Hey guys, I've been having problems with my playing that I've been working hard on to fix but exercises don't help, I'm pretty sloppy, inaccurate and mostly the tone sounds weak/hesitant/stiff.

I thought it was bad technique but I'm starting to think it's my timing.
Basically I've never practised to a metronome often and have started to, on slow beats doing scales and 1234s and have noticed I never hit the beat dead on and the slower the beat is the harder it is. So I looked up some info and found tips/patterns on how to count quarter notes, triplets and eigth notes and found it fixed my accuracy issues.

Basically no more weak, dead notes, and mainly it "flowed" and the beat felt a lot stronger in my mind making my tone sound far more confident. I thought my accuracy was due to my finger muscles not being strong enough but after this I seriously think it's defiintely my timing that is responsible for my poor accuracy.
Seriously once I count, this strong feeling comes about and the guitar feels like it's 100% synced with my mind, it feels right.

I was wondering if all guitairsts need to count in their head to play at an advanced playing level? I get it for rhythm guitar but for lead at lightning speeds there's no way you could count every note in your head whilst playing it?? But I know I need that feeling to be as strong as it is when I count. When I don't count I instead jsut zone out and go by feel, but it's harder to focus and my concentration sort've drops out for split seconds and makes my playing sound hesitant, and notes weaker than others. But when I count it makes the feeling so strong that nothing can interupt it and my playing sounds flawless, strong and confident.

I'm now certain it's my timing, how do I fix it??? I don't really know what to do!!

Help please!
like most things, i'm sure with enough practice you'll stop counting and learn to get a feel for the rhythm of a song.

to fix your timing, practice with a drummer. Also, play the songs that you know to a metronome.
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Musicians should definitely incorporate practice with a metronome into their routines and for guitar it's no different.

If anyone doesn't know where to start with that or what to do, check out some of the justinguitar.com lessons if you have trouble with that:


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i used to have problems with my timing as well, what helped me was playing with other people, when you play with other musicians who have good timing, you follow them and then your timing improves
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I started playing prog rock songs with a metronome and now my timing is great. After you get used to the famous 4/4 and 6/8 try something new like a 7/8. It's fun and great for timing.
Great suggestions! If you don't have someone to play along with, if you have a Line in / CD in / etc. type jack on your practice amp, use it! You can pick up a cable to run the headphone out of your computer into your amp, search for backing tracks on YouTube, and play along with them.

"Punk is not dead. Punk will only die when corporations can exploit and mass produce it."
Jello Biafra

(so is it dead?)
Definitely practice with a metronome, see if you can get a metronome that has some sort of visual counter as well as the click.
I have posted this link a dozen times and I'm going to keep posting it because it's that damn good!!!

In the first clip Victor Wooten/Anthony Wellington are teaching a class of master bassists about rhythm and timing. Instead of just playing with a metranome he has them identify and play all 16 sub divisions. Great exercise

The second clip is a great timing exercise by Victor Wooten... great technique to feel the beat so you don't have to count it out in your head.

If you want to hear some very talented musicans talk about timing these clips are probably something you should check out.

Victor Wooten & Anthony Wellington's "Groove Workshop"
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Last edited by TheMooseKnuckle at Apr 1, 2011,
Time is a very critical part of playing in a band. You need to be able to stay in exact time with you r fellow band members to make the music you play sound great.
Plus to top it all off it can be difficult to understand rhythms and beats if your timing is off. I would recommend starting out slow with a metronome and building your timing. This is a very important.

You may want to check out this online course. It comes with a online metronome that works perfect. I now it helped me get my timing straight and the cool thing was, it didn't even take that long to correct.

Best Of Luck

Learn How To Play Guitar
Last edited by GuitarNewbie1 at Apr 1, 2011,