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Basic question about metronome practice

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Tombolino, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Tombolino


    Dec 28, 2012
    As i learn cover songs i play along w songs, slow down and loop tough passages and then when i get it i gradually increase to the songs original tempo and do this for a few weeks or evem months After doing all this, should i still additiinally practice the song w a metronome ? If yes, why ?

  2. sammyp


    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada
    When i learn hard new songs on guitar or bass i practice with the mp3 on half speed etc via windows media player and gradually bump up the tempo to normal.

    I use a metronome or groove if i'm practicing an exercise or pattern with no associated mp3 etc.
  3. I also like to practice songs and patterns with a metronome, if there are passages that are difficult I try and work up to a tempo faster than I would need to play them with the band. It helps me to be more relaxed on stage when I dont feel as though I am on my limit on a certain part. In answer to you question, it's good to go over songs that you have learned now and again with a metronome just to see if you still playing them tightly, but I would caution against getting bogged down with stuff you have learned and not moving on to enough new material, this happened to me where I was trying to keep going over what I had learned and move on to new exercises, eventually the stuff I had learned started eating up most of my practice time at the expence of moving on.
  4. I'm the same way when learning new songs... Play along with the mp3. I use a metronome for stuff like scale/fingering exercises and warmups, working out passages without an mp3, etc. But I seriously think every musician I currently gig with has some form of metronome on them at all times. Standard equipment in every pro musicians toolbox. I have two on my iPad (which I use for song charts) and one in my phone. It's so easy to have one with all the smart devices out there these days... And cheap too. The one on my phone is fantastic, lots of features, and only $.99. On my iPad, one was free (basic but good) and one is built into Forscore (my app for charts).

    Another way to make practicing more fun... Get a drum machine or a phrase sampler. I've owned a Boomerang+ and an RC-2... I could sit for hours making loops and playing, and it's not even like working with a metronome. Same with drum machines. I just downloaded DM1 (free on iPad/iPhone) amd it's pretty cool. With these kinds of tools, you don't even realize you're improving your sense of time. :)

  5. rimbaud

    rimbaud Banned

    Nov 17, 2011
    There's the fun practice and the fundamentals. When you have to work your internal timing feel, your internal tempo, the metronome is your best friend. I had to practice a whole set recently for a tribute band, it went fine, succeed to the audition.

    .....Then my teacher asked me to work subdivised stuff with a metronome set slow (60 BPM) only on beats 1 and 3........... totally lost the first 5 minutes !! He was sometimes cutting the sound of the metronome, and when he turned on the volume after a few bars.... BOOM, I was always early or late, never truly ON the beat...

    Slowing your mp3 is good, working on MP3 is good, but never forget your best ally: your internal timing feel, .....and this is the metronome's area of instruction IMHO
  6. rimbaud

    rimbaud Banned

    Nov 17, 2011
  7. I don't generally use a metronome when first learning something new, I generally wait until I have it going good, then measure my progress against the metronome.

    I do use it for scale practice or to see how quickly I can get around the fretboard without breaking the beat.

    Also, nothing like it to reinforce your own internal sense of timing. I use drum pattens for this, but the principle is the same. Set a tempo then drop it out randomly, and for different lengths of time. When you can keep the tempo on your own, and be right on the 1 when it starts again, your internal timing is pretty good.
  8. Also keep in mind that developing a keen sense of timing won't happen overnight. My parents started me in piano lessons at age 4, so I got started early. The 60bpm exercise is a great suggestion, as is dropping out the drum machine. Get that internal clock going! I also credit my sense of timing to jamming with my Boomerang during a stretch between bands a few years ago. Instantly locking in with any drummer is pretty much second nature now.

  9. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    I'm going to go ahead and bring up the argument, it it really possible to improve your timing? Sometimes when I listen to a measure and try to hit it on the next 1, I'm off. I know where it should be, I just can't hit it! It's like that arcade game with a pulse of light moving through light bulbs in a circle and you have to hit it on the red one. That's what it feels like to me :meh:. Plus I was in a percussion ensemble in HS that involved lots and lots of metronome work, came out of that the same.
  10. Octaves


    Jun 22, 2012
    Bump for a good thread and useful tool.

    I recently recorded myself and found I was behind or off the beat a little. It will be metronome for me all the way now.
  11. MCMLXI


    Feb 9, 2013
    San Diego, CA

    60 - 90 bpm. If you can play slow perfectly, its much easier to play fast and be in the pocket.
  12. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    A. If you use the metronome to keep you in time, I submit you don't really know the part. YOU have to keep time, not rely on the 'nome or the drums. Practice slow and precise, it's OK to play out of time as you work out fingering , etc.

    B. To work on ensuring you are playing in time, set the 'nome to only click on 2 and 4 ( or set a drum machine to only give you snare hits on 2 and 4). This makes YOU provide 1 and 3, one of the fundamental aspects of your job. Can't play with only 2 and 4, but can with a full drum track? Means you ain't keeping time, you're riding someone else's time.

    C. Absolutely one can improve their ability to articulate music in time. Just as one can learn to recognize intervals by practicing with a fixed reference, one can learn to keep time by working with a fixed reference. But you have to listen to yourself and stand alone. That's the reason for only using the reference for part of the measure.

  13. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
    If I have the sheet music, sure I will learn it with the metronome before hearing a MP3 or whatever recorded version.

    Could you play the song perfecly in time without a drum beat or a metronome or whatever what that help you with your timing ? Because you can't always rely on everyone else to have good time.
  14. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Los Angeles
    +1. Using the metronome to hit on 2 and 4 is a great exercise