using a metronome

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Col Pruse, Aug 5, 2003.

  1. Col Pruse

    Col Pruse

    May 28, 2003
    Savannah, GA
    All right, finally getting to my first post after lurking around for two months. I've been meesing around on my first bass for about that time and I'm having a blast. My question is how to properly use the metronome I have. Do I play with the click, between the clicks, or some other way? Thanks for any response I may get.
  2. chardin


    Sep 18, 2000
  3. OldDawg


    Jul 4, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    An important thing to realize when using a metronome is if you hear it, your out of time. Practice clapping along with the metronome try to make the click disappear, if you do you're keeping good time.

    Eventually once you develop a good sense of time, you can experiment with play on top of the beat or behind the beat.

    Use a metronome as much as possible so you can develop your time. The bass and drums are the time keepers of the band. Then playing without a drummer it's up to you to keep the time. Getting used to a metronome helps in case you do a session with a click track.
  4. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000
    I watched a pop festival some weeks ago on the tv, and almost all of them had drummers using click tracks. Then came audioslave, and in my opinion, they were much tighter.
    But it might be my own ears, sometimes music needs that you should play directly on the click, but other music like reggae needs you to play a bit earlier then that or something.
  5. OldDawg


    Jul 4, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I only see a need for a click when you need to sync with something or when timing is critical like studio work. For a band or group the drummer should be able keep steady time, and reel in the band if they drift. But in live music sometimes slight tempo change add to the excitment.
  6. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    This is one of my hot button issues. I wasted a zillion hours doing Segovia scales in a former life because my teachers never drilled down into the details of how to benefit from practice with the metronome, and I wasn't mature enough to figure it out. The Ed Friedland reference in this thread is a good place to start. I especially like setting the metronome to click on 2 and 4 and then play 16th notes (e.g. 8 to the click). This forces your internal clock to work harder, as the machine doesn't provide all of the downbeats.

    Especially on the bass, I think the one note per scale degree approach to scales, is too limited. At the end of the day it is just one riff, and a boring one at that. Try doing two or four sixteenths per scale degree. Also superimpose simple and syncopated 16th and 8th note rhythms over your scales. I find this kind of scale/metronome practice pretty enjoyable as the end results sound more like simple musical ideas than merely some mechanical exercise. I'll also integrate arpeggios into this. For instance, I will go through all of the diatonic modes and their associated 7th chord sometimes as follows:
    major 7th arpeggio up (first two beats of measure: 2 sixteenths per note), Ionian mode down (last twoo beats of measure: one note per scale degree), minor 7th up starting on ii, Dorian mode down, etc. all the way up to Ionian on octave higher.
  7. Albini_Fan

    Albini_Fan Banned

    Jan 26, 2003
    Beneath Below
    i have a digital metronome, because i could not afford a real one. the beep only changes on the last beat, andi ts really high pitched. does playing along with this benefit me in anyway? i know its better than nothing, but it might be making me worse.
  8. WhoDoVooDoo


    Oct 21, 2002
    I think this link (below) provides good information that you might find helpful...and also some "random" information...however, some of the notation is hard to read.
  9. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Hmm, that depends how loud you play surely! :D
  10. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    Yes, great stuff here, but if you have to execute many notes over a set number of measures as a solo and the orchestra comes in on the exact beat whether you're home or not, boy thats a challenge.

    My guess is that only practice and having the experience of not coming in at the same time as the rest of the band while on stage can help.

    Been there. Yesterday.

    Back to my new best friend, the metronome.

  11. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    Basic, but surprisingly difficult (at least for me):

    - Play your usual scale pattern using 4 notes per click (i.e. sixteenth notes). I am currently doing this comfortably at the modest quarter = 94.

    - Now move the pattern over 1/16 note. Now the first three sixteenths need to sound like an upbeat. The touch required to do this makes it difficult for me to sustain this with any level of evenness for more than a couple of measures (currently).

    You hear this upbeat pattern in a lot of styles and I like this as a way to isolate it for practicing.