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tempo pushing/pulling

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I play every tuesday night at a jam, house band.    And the guitarist plays on top.  Always.  He doesn't always rush, only sometimes.   But he's always ahead of my beat, on top of the time.  or MY time.


What I've been thinking about is the idea of casting a wider net, to play a bigger, broader, wider beat or groove that both allows him to be ahead of me, and allows me to lay back as well.

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    Member since May 2000

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When I started playing big band jazz coming from an orchestral background, I had to change two things:

1. Instead of following a conductor and the orchestra, I had to set and keep the time myself and let the band follow me. Following them led to dragging.

2. I had to stay on top of the beat. If I played in the pocket, the big band would invariably slow down. That's why it's called "drivin' the bus."
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    A Piper at the Gates of Dawn

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Complicated by how many members are in the band. Truth is, everyone has to have the time down. It's just an essential part of musicianship. Perfect? No, not possible. But if you're a professional this needs to be addressed. If you're an amateur, you either address the issue or stop claiming to be a professional. The metronome idea is smart. And no one should be immune to criticism. If you're too polite to help the music get better, then you're a social player who isn't putting the music first. Musicians are multitaskers. Obviously the rhythm section needs to be locked in. This can be a problem. Make sure you're not the culprit. Sometimes its easier for one player to cause the band to rush than it is for the band to keep the rusher from rushing. The tail can wag the dog if the dog doesn't stay steady!


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