#1
When I play guitar I just can't help but tap to the rhythm. Is this bad? If so, can I fix it?
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#2
No, definitely not bad.
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#4
I also do this and it is nothing to worry about.

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#5
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#6
It depends if you mean you tap out the rhythm or you're tapping out the count. If you tap out the count for example, 1 2 3 4 then this is the right thing to do and will help you play things correctly! however if you tap out the rhythm of what you're playing it can effect you in a bad way as you won't be able to get the right timings as well as you would taping out the pulse
#7
Quote by 457undead
When I play guitar I just can't help but tap to the rhythm. Is this bad? If so, can I fix it?


It can be a sign of bad timing or poorly developed rhythmical sense and it can be worked on of course. It doesn't have to though. Have you played with others and how do they consider your timing?
#8
Quote by Facecut
It can be a sign of bad timing or poorly developed rhythmical sense and it can be worked on of course. It doesn't have to though. Have you played with others and how do they consider your timing?

This - even practicing to a metronome would help if you are experiencing any issues.
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#9
One thing that happens to me is that I find it really hard to change the tempo of the song with a metronome, I can only play the song the tempo it was originally in . I find it harder to play along with a metronome.
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#10
That's why you need to practice with one.

If you ever intend to play with a band, the tempo of every song will vary slightly every time you play it. You need to be able to keep time with the band, not hope that they will keep time with you.

Start practicing to a metronome. Dedicate a portion of your practice time to it, and vary the speed of what you're practicing slightly. You may think you can't do it, but once you get into the habit of playing in time with the beat you will be a much better player as a result.
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#11
Quote by 457undead
When I play guitar I just can't help but tap to the rhythm. Is this bad? If so, can I fix it?


Personally I would say it's bad. I think the best (and most fun) way to fix this is to start tapping your foot to the beat whenever you're listening to music.
#12
It's really important to tap to the beat as opposed to each note (if that's what you mean). There are plenty of online metronomes. To learn to tap to the proper beat, grab a metronome (or find an online version) and tap to each click. Increase the speed a bit and tap to that. Then, go to a slower speed (say....60 beats per minute) and tap while counting eighth notes "ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and, etc" If you're doing it properly you'll be tapping your foot when you say ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR while not tapping when you say the and's. Once you've gotten that, try playing one fret in eighth notes while counting (without a metronome). Accent the ones twos threes and fours. Once you've gotten that down slowly, try to vary the speed. Play for a while at a slow speed, then stop, speed up your taps and play the same thing to the new tempo.

A lot of people have problems with tapping their foot and counting, so don't think you're alone in having to work on it
#13
Quote by 457undead
When I play guitar I just can't help but tap to the rhythm. Is this bad? If so, can I fix it?


This is actually a great habit. It will help you master time and help you be aware of where everything you play lies in relation to the beat.
#14
Hmm, peoples opinions seem to be diverse from each other's. Now, who do I listen to lol.
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#15
Quote by 457undead
Hmm, peoples opinions seem to be diverse from each other's. Now, who do I listen to lol.


1) practice with a metronome sometimes - this helps with overall timing. I you can't play to a click, your skills aren't up to par. This can take a lot of practice, so don't get discouraged.

2) tapping your foot to the beat while playing is beneficial, it will improve your sense of timing and subdivisions - there is no down side. Only talented players can pull it off.

3) Some performances are better because of tempo variations ( for example: going softer and slower for a certain part, then speeding up and getting louder for others). Tempo variations can have artistic value - this is common in classical music, but less prevalent in pop and rock. If you are playing solo and singing, then you can do this. However, if you are jamming with other people, you need to stay in a more fixed tempo.
#16
Quote by 457undead
Hmm, peoples opinions seem to be diverse from each other's. Now, who do I listen to lol.


Well, not to toot my own horn, but I'm a qualified professional guitar teacher.

In my experience, students who tap the rhythm and not the beat don't really have a good timekeeping. The reason it's important to tap to the beat is that the beat is the foundation of the music and it's importance cannot be overstated.

Even if you're playing solo it turns out there are lots of reasons it's important to know where the beat is - for example, strumming patterns are dictated by where the beat is.
#17
I was reading somewhere that is best to have an inner pulse instead of tapping, is that true or is the foot thing good? Thanks btw.
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#18
Quote by 457undead
I was reading somewhere that is best to have an inner pulse instead of tapping, is that true or is the foot thing good? Thanks btw.


I don't think it really makes that much difference when it comes down to it. As long as you can keep solid time then it's all good.

You'll probably find in time that you don't need to tap your foot anyway, I don't generally need it any more although I still choose to do it when I'm playing solo or something like that and really want to groove.

I also find that I do it a lot when I'm listening to music, especially things that might have a lot of time changes or polymeters; keeps my sense of time sharp.
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at May 21, 2014,
#19
Quote by Freepower

In my experience, students who tap the rhythm and not the beat don't really have a good timekeeping. The reason it's important to tap to the beat is that the beat is the foundation of the music and it's importance cannot be overstated.


This x1000. I learned guitar without learning this technique and it took a very long time to pick up. I would tap to the rhythm of the song instead of the beat, and it will throw you off every now and then. Sometimes I would have a "where the hell am I" moment in the middle of the song and my foot would just stop or worse I would lose my place. Fortunately, I kept working on it and like all things on guitar, it got easy over some time.

1. Always listen to Freepower, he has been active helping newbies in here for years now. No shame looking at his lessons to get better, they are fantastic.
2. Everyone should be tapping their foot to the beat from day one. Lest you end up like I was with messy rhythm until you do get it down.
#20
Quote by 457undead
I was reading somewhere that is best to have an inner pulse instead of tapping, is that true or is the foot thing good? Thanks btw.


It's pretty hard to stay in time if you don't have a pulse.


Sorry

Seriously, though, I rarely ever tap my foot. I'd only ever do it if I were trying to work something out from music and I came across an awkward rhythm that I had to work out.

Quote by hansome21

2. Everyone should be tapping their foot to the beat from day one. Lest you end up like I was with messy rhythm until you do get it down.


Everyone?
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#21
Quote by 457undead
I was reading somewhere that is best to have an inner pulse instead of tapping, is that true or is the foot thing good? Thanks btw.


The foot moves to the internal pulse, but it also helps you with your internal pulse.

Any regular physical motion will help, foot tapping is one of the best to start with because the tap is well defined. Some people nod their head. Believe it or not, even strumming usually has a very regular motion, which helps keep time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnQ8N1KacJc#t=11s - look at this about 11 seconds in, the right hand is moving in a perfectly regular fashion.

Or, for a really extreme example -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuhQnYOtavc

Dream theatre are not rhythmically incompetent, but as Mike really starts going wild on drumkit from 7.30, the rest of the band actually start to really exaggerate their physical movements to the beat to help themselves keep time.

They're pretty explicit about that on the DVD commentary.

Remember that what I suggested to help is just to listen to lots of music and tap your foot to it all the time, it's a fun homework even if it doesn't help, and I would guess it will help.

2. Everyone should be tapping their foot to the beat from day one. Lest you end up like I was with messy rhythm until you do get it down.


Everyone should be able to.
#22
Quote by Freepower

Everyone should be able to.


Yeah, that's the problem I had with what he said. Not that you shouldn't be able to, but that you *had* to.
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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#23
Quote by Dave_Mc
Yeah, that's the problem I had with what he said. Not that you shouldn't be able to, but that you *had* to.


I don't see how you'd be able to without practice, but yeah I definately don't always tap my foot either. I usually do it during acoustic songs, so I should have specified.
Last edited by hansome21 at May 23, 2014,
#24
I just meant that some people actually have pretty decent timing, even if they're new to instruments. Telling people they have to do something, if you don't know for sure that they do, can do more harm than good.
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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#25
Something I often tell my students, "If you have trouble tapping your foot or finding the beat, walk your music. You should be able to find a certain speed at which you and the music are on par, that is the beat." There are very few people that cannot walk in time, and if walking with the music is too hard, try it with a metronome. One step for every click.

Everyone can walk their music, though I would advise starting with something in 4/4th it is possible with 'uneven' music. You just have to accept that 1 is not always the same foot. From experience, I've never had a student that could not walk a distance in a straight rhythm. On another note, one did mention after trying this, "So the shuffle was made by a cripple?"
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Last edited by FretboardToAsh at May 24, 2014,
#26
One thing i found that is excellent for timing are funk guitar rythyms,They also sound cool.I don't tend to tap but being in a band for a few years sorted out any timing issues i had.
#27
Quote by FretboardToAsh
Something I often tell my students, "If you have trouble tapping your foot or finding the beat, walk your music. You should be able to find a certain speed at which you and the music are on par, that is the beat." There are very few people that cannot walk in time, and if walking with the music is too hard, try it with a metronome. One step for every click.

Everyone can walk their music, though I would advise starting with something in 4/4th it is possible with 'uneven' music. You just have to accept that 1 is not always the same foot. From experience, I've never had a student that could not walk a distance in a straight rhythm. On another note, one did mention after trying this, "So the shuffle was made by a cripple?"


I took guitar lessons from a guy with 40 years professional teaching experience, he had one student whose natural sense of rhythm was so bad that they had to do a few weeks of walking to the beat and similar exercises to get it together.
#28
I think people are confused by what I meant, I can tap to the beat but when playing guitar is when i tap to rhythm.
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