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Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by steve2, Apr 8, 2002.

  1. steve2


    Sep 23, 2001
    Piney Flats, TN
    What do you all think about practicing with a metronome? I am buying one tommorow. I rarely hear of anyone using one.

  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I use one every time I practice. My students must prove that they can play something with one before they can play the same thing without. 'Nomes are essential if you want to improve your time.

    Flame away, 'Nome haters.....
  3. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    I've got a Korg Metronome, and its prety good. I use it to figure out weird timing and to gelp me with the odd signatures. I also use it when im trying to improve speed. Ill play a riff for a few minutes, then put it up, say..5/10 BPM then keep going and going. They can put alot more skill into your bass playing, if you know what your doing.
  4. A metronome is a wonderful thing to have and use. A bassist has to be able to keep time. It'll force you to play in time, instead of rushing through easy stuff and slowing down hard riffs. If you can't play something up to speed, slow it down and play it that way until you can get it better, and then bump up the metronome's tempo. I've only rarely heard someone say 'nomes aren't good, but they never have a good reason behind it.
  5. chrisbs


    Jan 12, 2002
    The metronome can develop a sense of beat, sort of like an aid so you do not have to use it to play music steadily

  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well, I think that in the last ten years or so, drum machines have become so cheap - epsecially used -that most musicians have one and think - well why do I need a metronome when my drum machine can do the same thing?

    So I will often play along with something similar - like a programmed high hat click - so what would a metronome give me that I can't programme ?
  7. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I agree with Bruce - with a drum machine, you can make the beat as simple or as complex as you like. The only drawback is that even the cheapest one is probably around ten times the price of a metronome.
  8. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    I think a metronome is a must to own. (Or at least a drum machine as some have said). I try to incorporate the metronome into all of my practice. Hehe I'm saying "try" b/c one thing I don't like about metronomes (and, yeah, this is a stupid excuse) is the noise it makes. I owned a Seiko metronome and it made the most god-awful beeping noise. It'd just go right through my head. I couldn't stand it. I just recently got a QwikTime metronome with a 'woodblock' click. It's a bit better. This is a cool metronome to have, by the way. It let's you play in 4/4, 3/4, or 2/4 time.
  9. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA

    I'm available. Do you have some specific drills you want to do, or just play some tunes? Should I bring mine too, or are you going to mic yours?
  10. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    A:What good is a bassist that can't keep the rhythmn steady?
    B:how does one improve their timing and rhythmn?

    A) not much.
    B) with a metronome.
  11. Blackbird

    Blackbird Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Drum machines are fine, but all a person needs is a metronome. Just a simple device to let you know where one is.

    If you want to practice with a drummer, live drums is the way to go, IMO.
  12. I have one I stole from my school, I think it's a Korg digital metronome, god that thing can make your head throb!
  13. I've never used a metronome. About 98% of my practice time is against a CD or tape of the song I'm working on. I guess I'm assuming the recording is on time, but I'd bet it usually is. When I'm first learning something I play the CD louder than my bass so it's easier to hear what's going on. Once I'm satisfied with what I've gotten from the recording, I continue to play along with it to really burn it in and improvise over. But my bass will be louder so that it's what I'm focused on. Then the recording becomes sort of a metronome that also includes chord changes.
  14. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    practicing with a metronome sucks, and will have your head going BLEEP, BLEEEP, BLEEP, all day long.. but its pretty necessary, unless like they said, you can play with a drum machine or a (good) live drummer.
  15. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Ive hardly ever used a metronome and believe it or not I have a great sense of time. That was of course in my younger less wiser days,,,,now when I practice I set a click track on a cheap casio keyboard I have.
  16. Blackbird

    Blackbird Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    No, it won't.

    The function of the metronome is different from that of a drum machine. The Drum Machine functions as musical accompaniment while a metronome simply marks the beats (especially "one") a musician should be counting in his/her head. Playing through a drum machine can condition you to hear drums played in a way that is nothing like playing with a live drummer, or most, since like bass players, no two drummers are exactly alike.

    It occurred to me that no one specified what would be practiced with which device. If you're practicing reading music, I'd say the metronome is the best way to go. If you're practicing a certain groove and the drum machine can reproduce it convincingly, I'm all for it, as long as you practice with som ereal recordings too.
  17. Misanthrope


    Feb 7, 2002
    if u really wanna be a musician.. u will have to seriously use those BEEP machines.. ( i listen to it 6 hours daily!!! sometimes it makes me sleeping on my black dotted papers, but i see steps i am doing...). i have TAMA RW100 and if i could change it behind drum machimne i will do it 100%... it can go to do some accents at 1 to 6 but strange stuff as 7/8 or changing to 9/8 ... eh.. u cannot make that settup and belive it or not.. u can`t take cakewalk anywhere... so, for next time .. i am buying drum machine...
  18. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I have one and use it sometimes.

    When learning new music I leave it OFF. When I want to see if I can get the piece up to speed, though, I turn it ON.

    If I have trouble with a tricky syncopation I may turn it ON to give myself a stable time reference.

    Jeff Berlin says a metronome can't give you good time and I agree, what it does do is provide a time reference when you need one (which can be often!!!).
  19. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    I used one for a while and I could never get motivated when I practiced with it. I got me a Korg Pandora and I absolutely love plaing to the drum patterns that are on it. It just makes my practice time so much more enjoyable. I still have the metronome for backup just in case.
  20. JazzV


    Feb 27, 2001
    I have a metronome, but I hardly use it. Most of my practice is done using midi's and a program called MidiNotate that I found on the net. The program basically converts the midi's to standard notation. I hide all of the parts except the bass, and turn the sound to the bass part off. When I do that, I practice my reading AND my time. I can also slow down the difficult passages until I get them. There's so many good midi's out there, I just have to make use of them. I probably spend 40-50% of my practice time in this method, playing real music and building my reading skills. The rest is a split using books, playing to tapes/cd's, or taking online lessons.
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