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Perfect Pitch, how about Perfect Beat?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by JansenW, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. JansenW


    Nov 14, 2005
    Cambridge, MA
    Just a thought... I've read posts about Perfect Pitch, but do you have or know anyone that has Perfect Beat?

    How close can a person tap out 66 bpm, 72 bpm, 108 bpm, etc, without a metronome?

    I vary 10% or so depending upon how many shots are in my Starbucks and my stress level.
  2. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
    There's a story about Carlos Vega I've heard a couple of times from some pro drummers. They say he used to sleep with a clicking metronome device under his pillow to internalize tempos, and that it drove him crazy in the end. He blew his head off because it became impossible to live in a world that didn't align with the perfect beat he was constantly superimposing on it.

    I don't know that I believe this. It sounds a little apocryphal, but the fact remains that CV seems to have had impeccable time.

    A little trick I've found useful sometimes is mentally recalling the chorus of Kylie Minogue's disco hit "I Should Be So Lucky" - that's 126 bpm right there. Try it: http://www.studybass.com/tools/online-metronome/
  3. BassChuck

    BassChuck Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    I've worked with music directors for big acts, and musicals that could hit any tempo within a few beats.... way closer than 10%. Unlike perfect pitch this skill can be learned, it does take an effort and a little time. Take walks with a metronome set to 120bpm. Once that's in your head halfing the value or doubling it gets you pretty close to most tempos.

    Like most music skills, the first step is having a need for the skill.
  4. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    I can't remember who said this, but I remember reading an article one day about a well-known bassist. He said that when driving in his car, he loved driving through tunnels. His reasoning? When listening to a song on the radio, he'd lose the signal inside the tunnel. When he emerged at the other end, the radio would come back on. At that point, he wanted to see if the musicians on the radio had "screwed up" the timing. Now that's confidence!
  5. Tehrin Cole

    Tehrin Cole

    Mar 6, 2009
    Brooklyn,New York
    Endorsing Artist:Kustom Amplifiers
    Perfect rhythm(beat),is determined by one thing:TIME!You can't form ANY rhythm,without it! Some people have it,innately,while others have to learn it.One thing that,I try and do with students who,have a time problem,is to,first of all, have them listen to their favorite recording,...I say this because,while listening,you unconsciencely tap your foot to it,thus getting in touch with your internal clock.Secondly,I'll then,have them listen to just the drummer,...then the bassist,....then both,drums and bass.This helps them to figure out where the drummer is keeping THEIR time!Some would say,the bass drum,and the snare drum,....that's just one of the elements!However,as a bassist you want to listen to their hi-hat cymbal because,if you listen to any drummer with a good,solid beat,this is where they're keeping their time,in order to form whatever rhythm,they're playing.This also helps to define what your part is,...or should be.Another thing I like to do is to,set up rhythms on my drum machine,and have them play to it.Drum machines,simply put are,highly advanced metronomes that allow you to program rhythms,as well as,modify your various metronomes.What I,especially love about drum machines is that once you set a tempo,the time WILL NOT BUDGE!Like the bow on an upright bass,tells on you about your intonation,a drum machine will,always tell on you,about your time,...ALWAYS!I'll set it at the lowest tempo(40 bpms).When they're able to play at this tempo relaxed,and steady,I'll then,gradually raise the tempo.This takes awhile,but in the end,the dividends are enormous,as you become more aware of time,thus making any potential rhythm you play,a breeze!As a bassist,you have to focus your attention on 2 main elements,in the band:1;the drummer,and 2;whoever is carrying the melody.I say this because,your main function is to carry the rhythm,and the harmony,...in other words,your lines should sing,as well as dance,and it's you,and the drummer that,move the whole"pile",so to speak.
  6. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Masks, people, masks!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    I played with a drummer for a couple of years and while I don't know if he had "perfect time" during that time, for all our rehearsals and gigs, he never made a mistake, got off time or missed a cue, forgot a song or anything close to a screw up.
  7. BassChuck

    BassChuck Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    And think what your life would be like today had you only touched the hem of his garment.
  8. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Masks, people, masks!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    Good one.

    LOL :hyper:
  9. duff beer

    duff beer

    Dec 2, 2007
    My bass teacher gave me a good drill once he became aware of my suspect timing (during the first lesson :help: ). He gave me a CD with some prerecorded drum tracks that had silence during some bars. I eventually learned to play a simple bass line along to 1 bar of drums, followed by 3 bars of silence and be on time (mostly ;) ) when the drums came back in.

    I highly recommend that drill for anyone who is struggling with their timing.
  10. PocketGroove82


    Oct 18, 2006
    I have an ipod/iphone eartraining app. that does multiple choice questions where you guess the tempo of a click. I guess it could help conductors.
  11. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    i beat it pretty good.

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