#1
I'm a beginner guitarist, and it's been pretty easy to use a metronome for the simple beginner songs in my lesson book. However, just about any popular song these days seem to have a lot more complicated timing.

For example, even a song like Smells Like Teen Spirit, which everyone considers to be an easy beginner song, seems very tricky to play with a metronome. Even just the intro power chords has a bunch of 16th notes, mixed together with 8th notes and dotted 8th notes. I can play it at a decent speed without a metronome, but once I try playing it with a metronome, I completely lose track of the timing, even when I set the metronome to really slow speeds.

So, I'm wondering if anyone has any tips on how to learn the timing for songs? I find I have an especially hard time with 16th notes and dotted 8th notes. Or do most people not even bother using a metronome when playing these type of songs?
#2
For songs like that don't bother using a metronome. Just remember the timing by heart. You might be off little bit or so but, who cares. I never learned proper timing until about a month ago, and i just can remember the beat by heart when reading notes, which i personally never do.
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#3
slow it down a lot. like to the point of one beat every second or more, and a beat being a quarter note. then play it at this speed. it does help when you are playing fast.


rhythm is more something that you develop over time, just like you develop the ability to just know once you have done 4 beats and its a new measure w/o having to count. just keep on playing w/ a metronome on what you can and it'll come by itself.


try playing classical gas with a metronome. this is one tricky part that really is great pracitce, and the rest is just playing a note every on and off beat.


one last thing- you usually don't count timing in your head for songs like smells like teen spirit. you just play it from memory. i doubt anybody but very very skilled guitarists or guitarists w/ lots of excperience on the drums can count and play songs like that or even more complex.
#4
play along with the song. If u practice with a backing track or the song for long enough then the timing should come to you. But its like everything else with guitar - u have to practice at it.

Good luck dude.
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#5
Good idea is to play right along with an actual song. It helps alot (and is fun as HELL).

I reccomend Enter Sandman. It's reletively easy, and it's a simple 4/4 song and is pretty easy to keep with (and it is alot of fun).
#6
Quote by CowboyUp
Good idea is to play right along with an actual song. It helps alot (and is fun as HELL).

Amen to that.

But don't neglect the metronome. It is your friend. A very dull friend but nevertheless...
#7
Thanks for the advice. So most of you don't use a metronome when practicing/playing rock songs?

Also, when you're playing with the backing track, how do you get the timing right? For example, I tried it with Smells Like Teen Spirit... the intro chords stuff seem pretty straight forward, but when you get to the "solo", it's just a steady drum beat in the background. At this point, do you actually use the drum beat and count the timing in your head, or do you just kind've play it by feel?
#8
Thats why I suggest just playing with an actual song. You don't have to worry about having to play unnacompanied or anything (that is really annoying because you can't get the tempo quite right when playing by yourself.
#9
Quote by globetro
Thanks for the advice. So most of you don't use a metronome when practicing/playing rock songs?

If I'm playing to a backing track I tend to just go with it but I'll probably still be counting in my head.

Now practicing is a different matter. I always use a metronome when practicing.

Also, when you're playing with the backing track, how do you get the timing right? For example, I tried it with Smells Like Teen Spirit... the intro chords stuff seem pretty straight forward, but when you get to the "solo", it's just a steady drum beat in the background. At this point, do you actually use the drum beat and count the timing in your head, or do you just kind've play it by feel?


As above really, yes use the beat to count yourself in. The drummer (or drums) become your metronome.
#10
learning to play drums is a good way too. Or playing with a large group of people who are good at keeping time. It'll eventually come to you, you just need to practice.
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#11
I have the guitar backing track for Smells Like Teen Spirit and I know which part you're talking about. I was jamming along one day with that thing, then it hit the solo, and I'm like...how on earth do I count with this? After listening to the song though, you start to feel how the solo connects with the drumline. On the second try, I got through the solo perfectly. It'll just click with you.
#12
It's very important to practice timing. If you're THINKing about the timing when
you're playing you won't be able to play very well. You have to be able to just
feel it when you're playing.

Playing along with the song is better than nothing, but it really will just cover up
your (lack of) timing.

Use a metronome and start slow. I find that some method of counting works best.
You have to do the counting slowly at first because it really interrupts playing.
When you can start feeling it more, stop counting and just play. Then begin to
speed it up.