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Exercises with a metronome

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by gcano, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. gcano


    Jan 19, 2005

    i started on the bass several weeks ago and am concerned that my practice routine is not diverse enough. I do scales, chords, finger permutations, and a few other things, but i have yet to incorporate keeping time into my routine. any thoughts on a reasonably priced metronome and exercises to accompany it.

  2. The Korg MA-30 seems to be decent little unit, I've owned one for about 2 years now. Bought it because of its size, a little smaller than a deck of cards.

    MF and Sam Ash have 'em for about $30 or less.

    Start with the same exercises you've been doing, and vary the tempos. Once you can play on each beat, start learning the divisions and subdivisions of the beat. Like whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth, notes, and sixteetn notes. Learn an exercise at a slow tempo, say around 70 bpm and practice until you can play it from 70 to say... 120 bpm.

    Please..... spend some time each practice session (day? :D ) learning some tunes also, and play along with cds to hone your sense of time too.
  3. A decent metronome can be found for 15-20 dollars or so. I've got a "Kwik time" that ran me 15 bucks or so. Try Guitar Center or a similar store if you're near one, if not you could always try Musicians Friend.

    As far as practicing with a metronome, try your normal routine, but play along with the metronome. Start at a slow, comfortable pace, and gradually increase speed ( if speed is what you're looking for ).
  4. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA
    Also, once you get comfortable with the metronome clicking on every beat, I highly recommend you turning it so it only clicks on Beats 2 and 4. A little tricky to get used to at first, but will really help solidify your groove.
  5. Dynna


    Oct 23, 2004
    ^What he said.

    But some other good stuff to do is to play your 4 note groupings at 3-notes-per-click. It forces you to keep everything REALLY tight. Of course you can expand that and do 5 note groupings over 3/click or 4/click. Just play with the numbers for other combos. Along that same line, I would play 7 note licks over 2 notes/click, and even 4 notes per click. THAT will really get your head messed around for a little bit.

    And another good exercise for your internal clock?

    1. Set the met. at 160- play one note per click for a few bars.
    2. Set the met. at 80-play two notes per click for a bit, then one note per click.
    3. Set the Metronome at 40- play 4 notes per click, then 2, ands then finally ONE note per click. Play ON the click, and make it audibly disappear.

    After that, you can try 4 bars of 16ths(4 notes per click) at 40 bpm, and then switch to 3 notes per click for 4 bars. And switch again.

    Start the whole thing all over at 120, 60, and 30.

    This forces you to LISTEN to where the beat is, and anticipate where it's going to be. Not unlike playing with other people. Except, after a month of doing this, your time will be better than theirs.
  6. suicas


    Mar 12, 2004
    I'd also have a look at Ed Friedland's book Bass Grooves.

    I'm working through it at the moment, and it contains tons of exercises to do with just a metronome, can't begin to tell you how much that has helped my playing.
  7. Fliptrique


    Jul 22, 2002
    Szczecin, Poland
    Endorsing Artist: Mayones Guitars&Basses, Taurus Amplification

    playing with click on 2 and 4 is great.
  8. I'm subscribing to this one. I can use this sort of practice as well. The Friedland book looks good too.
  9. You should always work on timekeeping,whatever else you are working on,do it with your metronome...so rather than look for more excercises to make your practice time even longer,play all the scales and everthing else you practice,with the metronome.
    You dont have to spend alot on one...they all do the same job,from a $30 one to a $130 one.
  10. buddahbass


    Dec 22, 2004
    Pittsburgh, PA
    another good thing to do is turn your metronome on a speed you are comfortable with and just play around. practice playing 1/4,1/2,1/16,triplets,everything. just make sure it is in time. i have come up with a lot of good lines that way.