Another exercise for developing rock-solid time

Chic Corea: Now he sings, now he sobs

Chick Corea: Now he sings, now he sobs

Developing a rock-solid, unshakable, punctilious, time feel is on the menu today (as is testing out my new thesaurus). This is an extension of a previous post: Feeling the beat: Test and improve your time feel now!. I developed this exercise to help with concentration. I began to notice that some of my students were having problems playing against counter rhythms that were unexpected, such as comping or drum hits and stops. They would often follow the foreign rhythm and get lost. I created this little play-along that is full of random stops, shots and hits. It has worked wonders for them, so I thought I would share it. The vamp is very simply Cmin7 for 2 bars then E♭min7 for 2 bars. | Cmin7 | Cmin7 | E♭min7 | E♭min7 |. Also check out Chick Corea’s album “Now he sings, now he sobs” if you want to hear remarkable time!

The Evil Time-Feel Exercise #2

I have recording gear set up all the time in my practice area. A few times a week I record myself and when the practice session is over, listen to it critically. I strongly suggest you adopt this method. You can gleam much insight to your playing that you don’t get when you are actually playing. Feel free to play chords, single lines, repeated figures etc. over this exercise…it all helps.

Here is a random recording of me playing the exercise.
Time Feel Exercise 2: Example

Now it’s your turn.
| Cmin7 | Cmin7 | E♭min7 | E♭min7 |

Remember, the changes are moving at the same rate. There are pushes and pulls, but the changes are unchanged. Try and keep your place.

Learn More

I have a bunch of other exercises that I will be posting in the future, but in the mean time here are resources for you to check out.

Good Time!: “Improve Your Time & Harmonic Awareness” (Book & 4 CDs) (Play-A-Long Series, Volume 114): This is a great play along. There are a bunch of tunes that are presented with different instrumentation. Real fun and real good for you (like bran).

The Guitarist’s Guide to Composing and Improvising Book/CD: This is perhaps one of the most creative books I have ever read. There is great information on time and how to develop it. Also much more information on chords, lines, composing ideas and everything in between. A must for any serious guitar player!

Band-in-a-Box Pro 2011: I have been using Band-in-a-Box for years. I use it to practice tunes, for composition, to create exercises for my students and for myself and about a dozen other things. Great tool to have.

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3 Responses to Another exercise for developing rock-solid time

  1. Iain Carleton says:

    I’ve just discovered your site and like it very much. Do you still have recording gear permanently set up? What do you use? Maybe you could write something about your recording process.

  2. Iain Carleton says:

    Great article and fun excersise, thanks for posting. Having a recording setup at the ready is a great tip. What’s in your set up?

    • admin says:

      Thank for the Comment Iain. I a couple of different options for recording. If I am at my desk, recording for this blog I run my guitar through a Yamaha MU80 that I have had for years. It is a synth module but has a guitar input and some basic effects. I record with proTools and use Band in a box for backing tracks. In my practice area I use a zoom Q3 or as of late, my iphone. Hope that helps. Rob

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