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Thanks for checking out my FAQ section! Due to my schedule craziness, it is often impossible to respond to each of the inquiries I receive...but I definitely do want to answer as many of your questions as I'm able. Here are some of my responses to the most frequent questions I receive. I'll try to add to this as time permits. Thanks for your interest! God bless you & your grooving...


Rhythmic Ear-Training


I've been listening to the examples from the last few days' lessons on MusicDojo (On Top, Laying Back, and Spot On), and I'm having a hard time hearing much difference. The "On Top" example is faster, so it does seem energetic, but it seems the bass is on the beat. The "Laying Back" example is slow and does seem "lazy", but again, the bass seems to be on the beat. Do you have any suggestions to help me better hear that difference? (I know - ponder the groove by listening!) I haven't had a chance to record myself yet, so that may help. Thanks.

- S.S.


Hey S.S.-

Don't get discouraged - the subtleties will become more apparent the more you delve into this stuff. What you're feeling in those examples is probably 50% tempo and 50% where we're putting the notes.

Yes, you'll absolutely get a better sense for this as you spend more time recording (and especially going back and comparing your recorded lines to the "grid"). Sequencing is also a great way to learn about feel, from the standpoint that if you program something and quantize it rigidly (particularly something like blues or jazz), you'll find it is often devoid of feel. If you don't quantize it as much, and play it in so that it feels good, you'll usually find that the notes are slightly behind their "correct" position in terms of musical notation for slower, lazier tunes, and slightly ahead (or "on top") for uptempo stuff that's really energetic and cooking.

Listening to lots of recorded examples of great groove players will also help enhance your ability to hear this. If you encounter an example of a really incredible groove played by great players, try sequencing that groove & doing a 100% quantize...you'll likely find that the sequenced version (although lining up with the grid) lacks the right feel.

Have fun...Norm

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