Tegan, add a copy of the scaled down version I helped with above your new one in the original post. That way the others have some reference here to see where you started with and keep adding the new versions below it. That’ll help people follow the thread and comment on them. Do something like
original mix (date)
jonathan quick rough (date)
guitars added (date)
… once people get familiar with your work you probably wouldn’t need to, but for this it might help. That way it makes it easier for someone to track your steps
You’ll probably start getting a lot of comments on the timing like on the other site.
The best thing I think to do here is spend a couple days or a week just practicing playing guitar along with a drum loop and recording it. Here’s the way I’d recommend doing this: Start with something real simple like palm mutes and quarter notes and just play a progression over 3 or 4 chords. Anything. Play over a perfectly quantized drum beat and a bass line. Could be Jingle bells or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It doesn’t matter.
Record about 16-24 bars. Stop. Go back, listen to it, then look at where your dropped your transients from your physical playing against where the click and drum loop hit on the grid. Zoom in a little bit, and you’ll notice the timing patterns are ahead of your drum beat in some places and behind in others. This is the only way I can think of helping improve the rhythm issues. Start chopping and moving or time correcting your transients until they look and sound on the beat. Then compare it to the unedited version. Rinse and repeat. Let the computer teach you what it sounds like when something is on the beat vs off the beat.
You’ve got to get yourself to where you’re a tad more aware of where you’re off time before anyone else advice on correcting guitars can really help. You’re basically looking to train yourself to identify timing issues. Once you can consciously identify them, then your technique, physical ergonomics, and instincts will adjust. Once someone develops their ear to where they can identify this stuff, their body and mind should naturally compensate while playing and tracking themselves. Again, your fingers will start to naturally adapt to what your mind perceives as ‘this sounds correct’.
So the timing is a re-occuring issue when you post stuff for feedback on forums. Its not really possible for anyone to pinpoint where stuff sounds off. No one can say ‘well, the guitar 1 is a little ahead and 1:06 and the lead is too far infant at 23 sec… etc…’ because the timing is consistently problematic through the whole song, in all the guitars, the vocals.
I’ll throw one more tip out there… what makes a groove a groove opposed to a bunch of repeated notes?
So its not how dead-on something locks with a metronome. Its much more about the consistency of the repeated pattern. A snare can sit a couple milliseconds behind the 2 and the 4. That’s ok if it is consistently behind the 2 and the 4 each time it hits. So its very much OK if the misses the metronome, as long as it does so consistently each time. When I track world class drummers in Nashville, Charlotte, or Atlanta, they’ll get slightly ahead of and behind the click. That’s ok because they’re doing it intentionally and consistently in certain parts of the songs, and the rest of the band is able to sense that and adapt to the super minor changes in the ‘groove’ between verses and choruses. Again, my point is that everything does not have to be dead on a click. But if you want your rhythm guitar to drag in microscopic increments behind the kick and snare, just make sure its equally off (behind) the beat on every single chord.