1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

The metronome is your friend, but not your best friend?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Howard K, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    In me jazz class last week our regular tutor wasnt there, so we were given a lesson by the drum tutor... he's an incredible musician, nothing short of amazing... but he has some fairly different things to say..

    One of which was "playing with a metronome will not improve your internal clock".

    Now, I get his point, that a good feel for time is something you have to grow inside of you, and as such is not going to be developed by "following" a click... but I've most often heard people say "always practice with a metronome".

    Now, the drum tutor studied at Berklee, teaches jazz piano, drums and singing and is also a music therapist... my bass teacher however studied at Guildhall and is a classcial upright bassist...

    Intersting stuff huh... personally,I do both, I practice with and without a click, but i just wondered what every one thought of this topic?

  2. Nadav


    Nov 13, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    The way my teacher tells it is that a metronome doesn't help your internal clock so much, but it teaches you to lock in with an external source (ie, a drummer).
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Which is just as much bull**** as saying "Working with a piano to practice ear training by hearing, identifying and singing intervals as well as triads, 4,5 and 6 part chords in all inversions and open and closed positions does nothing to improve your ability to hear music with clarity."

    Sure, there are specific WAYS in which to work on your time with a nome. Just turning it on and running through scales isn't going to do it.
    But as I am so fond of saying, I know it works cause I DID IT. I played professionally for at least 15 years before I started doing any serious work with a nome and ANY improvement in teh solidity in my time has come about because of the specific work I have done in the last 7 with my teacher.

    You practice improvising (within the parameters of certain exercises) against a constant (ie METRONOME) the same way you practice hearing chords against a constant (ie PIANO) and for the same reasons.
  4. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    By the way, don't forget that "studied at Berkelee" don't mean donkey ____. Berkelee accepts you based upon your willingness to pay their tuition.
  5. Yeah, this guy has the same opinion about metronomes not improving your inner metronome: http://www.warwickbass.com/basssurvival101/lesson_17clock.htm

    But I'm inclined to disagree, because I practice with a metronome a lot, and it has helped me out so much. In fact, in the band I'm in we always play with a metronome. ALWAYS. In addition to rehearsing with a metronome, we also record all of our rehearsals. That way I can listen back to my playing, and what sounded really tight during a performance could actually be very sloppy.

    I have a guitarist friend who's a pretty decent guitarist, but he never plays with a metronome. I'm sorry to say it, but his inner metronome and sense of time is terrible.

    Just remember, rhythm is the most important. If your completely in the pocket and grooving, you can actually miss a few notes and people don't notice.
  6. chardin


    Sep 18, 2000
    Does the metronome play while the whole band plays? How does everyone hear it? I'm not being cheeky; I just want to know how you can hear a metronome over any drummer.
  7. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Absolutely, I was highlighting the difference in background between the two teachers.
  8. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I must admit I'm not sure I agree with him, my teacher, entirely, I understand the point, but I think working with a knome can yield fantastic results :meh: Simply from the point of view that "IT DOESNT GO OUT OF TIME" and so IS the perfect measure of whether you can play great time or not... I guess I think that you cant actually 'follow' the metronome all the time, you have to play with it.

    It's just an interesting point me finks
  9. Nobody has commented yet on how the metronome is being used.
    If you follow a click per beat, you are using it as a crutch - as a beginner, you may need that.
    If you use it on beat 1 & 3 while you work out where 2 & 4 are, or whatever, then you are training your ears.
  10. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    A metronome provides an invaluable, external, objective reference. Without a reference, you may believe anything you want about your own internal sense of time, and you're probably wrong.

    Playing with other musicians, preferrably with good time, is of course a very good thing. But unless you have them on call to sit and keep time while you practice for an hour a day (or whatever),and you're SURE that they have good time, you need a metronome.

    One especially useful aspect of having the 'nome on is that, maybe you can sit and groove with great time, but what happens when you play that fast twiddly bit or the really tough figure in the middle? It's very easy to come out a little ahead or behind, and a metronome will point that out mercilessly.
  11. I think he means that the drummer has a clicktrack going through his headphones to keep up with the metronome marking which bands that I play with use this also bands that play with sequences has this method
    If I'm wrong then perhaps he does it another way by the use of headphones
  12. Could you explain some of them here?

    How long did it take you to be able to hear clearly all that?
    I was just curious because I've been working on that and it is kind of frustrating that after a long time I'm still far away from being able to hear things clearly, and even farther away from being able to comunicate decently with other players on a jazz situation.
    Maybe I'm not very pacient, maybe I'm just slow,I don't know...

    Sorry for the bad english...
    I've got to work on it too...
  13. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I don't "clearly hear all that", I'm still working on it. I'm at closed position triads in all inversions right now. It's not a quick process, but it is a product of work put in. So the more time you can spend working on it, the quicker you can do it.

    easier with a teacher though...
  14. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    Big plus one to this.