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Off Timing

jandreijandrei Member Posts: 1
How do you practice the timing of a song? I always have a hard time knowing when to come in.


  • sjonrokz4usjonrokz4u 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,287
    That’s one of my constant struggles. Record yourself and listen back and evaluate. That’s the biggest tool. The thing I’ve learned is a lot I’ve vocals don’t start on the one. A lot of line start on four or four and etc
  • oli2703oli2703 2.0 PRO Posts: 25
    Hi @jandrei

    as a guitar player maybe I can give you some hints.
    1. Learn to understand, how the rhythm in the songs that you sing, works. A lot songs go on 4/4 what means that you always count 4 hits in one bar (1, 2, 3. 4). If you count only those 4 hits, you count the quarters. If you want to count the eighths, you have to count "1 and, 2 and, 3 and, 4 and". In a lot songs, the singer starts at 1. As in "still loving you" from the Scorpions. As sjonrokz4u said, sometimes it´s the case, that a singer starts at 4 or 4 and. Also I can be, that the singer starts later, what happens very often as in "nothing compares to you" from Prince.
    Other Songs go on 3/4 what means, that you count on 3 in one bar. The rhythm is more like a waltz.Or they go on 6/8 as in "nothing else matters" from Metallica. There you count to 6. That all sounds a bit complicated but it isn´t.
    To find the rhythm of the song, the Drums often help you. Simply said, Basedrum is on 1, Snare is on 2, basedrum 3, Snare 4.
    2. When you know the Rhythm of the song, try to knock along with your fingers. Try only to knock on 1 and 3 or on 2 and 4. When you understood this, you can try other Numbers or offbeats like only knock on "and". Also you can practice that without songs. Download a metronome App on your smartphone and work with that.
    3. Most difficult: Understand the songs that you are singing. What the instruments are doing to help you to get into the song. Is there a guitar, that is playing an prelude to help you or do the drums play something special? While you are singing, hear listen to the drums. Basedrum 1, Snare 2. The Drums are the most important friend to help you being in good timing. Keyboards are there to give you the Key of the song. Guitar too. If you have an acoustic song only with Guitar, tell the Guitar Player to help you with the rhythm by playing the Base String on 1 and the Rest on 2.

    I hope, this helps you a little with your timing issues.

    Maybe you want to tell us, with what songs you have the biggest Problems and we can give you hints to work on.

    Best regards Oli
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