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Questions about Metronome

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ErCo, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. ErCo


    Jun 18, 2013
  2. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    I'm not quite sure I'm understanding this part of your question. Note length is not affected by time signature.

    What a metronome does is provide a steady beat, the tempo of which can be altered. On those metronomes that allow you to change time signature, typically it will simply click a bit louder on the "one".
  3. ErCo


    Jun 18, 2013
    ^^That answered my question... I just wanted to know if that model could be used for time signatures other then 4/4....Thanks for the help!
  4. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    You might consider a computer based metronome, or a metronome app, if you have an iOS device. "Frozen Ape" makes a nice one, but there are many others.
  5. TomA1234


    Jul 27, 2009
    Fareham, England
    I recommend Pro Metronome if you have an iOS, the free version does anything you would want a metronome for and can have pretty much any time signature you want.
  6. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I recommend no metronome. Use the beat in your head, and/or play with other people.
  7. Filkarri


    May 31, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    I highly recommend metronome practice, particularly when you are trying to play complex rhythms very cleanly.
  8. The metronome you ordered can be used for any time signature. It provides the calibrating clicks, your mind provides the time signature, pulse, groove.
  9. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    I've been thinking about your recommendation, "No metronome", but cannot find any rationale for it.
    How could playing with the metronome "damage" a bass player?
    I understand, you don't need the metronome while you are learning your bassline, searching for the best possible hand/finger positions, but after that, the metronome should be very helpful.

    "Play with other people".
    Let's say, at home you don't have "other people"; therefore, use the beat (fluctuating) in your head(???).

    Plus, what if the"other people" are not "time-wise" qualified?

    I understand when you reach Jeff Berlin's level, then you could engage in a "bohemian" discourse on "No Metronome" metaphysics, but until then, I highly recommend using the metronome.
  10. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    Metronome is good. I use one all the time and it really helps cement the feel, especially when learning complex rhythms. Most of the time it's my old analog Boss Dr. Rhythm DB-88. When I need something fancy, the iOS app called Metronomics provides all the bells and whistles. I also like the iOS app called ReadRhythm for learning / reinforcing complex rhythms.
  11. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    No drummer plays perfectly in time like a metronome does. The same thing will happen in your head. That is why I recommend that. If you get used to perfect speed like a metronome gives you, then you won't be able to naturally follow other people that are not qualified "time-wise" as you say. I have a Music Degree and never once took a bass lesson until college. I have also never used a metronome for practicing. Jeff Berlin got to his level by not using a metronome in part. I find nothing bohemian about his feelings on metronomes, but do believe that you have to develop good timing in your head and not rely on a metronome or other device to do it for you.
  12. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    1. Nobody's perfect, but ALL DRUMMERS (I repeat) , ALL DRUMMERS strive to get as close as possible to that perfect timing and, therefore, they practice with the metronome/timing device.
    And does not matter if a drummer jokingly says something like, "Who cares about timing - we are just humans not metronomes", but all drummers have that one inferiority complex called, "I hope I don't have problems with my perfect timing."
    If somebody knows any drum player who does not care about his/her timing, please inform me.
    N.B. I'm talking only about pro or serious drummers.

    2. About timing in my head. It is very subjective.
    If I played only by myself(one man show) - who cares.
    If I played classical music - I would follow the "maestro" conductor's instructions.
    If I need to play in the band, my subjective timing must be checked, calibrated, verified, etc...
    The metronome or any other timing device is the perfect "timing verification" solution.
    Let's say, I learned a new song and ready to rehearse it with the band. The band's leader insists on rehearsing with the metronome.
    No problem, I've already refined my bassline with the timing device at home.
    The band does not use any metronome for rehearsals but there is some kind of "fuss" about my/or any other musician's timing. How to resolve that "issues"?
    I got a call to record a song in the studio with the metronome.
    Should I come in and start argument that Jeff Berlin said, "It's so stupid to use the metronome"?

    I can go on with my examples but it's not necessary - we have our "strong religious beliefs".

    3. I wish it was true that "I have perfect timing".
    (P.S. Do we have humans with a genetic phenomenon, "perfect timing" like absolute pitch?)

    I'll repeat one more time my personal motto:
    Learn the new stuff (at this stage don't use any timing device),
    then practice with the metronome, and
    refine it with the drum machine/software.

    I can practice with the metronome/drum machine and easily change tempo - increase it, decrease it, and get back to original tempo with the metronome going on.
    If I suddenly have any new rhythm ideas while playing with the metronome, I simple disregard the metronome or turn it off.

    I don't know any instances where practicing with a metronome has harmed anyone's musical development.

    Thank you for your response but this discussion becomes futile and "bohemian".
    Don't practice with the metronome, just don't promote it as some kind of "new religion" or a new system of values.

    P.S. Why is JB afraid of the metronome? Because the click reminds him about our finite hours on Earth? (Just kidding)
  13. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    I disagree. When you can master being right on point with a metronome, you have total control of your abilities and can alter them when need be. For example, someone who can hit a bullseye every time in darts can also hit the third ring from the middle if asked to.
  14. it's a silly argument in my little mind, because to me, a metronome is a drummer. just a mechanical one.if your drummer is so bad that you can't play with him after playing with a metronome, you need a new drummer.
  15. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    You are absolutely correct about it.

    I've listened to Jeff Berlin's "philosophical reasoning" on metronomes.
    He says, "We did not have metronomes 200 years ago, but we were playing and singing".

    Jeff, 200 years ago we did not have electric bass guitars. Now we have.
    200 years ago, we did not have ballistic nuclear missiles/cruise missiles/jets/helicopters/etc..., but we were fighting.

    200 years ago, we did not have cars, trucks, airplanes, "space shuttles", but we were traveling even around the world.

    200 years ago, we did not have iPhones, the Internet, Youtube, Facebook, etc... but we were communicating with each other.

    200 years ago, we did not have atomic clocks, but we were getting up to work.

    200 years ago, we did not have disco music also.

    200 years ago, musicians were not concerned with "swing" or "groove".

    200 years ago, we had doctors, but did not have antibiotics, CT/MRI scans, etc...

    And so on....

    To sum up: things changed, get used to it.

    P.S. In defense of Jeff Berlin, people still drink beer and sing songs in pubs without metronomes.
    Also, symphony orchestras don't use metronomes as well.
  16. As years went by I became a more cautious metronome user.

    I was practically addicted. It was always on.

    Then I noticed that while the MM. was good for working on some aspects of playing, like technique, it was really bad for others, like, well... playing.

    Also I realized that without a MM. things were harder. It is harder to play on your own.

    So I suggest a moderate use of the MM. during the first few years of study and then a more limited use afterwards.
  17. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Total control? Not in my opinion. You have a crutch at that point.
  18. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Well, I like to groove and do it without help. Keeping time is up to myself and the drummer. It's really funny that you bring up Jeff Berlin just because I share an opinion with him. I came to my conclusion concerning metronomes long before I knew who Jeff even was.
    Also, why are all drummers serious? Craigslist always says that and it just cracks me up. I like drummers with a sense of humor.
  19. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    Thanks for your response.

    I truly believe that your or your drummer's timing is perfect.
    Good for you.
    I just did not like your statement not to use the metronome.
    I've just imagined a situation where your drummer secretly from you decides to play with the click.
    Would you be able to immediately figure it out?
    Would you be scared?
    Would you be very upset?

    What if you have an audition (unknown band/new stuff)
    1. without your drummer that you got accustomed to and
    2. playing with the click?

    P.S. I started listening to Jeff Berlin in the 80's. That time, he did not talk against the metronomes.

    On the other hand, I completely agree with Jeff Berlin when he says, "you can't play what you don't know".
    Also, maybe there is some truth about the "transition from quantity to quality."

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