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Metronome recommendations

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by matthewbrown, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. matthewbrown

    matthewbrown Supporting Member

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    I am not happy with my current metronome, which, while flexible, is quiet and doesn't have a very solid sound. Any recommendations?
  2. HPYFLP

    HPYFLP

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    Dr. Beats is pretty cool. There are also decent ones on DAW's and online! Also if you have an Iphone/smartphone I have heard their are legitimate metronome apps for free or really cheap!
  3. matthewbrown

    matthewbrown Supporting Member

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    I have this -- and it's quite good, just not LOUD ENOUGH!
  4. Nalte

    Nalte

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    This may or may not work for you: I created a bunch of click tracks in Audacity and put them on my iPod. Then I can listen through earbuds, my stereo, etc, at whatever volume I need.
  5. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler

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    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Transcription, transcription, transcription.

    Jazz time isn't metronomic. It's dance music. Street beat. New Orleans. Play along with PC and Ray and you'll have a FEEL. Practice with a metronome too much and you'll have "good time" but no feel. The metronome has its place in the shed, but gigs+transcription makes you a cat people want to hire. Truth.
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Administrator

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    I recently downloaded Tempo for the iPod touch and am enjoying it quite a bit. There are a lot of options for sounds, and it can be amplified through phones or externally. It's also quite cheap. I don't want to contradict the excellent advice above, but would add that I believe that anyone who has a great feel can play with good metronomic control if they so choose, so I'd strive for both. :) I practice/warmup/shed parts of whatever I'm working on with a 'nome daily, then turn it off about halfway through each session once I'm "calibrated" and try to focus on being musically expressive. I have yet to meet a player with great time who can't control it.
  7. dperrott

    dperrott

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    Its only for iphone or ipod touch... Its called the visual metronome by muse. It is the best metronome out there, in my opinion. Completely programmable. You can do odd meter, mixed meter, what ever beat you want accented, it does everything. Never used it but I guess its like the Dr. beat but only costs about 2 bucks. With it, I was finally able to really work on mixed meter things.
  8. baileyboy

    baileyboy

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  9. matthewbrown

    matthewbrown Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check out the Korg; I don't have an iphone (I barely have a cell phone!) As for transcriptions vs metronomes, I view them as complementary, not opposed. When I have internalized a steady pulse at a wide range of tempos, I find it easier to work with different speeds. Also, when I've been away from the bass for awhile, it's good to use a metronome to brush up.
  10. meandering

    meandering

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    There is a free metronome you can download that is quite flexible and allows one to select different sounds for different beats:

    Weird Metronome

    for instance, i have it programmed to play on one every four measures with a different sound for the one at the top of a 32-measure chorus. it takes a second to figure out but after that you can have a lot of fun.
  11. longfinger

    longfinger

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  12. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler

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    Ray and Paul and Ron used this:

    http://image.shutterstock.com/displ...tional-wooden-mechanical-metronome-103963.jpg


    ...but also played a ton of gigs and worked on playing with records. The excessive use of the metronome and metronomic time are a symptom of the pedagogy, not the tradition. Once again, sorry to hit y'all with truth. There are NO easy solutions. Only hard work. If you want to sound like a player, LEARN like a player. Period. The jazz community is filled with guys with "good time" and no feel, who neither I nor my contemporaries would ever dream of hiring for a gig.:eyebrow:

    That being said, I do an hour of scales with a metronome every day. Please, people. Don't confuse metronomic time with swing feel. The click is for the internal clock. The dance ONLY comes from the tradition. Ever wonder why classical exclusive players can't swing? They spend plenty of time with the metronome.....
  13. crowsmengegus

    crowsmengegus

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    You have a valid point, one that is true for all types of music, not just jazz. But the reason certain players can't swing is because they don't. It's got nothing to do with metronomes.

    As for a metronome recommendation, this thing is a cadillac: Seiko Sq70 Metronome. Discount prices. Free sound samples.

    It has adjustable beat divisions, goes very loud and has two click "tones" to choose from. It's big though, definitely not portable. If you want portable go with the seiko earlier in the thread.
  14. matthewbrown

    matthewbrown Supporting Member

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    Crows, thanks for the recommendation -- this looks like what I'm after!

    Chicago - I didn't really start this thread to enter into a discussion about the use or misuse of metronomes in music pedagogy, although your points about swing feel are well taken. I will say this: I've met many players who don't swing at all, and there are lots of reason they don't. Sometimes its conceptual (they haven't listened enough), sometimes it's a lack of technique, and sometimes their sense of the pulse is so rocky they've got nothing to build on. I find when I'm away from the bass for a period of time, it helps to use a metronome when warming up on basic scales and arpeggios. I do think that internalizing the pulse and learning to subdivide it in varied ways are basic musical skills that cross genres, and that a metronome is a useful tool to acquire them. It's possible to debate endlessly about swing feels and how to master them, but I don't think that practicing with a metronome precludes developing a time feel in any genre.
  15. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler

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    Matt, it's not a question of preclusion. I sound like a broken record here... metronome and tuner work is necessary for even menial musicianship. This is a given. Which one you use is just semantics. Practice at 120bpm with a loud clock. Please excuse me for ranting away. Regardless of what you use for a click, playing along with your own transcriptions is the serious heavy lifting. It gets two birds stoned at the same time.
  16. longfinger

    longfinger

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    One thing that I find useful in a stand alone metronome is the ability to click very slowly, say 30bpm, or even down to 20bpm. Most go down only to 40bpm. A feature like that is useful, in that it allows a metronome setting of clicking on a whole note pulse, or even a double-whole note pulse.

    To do that now, I use a computer based metronome, as my stand-alone metronome goes down to only 40bpm.
  17. lfh

    lfh

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    +1

    I practice a lot with the click on four only.

    The Korg KDM-2 is plenty loud and goes down to 30 BPM.
  18. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan

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    I use a.bestmetrone.com when practicing at home or at the bass studio at school. Otherwise I have a small Dr. Beat that does the job, though it's been kinda crapping out lately.. might have to pony up for that cadillac seiko crowsmengegus mentioned.

    I hope this makes sense, and it might be the kind of thing that is best demonstrated in person, but..

    Another option is to practice walking lines and solo improvisation with the metronome clicking on the offbeat of each beat so that you, the musician, are the one responsible for laying down a strong and solid downbeat. It's good to start with a slower tempo and build up slightly (obviously fast tempos would be pretty tough to do this with, but this does indirectly help with fast tempos), starting with the "and" click on the "and" of every beat, then on the "and" of beats 1 and 3 or 2 and 4, then gradually on the and of beat 1 only (then of 2, 3 or 4). An important thing is to avoid swinging the "and" click, instead playing it so that the "and" is felt and played straight, sitting right in the middle beats one and two and so on.. which isn't to say that what you play can't be played with a swing feel (yes, feel free to scratch your head.. but feeling the "and" swung could result in turning the beat around, whereas feeling it straight but swinging what you play could lead to settling into a nice, big pocket and a solid/consistent time feel). The "and" click shouldn't be felt to imply a double time feel either, the way you hear drummers do with the hihat on medium-slow tempos. It's a real ass kicker of an exercise, and may result in pulling one's hair out out of frustration when one actually plays on the click (i.e. turns the beat around).. but IME, IMHO it really hooks things up and leads to an ever stronger/solid sense of time (still workin' on it, of course). It also helps to first just tap the downbeats as the metronome clicks the offbeats to really get that sense of rhythm in your body. It's fun to do this on a blues/rhythm changes or other simple tune playing solo or duet with a pianist.
  19. crowsmengegus

    crowsmengegus

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    +1 to this.
  20. dperrott

    dperrott

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    There is a free metronome available for mac the "Ron Fleckner metronome" which is nice. You can do accents and it think it goes down to 1bpm!!

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