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Whole Band Metronomes?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by dvelcich, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. dvelcich


    Aug 27, 2012
    Hey guys, this is my first post, and after looking around for a while, I'm really impressed. What a great resource for information I've never used.

    Anyway, could you guys suggest some cheap, effective, whole band metronome systems? Our drummer has never played with one, and it's becoming a real drag on practice. We play metal, so he complains he wouldn't be able to hear a click if we used one, so I was thinking of something with a light?

    Sorry if this has been posted before. I spent some time searching the topic, but only found threads complaining about their drummers not using metronomes. ;)
  2. try a base ball bat to the back of the drummers head ;)
  3. I would just hook mine up to the PA. Buy a small powered monitor for the drummer if he's having problems. That'll fix it right up.
  4. DuraMorte


    Mar 3, 2011
    Really, if you can get the drummer in time, the whole band should theoretically follow suit.
    I'd say a metronome with a 1/8" headphone output, and some good in-ear buds. Seal out the noise, so he can focus on the beats. If he needs to hear the room, he can pull a bud out.
  5. the Arsonaut

    the Arsonaut

    Aug 27, 2012
    Really, it's on the drummer to practice with, and use a metronome.

    Whether with cans, or earbuds...duct tape them to his ears, and explain to him
    "this is how big boys learn to keep time"
    The metronome stays On, whether you're playing or not, let him go home with them.

    if he takes them off, and misses a beat, might we refer to the gentleman from down under's suggestion of using a cricket bat.

    This is called 'educating a drummer'
  6. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Cali Intergalactic Mind Space - always on the edge
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
  7. dvelcich


    Aug 27, 2012
    Man, some of you guys are brutal. I love it. :D

    The drummer's pretty awesome aside from the inexperience with a metronome. No one ever told him, or anyone else in the band for that matter, that it was important until I joined. I've worked really hard with the guitar player one on one to introduce him to the joy of sitting for hours, listening to that wonderfully maddening click, but it's harder to do with the drummer due to our style of music.

    I know you can't change someone, but the guy has a really great work ethic. My goal now is to convince him of the importance of learning how to play with the metronome.
  8. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
  9. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    If he's not keeping time, there's nothing awesome about him. A drummer is not a drummer if he is not on beat.
  10. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Sorry to be harsh, but I would be pretty irritated if someone new joined my established band and then insisted on drastically changing the practice routine in a way that made rehearsing a "real drag."

    If the drummer has bad time then, a) why not take him aside privately and politely suggest he use a metronome when he's practicing at home, and b) why did you join a band that can't keep time?
  11. DBCrocky


    Oct 18, 2011
    Cary, NC
    I thought the drummer was the Whole Band Metronome?
  12. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Well, way back when I had hair on the top of my head, we experimented with a disco strobe light at rehearsals. It had an interval dial on the back. It worked great, but not because of how well it kept time -- it was because the strobe light pissed us off so much while it was keeping time for us that we forced ourselves to keep time without it, because we knew if we started slacking off again, the accursed strobe light would have to come out again. I wouldn't recommend this if there are firearms in the house, however...
  13. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Also keep in mind that many of the most popular and beloved artists in music do not keep metronomic time. Audience doesn't care if a song rushes a little; they want to get pumped up and see a good show.
  14. INTP


    Nov 28, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    I used to play with a drummer that had a device attached to his snare that had a digital readout that showed beats per minute. He was easy to play with because he put a lot of work into having great time. The readout was a feedback tool, but it didn't prevent or interfere with 'natural' changes in the tempo that sometimes happen while playing live.
  15. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    We use a click for some songs where we have minimal background keys. We are all technological enthusiasts, and the drummer has it patched into the headphones. However, the drummer also sings lead on 95% of the songs, and doing that on top of drumming can get his timing out of whack sometimes. Usually nothing too bad, but I pride myself on having good timing and I notice, but Im sure the audience doesnt. I wouldnt be opposed to him using one for the whole show! =)
  16. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    First off, it is the whole bands job to jeep time, not just the drummers.

    Secondly, how does a drummer get to jamming with a band stage without being told playing to a metronome is important?

    My guitar player has one of the little Korg metronome, we can either run it through to the P.A., but the drummer usually just throws on headphones when he wants a click. We just use the drummer as our click.
  17. wideload


    Apr 15, 2004
    Salinas, CA
    The drummer keeps the time, and you keep the drummer honest. If he needs to practice (not rehearse) with a metronome to improve his skill, that's on him. Having said that, I wouldn't become obsessive with the 'gnome, because live music has to breathe a little. Running away with the song (or dragging to the point you may never finish) is not breathing!

    Personally, I don't like metronomes - they always drag... :)
  18. If he has a really great work ethic, he'll go lock himself in the woodshed and get his time together, simple as that.
  19. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    I think this is what you're talking about:

    A similar device with a really cool name sadly not available any more AFAIK :
  20. dvelcich


    Aug 27, 2012
    To address a few things, everyone else in the band has jumped on board with the metronome, and they see the progress we've made with it, so the drummer is the last piece of the puzzle.

    Also, it's not my intent to play with the metronome live. I love the way a song progresses on its own, but for practice, it's an indispensable tool.

    And I'm well aware that it's all our job to keep time. I practice with a metronome on my own 2-4 hours a day, and I've at least introduced it to our guitar player and seen his progress, but none of us had any formal training or teachers to show us the way.

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