why americans have bad riddim'

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by fraublugher, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. "To keep the beat, you'd want to forego country, rock, pop and even simple jazz typically performed in piano bars, Hannon told LiveScience. And painful as it might be, you'd also need to skip elevator music, the Barney song, and even that old favorite, 'Wheels on the Bus.'"...

    So jazz with simple time signatures makes it harder for us to recognize beats? And babies looking away from screens determining the rhythmic capabilities of the average American? Even Cornell can produce junk science. In any case, I'm sure that bassists are pretty much out of the norm anyways.
  2. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Interesting concept. The flip side to that research, seems to be the idea of a "critical period" in brain development, when the nerve cells are trying to find their targets and make their connections. The evidence from studies into "critical periods" in auditory development tells us that once the brain is "locked in" to a certain equilibrium, it's very hard for it to let go. Once those connections are formed, they're there forever.

    The Hein-Held experiments are germane. They were investigating critical periods in the visual system of kittens (which seems to happen when they're around six weeks old). When one puts horizontal goggles on a kitten during this period, so its visual system can only get "horizontal" information, the kitten may end up being very good at running a maze, but it won't be able to climb stairs. Ever. It just can't "process" the vertical information, 'cause that possibilitly got lost when its synapses formed.

    The human brain though, seems to be much more advanced than a kitten's. Our brains have "critical periods" that last our entire lives. NASA did lots of experiments with goggles and astronauts. If you put an inverting goggle on an astronaut, the human brain eventually comes to "understand" the inversion of the visual input. Initially, the subject can't even point to an item in the visual field. But after three days, he can walk around, grab a glass of water, that kind of thing.

    The suggestion I'm hearing, based on the original post, and based on this context, is that rhythm is an "advanced" feature of the human experience. In other words, dogs, cats, and so on, can't really comprehend music.

    That's an interesting concept, when you think about it. Does anyone know any animals out there that can keep a beat? :)
  3. That's an interesting concept, it also makes sense with the idea of the more different music you listen to, the more wide yor musical palette as a player will be.

    But I don't think this is just for americans, thats BS IMO, here in spain, the country of flamenco, which has several complex rythm patterns worth investigating, there are people (not musicians) who couldn't keep the beat for their lives.

    I think it all dependes on innate talent, external influences when you are a baby developing your brain, and of course further influences and a lot of hard work when you grow up.

    Then how would they explain the great amount of marvellous North american musicians out there?
  4. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    i agree , talent will only take you as far as ....a baby.
    you have to work at it , like randy brecker said more or less " it takes 12 hours to practise for 8 hours , it's an all day thing"

    and programing will allways be evil in my opinion no matter what the format . too much of anything is like the ironic punishment division of hell.
    the exception being the oxymoron "too much mozart"
  5. Hey fraublugher, I noticed something really funny: you're Canadian. Had you actually read every word in the article, and not just the short ones, you would likely have noticed that the study was conducted in Canada and included Americans and Canadians. The headline refers to Americans because the Internet is dominated by Americans, not because the study only showed that Americans have trouble with complex rhythms. It would then appear that, you being a Canadian, babies are also > you.
  6. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    i wasnt being patriotic , and canada was part of north america last time i checked. ;)
  7. Yes, I actually realize that Canada is part of North America. I only live 2 hours away from the Great White North. It just seemed unfair that you aimed your posts at Americans.... unless you consider everyone in North America to be an American. In that case, I take it all back.
  8. glnflwrs


    Jan 25, 2005
    Hesperia, CA
    My cockatiel whistles the theme to the Andy Griffith Show
    (Mayberry RFD) while I play the rythm guitar part. Ole Dandybird does it quite well.

    Also whistles Washington Post March and 76 Trombones although not as well as Mayberry RFD.

    True as true gets.
  9. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA

    That is too cool! Does your cockatiel do it "in rhythm"?
  10. waxcomb


    Jun 29, 2003
    Martinez, CA
    I heard that Americans want their children to be independent and have them walk on their own as soon as possible. In other countries, babies are carried on their mother's hips and they get rhythm from the sway of the mother's hips while she walks.
  11. Perfect-Tommy


    Mar 28, 2004
    What happens if the mother has one leg longer then the other? Can you only grow up to play syncopated beat patterns?

  12. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Easy dude. Look, clearly he was joking. Now, I understand this was a grevious shot at your ability as a musician to keep time (of course saying that a baby could do a better job) and you have every right to defend against this claim and stick it to that wishy-washy, "I'm better 'casue I'm on top" Canadian, but dude. IT WAS A JOKE.

    Also, I'm going to take the time to point out that much of the post above is also a joke.

    All of that said...I always knew those damn dirty Americans had rotten rhythm. Must be why Rush and Yes had to set the par for those bunk prog bands like Dream Theatre -- and DT's even got a Canadian in the group!
  13. Andre_gt7


    Jan 4, 2005
    Atlanta - GA

  14. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer

  15. The Beast

    The Beast

    Jul 19, 2004
    Evil Town
    Ive heard stuff like this before...Its not North America though, basically North America and Western Europe, where most of the music we are exposed to takes its roots. Basically, all of are "normal" music in 4/4 or 3/4, so we are ingrained to recognize that, and without any formal music training thats about the extent of North American/Western European musical comprehension. However, in Eastern Europe, where they groove to 17/16, or South America and Africa with wicked syncopations, The average citezen recognizes and understands those beats because they grew up to them.

    Sorry if I rambled (or if my info is incorrect)...I just find this stuff fascinating. :rolleyes:


    Jan 25, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    I have to exclude Mexico (which is part of North America) from this discussion of no rhythm. The rest of North American music (by popularity) is predominated by guitar...which is, by definition, a rhythmless instrument compared to drums or bass guitar.

    I take exception to the North Americans = no rhythm issue, though. I was born here, but the music I grew up on didn't have wailing guitar solos, I didn't play "air guitar" (air drums, though), etc. As such it's easy for me (and probably you as bassists) to pick out syncopation and other non-standard time sigs. A clear example is watching kids listening to music....not all of 'em clap on 1 and 3....and that includes Canadians.
  17. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Which "definition" of guitar says it's an instrument without rhythm? :confused:

    That makes no sense, whatsoever.


    Jan 25, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    What I'm speaking of is how a lead guitar typically floats along the rhythm created by drums, bass, and (yes) rhythm guitar. Leads usually don't hold the groove, rather, they accentuate/explore melodic tonalites that complement what everyone else is doing.

    Sorry if I confused you.