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using a metranome.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by xxfaux_punkxx, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. xxfaux_punkxx


    Mar 18, 2010
    Probably a stupid question I know but how exactly do I use a metranome... I'm thinking of playing scales and matching my plucks with the metranome clicks..... is that right or wrong....
  2. nic salsus

    nic salsus

    Mar 16, 2010
    Do a search on Talkbass for "metronome". This topic has been done to death and then some....you'll find everything you could possibly need to know.....and then some.
  3. Thunder Pulse

    Thunder Pulse

    May 12, 2007
  4. xxfaux_punkxx


    Mar 18, 2010
    I actually did a search before posting... I guess it would help if I had spelt it right though. oops.
  5. progrmr


    Sep 3, 2008
    Columbus, Ohio
    I'll say this - my bass instructor and Ed Friedland's complete bass method book both say to use a metronome.
  6. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    For what its worth not really the way to do it IMO.
    The nome is there to give a representation of time for you to work with.. not to.

    In the same way a watch tells time or a tape measure gives increments so does a nome. Because you have worked in-directly with such things through out your life if someone says "what height was he" you can give a good estimation, or if someone says "come back in ten minutes" you can judge ten minutes and come back. What height and weight was he and how long was he in there for? If you were asked that question you do not need a tape measure a watch and a set of scales to answer, you can use what you have learned, even though you never really sat down and learned these things in a specific manner. Playing different types and styes of music will do the same thing.
    So if you feel you want to use a nome go for it, but try this way and see how you get on?

    Set the nome for 1 in 4 beats and play, let it guide you to the click, then 1 in 8, then 1 in 16 and so one. This allows you to use the nome to give you an instinct of time. This way you have a reference to feel the time, and you can speed up or slow down in-between the clicks when doing runs or whatever, rather than trying to keep up with the click.
    When this is done then ditch the nome and use it as a reference when ever you need that bit of extra help on more complicated timing issues, but again as a reference not click to play to..

    Now some will say it does no good and when the ditched the nome there timing got better. Well was that because the nome had done its job of giving them the relationship to time, but playing to it was not the point of using it so it was a focus in that respect to play to it not with it as a reference.

    Put stabilizers on a childs bike why? To give them a better reference of balance of course, Put water wings or a water ring on a child in the water, why? To give them a better reference to buoyancy. Take them away once the body has it and there are better at what they want to do.
    The nome is no different, but like the references don't let it become a crutch or the focus of what it does. :)
  7. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    victor wooten's clip is legendary for metronome use:
  8. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Mambo4 thanks... says it all, so i am keeping this links to save myself some explaining, better from Vic than from me LOL:)
  9. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    +1 to what Kid Fergie and Mambo4 said.

    Develop your sense of time by filling in beats between the metronome's clicks.

    Or set the metronome for four clicks in a measure (or three, or five, or seven!), but have them be upbeats instead of downbeats.

    Other tricks are possible.

    Like Kid Fergie said, just use the click as a stable time reference. Subdivide and/or conceptualize the click in different ways.

    (I think I copped the idea of the click being other than a downbeat from Ed Friedland, or maybe Jonathan Herrera. Just want to give 'em the hat tip for it.)
  10. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Yep, the point of the 'nome is to give you feedback on YOUR time, not to keep time for you. So, in order for it to be of any use, you've gotta be supplying the time and only using the 'nome to check yourself. The classic exercise is to set the metronome to click on beats 2 and 4 (the snare hits) while you play things. This forces YOU to supply 1 and 3, just like the real world. If you can't play a scale, arpeggio, or line with the 'nome only supplying the back-beats, you can't play the scale, arpeggio, or line yet.

    Now, when you're LEARNING a line, or scale, etc. don't use the 'nome. I do agree with Jeff Berlin here. Practice sections out of time to get the part together. Work out your fingerings, your dynamics, etc. Then after you can play it with authority, start working on it with the 'nome. If you can't play something because you don't know it, then the metronome won't help you any. But if you're playing say "I Want You Back" and you've got all the parts and the chromatic flow under both hands, the 'nome can help you make sure you're not rushing or dragging, and that your time is together.

  11. guroove


    Oct 13, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    I have to agree with those who said to put the clicks on 2 and 4, but I still think that using it for practicing scales isn't really going to make you a better player, or give you better time. I would use it if practicing bass lines, or when you don't have a drummer to play with. I used the metronome a lot when I was a kid learning to play the piano, because it would force me to keep moving, and not stop or slow down. I never used one when practicing bass. The best way to get good time is to play with other musicians who have good time.
  12. Lurker79


    Jul 3, 2008
    Hayward, CA
    That's about all you need to see in regards to using a metronome to feel time.
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    ya, i'm not seeing what's so bad about using the metronome like vic recommends.
  14. guroove


    Oct 13, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    This is great stuff! I'm going to try this when I get home tonight!
  15. That's funny... I would have trouble spelling it too... Good luck with your search!
  16. Pottish


    Nov 28, 2008
    I'm going to use that victor wooten video to explain poly-rhythm to my guitarist friend :) Tried explaining it to him myself I couldn't find a simple way to say it.
  17. Chrispurchase


    Oct 24, 2007
  18. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    LOL thanks another great link and again put very simple and informative to the point. Thanks Chris.:)
  19. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Hence my signature line...

  20. kelly7898


    Apr 25, 2010

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