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Using metronome/note dgrees/tempo

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by MCBTunes, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. first off, how do you guys use a metrenome? set it click clik then you time your pluck with the click, but how does that help develop the internal clock? Songs have different tempos...

    Also on the tempo subject.... how do you get 1/4 notes, 1/8th notes 1/16th notes etc... i mean... with tempos you count 1,2,3,4 as your playing the note, at what point does it stop being a 1/4 note and become a 1/8th note?

    I know a 1/4 note is 4 beats a measure, and 8th notes are 8 beats, but lets pretend written music has nothing to do with it.

    also, whats the tempo of 1/8ht and 1/4 notes? etc on the metrenome.

    Ok i did an awful job of explaining what it is i want to know.
  2. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I can't address all of your questions, but here's a bit about how I like to use the metronome, and why:

    Set your metronome to a good low setting, say, 40BPM or so. If you've just started working with a click, playing one note on each click perfectly may be a challenge, but practice it. Then try playing two evenly spaced notes per click. Then 4, then 8 notes per click. You'll want to make peddling notes at these different speeds a thing of second nature, so practice. Your goal is to get a good grasp of your internal clock by regularly checking it against a source of solid time.

    If you set the metronome to a high rate, like 160BPM, and use it to click on every quarter note, you aren't forcing your internal sense of time to develop as much, because the click is always right there with you.

    Instead, set the metronome to click at half note intervals, or at whole note intervals. Setting your metronome to a low setting like 40BPM means you're probably using one click for every whole note, or ever bar in 4/4 time. Keeping time in this fashion is a good way to work with the metronome. With increased time between clicks, you are forced to rely more on your internal clock, and that's what ends up developing.

    Also worth noting is that you should try working with the metronome as it clicks on beats 2 and 4 of a 4 beat measure. Beats 1 and 3 are the ones you're most responsible for in most band contexts, so having to hit those beats without the aid of a click comes closer to similating playing with a drummer (than having the metronome click on beats 1 and 3).
  3. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Lets say the tempo for a the quarternote is 120bpm. Now, if you want to replicate the sound of eigthnotes, you can just change the metronome to double the speed (240bpm). If you want to replicate the sound of sixteenthnotes, then you can double the speed again (I don't think a metronome can go that high, but its 480bpm).

    4=quarternote 8=eigthnote 6=sixteenthnote

    4 - - - 4 - - - 4 - - - 4 - - -
    8 - 8 - 8 - 8 - 8 - 8 - 8 - 8 -
    6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 
  4. Generally, I use a metronome to click each beat (quarter note in 4/4). Basically, I can play a quarter note on every click, or a half note for every 2 clicks, or even a whole note that I hold for 4 clicks. The idea is that you don't simply play on every click, but use the click as a reference like you would a drummer's bass drum and snare or something.
  5. ok so, this the tempo for the average 1/4 note 40BPM or something else? thats the part that confusues me. i can hit a note on 1 then count 2,3,4 and hit on one again, but i can count as fast as i want... am i always play 1/4 notes?

    Also while playing with a metrenome should I count in my head or do something else like talk... that way when I need to sing in the song and I cant count it will come?
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I'm not exactly sure what your problem is - but it might help to watch a video/tv programme of an orchestra - so the conductor will be counting a beat with his baton/hand and the orchestra will be playing all sorts of music...

    So - now imagine the conductor's beat is the metronome and you are the orchestra!! ;)
  7. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    That's dealing with a more basic issue of music theory. I'd suggest you pick up a few basic theory/music reading books to get a grasp of that sort of thing, conceptualizing bars and the different note values that go in them. Or, better yet, a teacher would be able to explain this sort of thing in a way that's tailored to your specific understanding, so don't ignore that route.
  8. Was chatting with a friend from another forum and he has a great idea. Set your metronome with a fairly slow beat to begin with, then choose a note, eg C then play the note at a different fret each beat. Then slowly speed up. Good practice for properly learning and finding all the notes on the neck, for scales and solos etc... :D

  9. SmittyG


    Dec 24, 2003
    Texarkana, Texas
    On my band's site, linked below, I have several articles from a music site I had up for a long time. One of them is on metronome exercises designed to help you internalize the beat. I don't do much work on this now, but every few months I will dedicate a practice to the material just to check myself out.
  10. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004
    If you have acces to a drum machine that you can program (hardware or software) try those 2 things:
    1) program the exact rhythm you wanna play on the drums and practice very slowly and make sure you're dead on!

    2) program a 4 bars loop with 2 bars of drums and 2 bars of silence and play some grooves and don't look at the sequence of course. Increase the silence with an 8 bars loop and practice slowly!!!

    Those are good exercices to feel the pulse and to be precise!!

  11. I think you might be confusing the TIME SIGNATURE with the TEMPO of a given song.

    4/4, 3/4, 6/8 are time signatures. The top number tells you how many beats there are per measure and the bottom number tells you which note receives 1 beat.
    ex: in 4/4 time, there are 4 beats per measure and the quarter (4) note receives 1 beat
    in 3/4 time, there are 3 beats per measure and the quarter note receives 1 beat.

    How fast you play is tempo. this is up to you and your bandmates. How fast do you want the song to be? tempo does not change the time signature.

    When I'm developing a bassline I start with a very slow tempo (say 40 bpm) until I have it the way I want it; then I begin increasing the tempo until it's up to speed. This does nothing to the time signature. in a 4/4 song, the quarter note still gets one beat.

    jeeze, now I've confused myself. :rollno:
    Hope this makes sense.
  12. burntgorilla


    Jan 24, 2005
    The tempo could be anything. At 60bpm, you play a quarter note a second, or a whole note every four seconds. At 120bpm, you'd play two quarter notes a second, or a whole note every two seconds. There's no set time for any type of note, it's all relative to the tempo.
  13. set it on 2 and 4 :cool:
  14. TheMop


    Jun 19, 2009
    Thanks for the info. Helps a lot. I have a couple of questions.

    1) If tempo is 60bpm = dotted crotchet for a 6/8 time signature, should I count the 1st click as 123 and the 2nd click as 456 ?

    2) Based on the above, if i want to set each quaver to a click, all i need to do is multiply 60bpm by 3. Is that correct ?

    Appreciate any response. Thanks in advance.

  15. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    This might cause a stir but i count it as 1 la li 2 la li 1 la li 2 la li...etc as in 6/8 i don't consider the count as two triplets because it has have a different feel to me. Some will advocate counting it as 2/4, but that is a simple time and to me a different feel. 6/8 is compound time so as such it is not two triplets as that would assume even beats. The 1st beat on 1 is strong, the next on la is weaker and the last on li weaker still. vocally try your 123 456 then try the 1 la li 2 la li and you will feel, i hope that the 123 way is more regimented than the 1 la li way, which has a lilt to it when done vocally.

    As for you second question, i would question why you would want to do such a thing? To me using a metronome is about filling the space with the right tempo/beat. By using a slower tempo i find that i lilt in between the strong beats, rather than regiment them to much. Like i said some may find this contentious.:bassist:
  16. BobaFret


    Jan 22, 2008
    My teacher has me using metronome work and it's really giving me a better internal pulse. The low BPM settings really make you focus and IMO are much more difficult to play perfectly than higher speeds.
  17. TheMop


    Jun 19, 2009
    Thought of this would help me count better. Thanks for the response !
  18. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    In theory it would but it leave not room for expression. As stated you have the strong beats they are the ones to hit. if you are slightly out in between thse beats ase you make them smaller so be it, but it is hitting the stong ones that make you on beat.

    I have posted this before, but a visual representation at its basic level to see the beat as;

    be^at be^at be^at be^at the ^ represents playing on the beat in that example in simple time 4/4.

    so before the beat is
    b^eat b^eat b^eat b^eat

    and after the beat is
    bea^t bea^t bea^t bea^t.

    and syncopation of that is
    b^eat bea^t b^eat be^at.

    The times between the beats are different but it is still 4/4.
    If you set the metronome for 1 in 4 so the catch the last beat every time with the click you will understand the feel you need more that say setting it for evey beat. Work that concept in to your practice and don't be afraid to use longer clicks. Longer clicks does not equate to slower it equates to more time.

    Jeff Berlin does not support on the use of metronomes because it can lead to music becoming regimental if used wrong, but he cannot see the value of them if they measure time rather than beats. This is where the conflict arises on this subject.

    In training when i was younger (40years ago) my nome had Italian tems rather than beats and times. So it would be set to Allegro, Andante, legato etc rather than list BPM so you absorbed the feel rather than count the beats.:bassist:

    Use the nome to balance your internal clock and give you a referance to what you are trying to do rather than rely on it to do what your trying to do. As Jeff Berlin says "music is not mechanical"..... let your playing breathe.
    Good luck and i for one have not used the nome in over 30 years, the same as i have not found the use of stabalisers on my bike no longer a requirement LOL:D
  19. paul_wolfe


    Mar 8, 2009

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