Originally Posted by belzebass
I have a problem when working on rhyhm. When playing, I hit relatively precisely the 1, 2, 3 or the 4 of the measure, but the subdivisions are rushed, especially the sixteents. When I try to slow down, I start dragging, but I dont seem to get a nice steady subdivision.
I've been doing all exercices slowly with the metronome on 2 and 4, just on 1 and just on 1 of every two measures. I hear myself speed up after the tick and slow down just before the next tick. I still hit the tick itself rather consistently (except "1 of every two measures" of course, I'm just starting it).
What exercices should I do for it?
You do explain the nature of the playing, you only give the problem.
Your problem falls into two very distinct areas, the physical use and the mental use.
If your problem is physical, then you are tripping over your fingers, your lack of physical co-ordination is cause you to lose time in the actual act of playing.
If it is a mental problem, it is because you are not defining the task clear in your head what you want to play.
Knowing what to play is not enough, knowing what needs to be done and actually doing it is a task of resolve, accepting and believing it has to be done this way every time is the mental process involved.
There is no mental difference between playing whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, sixteenth notes, thirty second notes, but there physical difference is a relation to a set tempo before it is ever a physical task.
For example how do we know when is a player playing slow sixteenths instead of fast eighth notes? The mental process still requires the brain to make the relationship to the timing and then pick the notes to play.
When you play a whole note you think 1-2-3-4 but you play only on the 1 and hold the note for 2-3-4. So you had to continue to think 1-2-3-4 but only puck the note once.
When you play half notes you think 1-2-3-4 but you only play on the 1 and the 3. So you play the 1 and hold it through the 2 before plucking it on the 3 and holding it through the 4. You still think 1-2-3-4 but you only plucked twice.
When you play quarter notes you think 1-2-3-4 and pluck 1-2-3-4. So you play what you count. But you still think 1-2-3-4
When you play eighth notes you count 1-2-3-4 and play each note twice, but you still think 1-2-3-4
When you play sixteenth notes you play each note four times, but you still think 1-2-3-4.
But if you change the mental relationship to the above task by counting
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & you change the relationship to the mental and the physical.
To play the previous examples using this count we need to play one beat and feel the and other till we get to the eighth notes.
It is the feeling and relationship to who the time is passing that we need to work on...not how fast it is passing.
When we play the eighth notes the task marries up the notes we feel and the notes we count, so we play the beat and the feel to get the eight notes. This gives us the physical task of playing once to what we think and feel.
This was the same mental and physical task of playing quarter notes when counting 1-2-3-4.
If the count was 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8 & the relationship changes again. The mental process is longer between what we count and what we feel, so how we pluck those notes when we play has changed....but it is still a reference to 1-2-3-4.
Those quarter notes now get pluck on the 1 3 5 7 to create the correct tempo.... and so on it goes.
We cannot think this fast, so we have to take a mental count and sub-divided it into feel, we have to feel the time passing because we cannot think or count that fast.
We learn to build a relationship of how much time has passed between the notes we play, not how fast they were played.
How fast they are played is tempo, not timing, and as I said at the start, how do we know when is a player playing slow sixteenths and not fast eighth notes?
I find the working to 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & is a great way to develop the relationship between feel and playing.
I give players the idea that in playing straight fours we think 1 & 2 & not 1-2-3-4 and 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & instead of 1-2-3-4.
The brain quickly works out what to feel and what to play because there is space within this count to feel. Also there is space to develop the count and feel aspects of it in to 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8 &.
This paves the way to counting and feeling sub-divisions using 1 & E & a 2 & E & a 3 etc because we have got used to feeling the space in what we count against.
As has been mentioned slow everything down and focus on the space between the notes passing...not the speed they pass at. When playing this slow the sub -divisions are where you put them, so after four notes it is quarters, after eight notes it is 8ths, so how fast they pass is not what you are developing (that is a tempo issue) and there relationship to a count within a beat.