I have recently discovered that my timing is not the best... I am really into Tommy Emmanuel stuff, and I discovered that while playing an arrangement or anything (not necessarily a Tommy song), I somewhere speed up, slow down, etc... I measured Tommy's playing with metronome and he is always dead on... I just cant believe it . How could I improve my timing and keeping rhythm? And how could I develop a steady foot tap? Will playing scales or playing the arrangement itself at a really slow pace with metronome help in any way? Can this skill be developed? Whats your advice?

I uploaded a video for you to see how bad my timing is . The quality is not the best, so please forgive me for that! Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXQfLvuKNaY
Last edited by kiraly5 at Sep 29, 2011,
yes, a metronome will def. help. Always practice with a metronome, and start slow until you have the timing down.
Whenever the opportunity presents itself, you should indulge in lots of jamming. Working with other people to achieve a collective groove is a vital skill. Although I am aware that the style of music you are in to is very much solo based.

Unlike a metronome, real people speed up during the exciting parts, slow down when they're fatigued and so on. Although a "human" groove may be technically less perfect than a click track, sometimes the human touch is what the music really needs.

But with regard to metronomes, think of those impossibly slow, menacing-sounding grooves on Pantera albums. If you play along to one of those you'll see how difficult it can be to preserve the momentum of a piece of music at a slow tempo.

Try playing a riff or rhythm part you're comfortable with at a reasonable tempo, say between 80-120bpm. Then slow it down in gradual increments until you find that limit beyond which the tempo no longer makes sense.

The skill in maintaining a constant tempo hinges largely on your ability to where the next click is going to happen.
Last edited by mdc at Sep 29, 2011,
Dont play with a metronome.
Play the metronome, tap your foot to be beat then mute it and play. Then when you're done, turn it up and see if you're in time.

Playing to a metronome makes you dependant, i've seen it so many times where if people dont constantly have the beat they struggle.

Pros -
Helps identify correct timing
Allows you to build songs up to correct speed

Cons -
Harder to adjust to off beat rhythms
Less "groove", you're less likely to swing a beat if you're used to rigid metronomes.
Habit of playing things straight, similar to my point above but your notes will tend toward the beat instead of away from it.
Encountering strange timings, rhythms/polyrhythms is a far better way of learning timing than resorting to a metronome.

Listen to black dog. Bonham plays straight, page plays off. Genius.
Always waiting for that bit of inspiration.
Quote by W4T3V3R
Listen to black dog. Bonham plays straight, page plays off. Genius.

Chuck Berry used to do that sorta stuff. His drummer would have a real vicious swing but he would play straight. Sometimes the other way round.
Use a metronome

Select a bpm 60 for example

Start playing with notes values.

Do 10 measures of 4ths

10 measure of 8th

of triplets, 16 notes and so on.

Aditional help:

First start the metronome then after 4 click start tapping your foot to the metronome. See if that is enough.

If not, after the foot taping part try humming the beat and bag you head to beat.

Do it until you start to feel the beat.

It may sound silly but believe me it really helps
With Tommy's stuff, you gotta think of it in two parts. Imagine it was a bass and a guitar.

Learn the bass bit first. Make sure you have that nailed. Play with a metronome, tap your foot. When you can play that perfectly, THEN learn the melody the same way, then put them together. His stuff is some of the hardest stuff you can play on the guitar. The accuracy you need is insane.

I've seen him live twice. Met him on both occasions too.
You should practice with a metronome to improve your timing. I always use a metronome. You'd be surprised how much you mess up when you use one so start off at a slow tempo until you can handle playing it at full speed.
use a metronome when practicing anything.

jam whenever possible, i have found that every time i get together in a jam group with a drummer, my sense of timing gets better and better and only keeps improving.

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