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Metronome helping or is it all in the mind?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by karrot-x, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. karrot-x

    karrot-x Banned

    Feb 21, 2004
    Omicron Persei 8
    Well, I've been playing for 3 years this christmas and I started out having awful rhythm and about last year it turned to just bad. Recently (within the last 3 days) I've been practicing with a metronome constantly, and just running through my normal doodle and play time. I feel that already after 3 days my rhythm has improved tremendously...could this be possible? Is it all in my mind and I'm still off every 17.4 beats? I'm just really happy with the increase and it's seemed to boost my creativity.

    So....could the metronome have helped so fast or am I still gradually getting better timing?
  2. metronomes help TREMENDOUSLY. Everyone should own one and should practice with one regularly. They help synchronize that eternal clock. Also it is good to get into a habit of counting rythms too. Like 1-ee-and-a 2-ee-and-a (etc..)

    Take some drum lessons, too. They'll pay off in the bass playing department in spades.
  3. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Oh, yes-yes. The Metronome will do it.

  4. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Definitely. Drummers help LOADS too. My timing was kinda nasty until I started playing with people a LOT, and it's really tight now.
  5. Not necessarily metronomes, but any sort of clocking system is very important. I didn't and still don't use a metronome much, but when I began, playing simple stuff, I always tapped my foot. That internalized time for me, and I didn't need a metronome much because it's not that hard to keep a steady beat with your foot. I think that worked out decently for me. However, with more complicated stuff it's hard to keep tapping that foot. That's why I'm planning to buy a metronome soon. I've slowly lost the foot tapping habit. There's a lot you can do besides use a metronome. Move your body to the beat or play along to songs you like. I think those do a pretty good job of improving timing. If you haven't done much of that, there's no doubt that your timing will improve.
  6. suicas


    Mar 12, 2004
    Yup, the do help a lot.

    If you've got a metronome which can be muted (but which has blinking LEDs or an LCD display), mute it, and play in time to the linking LEDs for a while.
    Then close your eyes and carry on playing in time, then after a bar, open them and check that you're still following the metronome.

    Then repeat expect keep your eyes close for 2 bars before checking on the metronome, the repeat for 3, 4, 5 etc.

    Should help a lot in the long run!
  7. Hmmm.

    Frankly you should never practice without a metronome *and* a recording device. If you think your playing is improving from using a metronome wait until you start recording your practice sessions. Most of the time you won't notice your mistakes and mis-timings while you're playing. But if you record the practice sessions then, when you review it, any mistakes just totally jump out at you.

    Particularly any mistakes with timing and attack. A major problem is in playing a regular even tone without the need for a compressor. Sometimes I strike one string harder than I should and a review of the recording it'll stand out like a sore thumb.

    Oh and the slower the metronome the harder it is. So you can start off with the metronome set to a relatively fast click. But I'd suggest gradually reducing the speed of the metronome and seeing how well you stay in time. This is much easier on an electronic metronome than a manual one.
  8. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    Although I agree with much of mcdeath's post, I disagree with the quote above.

    Although a metronome can be helpful, you should probably rely on one only as long as you have to (maybe your first year or so of playing).

    Good timing should eventually be internalized and, while a metronome can help a person develop this, a skilled musician should not constantly need an external timing source.

    If a person who has used a metronome for quite a while still has poor timing when the metronome is turned off, then he hasn't internalized good timing.

    IMO, the use of a metronome is important, but should be only a temporary means to an end.
  9. Michael Bolton

    Michael Bolton

    Nov 13, 2004
    Delran, NJ
    i dont use a metranome i find it way easier to just bob my head and tap my foot, another thing that helped me out with rythm was just jamming with alot of people.
  10. I believe it can help that fast. Timing is just like any other skill. It can be improved through the right kind of practice and even after a limited amount of practice you may see improvement.

    Some people will say that metronomes cannot help improve your time and will tell you to not use them. Er, well, one person, that is. I think we all know who that is. This claim is completely false and is easily proven so.

    I know for a fact that practicing with a metronome has improved my time significantly. I also know that if I don't practice with one for a while, I notice that my time gets worse. Every teacher I have ever had has advocated the use of a metronome as fundamental to a musician's practice routine.

    - Dave