Feel kind of stupid asking this...

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by Marshall Stack, Dec 3, 2021.

  1. Marshall Stack

    Marshall Stack Well-Known Member

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    Let me preface my question though. When I played in a band for the first time (90's), I had to learn a lot of songs quickly. The challenge was when to change the parts. Most of the times it was feel but bands like Stone Temple Pilots didn't follow the normal pattern. I would key off the lyrics or on some songs, I would wait for his high note.

    Now I'm writing songs and I have trouble counting the measures. I try visualizing the number really big like from Sesame Street.

    Any tips?. I know some people count 1,234, 2,234, 3,324 4,424 but that doesn't work for me.I guess I get lost in my head or just lose focus.
     
  2. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    Do you read musical notation? If so, then I suggest you get a musical notation software package, like Sibelius, which will help out a LOT as you learn to use it.
     
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  3. Marshall Stack

    Marshall Stack Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately I don't. I learned it as a teenager but that was a long time ago. I was never quick in it unless the key was C. If I did know that would be a great idea.
     
  4. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    got a solid metronome?
     
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  5. Sapient

    Sapient   Silver Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Timing is one of those things where one can be ..real bad with it. I'm one of those too.
    I regret not practicing with a metronome or playing along with anything that
    involved time when I learned - I was basically a jammer that didn't play along
    to records either.

    Use a metronome if you can from here on out. When you play you'll always have
    an association with time in the back of your mind. I've jammed with dudes that
    no matter what they did you could see they were playing it to a time ..whatever.

    Try to develop that as anything else that you associate with an instrument.
     
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  6. AtomicRob

    AtomicRob Well-Known Member

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    You have to feel it without consciously thinking the numbers. Practice counting in your head all the time until it’s second nature. If you’re walking, count your steps in groups of 4. If you’re just sitting there tapping you foot, count it. If the clock on the wall is ticking, count it. And most importantly when you’re just listening to music, not playing, count it! Soon you won’t count 1-2-3-4, 2-2-3-4 but more like just 1- - - 2- - - and you just feel the measures. Then you feel groups of measures, like you just know that 8 measures have gone by.

    Eventually you’ll get annoyed because you’ll just be trying to chill and listen to some tunes but the musical part of your brain will still be counting and tracking the structure of the songs. Then you know it’s second nature…
     
  7. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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  8. saxon68

    saxon68 Well-Known Member

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    I don’t count generally, I go off feel except wierd parts like Barracuda or endings that don’t have cues like a lead out or vocal part and have a sudden end to the song. Barracuda being an example again, or immigrant song.
     
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  9. TXOldRedRocker

    TXOldRedRocker Lech-rechaun Gold Supporting Member

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    Maybe having a drummer will help? Practicing and writing. (I have one of these.)

     
  10. Marshall Stack

    Marshall Stack Well-Known Member

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    It isn't the beat (I should have been more clear) but the number of lines in a verse. My songs don't have lyrics and I'm using a Trio + for bass and drum accompaniment.

    I do have a Boss Dr. Beat that I use all of the time. I also got an old style one that is more pleasing to the ears but is hard to dial in a precise bpm or complex beat.
     
  11. Marshall Stack

    Marshall Stack Well-Known Member

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    I can do what you are saying to a song that I know since I know and feel where the changes are. I use a Trio + and I have to teach it the song. I have to count the number of chord progressions to teach it and then also to lay down the guitar over that rhythm. My mind just wanders as I go through this process and I'll lose count.
     
  12. Marshall Stack

    Marshall Stack Well-Known Member

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    That is interesting. I use a looper (Trio +) to jam with but you can't program it; you teach it and it plays it. The Beatbuddy would really be great if you could hook it up to a monitor. It looks like it would be hard to see with my old eyes.
     
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  13. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    Can you add in some sort of change to the riffs that would help distinguish different parts of a song.
    If there are no lyrics, I imagine that could make it harder to place yourself in the song.
     
  14. TXOldRedRocker

    TXOldRedRocker Lech-rechaun Gold Supporting Member

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    There is management software for running on a PC/Mac, but I don't see where it acts as a monitor while playing. Just editing parameters of the pedal like other pedal makers such as Source Audio and such.

    https://forum.singularsound.com/t/bbmanager-1-64-video-tutorials/3973
     
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  15. Calebz

    Calebz Well-Known Member

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    Play to a click. Get a beat buddy or some drum vsts.

    If you're writing music, record everything.

    I often use drum loops and record ideas.

    Idea>Noodle around with it until I can play the basics a couple times. Tap out a bpm and record to a click or drum loops. I usually do 3 takes and keep the best two.

    This gives me an environment where I can have a verse with four measures, only to realize when the lyrics are written that there should be 6. A bit if copy/paste and I have 6 - or vise versa

    This often leaves me in a position where I end up with a completed arrangement that I now have to learn....but now I have backing tracks and maybe even some vocals to work with if I'm lucky.

    Once I learn it, I record it all again in one shot
     
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  16. mirrorman

    mirrorman Well-Known Member

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    Whether or not you have lyrics, lay down a melody that lyrics would follow if they were there. This should help you keep your place.
     
  17. Marshall Stack

    Marshall Stack Well-Known Member

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    I get the same problem. I don't have lyrics but create melody lines. I don't have a DAW at the moment so I use the Trio. It really isn't suited to editing like you said. I have to start over again and teach it the song again if I don't have enough lines.
     
  18. Marshall Stack

    Marshall Stack Well-Known Member

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    That is what I do. I might come up with a chord progression or lines and then teach the Trio with the lines. That is where the initial question comes from. I might make it 4 Bars, 8, 12, etc. For some reason (probably because I'm concentrating on not screwing up) that I forget where I'm at in the song.
     
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  19. PelliX

    PelliX Well-Known Member

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    It's not something I consciously learned, but when playing I tend to lean on one foot, then the other, alternating in bars, generally. I seem to use my eyebrows in that, too. When I found this out way back when, I started to notice similar traits in others. Tapping feet and leaning are my main methods... :shrug:

    But as pointed out earlier, metronome, backing track, MIDI clock - you need something to keep time to.
     
  20. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    I know there are no lyrics, but can you 'sing' the music, onomatopoeically.

    When I started playing guitar I read somewhere that the best way to learn a piece of music was to learn how to sing it.
    I don't mean lyrics, but the rhythm and notes of the music.

    If I could sing the music (even just in my head) that would help me know if I was playing it right or wrong and help through complicated rhythm sections.
    That could help you to keep your way through the songs you've written.

    :shrug:
     

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