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  :: markku is a member since 02/28/2003 --- this profile has been viewed 152,705 times
markku's SoundClick blog - timing
I had forgotten some of the problems solo artists such as classical pianist and guitarists may end up having, until recently. Other instrumentalists such as string, brass and woodwinds may not acquire the same problems as they usually play with others. Unless a pianist is accompanying another instrumentalist he/she is on their own. One of the problems I’m talking about is a sense of timing.

In a classical composition you are the one that makes up the tempo. Words like andante, allegro, moderato, vivace, largo etc. all give the artist only an idea of the tempo which is often somewhere in between two points on the metronome. In a single composition, there could be as many as twenty tempo changes some of which may be up to the artist to execute as fit. Often times a single tempo throughout a composition is merely for the beginners. Dynamics are extremely important in the interpretation of a composition as they tell you the volume to play at any given measure or series of measures. These volumes can be anywhere on the scale from very soft to very loud. Some single notes can be accented or played staccato-quick short notes even though they may be marked as quarter or half notes.

With all of that in mind a piano soloist or guitarist can become used to making up their own tempos throughout a composition as a way of adding feeling or better yet they are painting a picture using tempos and dynamics. Tempo changes can even occur in the middle of a measure which is called a ritardando usually followed by the term a tempo. In the pop world dynamics and tempo changes during a song are very rare let alone in the middle of a measure.

Because one might become complacent in doing what is normal in the classical world, an artist switching from the classical side to pop may have some serious difficulties playing along and keeping a simple tempo throughout a song. It’s not that they lack a sense of rhythm it’s simply something they have become accustomed to doing in their own process of painting a picture through music.

I’ve known several artists with this affliction to rhythm or timing which is very hard to break but doable. I was one of those and after a lot of work can easily go from one genre to another. Next time you hear someone with a lousy sense of timing just remember he may have been someone who switched sides and will become better in time…give em a break. On the other hand if after a few years nothing has gotten better, you can bet that the individual just plainly has no sense of timing and perhaps should get into basket weaving instead.
posted by markku on Sun May 14, 2017 @ 12:16 AM     post a comment
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