December 19, 2012

Why You Must Always Keep Time When You Play in a Group | Music Lesson Tips

Why You Must Always Keep Time When You Play in a Group

Submitted: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - 9:33pm
Ney Mello in concert with Scott Ambush and Sean Rickman at Blues Alley, Wshington, DC
The need to be able to never depend on anyone for the time keeping in a group and of course when playing solo.

"The drummer or percussionist in your group is not there to keep time for you or anyone else. He or she, is there with his intrument to add beauty, drama, and color to the music" -Ney Mello

Knowing a rhythm is being able to play it without counting and without trying to play it right. The instant you "try" you're dead. So one has to practice this:

Absolute familiarity with the rhythm.

Not counting it
Not thinking about it

Just being so familiiar that it becomes second walking without counting steps and without trying to lift the legs perfectly and without thryng to not lose balance and fall.

The only difference between you and me in rhythm is that I am so familiar with the rhythms i play I don't think about. I just let my body do it and "stay out of it!" Stay out of the way.....I don't try to do anything but express a feel that cannot be expressed in technical jargon or musical notation.

The sense of time must also be practiced so that you can play the time (or keep the time) and play the rhythms on top of the time, all at once and without thinking either. A low grade musician can only play in time if he/she has a drummer, drum machine, or a percussionist to use as a crutch.

Drummers..etc... are playing that instrument to add drama and color to the group, and not there to serve as mere human metronomes.

That is still at the level of craft and not art. To get to the level of art, you have to feel or experience a scene and let your body do it. You don't do it. Your body does it...if it is prepared at the level of craft ( technique)

What you need to remember is that musical performance is no place for thinking about it...It is instead a place to express what thought cannot express....That is why we need music in the first place. If we go to the intellect for can't help us... It is way beyond it's powers. Yet we can use intellect while we practice to get familiar with the music and it's rhythms.