bloody rich's drummer survival guide
i don't wanna work.. i want to bang on de drum all day.. timing

One's timing CAN be improved. Max Weinberg once said that when he found that his timing wasn't perfect, he wood-shedded for an entire year. And using a metronome he said his timing improved so her could play as steady as a metronome! (or something like that). That inspired me to work on my timing. I learned to play playing punk and rock and hardcore punk, and I developed a habit of often 'pushing' the beat. Playing in bands that often had flexible tempo shifts (i.e. speeding up was part of the arrangement) led to bad habits. After some work with a metronome, my steadiness improved incredibly. CLICK HERE For more about using a metronome & the GROOVE GUIDE .

I have continued working on 'my time' with a metronome and a Groove Guide, because its been helping me in 2 ways. I find one's timing consists of 2 parts; the steadiness of the tempo, and the feel in relation to time. The 'feel' relates to where the actual hits are compared to a click track or other musicians. Common expressions about this are 'laying back', 'playing on top of', or 'pushing' the beat. Those are measurable—micro-seconds ahead, behind, or right on the moment of a beat. A metronome really helps you to lock right on top of the beat by letting you know where that point is. So you can CHOOSE to lay back or push the beat. It's helping me not push the beat unless I choose to.

HOME Playing Ahead or Behind the Beat When you play ahead & behind - it is not even a 16th or 32nd note off - it is still the correct note position, but if you looked at it on a computer, it would be before or after the actual click by milliseconds. The trick it to make it subtle enough that it sounds in time, and to be ahead or behind by the same amount or time on each hit, and equally for each limb. You don't want your snare 'on top' of the beat but your tom fills behind the beat.. although there are times when your snare can be 'behind the beat' but you keep the rest of your kit on top of the beat. As you work on this you will start to feel this & be able to work with it.home

When you hit slightly ahead or behind, you can make others speed up or slow down—so you must make sure that your tempo stays the same to avoid this. Some drummers will generally be slightly ahead or behind, and no one will always be EXACTLY on. This gives each drummer part of their 'feel'. And remember, other musicians also can play ahead, behind or 'on top of" the beat too.

Developing time requires work with a metronome, and I strongly recommend using a Groove Guide.