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Playing Ahead of the beat

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(@kevinbatchelor77)
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Joined: 14 years ago
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I have been playing guitar for one year and I have issues playing ahead of the beat. I practice 2 hours a day with a drum machine but still have not been able to correct this problem. Does anyone have any tips or is this something that just takes time?


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(@dogbite)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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listen to alot of Rolling Stones. Keith Richards is a great behind the beat player.

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(@kevinbatchelor77)
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Topic starter  

Thanks for the tip. Have you seen anyone with this problem before. Is difficult to correct?


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(@slejhamer)
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Can you count out loud to the beat? If so, try counting while playing.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


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(@clazon)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Alot of punk bands which I like apparently have the drummer playing behind the beat and I have a vague idea of what it means, but can anyone tell me precisely what it is?

"Today is what it means to be young..."

(Radiohead, RHCP, Jimi Hendrix - the big 3)


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(@slejhamer)
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We'll need Bish or another drummer to answer that properly, but I think of it as a grooving, swinging blues "feel." Instead of playing right on the beat, it's more like "one, a-two, three, a-four." There's a slight delay between the kick and the snare, or so I've been told, but it's also related to where the bass player is as well. If the bassist is walking right on the beat, then the drummer might swing a bit. Listen to SRV's "Cold Shot" as an example.

The substitute drummer in our church praise band plays behind the beat almost all the time, and it sounds very bad in most instances, IMHO.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


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 Bish
(@bish)
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Hmmm, not sure what I can add as I'm not sure I understand the original poster.

Are you trying to play ahead of the beat? Are you finding yourself getting ahead of the beat?

In most cases, you shouldn't have to be forcing yourself to keep time. If you aren't feeling the "magic" at some point, you may want to rethink your approach to music or at least guitar. Maybe focus on a percussion instrument to find the "groove" in each song. Keeping time shouldn't be a task or it can take away from the music you are trying to produce.

I suggest you install some recording software with click track functions and start a click track and play along to that with whatever you feel like playing. Record two or three minutes, then go back and listen to it. Erase and do it again until you start to feel the tempo of the click track. At this point you now have two options. Record a different part over the top to further lock in the "feel" of that tempo or change up the speed and continue adding to the piece.

When you are comfortable with that speed, then change it up by 10 bps either faster or slower. Repeat until you start to feel the groove coming to you with a variety of songs. You've got to feel the tempo at some time. You cannot force it.

Bish

"I play live as playing dead is harder than it sounds!"


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(@kevinbatchelor77)
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Topic starter  

Thanks for all the input, my problem is that as I am playing it sounds and feels as if it is on beat, but I do a recording with garageband and I hear that I am playing directly before the beat and not right on. I figure eventually I will get it, but was just looking for tips.


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(@kevinbatchelor77)
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Yes, at some points I am dead on the beat but I find my self playing ahead at times.


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(@medarrah)
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Joined: 14 years ago
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I dont know if anybody else said this yet or not (I didnt really read much)
But I listen to the song, and count out the beats. So when I play on my own, I just kinda tap out the beat with my foot.


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(@goodvichunting)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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Could it be that the piece is played at a speed which is beyond your current level of comfort ?
If so then perhaps you are subconsciously trying to get ahead of the beat to compensate.

Or it could be as simple as really listening to the piece to get the correct feel for it.

Vic

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(@purple)
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Someone mentioned the magic of not keeping the beat and just feeling it. At 1 year, you are still fairly new and that will come in time.
So I say relax, stop anticipating... Sometimes I get so excited I can play something, I just want to fly and can't wait for the beat, well maybe not fly at my speed but certainly play it as fast as I can with out making repeated mistakes. Slow the song down to slower than it should be and then speed it back up. Tap your foot is a good one too.

Someone was asking about behind the beat playing... If you want behind the beat, listen to John Bonham's drumming especially on When the Levee Breaks. You can feel him holding back. I think that's what sucks you into the song. It gives you that unsatisfied/yearning feeling that makes you want to hear more - If only he would hit his drums on that beat!

It's not easy being green.... good thing I'm purple.


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(@demoetc)
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Thanks for all the input, my problem is that as I am playing it sounds and feels as if it is on beat, but I do a recording with garageband and I hear that I am playing directly before the beat and not right on. I figure eventually I will get it, but was just looking for tips.

If it sounds like you're playing ahead of the beat, all the way through the recording, maybe it's an issue with your recording setup. Some sort of latency issue?


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(@gnease)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Thanks for all the input, my problem is that as I am playing it sounds and feels as if it is on beat, but I do a recording with garageband and I hear that I am playing directly before the beat and not right on. I figure eventually I will get it, but was just looking for tips.

If it sounds like you're playing ahead of the beat, all the way through the recording, maybe it's an issue with your recording setup. Some sort of latency issue?

+1 on this. you may be monitoring the wrong way through your recording setup. I don't use Garageband, but my Presonus hardware provides a compensated monitoring signal from the PC back through the interface to correct for this very problem. Most PC recording interfaces provide the same these days. At the very least, there should be a place to dial in some latency correction.

To check out your timing: Get another recorder with a mike (cassette, memo taker ... even your PC-but with mic) and record yourself playing with a drum track or song played through speakers and captured by the recording mic along with your playing. This ensures both will be captured as you play/hear them. Listen to that to diagnose your issue. Sounds good? -- it's your Garageband setup. Sucks? -- you've got work to do.

If all of the above is too much trouble, then do a simpler recording with Garageband where your entire performance is simply tapping out the beat over the backing track. You should be able to do that on the beat, right? Then have a listen.

-=tension & release=-


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(@matteo)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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if I understood correctly it seems that you can not play on time with a recording because you tend to accelerate the speed of your playing, so after a while you change a chord before the recording

if this is the problem, you should play the classic exercises to learn to play steadily:

a) tap your foot along the click of a metronome or of any recording;
b) play a simple strummin pattern with a recording or metronome and always tapping your foot
c) try some more complex patterns alongside metronome always tapping your foot etc

Also when you learn rhythm the best thing to do is to free your fretting hand of any trouble and so play the new rhythm with a simple progression you're very comfortable with (i.e. I train with sixteen notes patterns with a simple Em/D/C/D progression) or also, even better, muting your strings

hope it makes sense

cheers

Matteo


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