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A Matter of Time: The science of rhythm and the groove Paperback – May 5, 2014

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 94 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2nd edition (May 5, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1500667544
  • ISBN-13: 978-1500667542
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. Lucas TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"A Matter of Time: The Science of Rhythm and the Groove" is a musician's advice and thoughts (backed up by his exploration of scientific and psychological studies about the subject) about rhythm, and how humans use and process it in making and enjoying music. The author himself is a drummer, and shares both his own experience and "ah-ha!" moments about rhythm as well as interesting anecdotes that takes this book from the realm of a topic that could be dry to one that is very helpful and interesting.

He begins with the importance of clarity in explanation so that musical students can truly understand rhythm, groove, pulse, and more. He spends time discussing how everyone has rhythm, as it occurs in nature and our own bodies, and gives guidance on how to tune into it--thinking versus non-thinking, "feeling" music, etc. The text even links to videos that help illustrate the author's points.

This book is written in a conversational style that's easy to follow, and I would recommend it to both younger and older musicians (no matter where they are in their career), those who are interested in music generally, and those who enjoy learning for learning's sake (even if you don't play music yourself, a lot of the information in the book is fascinating--for instance, did you know that supermarkets play music of a certain speed because it causes you move your cart at that speed down the aisles? Now you do!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mike Tarrani HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on November 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I received a review copy of this book from the author many months ago and keep coming back to it. The main reason is there are so many thought-provoking nuggets of information that I could not assimilate them all in a reading.

First off, this may be written by a drummer, but it's intended for all musicians. What I love is the way this book focuses on seemingly simple concepts such as rhythm and time, then delves deeply into them and provides an explanation that covers not only the physical elements, but the psychological and physiological factors as well. Along the way Lamb defines and explains pulse, meter, groove and a number of other interrelated terms that we tend to use, but until I read this book did not realize that I was wrong. An example is what I thought was pulse turns out to be something different.

My first introduction to some of the concepts in this book was from a brief video segment by New Orleans drum legend Johnny Vidacovich. He was very aware of the same factors that Lamb explains in this book, but was not nearly as articulate or as thorough in explaining it. For years some of what Vidacovich discussed nagged at me. When I read this book it was like having a grand unification of all of the moving parts. Everything fell into place and I now have a clear understanding rhythm and time - and the constituent parts.

This book has helped me to be both a better drummer and musician by opening my mind to subtleties I can use to enhance music I am playing. One example is how I can greatly alter a groove just by playing slightly behind or ahead of the beat (or directly on it). I also came away with a clear understanding of how I can stretch or compress time to actually change the meaning of the music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Author John Lamb explains early on in this well written and well designed (gorgeous visual elements really enhance this book) book on Rhythm, `Explaining what rhythm is literally, a way to explore personally what rhythm is, what it feels like and what it means....Motivation is the motor, but accurate understanding is the destination.' What he has provided for the professional musician, the student musician, and the layperson alike is a beautifully sculpted path to understanding that most basic aspect of music - and actually of life - Rhythm.

In this brief but thorough book he takes us through an exploration of What is Rhythm, bring the ideas of resonance, language, pulse, the heart rate and the integration of all of this information into understanding the higher elements of meter, metronomic control (do we hear it of feel the pulse of it's beat?), the `rules' of music and how to overcome the external aspects and internalize them.

He includes his own philosophy of the difference between live performance and recorded music, how music enters the emotions, and how we ultimately connect with the rhythm/music of his chosen topic.

Lamb writes in a way that he wants us to understand his message - a technique sorely missing in other books that attempt to explain the magic of understanding the foundations of music. Lamb comes to this shared experience with a bachelor's degree in Music, Biology and Psychology and a Masters in Education focused on teaching rhythm. He is not only a teacher but he also has studied drumming and performs widely from his home location in Portland, Oregon. And, yes, he is a professional photographer which explains why the many beautiful images in this book are so additive. Grady Harp, June 13
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Chambers HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on June 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Although I've never had any musical training, I had no difficulty understanding the concepts of rhythm, resonance, and beat explained by musician John Lamb in his short but illuminating book "A Matter of Time." He defines rhythm as repetition in space or time. Since the author's background is in music, the book is primarily about musical rhythm (notes repeated in time to form a repeating pattern). Rhythm is resonance, and the book illustrates a non-musical example of resonance with a story about Nikolai Tesla almost destroying a building when he hit on the structure's resonant frequency.

The book isn't just about music theory, however. Rhythms are patterns, and these patterns cause our brains to resonate, in a process known as brain wave entrainment. Entrainment synchronizes neural activity. The author uses this phenomenon to explain why live music will always sound better than recorded music. He also explains the so-called Mozart Effect, where learning to play music improves seemingly unrelated mental skills.

Musicians and music students should get a better feel for their music by understanding the concept of rhythm and timing, but as someone with no music background whatsoever, I enjoyed the book and got a better understanding of why I enjoy some musical works better than others.

Note: the book includes a number of links to YouTube videos and other web links. My Kindle Paperwhite isn't capable of playing YouTube videos, so I had to use my PC to connect with these.

A review copy of the book was provided by the author.
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