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Timing and subdivisions with a metronome

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by markjsmithbass, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. Hi guys. After ripping my left hand fingers to pieces in a bad fall a couple of weeks ago and then slicing into my index finger of the right hand the next day, I took some time out from recording the lessons but I've finally uploaded a new one on timing.


    I know Jeff Berlin is super critical of using a metronome in your practice and he doesn't like the idea of getting good time that way but I think you can use a metronome to help with checking your time in quite a few ways. I know loads of bass players that use metronome's in this way and I can't see how it would be particularly BAD for your playing. I just don't think it can replace live interaction on stage. Then again, he is Jeff Berlin so I guess I don't have much ammo in that argument.

    Anyway, I've given some exercises to help with accuracy at various speeds and some tips on using subdivisions to nail really slow tempi. It's amazing how paranoid it can make you putting a spotlight on your own timing with a video like this and I've sat listening to the exercises being super critical at how close I got to the clicks :bag: The single click per bar on 2 was particularly tough but I think I did OK (wiping brow).

    Fwiw, I hope it helps someone out there.

  2. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Sorry to hear that Mark. Hope you are on the mend. :)

    Good video lesson.
  3. EZ9R


    Oct 28, 2008
    Jeff Berlin real intent about metronomes is learn the music first. You always hear teachers say "practice with a metronome". Doesn't make sense to practice with one if you're learning music first.
  4. I've also heard him say you can't develop good time with a metronome. I think most people will agree with the essence of everything he says and I certainly do but most of his criticisms and reservations are aimed at things that are or should be supplementary.
  5. puddin tame

    puddin tame

    Aug 14, 2010
    There's jeff who is against them but I've run into plenty of world class players (as my teacher or at workshops) who say always practice with one.

    Though the guys who are for them never say practice to a straight 1 2 3 4 click, but rather to displace beats. At the very least have it on the 2 and 4, then maybe just the 4, or on the off beats.

    I always have a click on for technical exercises, but that is to work technical precision rather than my sense of timing. That is the other thing, that you need good technique to get the proper timing that is in your head to come out of your hands, but that is another topic...