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

  1. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001

    What you're doing sounds very interesting. Can you share where you found that software and the MIDIs? Thanks. :)
  2. I use mine every day. Its integral in learning timing and learning to play with a certain fluidity that I think a lot of people lack. Playing with a drummer whenever you can is also a vital part of growth as a bass player too.
    As a side note Ill tell you this; the other day I was playing with my brother guitarist. Hes been playing his instrument far longer than I have been playing mine, but he could not keep up. And,I know its because he never practices with a metronome.
  3. JazzV


    Feb 27, 2001
    I found the software at:

    Best money I ever spent. I use this thing all the time. Two other neat features are that it will do a rough chord transcription of the midi, pick out the proper key (and any changes), and will print out the music from the midi onto paper. Three...three other neat.... ;) ..

    As far as midi's go, just do a Google search for your favorite band and the word midi. ex: +Korn +midi.:eek: About the only negative I can find is that you kind of have to figure out the part extraction, but once you get it down, it's easy.
  4. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Thanks JazzV! I will definitely check it out. I'm always looking for ways to keep my practice sessions interesting and fun. This might be another good option. :)

    I've got a question for everyone. To me there's no doubt that practicing along with some device that helps keep time can be very valuable. I prefer to use some type of actual drum pattern when practing. What do you others prefer? Drum or metronome?
  5. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I come from the Jeff Berlin school of thinking, I've never used a metromone, never plan to. Then again, I don't play in 7/8 or anything all that much. Maybe I was just blessed with a good sense of rythm, I don't know, but I've have no need for one. When I took Piano lessons, my teacher would turn one on, and it was more distracting than helpful.

    Sometimes I'll practice with a drum sample, but that's just to motivate me to practice more since playing bass by itself can be boring, not to help me with my counting/timing.
  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Come again?:D
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    How Frtunate you are!
  8. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Peace of mind. You don't have to do any programming, simply turn it on and pick your tempo. I use a sequencer, a Yamaha QY70 for a few things, but when I just need a click I use a metronome, mostly when I'm working on written pieces.
  9. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    I prefer metronome. Anything more than a steady beat of 1 2 3 4 or whatever when I'm practicing tends to distract me. A drum machine tends to put me behind the rhythm and not with it. And I don't think a drum machine takes the place of a real drummer.
  10. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    good point there blasphemy, sometimes drum machines provide so much rhythm and can lull you into a false sense of security about the line you create over it.

    and nothing takes the place of a real drummer imo
  11. Yeah - when you program them to. The drum machine just pumps out the rythm which you choose, after all.

    I think the relevant point is not that drum machines are evil and lull you into a false sense of security, but that your playing should be solid enough to sound in time to a bare click track. One way to check on that, or to practice it, is to use a click; which is something that you can do with either a metronome or a drum machine.

    Personally, I try to keep my drum machine bits as minimalist and metronomic as possible. The big upside is that you can use different sounds as samples, so you don't have to stick with an irritating or masking sound for the click.
  12. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    That's a good point stephanie. I also agree that there is no subsitute for jamming with a good drummer. Now if I have to choose between a bad drummer and a drum machine, I'm taking the drum machine! :D

    The drum patterns don't cause the same problem for me. I do have to focus on where I need to be within the rhythm a little more than with the metronome. I look at that as a challenge. I still use my metronome occasionally or the one that's one the Pandora. I just find that the drum patterns inspire me more. If I'm inspired I practice more. If I practice more I should see development. That's what it's all about, right? That's what works for me but sometimes other people like different flavors. ;)

    EDIT: I also find it a lot easier for me to try different methods, playing in front of the beat, on top and behind it, when I have drum patterns. Depending on what you're playing each way could give an effect that's more appropriate.
  13. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    That's what I mean. That click just doesn't do it for me. It does have it's uses but I'm glad that I have other options.
  14. bassbloke


    Feb 26, 2002
    Ed there is nothing apocryphal about this. I remember reading this in Bass Player magazine at the time. Generally I have a lot of respect for JB even though I disagree with a lot of his opinions. But the way he tried to get out of this particular corner was embarrassingly weak. Broadly, he argued that he wasn't going to dispute that the metronome had helped Gary, but a musician of Gary's talent was so special that the ordinary rules didn't apply. So even though the 'nome wouldn't help ordinary folks it might help Gary. I would have thought the reverse was the case - the less talent you have the more you need all the help you can get.

    (I'm agnostic on the metronome question. I work with one because I figure it can only do good. But to be honest I've never had any clear sense that my time has improved as a result. Maybe it helps some people more than others.)
  15. In my humble opinion you NEED to work with some type of time keeping device! Personally I go for the metronome. The individuals who do not use one only avoid it because it is like hooking yourself up to the lie detector machine.

    I find myself learning a riff, and feeling pretty good about it, until I turn on the metronome. At which point I realize that Ive created a new timing in my head. After working with the metronome for a couple of minutes the tune sound infinatly better.

    I am 100% for the use of metronomes, and feel that there is very little argument for not using one(if any at all). When people talk about great players with feel, I think they are referring to individuals that play with the timing of a quartz clock, but have the outstanding ability to make it feel like a living, breathing peice of music.

    Later -
  16. bassbloke


    Feb 26, 2002
    Keith as I say I'm agnostic. I haven't had any experiences like the ones you suggest. If I can play something at a specific tempo, I can play it with a metronome set at that tempo. It feels perfectly natural, I don't really have to think about it and it doesn't seem to require any adjustment or effort on my part. This is not a boast - I am perfectly willing to bore people to tears about my other musical inadequacies, like my mediocre ear - I'm just reporting my experience honestly. That's why Jeff Berlin's theory that you already have an innate sense of time and don't need to work with a metronome seems to fit with my own experience.

    This is not to suggest I think my timekeeping is great or can't be improved. Unlike a lot of the guys here I haven't played much in drummerless situations where the primary timekeeping function lies with the bassist, and the one or two times I have tried it I've been pretty uncomfortable. I have no problem with a metronome but with real musicians I tend to get pulled around by what they are doing timewise. I work with a metronome because guys like Ed say it works and I don't know of any other method that might work. But I can't honestly say I feel my time has improved as a result, so far at least.
  17. I like to use my PC as a drumcomputer.
    With Fruityloops you can easily make the drumtrack sound more like real drums instead of the typical "machine gun sound" of a drumcomputer.
    Or you can sample some real drums or a breakbeat and then loop it.
    And if you haven't got a lot of CD's to sample from, you can always download thousands of drumbeats from the net.

    Try this one :
  18. I almost forgot ...
    Like others have said before me, a drumbeat can be a bit distracting, so I use a very simple beat to practice my timing.
  19. I agree that 1,2,3,4 is not that hard to keep track of, especally when grooving to a song. The part where nomes really help is when you are practicing fills, or solos. I am alwasy suprised at myself at how much I speed through fills, rush solos, or realize that I don't know the peice like I thought I did once I turn the 'nome on.

    My first instrument was drums, and that is where I saw the real importance of practicing everyday with a metronome. Everyone thinks they are right on when it comes to timing. Thats why eveyone; drums, bass, guitar, voice, keys ... everyone should practice with a metronome.

    I warm up everyday with my metronome, doing basic runs, and scales for about 15min. I am proud to say that Ive gotten to the point where I can keep pretty good time, as well as make it feel groovy. I think thats something I really want to get good at.

    Anyway - enough of this ...

    later -
  20. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I've not really used on in the past, I've usually used a drum machine, but now I'm starting to to learn to read standard notation I'm gonna make a concerted effort to use one more when I practice.

    I've been playing 12 years so the stuff I'm having playing to learn to read is relatively simple for me, but the actual reading and understanding how rhythms look on paper makes it tricky. I figure a click is the best way to do this... as a drum machine will only complicate things at this stage.

    I have a leccy one built into my Zoom BFX-708 which should do the trick.

    How can one dissapprove of metronomes?
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