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Timing Archives

Playing Ahead or Behind the Beat
Ask Damian Erskine

Playing Ahead or Behind the Beat

Q: I hear people talk about playing “behind the beat” of “ahead of the beat”. How can I work on that? A: I call this micro-timing. I think that phrase helps because many students I have tend to overdo it when they play intentionally behind or ahead of the beat. It is a very subtle difference, and you have to...

Exercises for Improving Time
Ask Damian Erskine

Exercises for Improving Time

Q: What are some good exercises or practice routines to develop a strong sense of time? A: When I want to work on time, rhythm or technique, I think “What would a drummer do”? There are any number of ways to develop that internal clock. Here are a few ideas for you: 1. Playing Along. One of the most fun...

Improving Your Time and Feel on Bass
Ask Damian Erskine

Improving Your Time and Feel on Bass

Q: I’ve been having some trouble with time. I can keep time and play in time with a metronome or with drummers I know well, but when I play with other drummers who are a little more ahead of me, it’s harder for me to keep time. It happens too when I’m playing Latin music. What do you recommend? A:...

Triplets: A How To Guide to Timing and Practice
Ask Damian Erskine

Triplets: A How To Guide to Timing and Practice

Q: Can you give me some exercises to play with a triplet feel? I’d also love a comparision of how the division is different from a binary feel. A: Simply put: A triplet is kind of like shifting the time where you can fit three notes in the space of two: A half-note triplet is when you fit three half...

Rhythm Series: Improving Your Time
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Rhythm Series: Improving Your Time

Having good “time,” or sense of pulse, is an essential skill for all musicians and bassists in particular. So much of what we do is reliant upon having a solid, steady and accurate pulse. In fact, I find a highly developed sense of time to be as important as a highly developed sense of pitch, perhaps more so. Ideally, of...