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#2075832 - 05/02/13 10:38 AM Drum machine for piano timing  
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Mark... Offline
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I have a real issue with timing. Metronome seems to not work well in my case. My teacher recommended a drum machine. Can anyone recommend one that isn't software based and not too expensive. This is primary to be used with playing piano. Thanks.

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#2075891 - 05/02/13 11:53 AM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Mark...]  
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Something like this, Mark? Easy to find used on Ebay. Alesis SR-18


Sandy

#2076134 - 05/02/13 07:08 PM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: piRround]  
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That link doesn't work.

I have fixed it, here.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SR18


Rob
#2076500 - 05/03/13 07:49 AM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: R0B]  
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Thanks, R0B!


Sandy

#2076655 - 05/03/13 12:12 PM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Mark...]  
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From time to time I have looked into the purchase of a drum machine.

What always stops me in my tracks is the concept of how user friendly they are.

I am always afraid that I will have to have drummer skills in order to "build my own".

If I could just turn it on and select a time signature, a tempo, and maybe a key (if bass is part of it), then be able to find a very good built-in drum pattern ... I might buy one.

I do not wish to spend a lot of time creating a drum pattern for each piece I play and then giving it a name and storing it for later use.

Any recommendations for my kind of drum machine ?


Last edited by dmd; 05/03/13 12:13 PM.

Don

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#2076678 - 05/03/13 12:55 PM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: dmd]  
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I've got a Kawai MS20. IF you Google it, you'll see it looks something like a toy. But there's a few thing I find very useful on it, namely the collection of rhythm tracks and drum track/patterns. While I don't think Kawai makes them still, maybe Casio has something similar? I know real non-software drum machines can be expensive compared to a "toy organ." If it works, that's all the matters, yes?


Rhythm & Chords, it's what I do.
#2076701 - 05/03/13 01:38 PM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Mark...]  
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Get a used Casio privia piano with drum kit accompaniment. There is probably software that you could use with headphones.


"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas
#2076795 - 05/03/13 04:59 PM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Mark...]  
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what type of music is this for?

#2076985 - 05/04/13 02:39 AM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Mark...]  
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I know you specifically said "not software based", but this might just fit the bill?

Just a few mouse clicks to enter your beats, of load one of the many beats from the database.

http://rinki.net/pekka/monkey/


Rob
#2077034 - 05/04/13 06:47 AM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: knotty]  
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Originally Posted by knotty
what type of music is this for?


Pretty much everything, but mostly Jazz right now. My teacher just started me on the "real" book.

#2077035 - 05/04/13 06:49 AM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: R0B]  
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Originally Posted by R0B
That link doesn't work.

I have fixed it, here.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SR18


Thanks for the link...nice machine. What do you hook they up to for sound? Do they have their own speakers?

#2077038 - 05/04/13 06:56 AM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Mark...]  
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Originally Posted by Mark...
Originally Posted by knotty
what type of music is this for?


Pretty much everything, but mostly Jazz right now. My teacher just started me on the "real" book.


I know you say metronome doesn't seem to work in your case but drum machines won't help you have good time and good feel. You will be stuck into whatever groove you got and won't be able to develop your own sense of time freely.

A metronome is your best (and dumbest) drummer. There are plenty of great exercises you can do with the metronome such as clicking on 1.2.3.4, 1.3, 2.4 or 1 for example.

There is too much going on with these drum machines. They will carry the time and make you feel like you got it. But it's very important for any musician to be able to swing all by themselves.

There's value in drum machines, band in a box, Aebersold etc.. once in a while, but most of your practice should be with a metronome.

Often, we have bad time because we play too fast, or things too complicated.

#2077133 - 05/04/13 11:12 AM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Mark...]  
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Your problems with the metronome are probably patience based. No matter how simple or intuitive the drum machine is, you will spend more time fussing with it than you will setting a tempo on a metronome. If you really must have odd meter subdivisions, several metronomes do this. Look at roland's Dr. Beat series or the Korg KDM-2 which has a nice, almost wooden, "Thock" sound instead of the "Ting-eep-eep-eep" of many modern metronomes. It also has tap to enter tempo function.

for jazz, you can do no better than learning to listen to the clicks on only 2&4. I played drums for 30 years and when I set myself to learning to play bop, I bought a drum machine that had the best swing feel I could find. I wound up going back to simple clicks and found my own sense of swing which didn't really start until I began to use the click on 2-4 instead of 1,2,3,4,

Kurt


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#2077139 - 05/04/13 11:30 AM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Mark...]  
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If your teacher wants you to get a drum machine, then you should get one.

A drum machine, if used correctly, can, for some beats, help more than a metronome, because the drum machine will have the groove with which you can more easily connect than with a simple click beat.

I use both drum machines and metronomes with developing timing and rhythm, but always in addition to body movement training. This includes clapping, using a tamborine or other shaker-type instrument as one listens to music, counting out loud as one listens, counting on the 2 and 4 beats as one listens, taking dance lessons, etc.

Also, if you were to take drum lessons, that is serious good medicine for rhythm development.


Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.
#2077147 - 05/04/13 11:48 AM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Mark...]  
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I asked drummer friend about time issue and one of the first thing he got me to do is to play table of time at a very slow speed. Here's what you do

Set the metronome at the lowest speed

Play

1. whole notes for 4 measures
2. half notes for 4 measures
3. quarter note for 4 measures
4. quarter note triplet for 4 measures
8. eight note for 4 measures
9. eight note triplet for 4 measures
10. Reverse the process
11. Set the metronome 5 clicks up, repeat the whole process

Once you are comfortable you can add stuff like half note triplets, quintaoplets..etc, and try doing it over fixed LH rhythm. My friend took lessons from Peter Erskine he and he told me that Peter had him work on this for 3-4 month everyday and didn't give him much other than that.. He was pretty frustrated for a while, but after those couple of months he told me his time got a lot better. He still do those exercises occasionally for maintainence.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b94b_5BIJLA

Btw I agree with rocket88 about the whole drum lesson thing.. You don't have to be a great drummer, but it will help to understand how drummers approach rhythm,and you'll slowly see how the piano can be a percussion instrument too.

#2077192 - 05/04/13 01:51 PM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Mark...]  
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Mark ... something you might try - but it is software-based - is getting Transcribe software. It runs on Windows and OS X. You can use it to slow anything down to as slow as you like. And then play along.

There's a lot of benefit to be gained from playing with recordings of great musicians. Particularly when you can slow things down to a manageable speed. You could play transcriptions along with the original recording, you can play classical repertoire this way, or you could just play along w/anything however you might like at a speed that works for you.

If you work with Transcribe this way, you're getting the benefits of really hearing how great musicians articulate, phrase, and define rhythm. Your sense of timing, rhythm, phrasing, articulation - really, everything that's time-based in music - can gain from this approach. In my own experience, much more so than working with a metronome or a drum machine (although those options are still good at that).

Hope this helps -


#2077249 - 05/04/13 03:20 PM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Mark...]  
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Thanks so much for all the great ideas. If I can past these timing issues I might actually be a decent player. I continue to work at it and will look at these suggestions.

#2077660 - 05/05/13 12:20 PM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Mark...]  
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It's a dreamer's myth that buying stuff makes you better. It don't! I'd not buy anything and learn to use a metronome.


"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas
#2078101 - 05/06/13 02:49 AM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: daviel]  
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Originally Posted by daviel
It's a dreamer's myth that buying stuff makes you better. It don't! I'd not buy anything and learn to use a metronome.



Bingo !

I am with you on that.

If you are having difficulty with timing, you probably just need to select simpler pieces (Really simple) and just start focusing on that aspect of your playing. Just make sure that you play everything right ON TIME.

Did I mention ... Simple Pieces ?

You have to find a level that you can be successful with.

Have your teacher confirm that you are, IN FACT, playing these simple pieces RIGHT ON TIME.

Then you can slowly move to more complicated pieces.

It is the old story ... you must learn to walk before trying to run.



Don

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#2078165 - 05/06/13 07:04 AM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: KurtZ]  
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Originally Posted by KurtZ

for jazz, you can do no better than learning to listen to the clicks on only 2&4. I wound up going back to simple clicks and found my own sense of swing which didn't really start until I began to use the click on 2-4 instead of 1,2,3,4,

Kurt


I like this idea. You make a choice, then you get instant feedback.

I do something similar (I think) when sightsinging something tricky. I'll play the notes, but only exactly on the AND beat, so that I must sing on time then get rewarded or corrected a half beat later.


gotta go practice
#2078437 - 05/06/13 03:25 PM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: TimR]  
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in my violin life, because the violin is right under one's ear, it's important to be able to hear the nome in the proper mix with yourself. It would still hold true for piano. This is one of the reasons I prefer a wind-up tic-toc nome rather than a beeper. The tic-toc cuts through for me, while a beep can get lost in the overtones.

I had a fellow tell me straight faced, "I won't use a metronome! None can keep a steady beat!"





Rhythm & Chords, it's what I do.
#2078875 - 05/07/13 02:33 PM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Mark...]  
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Long time ago I was in a music store and noticed a mom come in with about a 10 year old carrying a practice pad and some drumsticks. She wanted to exchange for some "electric drums" because the sticks and practice pad were too hard for her son. The gods' truth - you just can't buy talent. Just another reason to learn to use a metronome - the old pyramid style that winds up - and play on 2 and 4.


"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas
#2078937 - 05/07/13 05:01 PM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Farmerjones]  
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Originally Posted by Farmerjones
in my violin life, because the violin is right under one's ear, it's important to be able to hear the nome in the proper mix with yourself.

You keep it ticking while you play?

#2079584 - 05/08/13 11:32 PM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: keystring]  
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Farmerjones
in my violin life, because the violin is right under one's ear, it's important to be able to hear the nome in the proper mix with yourself.

You keep it ticking while you play?


Yes. At first I would change BPMs to match myself. Then a Berkly guy said, "try walking out of the room and re-enter, see how you do." Can't do that with a piano.
The optimum excersize would be to have it click once every four bars! Are you there? Are you in the pocket?
The reason why I work so hard with a Nome, is because it's such a pain to play with somebody that has bad timing. If you play by yourself, you can be as, um, poor as you wish/don't care to be.


Rhythm & Chords, it's what I do.
#2079687 - 05/09/13 06:19 AM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Mark...]  
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// I had a fellow tell me straight faced, "I won't use a metronome! None can keep a steady beat!"

some actually don't. especially yhose on computers and cell phones.
its good to stay away from those.

#2079691 - 05/09/13 06:32 AM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Farmerjones]  
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Originally Posted by Farmerjones

The optimum excersize would be to have it click once every four bars!


Very true!

However, it's difficult to start because the clicks are so far apart that I have a hard time getting the feel for the tempo. How do you do it?


I would really like to have a metronome that counts me in and only then clicks every four bars. Does that exist?

#2079692 - 05/09/13 06:33 AM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Mark...]  
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#2079752 - 05/09/13 08:34 AM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Mark...]  
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Nice video thanks.

And, I just realized that to have a click every 4 bars you'd have to have a metronome capable of doing well under 40 bpm.

Which is why I created a few MIDI files with a count-in and then clicks every bar, or every 2 bars, or every 4 bars, and the like. But it's not as convenient as just turning on a metronome.

#2080102 - 05/10/13 12:18 AM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Mark...]  
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I sing and play doumbek (a Middle-Eastern hand drum) in a chant group. We were having some rhythm problems with one of our new pieces.

Eventually, I became the drum machine, counting:

. . One two three four One two three four

as I played a sharp sound on "four" and a bass tone on "one".

It took a while, but we did eventually figure the rhythm out. Low-tech, but effective.

I've been using the "rhythm" feature on my PX-350 to work with Tim Richard's "Blues Piano" book. It's very handy -- the "Pop Shuffle" rhythm is just right to keep me honest.

. Charles

PS -- if anyone really want to investigate this, there's a dead-simple (as simple as such a thing can be) freeware MIDI sequencer called "SEQ24". There are several online tutorials. It's a "build-your-own-pattern" sequencer -- _nothing_ is "built-in".

PPS - I haven't searched, but I bet there's a simple freeware drum machine that _does_ have some built-in rhythms, and a built-in MIDI-compatible drumkit for playing over a PC.


. Charles
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#2084366 - 05/17/13 05:39 PM Re: Drum machine for piano timing [Re: Mark...]  
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My main issue with timing is that I tend to speed up if I'm not careful.

Years I've played with a "drum machine" called Band in a Box. I've also played with my trio. I do fine in this situation, but it has done nothing to fix my problem of speeding up.

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