The front and back of a beat?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Practice, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. Practice

    Practice New Friend

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    What does it mean to be in the front of the beat and the back of the beat?
    Today my music director was explaining as to how most music has different ways to play with the beat(I think this is what he meant), but I still don't understand how it works.
     
  2. Chuck Cox

    Chuck Cox Forte User

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    I'm behind the beat with jazz/blues....kinda laid back lazy blues. You can be ahead or behind the beat depending on how it feels if you're the only trumpet playing.
     
  3. Practice

    Practice New Friend

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    So being behind or on the front is just the feel you get from the song you are playing?
     
  4. Chuck Cox

    Chuck Cox Forte User

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    Behind the beat is being a little slow coming in with whatever phrase that you're playing. Just an eigth of a beat or something like that. A half a beat would be exactly on the upbeat. You're not dragging the song, but you are intentionally coming in slightly late for effect. Don't over concentrate on it and try to force it on every note in the phrase. Experiment laying back off the beat with your entrances and/or at the breaks in the phrase ( where you would continue the start of the rest of the phrase just behind the beat). I think you'll feel it after a while. It is used mostly in Gospel/Jazz/Blues for me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  5. Practice

    Practice New Friend

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    I somewhat get it now. Thanks
     
  6. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    Think of time as a bubble around the beat. The middle of the bubble is exactly on the beat. To the left is ahead of the beat and to the right is behind. Depending on the music, you float somewhere in the bubble, but playing too far beyond the edges of the bubble is not stylistic, it's just dragging or rushing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  7. Chuck Cox

    Chuck Cox Forte User

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    You'll get it pretty soon....'cause there are bound to be 14 different players here that will offer at least 8 slightly differing opinions that will have your heading spinning so much that you'll just want to get away from it all and actually go and play behind the beat and see how it feels rather than talking about it for days...and days...and days.:grouphug:ROFL
     
  8. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

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    Listen to Basie for examples of playing laid back.

    Tommy Dorsey, or Goodman for playing on top of the beat.

    You'll hear a big difference.
     
  9. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    It was at a symposium back in 1980--Digicon, about integrating computers and the arts, and Michael Boddicker was talking about time delays when syncing MIDI tracks. I believe the size of the "bubble" was about 11 milliseconds--anything outside that would be perceived as early or late. If we play within that window, playing before the beat will add a sense of urgency and excitement to the music; behind the beat a sense of relaxation. It applies to most, but not all styles of music.

    Have fun experimenting and listening!
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  10. MFfan

    MFfan Fortissimo User

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    Our director of the KCB encourages us often to concentrate on playing at the front edge of the beat, partially because when you get 90 players some pieces naturally seem to "drag" and slow down a bit, especially the up tempo pieces like marches and overtures, modern complex time pieces, etc. Other, intentionally slow tempo pieces are not much of a problem in that regard.
     

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