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George Duke and the metronome debate

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by bassbloke, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. bassbloke


    Feb 26, 2002
    I thought some people might be interested in comments by George Duke in an interview by Michael Berkeley on BBC's "Private Passions". MB asked Duke if he had a naturally good sense of time. Duke said, basically, no, when he started out he was a "rusher" and had to practice "many, many hours" with a metronome before he developed an even sense of time. He then used that a basis for the less even sense of time he needed to swing, something that he said could be instinctive but could also be learnt.

    Anyone who wants to check out the interview can access the programme from the Radio 3 section of the BBC website, at least for the next week or so.


    The relevant comments about the metronome etc are around 12 minutes into the broadcast. But the whole inteview is worth hearing as an insight into Duke's musical taste and backgrounds (with excerpts from Sly and the Family Stone, Debussy, Haydn, Milton Nascimento and others).
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I don't think it's anything controversial - I've heard similar things from loads of great UK Jazz musicians, when I've been attending classes with them etc. Just to name one - Julian Siegel demonstrated to a class I was at, about 18 months ago - how he practiced odd time signatures using a metronome.

    At many bass lessons the teacher has pulled out a metronome and said - now this is how you practice bass....

    In fact there's only one serious musician I know of, who advises against.....;)
  3. nypiano


    Feb 10, 2003
    Would you be able to elaborate on Julien Siegel's method? I'm curious
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I wish I could!! It would have been very helpful in certain situations!! ;)

    This was a "one-off" thing like a clinic and he was talking to a group of us about playing in 7 and he had a metronome and showed us how you could play in 7 along to it. It made perfect sense at the time...but it was while ago and I'm not sure how it went now?

    It might be possible to email him - he is a very friendly and affable person!! :)

    I'll see if I can find contact details.