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My Time article
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barbequebob
3664 posts
Dec 20, 2021
10:17 AM
Here's a link to the updated version of my article that I wrote about why the learning time is so very important for harp players and something that should never really be ignored:

Time
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Sincerely,
Barbeque Bob Maglinte
Boston, MA
http://www.barbequebob.com
CD available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/bbmaglinte
STME58
2093 posts
Dec 20, 2021
12:15 PM
Nice article with some helpful information. It would pair well with some information on the Dunning Kruger effect. I see the effect described in your article even though it is not mentioned by name.
John M G
448 posts
Dec 20, 2021
3:32 PM
I always want to improve my playing.
Sometime back I asked a local guitar player teacher of note if I could come for some lessons with him, I wanted to know if I was up to standard and also wanted to play with him. It was fun.
He liked my musical ideas, but said I should practice more with a metronome. Initially it shook me, but I really try and listen these days and work on my time skills.
Great article Bob
rbeetsme
1732 posts
Dec 21, 2021
8:00 AM
I thought it was going to be in Time magazine. Great stuff, as usual.
barbequebob
3665 posts
Dec 21, 2021
9:20 AM
@rbeetsme -- When I posted this on Facebook, someone had mistaken it as being published by Time Magazine, which is not true and I've never dealt with them for anything. LOL

One of the most important reasons for the article is to get rid of the constant misinformation being constantly parroted at many open jams and also the explode classic myths and lies too many harp players (and most jammers for that matter regardless of what instrument they play) buy into and there are plenty of real whoppers, to say the least.

Obviously, it's a lengthy read but getting your time straightened out isn't something that spending thousands of dollars on gear will ever help improve upon and something that will take time, woodshedding, patience, and perseverance to get right. I've met a number of classical musicians who play a variety of instruments over the years and part of their non stop work and practice habits is the constant working on their time.
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Sincerely,
Barbeque Bob Maglinte
Boston, MA
http://www.barbequebob.com
CD available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/bbmaglinte
nacoran
10383 posts
Dec 21, 2021
12:02 PM
A drummer friend of mine used to talk about something he called 'folk time'. He told me a story about a friend of his who sang and played guitar and while his guitar and vocals were in time with each other he sped up and slowed down to fit the emotion of the song. My friend said it worked well for him- as long as he was only playing by himself. He couldn't play with a band to save his life.

I know when I'm playing by myself I do that a bit too. I think I'm pretty decent at staying in time with the band though, at least once I know a song. My brain seems to run out of bandwidth sometimes when I'm trying to learn something live. I have a couple songs that I deliberately speed up each verse. One of them the guitar player taps the new beat before each verse which seems to keep the audience in the loop. I've actually got a complaint about the other one though... they said it was hard to dance to. It really does have to speed up but I think I need to figure out a better way to indicate to the audience that each verse is at a different tempo.

One thing I don't see get talked about enough and that I see happening in a lot of new players first posts is even more basic than keeping a steady beat, it's not using a consistent measure length. It's one thing to play in 15/8 deliberately, but until you can follow a pattern like that you need to stick to fairly simple measures and you have to feel the bars and strong beats. Maybe you don't nail them with perfect tempo right away but you have to have a sense that you are playing measures.

Nice article. :)

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Nate
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First Post- May 8, 2009
jbone
3414 posts
Dec 21, 2021
3:39 PM
My long time guitar partner and I had struggles with this early on. It can still pop up as an issue sometimes. I admit I was one of "those guys" who over depended on whoever I was on stage with for a long time, to set the pace and keep the groove going. I think if you step up and lead a band, do vocals, pick material, and you rehearse with your mates, you will either develop better habits or not get too far.
I am open to continuing to work on this as I have time and opportunity, as Bob says, I doubt the job is ever finished.
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barbequebob
3666 posts
Dec 22, 2021
9:05 AM
@nacoran --- Having any tune changing tempos at every verse without it being very tightly rehearsed, especially if the groove will continually slow down or speed up, for 98% of audiences, it's a big, fat kiss of death big time and renders any groove horribly undanceable. If there was a well rehearsed stop time happening before it happens and then you announce faster or slower, an audience may be able to catch on but without that, for any audience, the groove will always come sounding like a horrible, undanceable disaster. It may be OK in an open jam where audiences tend to have fairly low expectations of the majority of jammers, but on a paid pro gig, that's an immediate death sentence for any band regardless of genre. It's far better to have a consistent groove where there are no tempo changes regardless of band dynamics than something like every verse speeding up or slowing down because not only does it make any groove undanceable, it will also bore audiences do death as well.
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Sincerely,
Barbeque Bob Maglinte
Boston, MA
http://www.barbequebob.com
CD available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/bbmaglinte
nacoran
10384 posts
Dec 22, 2021
12:48 PM
The way we handled it was there was a 3 beat pause between each verse and the guitar player tapped the new beat on the side of his acoustic. It was a sort of Irish jig. The audience seemed to like it.

The other one I only ever performed alone. It was a sort of chugging klezmer on a Low D. Lots of songs get faster. I agree, you have to do it in a way that the audience stays with you. I've seen lots of folk songs where the songs speed up and slow down in the service of the lyrics. It's fairly easy to do that when it's just one performer. It has to fit the song though. You are right, you absolutely have to be able to hold a steady beat, but you can have fun with the rhythm too, if you only do it occasionally. Speeding up a song can give it a sense of urgency- but it's like a special effect- it's good when used in moderation but gets annoying if you overdo it. In classical you even have notation for speeding up and slowing down, but most classical numbers are longer so you need more tricks for variation.

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Nate
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First Post- May 8, 2009
barbequebob
3667 posts
Dec 23, 2021
10:06 AM
I'm more than well aware of tempo changes even in classical music but with that audience, outside of waltzes, you're living on the verge of having a badly messed up groove and losing the audience when it's something that is outside of the classical music audience. You gotta be super careful with that or it can sink you pretty quickly because it can seem to be a bad groove mess up if you're not.
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Sincerely,
Barbeque Bob Maglinte
Boston, MA
http://www.barbequebob.com
CD available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/bbmaglinte
STME58
2094 posts
Dec 24, 2021
12:02 PM
Tempo changes are tough for any group, but they seem hardest for medium sized groups too small to have a conductor. It does take some rehearsal and having a dedicated person to lead the change. In brass quintets I have been in, this is the lead trumpet typically. A group I was in before the pandemic broke us up had about 8 musicians and tempos changes were really hard to get right. Using a metronome in rehearsal helped.
STME58
2095 posts
Dec 24, 2021
12:06 PM
I have been doing some multi track recordings lately, and it really brings the timing problems to light. No mater which track has the problem, its all me and I have to get it fixed. Audacity is a free program one can do this with. Lay down a groove on one track and see if you can plat to it the next time around. Having the recording really helps you pinpoint problems to work on.
nacoran
10385 posts
Dec 24, 2021
1:51 PM
STME58, yeah, it's easy for one person to do it, or for a group with a conductor. Basically our group used the guitar player to set the rhythm. If you want to do it you need to have someone controlling the tempo for everyone.



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Nate
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First Post- May 8, 2009


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