#1
Hey so when looking up correct practice or advice or playing guitar the metronome is probably the biggest "must have" for practicing guitar. I went out and bought one awhile back i have used it off and on feeling like im forced to use this evil little device as it will keep the rhythm for anything i practice. But then when i use it i alway use 4/4 beats as i feel i may be practicing the wrong rhythmatic beats for what ever i am practicing and usually if its a solo the rhythm will end up changing as often as each note does in the solo.

So i was wondering and I'm pretty sure this would work as well would it be beneficial to practice with my foot tapping as a metronome and then i feel like i can speed up the temp or change the rhythm a lot easier without much thought. So any input or advice would be awesome! also is there any problem i could run into by doing this instead of using a metronome? Like soreness or problem when playing live? (although usually live the drummer keeps the tempo and rhythm like a backing track)?

BTW metronome are really damn annoying! and replacing batteries is a pain!

Thanks in advance ultimate - guitar members!
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#3
I tap my foot, and I'm pretty happy with it. The main problem this leads to is that you control the tempo. When you try to record, for example, you don't necessarily get to control it, and you can get thrown off. It's not hard to recover from, I don't see the big deal about using a metronome.
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#4
A metronome teaches you how to stay in time, which is pretty damn important.
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#5
Your body is a unit; tapping you foot will NOT keep time independent of you playing an instrument. Wise up!
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#6
Why not tap your foot to the click if it's that important to you that your foot be involved in the equation?
#8
On the flip side, there are a lot of bands who DO NOT use a click track when recording. A click track is essentially a metronome that plays in your headphones while laying down tracks. Some feel the slight variation in timing adds to the performance, while others feel that everything must be laid down with a click track and be in perfect time. I use one occasionally when I'm playing piano and trying to get something squared away in my head. Once I get the rough idea, the metronome gets turned off and I play from my internal clock.

While using a metronome is important, I think it's a good idea to be able to play without it. It can become a crutch. How is it going to look when you're playing on stage and can't perform, because your mates won't let you use the metronome? Use it, but use it wisely.
#9
Quote by monobrow7

So i was wondering and I'm pretty sure this would work as well would it be beneficial to practice with my foot tapping as a metronome and then i feel like i can speed up the temp or change the rhythm a lot easier without much thought.


This is the problem with using your foot when you practice. Yeah sure you can change tempos easily when you want to. But what if you don't want to and you're too focused trying to get a riff down? Will your foot still be able to keep perfect time? You might think you have a good internal clock, but when you're completely focused on something else, having that metronome is a big help.

Also, if there's a certain passage at a certain tempo, and you want to work your way up to that speed, a metronome is a necessity. When you can increase your tempo by 2 BPM at a time, your practice becomes a lot more efficient then just going, "a little bit faster each time".
#10
I really do not see the point in metronomes. I find they inhibit your phrasing and what you have to really "say" on guitar. If you are improvising solos or riffs, then STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM A METRONOME, its only going to distract you and ruin what you naturally are capable of playing. What you have to do is practice practice practice until "it" feels right to you and trust me you will know when it does. (Most people never practice practice practice until it feels right and they end up sounding like everyone else or just like crap). I never understood how someone can count what they play or even pay attention to a metronome because you can actually just feel the way everything is suppose to go naturally. Sometimes you will naturally tap your foot as you said and that is great.

Metronomes are okay to use when first starting out on guitar to just get a sense of timing of the basic notes, but FOR ME PERSONALLY they are of no use to me.
Last edited by Appetite_4_GNR at Nov 27, 2011,
#11
I suppose it depends on the type of music you play then. Someone people need them and some don't. If you are playing in a band, you have a drummer, a bassist, etc. They are your metronome. Or just drum tracks by themselves will do. I really do not know how people can listen to an irritating click over and over again.
#12
Quote by KG6_Steven
While using a metronome is important, I think it's a good idea to be able to play without it. It can become a crutch. How is it going to look when you're playing on stage and can't perform, because your mates won't let you use the metronome? Use it, but use it wisely.


That's getting a bit crazy eh? I've never encountered a musician who can't play without the presence of a metronome. I have however met musicians who can't play with a metronome. It's another skill.

As for recording, that's also irrelevant. Some bands record with the metronome. Others don't. Neither way is correct.

A metronome is there to help you practice timing. You don't need it to play on stage, however I don't think TS can set his foot to 105bpm either.
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#13
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lbvSBNLLoo

I had to do a performance of Beat It, and the drummer would have the click going through the headphones.

I guess the nature of some songs are that the timing has to be absolute.
#14
Just try tapping your foot in time with the metronome. Rhythm is a skill and you can develop it, bro
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#15
Alright, thanks for these replies to my question! I feel motivated to practice with a metronome but i feel i will use my foot when doing much slower tempos that are in 3/4 time or 4/4 time for sight reading or something like that. But i really will start to use a metronome i feel like alot of my licks and solos i have practiced are out of time and are harder or basically impossible to nail since i havn't been practicing them with a metronome.

Is it beneficial to play 4/4 with a metronome every time since almost all the songs i do practice are in that but just change the rhythm of the riff/lick or song according to it? like if its a 16th note triplet sweep i just count tri-pl-et, tri-pl-et tri-pl-et etc while its on 4/4? or can anyone link me to a website that explains using a metronome better?

But anyways thanks again a lot of your answers they are much appreciated. I will adhere to your knowledge fellow UGers on the topic of the metronome as you guys are the experienced ones in this case, i am unfortunately not.
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#16
The whole point of the metronome is that it keeps accurate time. Unless you've done a lot of work on your timing with the metronome your foot won't be able to keep accurate time.
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#17
Have you tried playing with percussive samples? They are much more attractive musically, you can choose any beat you want, any meter, you can create your own percussive patterns for a specific song/exercise also.

You can use DAWs (like Reaper or Sonar etc) for hosting a percussive synthesizer and then you write down your tracks in MIDI. Of course, you can find many pre-made samples.

It is really worth trying and it's easier than it sounds!
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#18
Quote by AlanHB
That's getting a bit crazy eh? I've never encountered a musician who can't play without the presence of a metronome. I have however met musicians who can't play with a metronome. It's another skill.

As for recording, that's also irrelevant. Some bands record with the metronome. Others don't. Neither way is correct.

A metronome is there to help you practice timing. You don't need it to play on stage, however I don't think TS can set his foot to 105bpm either.


It was actually a bit of an exageration. Of course nobody is going to bring a metronome on stage, but I was trying to drive home a point.

One other thing that comes to mind is ritardandos. For those who have no idea what that is, a ritardando, or rit on sheet music is a gradual slowing of the tempo. Try playing a piece that incorporates a ritardando while using a metronome. There's a lot of piano music that uses this and even classic rock, country and other genres.

If you need to use one, then use it. If not and your timing is decent, then consider yourself lucky.
#20
I don't find any difference at all between using my foot and just using my mind other than a bit of strain on my ankle. Your foot is just going to do what your mind tells it. I seriously don't see any point to it, and what if you someday aren't recording DI and you can't stomp your foot or else it will show up a bit in the recording? I wouldn't start a habit
#21
Quote by Neal_Wakefield
Have you tried playing with percussive samples? They are much more attractive musically, you can choose any beat you want, any meter, you can create your own percussive patterns for a specific song/exercise also.


The problem is that drum loops give yourself too much feedback.

The idea is to use a metronome to develop your own innate sense of timing. You use a metronome, essentially, to teach yourself how to not need one.

Yes, when you're starting out you give yourself a click every beat. Play a riff, making sure to hit "one" perfectly on the click.

Then, however, you can cut the metronome speed in half. Now you're getting half as much feedback, so you have to be more accurate. This is usually pretty easy for most people.

You can cut it in half again - one beat per measure. Or you could do off beast - have the metronome play one beat out of every three or out of every five, and still play your lick in time. The idea is to wean yourself off of it. This gets a LOT harder.

You can't do that with a drum loop or by stomping your foot.

The point being that when you are playing with other people, you can be perfectly in synch with them without relying on the drummer. A band sounds a LOT better when they can all hit a whole note rest and then hit the "one" on the next measure perfectly in time with each other. While the drummer can provide feedback to keep you locked in, if you're relying on him for moments like that you'll always be a tiny fraction behind.
#22
Quote by Tmusician
I don't find any difference at all between using my foot and just using my mind other than a bit of strain on my ankle. Your foot is just going to do what your mind tells it. I seriously don't see any point to it, and what if you someday aren't recording DI and you can't stomp your foot or else it will show up a bit in the recording? I wouldn't start a habit



When I tap my foot, I've gotten to the point where it makes next to no sound, I barely touch the ground, it wouldn't show up in a recording if it wasn't DI.
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#23
I bought this on VHS tape years ago and it really stuck with me, one of the best lessons for timing I have ever seen.

Even though this is geared for jazz it can be applied to any metered music.

The lesson starts around the 5 minute mark.
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#24
If I were you I'd use a metronome. A metronome is perfect every single beat, which your foot won't be. I always practice with a metronome, it really helps me work on my timing.
#25
Get a better metronome. The $15 pocket ones are pretty iffy. I'd go with a plug-in, full unit that can subdivide and do different meters. But I grew up in school band forever, so that was the first type of metronome I was exposed to and I've been spoiled since then
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#26
I have a pretty nice one on my phone.... although, it sometimes skips when an ad tries to change and i have no internet connection...
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#27
Have you ever heard a sloppy band playing with loads of gain? Jesus christ, it sounds awful. If you're playing metal, a metronome will really sync up your playing which is absolutely essential.

If your playing jazz, and metronome will teach you where you can swing the beats, etc...

If your playing blues, a metronome will really help you getting the phrasing right

BUT..... you should practice without one as well, and that's where backing tracks come in...
#28
Here's what I do to keep the metronome interesting and not annoying to play along with:

I use this program called Fruityloops, which allows you to pick your tempo and what not, select different types of drum sounds/effects/kits and create your own beat, so instead of playing along with just a constant tick, you can have a beat that may be funner to play along with!

Unfortunately it's hard to stay in PERFECT timing by just tapping your feet, so a metronome is definitely needed, and always practice soloing with a metronome! If you find it too hard to keep up with the metronome, slow it down and try the solo lick or whatever pattern again.
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#29
Or you could do off beast - have the metronome play one beat out of every three or out of every five, and still play your lick in time. The idea is to wean yourself off of it. This gets a LOT harder.


"go off piste" shurely?

Threadstarter - metronomes are much more accurate than your foot, but you need to get that foot tapping in time as well. Hence metronome + foot is the way to go. Lock your sense of groove into the metronome, play to your groove.
#30
When you start to screw up while foot tapping, you usually compensate by foot tapping to match your playing. It is a natural reaction.

Then you get super frustrated when playing with others, a backing track or to a metronome because they/it just keep their time no matter what you do and you will sound terrible.

Personally I prefer practicing to backing tracks so I can hear the changes and I also find metronomes a little "boring" to practice to. Band in a Box is the current software that I use.
#31
i was recording the other day and tapping my foot and it showed up so I just got the beat in my head and re recorded it playing at a constant speed. I think over time you develope a natural beat
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#32
Hi,
I would definitely use a metronome to aid you - as said before - if you use a computer, you can use drum patterns to which you can play. That might feel more natural - and you might also create tempo maps for various songs, so parts can accelerate or go slower at times...if you wish to incorporate fluctuations in tempo.
I think it´s important to practice with a metronome to get various rhythmic patterns down and learn to "feel" the pulse internally, but not to get enslaved by it - seeing music only as a grid to which you have to adhere to....
Best wishes,

Derk
#33
Quote by jessem131
Well the disadvantage is that your feet probably can't keep perfect time.

End of thread.

The whole point of a metronome is for you to get used to playing in other peoples' time, not your own.