#1
So I'm trying to learn the solo from Sound Of Muzak, and I've noticed that a lot of the notes are played off beat, or have weird gaps between them, or aren't in line with the drums etc. Counting 7/4 isn't that difficult, it's the placement of the notes that throws me. Same thing when trying to learn Moggio.

So my question is how do you go about memorizing these kinds of things, playing it slower won't help, as playing the notes is easy, but knowing when to play them doesn't get easier. This isn't the first time a situation like this has happened, so I'm just using the Sound Of Muzak as an example.
#2
Well, generally i would slow the song down and play with it. But since you said that didn't work, my second way of doing things that is in a really odd time would be to write it down in notation so i can see where the notes are in the bar, and which beats the phrases start and end on.
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#3
Quote by Sickz
Well, generally i would slow the song down and play with it. But since you said that didn't work, my second way of doing things that is in a really odd time would be to write it down in notation so i can see where the notes are in the bar, and which beats the phrases start and end on.


I actually have the tab open in TuxGuitar, so that's probably the best it's gonna get, though I still have trouble playing the notes at the right time, like when a phrase starts on the off beat. Are there perhaps any exercises that could help develop timing? As I said this problem isn't just on this song, it's on many, so it's more the skill I want to improve, not just the one solo.
#4
Stop learning it in such a theoretical way; learn it mentally to the point where you can sing it just with the backing and nothing else. If you know it well enough that you can just sing it then playing the timing should be easy.

You don't want to simply know when to play in theory, you need to know it well enough that you don't have to think.
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#5
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Stop learning it in such a theoretical way; learn it mentally to the point where you can sing it just with the backing and nothing else. If you know it well enough that you can just sing it then playing the timing should be easy.

You don't want to simply know when to play in theory, you need to know it well enough that you don't have to think.



This is also the advice I give to real life students (and on occasions have given here).

Sing it, whether it's out loud or in your head.

Do it with the song first until you can do it without, then do it on guitar.

You could also try to go to basic 7/4 snare rudiments. I'm sure you can find them on the internet, or make up your own in guitarpro or something.

What you do is you take these, and replace the snare hits with chugs, strums w/e the passage requires as far as right hand goes.

The left hand it will follow in time.

If the left hand can't keep up, you either play too fast (unlikely) or you haven't made it so that the right hand is dominant in your playing, but for some reason the non dominant hand seems to have some kind of mirror effect to ur dominant hand. This you can only experience over time.

This might go a bit philosophical, but somehow this goes for a lot of things in your body.

If you try to aim a ball or a gun, over time ur hands will mirror your eyes and your hands will get the projectile to the target without thinking or actively measuring the force and angle of your throwing hand.

Same with hearing (think dancing to the beat) your body follows your ears without you going "left hand here, Right foot there" This one is actually relatable to what Zaphod and I suggested. If you can sing it (read "truly listen"), your fingers will play it as 2nd nature once your passed a point in your practise.

This is also why ear training is so vital to both musical skills, but also to ur playing and improvisational skill.


Tldr;

Make one thing of your body the dominant point of reference (your right hand, or more specific first your ear through singing), and your body and/or other senses will mirror it in time. Quite the human feat

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jan 23, 2014,
#6
+1 on both those

What you're trying to do is the equivalent of a singer trying to sing a song without actually knowing the words or the timing and pitch of the vocals.

Until you instinctively know the exact sound that's supposed to be coming out your guitar for every part of that song you're not really going to be able to learn to play it.
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#7
Good suggestions.
I'll tap my foot and drum my fingers on a table or something where the notes occur, and say things like "ba-da-da-DA" under my breath. Yeah, non-musicians must think we're crazy. Once I've got it in my head, I'll keep the foot tapping going and try to play the notes on the guitar. If it I don't get it after a few tries, I'll do my finger drumming/"ba-da-da-ing" to re-inforce it, then try again. Sometimes, I'll start the guitar part by just repeating a single note, rather than playing all of them, so I can concentrate on the timing. Also, break learning it down into small chunks, a bar at a time, or even just a couple of beats. The other thing I'll do is get a chunk of the timing down on the guitar, and improvise for a couple of minutes, using just that timing (or at least using it as a central theme) - just kind of exploring it. That really locks it in.
#8
One thing I forgot to mention in the last post is how important it is to have a mneumonic for rests when you're tapping something out. For example, suppose you had a rhythm that was two beats long, that had 4 16th notes on the first beat, a 16th note rest which would land on the 2nd beat, then a 16th note, then rest for the remainder of the 2nd beat. Ok, that's a little awkward. But suppose that 16th note rest wasn't there. Then it would be a lot easier - DA-da-da-da-DA-da----. Ok, suppose your mneumonic for rests was "um". Then you just replace the note you inserted with an "Um": Da-da-da-da-Um-da. Of course you've got to train yourself not to play on the "Um". And the next step after that is to remove the "Um". And it becomes: Da-da-da-da-*tap foot*-da-----
I hope this helps. Doing stuff like this helped me tremendously in "getting" different rhythms. By the way - it's best if you do all this stuff w/o the guitar at first. Just tap your foot, and tap your knee with your fingers for where the notes should go. For transferring to this guitar, it's best to first just play the rhythm with palm-muted open E's or A's at first, so you can have all your attention on the timing.
Last edited by se012101 at Jan 23, 2014,
#9
What if you can't sing it? Let's say you just have a terrible sense of rhythm, how do you learn to "feel" songs with odd time signatures? Is there a way to improve your rhythm?