In Part 1
, I laid out the basic concept as to why it is important to practice and play over slow tempos. Part 1 also included an exercise to help prepare you for this lesson. In this part, I will provide additional exercises, examples and explanations to help familiarize yourself more with playing over slow tempo and aid in improving and expanding your overall rhythmic abilities. Let's get started!
Firstly, let's set our metronome at 80 bpm. This will be the starting point for all the following exercises in this article. Let's begin by tapping our foot to the metronome. We need to lock ourselves into the beat before we start on the musical notations in the exercises. Start with the first exercise and move on to the next one in order. Practice each exercise with the metronome until you can play the exercise comfortably and tightly.
You may notice that each exercise contains several rest notes. These rest notes provide an additional challenge, that ensures you pay attention to the next coming beat and if you become off time it will become more noticeable as it will oppose the slow tempo metronome.
Next, let's record ourselves playing along with a drum track that contains only a hi-hat, snare or kick sound. Use a recording program that you are familiar with (write a MIDI drum track according to the music notations in the exercises and then bounce it to the audio wave file).
By doing this, you can really check and track how tight and accurate your timing is by simply looking and comparing your track's wave form to the drum track's waveform. See if your beat matches the drum beat, take special care to notice the accent beats of your wave form are on the same timeline as your drum track. You can even zoom in on both tracks to get a clearer more precise picture of the wave forms on both tracks. Check to see if your wave form is slightly ahead or behind the drum track. When recording, make sure you turn on the metronome along with the drum track. Following below are examples that show you the idea behind this method:
Ahead the beat
Behind the beat
Another way to check your accuracy is to bounce your track with the drum track and slow it down by 25%-50% (use your recording program, a "slow down" software, window media player if you are a PC user or Quick time player if you are a Mac user). Carefully listen to how tight your track with the drum track. The accuracy of your timing will become obvious as your track and the drum track are playing the same notes. Slowing the track down really shows how accurate your rhythm is.
After you finish doing these exercises, lets challenge ourselves by playing at an even slower tempo from 80bpm to 75bpm and slowly reduce the beats per minute till you can play accurately somewhere around 60bpm. These methods can also be used with your own specific exercises and can be applied to suit your style of playing.
These exercises will not only improve your ability to play over slow tempos but you'll notice that it will become easier to play at faster tempos accurately. Thus, reducing the re-takes that so many of us face in the recording studio.
Let's save time in the future by practicing now.
About the Author:
Poh Jindawech (Facebook, YouTube)