When you play guitar (or bass) do you actually count out the beats in your head? Or do you play more by feel? I play more by feel (although I subconsiously tap my feet to the beat) It screws up my playing to actually count out the beat. (Like when playing 16th notes you may say 1 e and e 2 e and e....) Although, if I'm playing twelve bar blues rhythm, I do count the eighth notes.
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Last edited by guitarlord28 at Sep 3, 2009,
When i play bass and guitar i don't count it out cus my headbanging does it for me lol. But i play viola in my school orchestra and when i play that i count the beats.
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When practicing theory work or other bookwork I count out the beats out loud for new pieces but that is about all I do.

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I don't count the beats... wait, isn't that what drummers are for?
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Depends on the song, but I never count how many times I repeat something.

Edit: Interestingly I only count on simple beats, like eigth note beats. I never count on complex beats.
Last edited by sk8nalmost1394 at Sep 3, 2009,
When I'm practicing something at a slower tempo I count the beats out just to make sure I get a good feel for the riff or whatever I'm doing. But when I'm actually playing I don't. But somehow me tapping my foot, not even counting the taps, helps me keep the feel for it.
i can feel the timing, comes with time

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play by feel. unless maybe when im learning a song i havent heard, but then i tend to screw up :/
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i can feel the timing, comes with time


after a combined 10 years of playing you can feel timings perfectly pretty much every time.
Yep, I'm like most people, I think. I count it out when I'm learning a new rhythm, and I do it when practicing sometimes just to internalize it better. But when I'm playing, I don't count the time. I do, however, tap my foot, or generally groove to the beat.

On the other hand, I need to start counting out bars a bit more. I've been known to lose my place in a song if I don't count and there aren't any cues (such as from the drummer or whatever). At least when it gets a bit complicated. 12 bar blues I can do in my sleep.

As with most things in music, you break it down and think things through in the beginning (and generally when practicing). After a while, you internalize it and you don't need to do that when you're actually playing, anymore. If I had to think about all that stuff when I'm improvising, I'd never get anything done.
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After playing music since you were in 2nd grade, you kind of get most rhythms by feel. Rarely do I sit down and count it out unless it's a really tough rhythm (really stop and go or dotted rhythm patterns). Like on my all-state audition music...you bet I count it out!!
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I just listen to the song and get a feel for it. I count beats when Im writing riffs though
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i prefer to play by feel. i had a music exam the other day and i used a metronome to keep in time but i also tapped my feet. i got marked down for doing both cause the examiner was a stupid bitch.
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I always play by feeling and musical cues. Even when i played trumpet in a symphonic-type band at my school, i did this. never once counted a single beat. It screws me up. But I ha pretty good rythym so i never have too much trouble.
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I headbang for that simple purpose.
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Actual counting, no, not unless I'm totally stuck on something. That said, I'll usually keep the beat myself somehow (head, foot, etc), or use the metronome, so there's rarely nothing going on.
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I think the line is kinda blurred. I would say that I count but my head isn't going "one two three...", but I know which beat I'm on.

Feel is when you don't need to count, right?
Well, I play some expiremental music with weird timings, there I do it more on feel, as I actually always do, with everything I play, feel is much more important than playing fast or even 100% correct... I tend to tap my foot or nod my head a little, but nothing more than that, except for a bit harder music
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