2 bar long. Finally try to create some guitar melodies or licks using rhythms that you practice.

Hope that was useful for you smile.gif

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29a
Jan 16 2009, 01:06 AM
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Hi Pedja,

I can play fourths/eight/... notes as long as they're not offbeat. So I guess I just have to practice those offbeat rhythms now.

Thanks,
Jonas

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Ivan Milenkovic
Jan 16 2009, 12:31 PM
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Don't worry mate, we've all been there at one point! Just keep practicing those note values, and offbeat notes, and in time you will get the hang of it.

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Muris Varajic
Jan 16 2009, 03:37 PM
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QUOTE (Ramiro Delforte @ Jan 11 2009, 08:14 PM) *
I think the problem is that you don't feel the beat while you're playing over the song, or you don't realize of it. So my advice is to tap everytime you play anything so in that way you're your own metronome. In that way when you go to practice with the real metronome would be easier to feel the beat.
You can tap with your head, foot, the whole body, but you MUST feel the pulse going behind all the rhythms.
I wish this will help you buddy smile.gif
If not let me know and I'll try to thing in something else.


I would say this is crucial.
When someone is having problems with rhythm it's not only rhythm actually,
there is a focus on technical part when person kind a don't think of rhythm
or doesn't realize it, focus is too big on fretting,picking etc.
So as Ramiro said, the key is to feel the pulse/rhythm.
Do some headbanging,tap with your foot while listening to this song,
no need to play it for a while really, just listen to it and tap the beats/pulse.
When you get that pulse then you can try to sing the melody,
it doesn't have to be 100% correct pitch wise but try to sing it
correctly rhythm wise.

After all that you should focus on technique,
once you get that rhythm locked inside yourself. smile.gif

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Vasilije Vukmiro...
Jan 16 2009, 11:06 PM
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I noticed when I play with other people, that it's impossible to stay in the rhythm if I keep my body stiff, soon as I start moving it a bit, things are improving. Silly thing, the more you concentrate the worse you are, if you let go, you are perfect.

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Pedja Simovic
Jan 17 2009, 01:42 PM
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QUOTE (29a @ Jan 16 2009, 01:06 AM) *
Hi Pedja,

I can play fourths/eight/... notes as long as they're not offbeat. So I guess I just have to practice those offbeat rhythms now.

Thanks,
Jonas



Hi Jonas,

I will try to write you some offbeat examples so you can focus on them. How does that sound ?

Thanks

Pedja

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29a
Jan 26 2009, 05:34 PM
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QUOTE (Pedja Simovic @ Jan 17 2009, 01:42 PM) *
Hi Jonas,

I will try to write you some offbeat examples so you can focus on them. How does that sound ?

Thanks

Pedja
Sorry I forgot to watch this thread. unsure.gif

Thank you for your offer, that's very kind of you. I do already have some offbeat exercises from my guitar teacher, so I don't want to bother you with that. But maybe a lesson on it would help everybody =)

But I've got good news, I'm now able to play the seek and destroy intro with a metronome.
So now I just need to work a bit more to get it really tight and fluid smile.gif

How I got it:
First thing just "playing the melody in my head" together with a metronome. That allowed my to practice the rhythm without bothering about anything else. The other thing that helped quite a bit was standing up to play it. Being able to move and really feel the beat helped a lot. The rest was just practice. So maybe that help's somebody with similar struggles.

Thanks everybody,
Jonas

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