Poll: Timekeeping... external or internal?

john lamb
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Poll: Timekeeping... external or internal?

Postby john lamb » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:08 pm

There are 2 camps in neurobiology regarding how people keep time. The pacemaker theory and the entrainment theory.

The pacemaker theory holds that there are timekeeping circuits whose job it is to mete out time. Thus as drummers, we have an internal click that we can access that will give us an absolute meter.

The entrainment theory holds that we sync up with our outside environment. Rather than a circuit inside our heads that we access, we match up with what is going outside our heads. Memory falls into this camp, as a memory is essentially a recreation of an outside event. When we are remembering something it is to, a large part of our brain, as if it is really happening.


What do you guys think + why?
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deseipel
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Re: Poll: Timekeeping... external or internal?

Postby deseipel » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:09 pm

do you consider 'keeping' time the same as the 'perception' of time? just a thought.
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Re: Poll: Timekeeping... external or internal?

Postby Manu » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:32 am

I have no problem playing to a click but have bad time by myself.
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Re: Poll: Timekeeping... external or internal?

Postby DSOP » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:46 am

I really like praline and caramel ice-cream.
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willyz
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Re: Poll: Timekeeping... external or internal?

Postby willyz » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:50 am

Honestly- I'd say it's a combination of both. Understanding both concepts I think is what really is key- you can practice time enough by yourself to a met or something, but you can loose it on a gig.

It's an elusive concept, but as much as you can muscle out the time you have to feel it as well. Some will develop this naturally (maybe it's the "it" factor) and others have to work on it more. Separates the little boys from the men, so to speak. I don't claim to be a master, but I find it gets easier with more experience playing live and playing with more experienced players who should, in theory, have "better" time than you.
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john lamb
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Re: Poll: Timekeeping... external or internal?

Postby john lamb » Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:44 pm

deseipel wrote:do you consider 'keeping' time the same as the 'perception' of time? just a thought.


I was thinking the ability to maintain a steady pulse.
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willyz
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Re: Poll: Timekeeping... external or internal?

Postby willyz » Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:22 pm

I started thinking more about this after I posted my first response...

You know, as drummers, it seems that the only priority that we have is to keep time- and let's think about that in any musical context... the ride cymbal in jazz, the 2 and 4 of rock n roll, that samba phrasing on the kick drum during a bossa, the one drop with reggae. To a point, in order to develop the feel correctly in these different forms of music, you have to be your own inner clock and you have to muscle out that time to accomplish the feel, to make it natural and in the case of stuff that has a slight swing to it, not square.

I think back to some of the worst gig experiences I've had- the ones where I really felt like I was struggling with my performance. There could be plenty of reasons/variables from that struggle but the thing that gets to me is when you are relied on as the sole time keeper- when nobody else in the group has their own sense of time and it all gets called on to the drummer. Again, we are time keepers. But some of my best gig experiences have been when I can let go of that stigma because the cats that I'm playing with have developed that time with the feel of the stuff we're playing. There's nothing worse than when you're about to play a tune of which you sit out the first 8 bars but the or the person playing the instrument that starts the song still asks you to count out the tempo for them. I think once you're in a position to where you're comfortable with the feel and the associated tempos the time keeping will become external and then you and the rest of the guys on the bandstand can focus on what's really important: listening.

I guess my point is that I think the external and internal parts of things go hand in hand, but the external skill is certainly the ideal, no?
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JayD
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Re: Poll: Timekeeping... external or internal?

Postby JayD » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:48 am

One thing that playing with a click does is solve any conflict regarding time in a group situation. If a member feels the time is off (too fast/too slow) instead of just blaming the drummer- it creates a dialogue within the group as to where everyone feels a song tempo should be!
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Re: Poll: Timekeeping... external or internal?

Postby john lamb » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:57 am

JayD wrote:One thing that playing with a click does is solve any conflict regarding time in a group situation. If a member feels the time is off (too fast/too slow) instead of just blaming the drummer- it creates a dialogue within the group as to where everyone feels a song tempo should be!

not always! :o :shock: I've had the unfortunate experience of having the bass player wave his headstock at me while I had giant red headphones on because I was listening to a click! :roll: Tells you when to get out of a bad situation, anyways.
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willyz
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Re: Poll: Timekeeping... external or internal?

Postby willyz » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:12 am

john lamb wrote:
JayD wrote:One thing that playing with a click does is solve any conflict regarding time in a group situation. If a member feels the time is off (too fast/too slow) instead of just blaming the drummer- it creates a dialogue within the group as to where everyone feels a song tempo should be!

not always! :o :shock: I've had the unfortunate experience of having the bass player wave his headstock at me while I had giant red headphones on because I was listening to a click! :roll: Tells you when to get out of a bad situation, anyways.


I've had a similar experience with a guitar player before. Don't blame me for your inability to listen when the drummer is the one with the click in the ears.
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