Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by guitardefector, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. Hello all. I've started to use the metronome recently for practice. Any advice or tips on how to proceed and improve while using it?
  2. Mr. Mig

    Mr. Mig

    Sep 7, 2008
    You said it. Use it!!!! And listen to it like you would listen to the drums. Get a feel for the time.
  3. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    I think everyone inherently has good time. if you can clap your hands in time you have good time. Having said that, the most common exercise is to set the metronome up so clicks land on two and four, you simply count starting on two.
    The other is to start playing a passage slowly and gradually build speed a click at a time.

    Another is to set it at 180 and use it for running, it's the most efficient running cadence.
  4. pmcd


    Feb 22, 2006
    Here is some great tips from Adam Nitti:

    There are a million different variations on this concept, but the general goal is the YOU are truly feeling the pulse, as opposed to just playing with a pulse.
  5. Mr. Mig

    Mr. Mig

    Sep 7, 2008

    When i first started practicing with a metronome, way back when. I use to practice note times. Start at 50bpm. Go over your Whole, Half, Quater, Eighth, Sixteenth, Thirty-Seacond, or whatever you may know. And learn what you don't. Again, this is all just taking basics and applying them to a beat. Don't rush them and just take your time and use those note signatures untill you can play them with the metronome comfortably.
  6. wideload


    Apr 15, 2004
    Salinas, CA
    You first must understand that all metronomes drag...
    Maybe I need some woodshedding??
  7. WorkinOnIt


    Aug 17, 2007
    Houston, TX
    When I typically break out the metronome is when I want to work on a particularly difficult piece of music. I start out slow - lets say 60 bpm (depends on how hard it is). After playing it 5 times correctly, I kick up the bpm one notch wich is 64bpm on my metronome. After five correct times I kick it up a notch and so on. Eventually, you will get to a speed where you just cannot manage to do 5 good runs at that speed and that is when you stop for the day. The next day you don't start where you left off, but kick it back a notch. If you get to 100bpm the previous day take it back to 80bpm. This is a LOT of repetition, but this is how muscle memory works and you will be able to see measurable (bpm) results. Works for me anyways... usually.
  8. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I hate the "beep beep beep". Is there someplace on the web that has realistic drum taps that I can practice with a virtual drummer? Thanks!
  9. NathanEbel


    Feb 17, 2010
  10. I use "Monkey Machine", it's great for practice. You can even save drum beats as text in word or similar programs.

    I think it may be created by a fellow TB'er, but i'm not sure.
  11. drasticDUB

    drasticDUB Guest

    Mar 13, 2008
    Copied this from the Ask a Pro! > Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen Practice Regimen thread:

    - clapping with a metronome 1/4 notes at 100 bpm until beats effortlessly disappear without effort or thought. Then, changing 2 bpm down, doing the same thing, 2 bpm up, doing the same thing, essentially "fanning" around the metronome until you are a master of 1/4 notes. This is done with clapping only, mind you. THen the same drill with 8th notes, within reason (some tempos too fast). Same with 16ths, then various rhythms. THEN, doing the same on the bass. This exercise alone can take months to master, and I still do it. Really fun, really gives confidence.

    Make the click "disappear"!
  12. We use the headphone approach. We have in ear monitors and the click is in one ear and the vox/gtr in the other. Drums cover the rest by way of their natural loudness. :)

    Use the metronome and learn how to time slice down to the smallest fraction you can. In time that fraction will get smaller and smaller and smaller.

    Use it, Use it, Use it, Use it, Use it!
  13. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    First, you don't want to DEPEND on the 'nome, you want it to measure YOUR accuracy. That's why the most useful suggestions are the ones that tell you to set the 'nome to only give some of the beats instead of all of them. For a bassist, the most critical is to be able to keep consistent time with just a snare hit or high-hat on 2 and 4. So, set the 'nome to 50 BPM, and play one note with quarter notes at 100 BPM. YOU supply 1 and 4 all by yourself, and listen to nail 2 and 4 with the 'nome.

    You can use a drum machine for this too, but for real improvement on timing (which ain't the same as expressing a particular groove), don't use a full-blown drum pattern. That makes it too easy for you to rely on the drums to keep your time. The point is that you need to learn your inner clock and control it. So if you use a drum machine, then just set it for a snare hit on 2 and 4.

    There's a lot of variations on that, such as the hit only on one beat (and learn to place that one beat on any of the measure's beats), or only on the "and" of 3, etc. But start with just 2 and 4. When you can play your favorite lines for a long time with just 2 and 4, and you can do it consistently, then move on. When I get rusty and sloppy (ain't gigging now so that happens a lot), I play the groove to The Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There" for like 20 minutes with the 'nome clicking away on 2 and 4. Beats me up and shapes me up fast.

  14. paul_wolfe


    Mar 8, 2009
    There's a whole series of exercsises like John just said (where you use metronome variations) in Ed Friedland's WORKING BASSIST'S TOOLKIT.

    The price of the book is justified just by that chapter IMO.

  15. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings

    This is Victor Wooten talking about how he practices with a metronome.

    It's awesome!
  16. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    Actually that video didn't really help...
    There must be another one around.
    I'll post again haha
  17. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    You haven't played with my guitarists ;)
  18. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    Guitarists don't listen to what's going on around them.

    Seriously though, keeping time with the 'nome and all the exercises never really beat me up (I think), now playing styles where things are loose with time is another story. I just got a work cd for a band I'm going to do some sub work for. Some of the stuff is very old, and the beat is all over the place on the recordings, yet it is right for the music (these are covers, from the 30's til now).

    How is a 'nome going to help with that? Most of this music is the antithesis of playing to a click.
  19. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    WORKING with the 'nome isn't the same as playing to a click. It's to make sure your time is together. It's how you measure that your time is right on. The 'nome doesn't move so if you're out of time, it's YOU that changed. If you have that rock-solid sense of time then, then playing music where the time moves will be easier. Why? Because you'll know it's moving and go with it instead of fighting it.

  20. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    See, I know it's moving, it's refining where I hear it to what's going on in the recording. Now there is no doubt whatsoever that when the drummer and I are rehearsing there will be no problem. Time to me doesn't seem the issue most of the time, it's coordination on the instrument. A drummer can be going on just beautifully and try his new fill, trainwreck! Even if it's only a slight shift in time, but the issue isn't the ability to keep time in the first place, it's coordination to pull off a fill.

    In a millitary drill, with no one ever working on their time, with no metronome, you can get two hundred non-musicians to perform precision movements in time and completely together. This includes more complicated rifle drills.