Adam Rafferty: Ahead of The Beat

Adam Rafferty – Superstition & Sir Duke- Live At Bangkok Acoustic Guitar Celebration

Check it out… I think you will enjoy this live performance that Adam gives here, especially the second song Sir Duke. What I like about his playing is, he really knows how to crank the melody notes ahead of the beat which creates so much excitement, just check out the quickness of the single notes he does. This is not to be confuses with tempo, speeding up or playing fast (even though it’s fast)…

Ahead of the beat means he is actually playing the notes slightly earlier than the actual tempo. This gives the illusion that the tempo is somehow speeding up but, it’s not. So let’s say Adam played Sir Duke with a metronome setting of let’s say 150… If you were to record his performance on a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) with that tempo pre-set, you would then be able to visualize his notes going over the bar lines in the note divisions of the sequence.

Ahead of the beat? Why do this?

It sounds so incredible, that’s why. When you hear a really hot guitarist and/or solo, that’s most likely what’s happening… getting those notes in just ahead of the bar line or beat.. So if you have a DAW, try taking your audio clip of a a solo and slightly shifting/nudging it ahead of the beat.. but keep your rhythm the same. Can you hear the difference? The trick is to learn how to do it without editing!!!

Ahead of the beat is very common in bluegrass music, in fact Bill Monroe when asked one time if he considered himself a fast player he replied, “I’m play quick, not fast,”  which to me means, he knew how to play ahead of the beat..

So back to Adam Rafferty.. this is one of the reasons I enjoy his playing, and something for you to think about if you are playing the guitar.

The Youtube description says the following:

“Bangkok Acoustic Guitar Celebration 2009 was held at Center Point, 7th Floor, Central World on October 31, 2009. The second guitarist who performed on the stage was Adam Rafferty from United States. For this clip, he played the song “Superstition” and then continued with “Sir Duke”. Hope you all enjoy the nice sound and rhythm from him.”


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