Do you use a metronome? Poll.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by jallenbass, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. Every time I practice

    74 vote(s)
  2. Once in a while

    153 vote(s)
  3. I don't anymore

    28 vote(s)
  4. Never

    79 vote(s)
  1. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Just curious.
    staccatogrowl likes this.
  2. Came over from rhythm guitar and thought my internal clock would be good enough - wrong. OK for rhythm guitar, but, not for bass. Yes I use a metronome or drum track. Drum tracks take a little looking for so a click track (metronome) normally work.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  3. Sometimes.

    Probably not as much as I should....
  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I also use a click track when recording which helps but mostly just proves i need to practice with the metronome more.
  5. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    Excuse me if this comes off trollish... But "never" is the wrong answer in this poll.
    n1as likes this.
  6. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Drum tracks. Helps strength because you know when you slow down.
  7. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Columbia SC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    There's not a choice on there that corresponds to my usage. I use it every time I practice something that I need to use a metronome on, but I may not hit that every time I practice. I also like to use the nome when I'm NOT practicing. I tend to record sessions and gigs and I like to check performance against the nome, to see where things were pushing and pulling and assess that against my memory of what I felt was going on during that particular tune.

    I'm pretty sure any long time TBers are familiar with my stance on using a metronome, but for those who are newer and don't want to search for it, it is as follows:
    1. improving time feel - there are a series of improvisational exercises that I got from my teacher and that he got from his teachers, Sal Mosca and Lennie Tristano. Those are generally outlined in the REALLY Learning a Tune thread. Suffice it to say, the goal is not to memorize tempos but to develop a real-time visceral feeling as to when you are pushing or pulling against the time stream that the tune started in. It's all part of developing a relaxed and tension free physical approach and is very much related to ear training for pitch relationship and chord function.
    2. pressure to test technique - when working on scales, arpeggios etc. what you may come up with for string crossing, position shifts, fingering etc. out of time may not, in fact, be the most efficient or "elegant", solution as soon as you apply a rhythmic constant. So if it works out of time and you can execute it at QNOTE=40 bpm but it falls apart at 60bpm, you have some direction to start tearing apart WHERE and WHAT the problem is.
  8. Yep. If not that then digital drum tracks.

    And when I'm recording by myself I'll often use the 'quantize' button because it just sounds way better than non-quantized tracks in many cases.

    When creating digital loop drum tracks I can get it to where it sounds 'tight' and 'good' without quantize. But I still usually prefer the quantized result eventually.

    I don't care what anyone says...or all the hoopla and controversy about metronomes. I'll use mine whenever and wherever I want to use it.

    For those that think one's playing level and skill is ultimately determined by whether they use a metronome or not...I say there's a whole bunch of areas that need far more attention.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Drum machine, yes.
    Fergie Fulton and bassista6 like this.
  10. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    drums loops into a DAW are the same as a metronome, so: yes. and many of the recordings i do for my bands use a click track, so: yes. IMO: playing with any time-keeper is just another skill/experience to have as a bass player.
    staccatogrowl and Fergie Fulton like this.
  11. BassAndReeds


    Oct 7, 2016
    I used to all the time. Now I just learn tunes. I'm not trying to be Victor Wooten though.
  12. Well as we know , a wind-up metronome goes ' tok tok tok tok tok'.

    Now, interestingly, you don't have to be right on the 'tok' when plucking.
    You can go 'b-tok b-tok b-tok b-tok' or you can go 'bum-bum tok tok tok bum-bum tok tok tok'

    You can also vary the plucking volume as ' bum bum bum bum tok tok tok'

    But when you use a digital drum machine...well that's a different kettle of fish.

    Take the digital swing-beat ' snp snp tut tut umphataaata umphataaata' for example.

    You could play ' bum ba-bimbim bum ba-bimbin' or you could play ' bum ba-doodle bum ba-doodle'......possibilities are endless.

    Same with the generic digital loop ' ba DUP tish ba-babba DUP tish'....bass line could be ' BUM mute b-bubba BUM mute'...almost old hat these days..

    An electronic metronome is also dangerous territory..

    Before you know it you've got 'tokka t-tokka tokka t-tokka tokka-t-tokka' or.. ' t-tok tok tok tok tokka tokka tokka'

    Then you're into 13/1 time at 185 bpm. Not for the faint of heart.

    I always use an amplified metronome through a 15" speaker when playing Mountain's "Mississippi Queen" or I can't hear the timing. Blasphemy I know...should be using a cowbell.

    To get creative, have two out-of-sync metronomes going at once.

    Timing with a metronome can be confusing. Take the famous line in 'Taxi Driver' where Bickle says

    " Me? You tokka to me?"
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  13. St_G


    Jan 22, 2013
    Memphis, TN
    Some sort of drum loop, pretty much any time I'm doing anything more than noodling.
    Fergie Fulton likes this.
  14. Why?
    jchrisk1 and staurosjohn like this.
  15. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Just play along with recodings. Or a click sometimes in the studio.
    Fergie Fulton likes this.
  16. I disagree. They are two completely different things.
    lfmn16 likes this.
  17. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member get to do that!
    Fergie Fulton and David A. Davis like this.
  18. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    Either a metronome or a drum machine (which is what I prefer, actually).
    Fergie Fulton likes this.
  19. I use a click track when multi-tracking, because a rambling five minute song with drum, guitar and keyboard parts (as well as bass) would get ugly in no time otherwise. As far as metronomes go, I don't even own one.
    Fergie Fulton and Spidey2112 like this.
  20. Me too.
    Fergie Fulton likes this.