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Drummer Metronome

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Joronamo, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. Joronamo


    Dec 12, 2009
    I am having a bit of an issue with the drummer at the moment. He is a very good player but he is so anal about playing in time with a metronome. I understand keeping time with a metronome or click is an important skill and you need to be able to do it when recording so you dont waste time and money but in rehearsals when you have a drummer and you just want to rehearse the songs and get them tight, you dont need a metronome because thats what the drummer is there for, right?.

    I have done some recording before to a click track and it took a few takes to get used to it like anything but I got the hang of it eventually and kept time. I have never practised to a metronome before in my life but my drummer insists I start doing it even when we jam.

    What I dont understand is that when we play the songs they sound fine and in time and no one complains. Also some songs change time signature or tempo mid-song so how can a metronome help us in that situation. Has anyone else had this problem with a drummer before? Is a metronome really that necessary especially in a jam because the drummer keeps nagging and nagging? If so whats a good metronome website I can start practising off?

    I am mainly confused because I thought my timing was generally good but now I feel degraded as a bass player.
  2. Basshoofd


    Jan 14, 2009
    A drummer isn't there to be the band metronome. Everyone has to have good timing. It's OK to lean on the drummer a bit if you don't have great timing yet, but you do have to learn to keep time yourself. And definitely not just because you want to save studio time...
  3. IbanezBass69


    Jul 14, 2010
    I think he is going overboard. It might be a good idea to practice with a metronome sometimes, just to make sure you are tight and keeping time. However, that said, playing live and recording are obviously two different things, and when rehearsing, you may want to work more on playing the songs well in a more "live" vibed (if that is a word) environment. The drummer is basically the metronome in a live environment, so let him rehearse it that way.
  4. Joronamo


    Dec 12, 2009
    You are both right. What is the definition of keeping time anyway? Tts a pretty broad term in my opinion. Because when we play the songs they sound fine but at the end my drummer says there are a few parts which didnt sync with the metronome so I am confused...
  5. Joronamo


    Dec 12, 2009
    @ibanez: "The drummer is basically the metronome in a live environment, so let him rehearse it that way."

    what exactly to do you mean by this?
  6. I don't see a problem. he wants to play the song at the right tempo every time. That seems like a very good quality to have in a drummer. Songs that change in the middle, just skip the metronome, or use computer software to create a beatmapped metronome track and play it back with a sampler or cd player. Consistency is very important to me.....really, i wish my band would rehearse with a metronome. Our singer starts a lot of the songs, and always REALLY fast at shows so we end up sounding like a punk rock band instead of a rock band. consider yourself lucky to play with such a musician.
  7. Stanley Pugh

    Stanley Pugh

    Jun 14, 2008
    Most drummers speed up during a tune some dufus during a tune.
    In every band I have ever been in I had to reign in the drummer to time.
    The drummer I have now is like yours, o.c.d got to be perfect! He has to fit every run in because it is on the recording. " what would Neil think" :eek:
    The secret is the drummer and the bass must be in time with each other period.
    If my drummer speeds up so do I, If it is enough to be a problem we talk.
    Drummers are a challenge unless you have Horacio Hernandez.
    Bottom line is like some others have said, we all must be in time.
    This is music 101, it takes practice.:)
  8. Joronamo


    Dec 12, 2009
    I am very fortunate to have him thats why I have taken his advice, the only problem is I am a bit confused about what he means sometimes.
  9. Joronamo


    Dec 12, 2009
    Are there any tips you could give me to practise my timing? Obviously it will involve a metronome ofcourse but Im not really sure how to use one which sound kind of dumb. I was never really good with numbers at school so time signatures, timing, BPM etc really baffle me. I have just been going by my natural internal metronome thus far but obviously want to get it spot on for the reasos above^.
  10. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    Best tip to learn/practice timing: Use a metronome!

    Speaking of which, here's what I'd like to find:

    - Large, easy-to-read BPM display
    - Big, handy knob to set BPM
    - Balanced XLR out (2nd choice: balanced TRS out; 3rd choice unbalanced TS out)
    - Adjustable output level/gain
    - (optional) Beats-per-bar (emphasis on the 1)

    I know I can do all/most with many drum/beat machines, but all that I've seen are really overkill. I'd like to find something simple & rugged, without a lot of "features" to have to dig through. Any recommendations, or will I have to build it myself?
  11. IbanezBass69


    Jul 14, 2010
    What I was trying to get at, is when a band is out playing a live show, it is (usually) up to the drummer to keep time. Sorry if that was kinda confusing, it is still too early for me to be awake.
  12. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    Yes, there are definitely worse drummer problems. :)

    I googled “online metronome”, and there are lots of options and information.

    This one seemed pretty cool and simple to use, metronome and simple beats.

  13. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    I have a terrible internal clock; on my own, I speed up almost instantly, but when there’s a beat, I don’t have a problem staying with it,

    As for practice, I record our rehearsals (burn CDs for the guys to take home and practice to) to get all that’s changed from the original arrangement, put it over the PA or headphones and practice to that.
  14. as long as he does not confuse having a steady tempo with a good groove. Most rock players are surprised when they learn that they play ahead of the beat most of the time, and when played to a click, the urgency of the music seems to go out of it. Likewise, some of the great Motown, grooves are behind the beat. And there are at least 3 kinds of shuffle beats. What is important, is where beat 4 falls (in 4/4, of course), and keeping beat 4 evenly spaced. So let your drummer keep the metronome going, but get him to put it on 2 and 4, and listen to how his groove changes.
  15. jefkritz


    Oct 20, 2007
    iowa city, IA
    When I practice with a metronome, I play with it on the backbeats (I.e. 2 and 4). This keeps you in time but forces you to provide the beat. If you can groove a click you can groove period.
  16. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    I disagree. At a live show, it is everyone's responsibility to keep time.
  17. That's when you know you have good time, when you know where the beat is, and you control whether you play ahead or behind it to establish the groove... The rock guys you mention think they're playing on the beat, and so when they get a beat handed to them, they can't groove with it. They never knew where the beat was in the frst place. They may play rock steady, but that's only part of the "good meter" equation. Where you are in relation to the beat is just as important. You can get away without that part of it until you try to groove to a click and find you can't.

    Interestingly, I tend to keep time off the backbeats, the 2 and 4, but still lock with the kick for rhythms to use. So I like this idea a lot. The groove is on the backbeat, get that pulse going, keep it going, and you sound like $1,000,000.

  18. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    Not disagreeing, but I’m not following ya.

    Everyone can’t keep their own individual time; someone has to establish and manage the tempo, probably should be the drummer (even though it doesn’t always work that way).
  19. What he's saying is everyone is responsible for having good time, such that the drummer isn't the only thing keeping them from wandering all over the place timewise.

    The rest of the band shouldn't have bad meter, rushing or slowing down, requiring the drummer to try to hold the tempo steady as they rush.

    The other popular theory is the bass is more responsible for the time than the drummer, anyway.

    Doesn't really matter which sets the tempo as long as everyone else is capable of following it, sticking to that tempo.

  20. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    Gotcha... thanks. :)