“I played this much better on my own at home than in front of you.”
I often hear this comment from my music students. It is their perception that they are playing well behind closed doors. In actuality, the beginning banjo, guitar and mandolin student needs to address the timing of the piece when they practice. Otherwise, they may know which notes to play but their melody line will fall ahead or behind a group when performing with others.
The Time Signature (2/4, 3/4, 4/4 ect), which is denoted after the Clef sign at the beginning of a piece of music, indicates what time the musician will be playing. The top number refers to the number of beats that exist in a measure. The bottom number, indicates what type of note (quarter, eighth, ect) receives one beat. For example, 3/8 time means that there are three beats per measure with the eighth note receiving one beat. On the other hand, 4/4 time, indicates that there are four beats per measure and the quarter note receives one beat.
Are you having trouble with keeping a good rhythm? Do you practicing scales slowly and evenly with a goal to gradually build speed with a consistent beat? Have you practiced with a metronome or do you play along with sound files to build your confidence with timing issues? Let us know how you plan on practicing to improve your timing and rhythm.