Two separate things today: Timing and Relaxing.
In my teaching of music lessons I have come to notice two big things: Most all beginner students have trouble playing “in time.” Strangely, they don’t seem to be concerned with it-AND-they don’t pat their feet when they play….hmmmm, are you thinking what I’m thinking?
This, of course, is totally understandable, at first anyway. They are busy making their fingers do something new, which is basically to “pat their head and rub their stomach at the same time.”
But-when we look at videos of live musicians on Youtube, what do they ALL do? They, most all, move their bodies (which also has the side benefit of making themselves look cool) and-they (wait for it) pat their feet! They rock out! My point is simply this: you can’t play in time unless you learn to pat your feet. A simple idea, but true. Music is all math and dance. So don’t be shy…dance with it! You’ll have more fun, and you will play in time!
Reader Sean Carmichael points out another problem I see over and over, on stage, but mainly in the recording session: OMG! The RED LIGHT is on!
All people experience this while recording, especially at first. It’s basically stage fright: you are “all-relaxed” and ready to make “rock history”, and then someone (you, or the recording engineer) hits the dreaded red button, and everything changes. You become tense, your shoulders go up, sweating starts, your breath rate gets faster…..and then, you blow the take.
So: do you remember when you were a kid, and got lost in the moment-all the time? Were you nervous when you played with your Matchbox cars? No, you weren’t, were you? You were too busy-having fun.
You simply must make yourself return to being a kid, when either on stage or recording. Relax. This in NOT the last time you will get a shot at it, especially in home recording. I mean-who is there watching, that is of any real-or bad consequence to your recording at home? The answer; nobody but you….and you will get this, if you let yourself just play, and have fun.
Advice? Relax. Chill. Rock….and make “Rock History” by having fun!