#1
Hello again dear forumites!

I'm sorry to bother you with two threads in a row, but it's such a fantastic opportunity to share my thoughts and concerns with so many other musicians.

There is one thing which I have been concerning myself with for a long time. I have asked a lot of people and heard a lot of answers. Now I wish to hear your opinions as well.

Where do you stand on the metronome vs foot tap issue?

Some musicians argue that you cannot fully evolve yourself without a metronome, while others proclaim it is a great tool to learn faster but that in the long run it will hold you back. The latter argues that keeping the beat with your foot is much better.

Where do you all stand on this matter?

Thank you very much!
#2
Metronome/drum machine..... foot tapping is prone to irregularity if you are using it as the sole source of rhythm.

Dont get me wrong. Theres nothing wrong with foot tapping. Some of the people I know quite well have been known to tap their feet from time to time. True story.

Come to think of it...I tap my foot all the time! But its tapping away to the beat of the drum machine getting blasted out of the speakers in my practice room...
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Last edited by 91RG350 at Jul 28, 2014,
#3
I have never used a metronome for two reasons: 1) I cannot stand the sound. 2) I never had issues with time (I have plenty of other issues but time was one of those things that always came easy to me). Therefore, I probably would recommend a metronome if you're really having trouble keeping time (and you can stand the clicking). I think foot-tapping can sometimes give you a false sense of time as you tend to compensate for whatever you're playing but all in all there's no subsitute for playing with real drummers, who will inevitable speed up and slow down.
#4
I developed a good sense of time without a metronome, but I did it by playing along with actual recordings of songs, so it equals out to the same thing, except you get to hear the whole band. Metronomes have their uses, but if you're working on your sense of time it's more helpful (in my opinion) to play along with a recording.
#6
Never foot tap. Ever. From my point of view it's the mark of an amateur musician, it looks ridiculous on stage, and it's very unreliable when practicing. If you want to get better at keeping time, you need to have a sense of time inside you and not have to worry about following your foot. More often than not, tapping your foot throws you off, and is an incredibly bad habit if you do it to a metronome, or with a conductor in front of you.
#7
No reason you can't do both at the same time. I much prefer a drum machine to a metronome though - same timing but much more musical and that's what you're going to be playing with in a band or while recording anyway. I just use a metronome for technique exercises like alternate picking etc.
#8
I used to think that I had impeccable timing and that tapping my foot is as good as any metronome. Then I started recording my own songs in DAW's and I couldn't keep in time with the click track for shit, much less double track myself.

Metronome > tapping
#9
Practising with a metronome is good. No offence to anyone here, but I come across many people who think they have great time when they actually don't - I was one of them. A metronome is useful for exposing and correcting bad time - especially useful for intricate lines as well as speeding up or slowing down riffs. There's absolutely nothing wrong with foot tapping or headbanging in time to the music or whatever as is by no means a sign of weakness. Weakness is displayed when you play like crap.
#11
Quote by CelestialGuitar
Never foot tap. Ever. From my point of view it's the mark of an amateur musician,

Foot tapping, swaying, or dancing a little isn't out of necessity, it's something people do when impulsively when they're feeling the music.
#12
foot tapping makes it easy to dynamically frame a pulse in a live setting

in any recording setting, you're gonna wanna be able to practice to a click, though

it's important to be able to perform with or without a metronome, either way. whether a bedroom guitarist thinks you look amateur for tapping your foot doesn't affect the issue
#13
It seems fairly obvious that there are always folks who "can't count to four" as we always used to say. Who have a poor sense of time. Such folks could conceivably be helped by using mechanical aids.
Others have a very solid sense of time... Likely can foot-tap (or whatever) very effectively.

Seems to me use-dependent. Lots of old blues musicians, used to playing solo, had a unique sense of time... Stories about them having difficulty playing with other musicians when they were finally dragged into a studio abound.
If you're going to play in a band situation... Better to be all on the same page.
#14
For practice and woodshedding I think you need both. Learn to lock the foot to the beat. Then when playing live you can rely on the foot. Those who believe foot tapping is amateurish haven't seen many pro live performances.

“Forget about every other lesson in the book. You have to be able to tap your foot or else none of what you doing... you are not gonna have any control of your center.” ~ Al Di Meola

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ4FZ80Qdd8
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#15
I don't much like metronomes but I think playing along to something which has a constant beat (backing track, CD, whatever) is a good idea to make sure you're in time (and also it forces you to correct mistakes on the fly, which is more of a real world scenario than just playing by yourself where you can stop if you duff up).

If you're not in time when playing along to a drum beat etc. then a metronome may well help, of course.

Basically whatever you think helps.
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#17
Quote by HotspurJr
Metronome.

Although there's a lot more to using a metronome than just putting it on while you play.

I highly recommend the exercises in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X1fhVLVF_4


That's a great training vid by one of the hottest living bass players. Thanks!
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#19
Yeah just to clarify my earlier post- I would call a drum machine a metronome. Or a type of metronome.

I practice everything to the beat of a drum machine because it sounds great. Every day it's to a different random tempo and a different random beat. The staid tick tock of an actual metronome...? Meh. Not particularly inspiring or fun to play to imo....

In this day and age where rhythm resources are freely available online.....do people actually still go out and purchase metronomes...?
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
#20
Quote by gtc83
No reason you can't do both at the same time. I much prefer a drum machine to a metronome though - same timing but much more musical and that's what you're going to be playing with in a band or while recording anyway. I just use a metronome for technique exercises like alternate picking etc.


+1 on the drum machine. I'm poor so use a metronome most times. Foot tapping just doesn't work at least for me.
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#21
Quote by UnmagicMushroom
Practising with a metronome is good. No offence to anyone here, but I come across many people who think they have great time when they actually don't - I was one of them. A metronome is useful for exposing and correcting bad time - especially useful for intricate lines as well as speeding up or slowing down riffs. There's absolutely nothing wrong with foot tapping or headbanging in time to the music or whatever as is by no means a sign of weakness. Weakness is displayed when you play like crap.

THIS