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How do I fix my inaccurate perception of reality?

Tornado

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I've been recording everything and listening back critically to analyze what went well, and what didn't. I will often hear things that sound off, but I don't recall it sounding that way during the performance or rehearsal. Sometimes after going over it I realize it's other players rushing something that makes me sound late or something like that, but it's as often my fault as someone else's. Mostly timing related problems, two notes too close together, a 16th that was more swung than straight, coming out of a fill too fast, etc. So I can obviously be mindful of that section the next time around, but if I don't hear it, what can I do? Is it just a momentary lapse in concentration? Like, if I had been paying more close attention, would I have heard it? I thought I was paying close attention though? This is obviously something I want to fix...but I'm not sure how to go about addressing the root of the problem, or even sure of what the root of the problem actually is. My hyper-awareness (bordering on neuroticism) about this stuff is a relatively recent thing...is it just a matter of time before I hear the improvements I want to make? What I'd like to hear is, "do these exercises every day for 3 months and your problem will go away like magic", but I doubt it's that simple.
 

bpaluzzi

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The biggest thing I've found to help is recording yourself ALL the time. Doesn't need to be a full multi-mic set up -- even just a phone camera will work for this. It's not for critical listening of the drum sounds, it's for critical listening of the drum performance. When you listen back, try and find one particular thing that you want to improve. Don't try to fix everything at once -- find the most "annoying" bit of a recording and pledge to fix it the next time around.
 

JDA

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I'd have to put you inside same Room as myself
and just see how steady your time is.

Just on a practice (2 of em) pad
doing Sixteenths and seeing where when if
somebody who ever falls off

1st

You can't do this alone
what I'm saying

drive your self &*( nuts or whatever

No pro in your gd town? old timers (well not that old...
 

KCJazz

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I think playing along to recordings, regardless of your age or ability, helps develop your time. It was a big part of my learning process. Playing along with jazz greats, for example, helps you develop a good feel and advances your conception of rhythm (i.e., what is hip). Art Blakey and his great sidemen don't seem to mind if I tag along. But, the more styles, the better.
 

Houndog

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I think playing along to recordings, regardless of your age or ability, helps develop your time. It was a big part of my learning process. Playing along with jazz greats, for example, helps you develop a good feel and advances your conception of rhythm (i.e., what is hip). Art Blakey and his great sidemen don't seem to mind if I tag along. But, the more styles, the better.
I don’t think that helps ……
You are depending on that drummer .
It’s a different story when it’s just you and a band ……..
 

TPC

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Sometimes you can pay too MUCH attention while playing. I know was/is a thing with me. I try to micro-compensate for slight differences in the time between me and the bass player (or whoever), while the music would've been much better served if I just relaxed and played what I thought was smooth time throughout.

Work with a metronome, get confident in your time, then relax in the moment.
 

KCJazz

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I don’t think that helps ……
You are depending on that drummer .
It’s a different story when it’s just you and a band ……..
I have to disagree. You are playing with musicians whose sense of time is likely way in advance of your own. It rubs off. But, you should hit drumming from many angles.
 

Tornado

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Ever notice that you know all the words to a song until you have to sing it without the recording???

I think the same thing applies to developing time with records ….

I think that's one possible outcome for sure. You can definitely THINK you're doing it, but pull away the record, and whatever you're doing AIN'T IT.

Something that I think has helped me tremendously recently though is really focusing my ear on either how play matches up with record or how things line up with the metronome. It's a lot harder to hear recorded drum parts wile you play though. It's kind of weird to think about, but if I focus on "hearing" what I want to come out instead of "playing" it, it's like 200% better. I should know that, I guess. If I think about locking phase with a line of snare drummers playing double stroke rolls, that's kind of the same thing using your ear to really lock it in. That's a pretty intense area of focus that I haven't really exercised in a lot of years. For example, I was hearing some flamming between kick and hats that was making the time a tad wobbly at times. In the moment, I wasn't really hearing it, but after I decided for focus on actually "hearing" them land together rather than just "hitting" them together, it was an instant fix. Keeping that in mind all night is easier said than done though.
 

KCJazz

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You also noted that irregularities can arise from other band members actions which can present their own set of problems. You can't necessarily enforce good time from the drumset. We had a video recently of Kiss' drummer throwing everything off.
 

pgm554

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Amusing Steve Gadd story courtesy of Gary Katz that I find appropriate.
Katz was in NYC doing the final mixdown for AJa.

He heard that Gadd was just down the hall doing a session with Michael Franks.

He called Gadd in to have a listen to the mix and Gadd asked who the drummer was.
Katz said it's you, to which he replied,I'm a bad [email protected]@@@!

You drum in the moment and move on.
 

Houndog

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I have to disagree. You are playing with musicians whose sense of time is likely way in advance of your own. It rubs off. But, you should hit drumming from many angles.
Well , it sure didn’t rub off on me ……
Playing along to a metronome is different than records .
I can’t explain how .

I used a beat bug on every gig for over a year , now that really helped ..
I got to where I could count in every song at the right tempo and it taught me what it feels like to hold it together on my own .
That bandleader knew her timing and was very particular.
Once I got the beat bug her and I never had a discussion again .
 

Seb77

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One intense learning experience I had was a masterclass in free improv.
We didn't play one bit of regular meter, but the listening while playing part was huge, and it should apply to meter and time as well. One idea was to imagine a "listening entity" outside the ensemble, equidistant from each player, and then imagining taking this place, while playing.
With that image, I could distance myself from my playing, my position, and listen to everyone, including myself, equally. I heard my part within the music, and I think I listened(almost) the same as when I would not play, either listening to others or myself on playback.

With metric music, this can happen, too. However sometimes there's rushing and dragging from others, and it might be the drummer's job to keep things on track. I then focus more on myself, but with the same priority to listening over playing. No force or judgement, just having a clear idea of what the time is, and following that rather than the dragging or rushing around you.
 

Tornado

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One intense learning experience I had was a masterclass in free improv.
We didn't play one bit of regular meter, but the listening while playing part was huge, and it should apply to meter and time as well. One idea was to imagine a "listening entity" outside the ensemble, equidistant from each player, and then imagining taking this place, while playing.
With that image, I could distance myself from my playing, my position, and listen to everyone, including myself, equally. I heard my part within the music, and I think I listened(almost) the same as when I would not play, either listening to others or myself on playback.

With metric music, this can happen, too. However sometimes there's rushing and dragging from others, and it might be the drummer's job to keep things on track. I then focus more on myself, but with the same priority to listening over playing. No force or judgement, just having a clear idea of what the time is, and following that rather than the dragging or rushing around you.

I think that makes sense. It's kind of in the same train of thought I had earlier, kind of becoming your own impartial observer where (hopefully) hearing becomes reality. I just need to be able to trust that guy, not sure I'm fully there, I think he's a liar sometimes.
 

Steech

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Ever notice that you know all the words to a song until you have to sing it without the recording???

I think the same thing applies to developing time with records ….
THIS ^^
 

toddbishop

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First put the recording away for however long it takes you to forget what you were trying to do, and then listen and see if it still sounds bad.

Otherwise you can make timing awareness your whole job-- so 100% of the notes you play state the time. No cruising along absently playing by feel. Know the combined rhythm you're playing, of all your limbs together, and state it accurately.
 

Steech

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I think that makes sense. It's kind of in the same train of thought I had earlier, kind of becoming your own impartial observer where (hopefully) hearing becomes reality. I just need to be able to trust that guy, not sure I'm fully there, I think he's a liar sometimes.
I feel your pain.
I record myself, get really humbled, and then go back and play through the same problem areas *really really slowly* for 8-10 bars and record that. Lather rinse repeat.

Then I turn on Benny Greg’s BeatGap app on my iPhone and do the same thing but I can’t record that cause I’m already using my phone.

You can also watch the 80/20 drummer’s video where he talks about lockup, but I realize that he’s a bit of an acquired taste, so YMMV.
 

Pat A Flafla

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A long time ago I was pushing my chops on rudimental drumming with a super loud McAdams met in a band hall (it was some sort of advanced hybrid rudiment spree). I noticed that when I stopped playing the met seemed to speed up. Obviously it stayed the same but I was percsivng more space in a second under mental load than when my brain was at rest. In a sense, my mental/aural bitrate has a habit of increasing/deepening when under intense focus. I'm now aware that I'm subject to rushing when my focus deepens, i.e. on the hard parts.

Regarding the swing thing: that's probably a fault in your division/subdivision perception/mechanics and a metronome will most likely cure it.

Regarding beat-level tempo fluctuations: knowing your tendencies and adjusting accordingly helps a lot.

A common rushing remediation is, "Think of the space between the notes." Sure, that can help, but knowing your tendencies as they pertain to different drumming situations is key. It sucks to divorce your emotions from your playing, but I've found that selectively doing so in a strategic manner is necessary for me when The Big Fill (TM) comes up.

If rushing or dragging feel normal to you in certain situations, then you should avoid the comfortable feeling, pause heart mode, and engage brain mode.
 

Houndog

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I was practicing “ extreme “ dynamics years doing single stroke roll soft as possible to hard …..
When you get louder it sounds like you sped it up ……
 

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I tell my students and friends that the best way to listen is as a musician. Meaning that l learn the guitar/piano/bass/vocal melody all before l ever concentrate on learning the drums or creating a part. I do this for covers as well. Learn the main riff/horn line/vocal chorus and really get that tempo ingrained in your head. It really makes you hear and anticipate better. Plus, if you know the phrasing of the vocals you will start to do this method faster and with original music it makes you compose the right part yourself for tracking purposes. Think Gadd's, "the 1 doesn't come that fast" and you will be better on fills. Plus the simplifying of said parts really helps the rhythm section, horns and backing singers. 3 dimensional thinking and hearing or listening really helped me on my road with that. Good luck.
 

Tornado

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It sucks to divorce your emotions from your playing, but I've found that selectively doing so in a strategic manner is necessary for me when The Big Fill (TM) comes up.

That can be hard to do sometimes. Something I tend to do is play The Big Fill louder than the rest of the song, which is so cringey to hear back. A lot of this stuff is things most people wouldn't notice or care about, but it kills me to hear it.
 


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