How to Strengthen Your Time Feel (Part One)

In this series, I’m going to offer some ideas on how you can strengthen your time feel.

We all know as drummers that groove is king. It’s why you get hired. Or as Steve Gadd once said, “Fills bring the thrills, but the groove pays the bills.” At least I think he said that (It’s all over the internet with his name attached, but I can’t find the original source of this quote).

But how to get better? One of the most important components of groove is time. Your time needs to be steady. And we usually work with a metronome to achieve that.

When we do that work, most of the time, we use the click as the quarter note.

But what if we switched that up a little? How about using the click as the “e”?

In this video, I’m going to demonstrate this. I’m just beginning to work on this myself, but I can tell it is going to be helpful. Why? Because forcing myself to hear the click in a different way puts some stress on me mentally. I have to work harder to play my grooves. And that makes me stronger….

It’s based on an idea that John Riley talks about called “headroom.” I want to have abilities much beyond what is required so that I can play what is required with complete ease and confidence.

Here’s the video with my explanation and demonstration.