#1
So I hear this thrown around alot: 'Make sure to practice with a metronome'.

What do people mean when they say this? Playing scales etc in time at different tempos, mixing up by playing in thirds and triplets etc? Or does it mean match the metronome to the song you're playing, and practice the bass line that way?

Or a bit of both?

I'm just wondering, and would like to clear this up. What do you do when you practice with a metronome?
#2
it mostly refers to exercises such as scales and chromatic exercises so that you keep a consistant tempo to your playing
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#3
It'll make you play on the exact beat if you frequently use one.
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#4
In reality, especially when you are starting out, you should play everything with a metronome. Yes, everything. Scales, songs you name it, that little "click" should always be there.

This will help you develop consistent rhythm to the point where your timing as solid as bedrock. And it will train your ear to lock into the pulse a drummer sets either by the cymbal pulse or the bass drum.

I always recommend that you get three things when you start out playing bass. A good thick strap, a metronome and a drum loop track. All will serve you well throughout your bass playing career.
#5
Another tip is to record yourself playing with a metronome. It is THE most painful experience you can have as a musician to hear yourself out of time, especially as you're holding down the rhythm as a bass player. But, this baptism of fire will help you no end. I only wish I started doing it earlier.

Also, recording yourself to a click while playing pieces will make you much more aware of note length and phrasing, things you may not be totally aware when you're focusing on the actual notes themselves.
#7
Quote by DanielQ
I don't use a metronome.


Here...

Last edited by shut_up_you_*** at Mar 9, 2008,
#8
Thanks for all your replies. I'll put more effort into practicing with a metronome. I never really 'practiced' scales etc before, it was just a matter of learning them and applying.
#9
Quote by DanielQ
I don't use a metronome.


As a fairly new user, I am going to give you a bit of advice. When you post in a thread you should add to the general discussion. You have made a statement here that really doesn't achieve that end.

There are some players who feel metronomes are superfilous, such as Jeff Berlin and our own Fitz. I'd rather hear about WHY you don't use it btw and the benefits you have reaped.

Otherwise, you are coming close enough to be warned for spam.
#11
Quote by 83lespaulstudio
a nice alternative to a metronome, is a drum machine. way more fun, and still it teaches you good timing.



I've been wondering about these. What would you recommend as far as drum machines go? Any ones in particular?

Also, metronomes are great for developing accuracy (or precision) at speed. Try playing eigths and sixteenths over the metronome.
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#12
Quote by Funkbass796
I've been wondering about these. What would you recommend as far as drum machines go? Any ones in particular?

If you have a computer where you practice, try Fruity Loops (or FL Studio, as I think it's now called) - it's pretty easy to make drum loops to practice to. I don't have a metronome...but I do use Fruity Loops to make sure my timing is up to scratch.
#14
Quote by smb
If you have a computer where you practice, try Fruity Loops (or FL Studio, as I think it's now called) - it's pretty easy to make drum loops to practice to. I don't have a metronome...but I do use Fruity Loops to make sure my timing is up to scratch.



Ah yes. I completely forgot about music software. I have Cakewalk Kinetic, I think i'll use that to my advantage. Thanks.
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#16
i use an Alesis SR-16 drum machine. midi compatable, and very realistic drum sound.
it has recordable sounding samples, for 50 different drum sets.
#17
http://www.rinki.net/pekka/monkey/ is a fun online drum machine

Also check out the links here:

http://www.synthzone.com/drums.htm

Another option is to get a cheap keyboard with a drum machine option. My local Goodwill (charity shop) always seems to have at least two for sale. Plus, I think that having a keyboard about its never a bad thing for any musician.
#18
Ah yeah - I use the drum patterns and occasionally the metronome on my keyboard sometimes.
#19
Best metronome excersise ever is to put the click on all the down beats. Then 1 and 3. Then just the 1st note of every measure. Then the first note of every two measures. And finally, the first not of every 4 measures.
#20
it does not matter if you play bass or flute or even if you are in the colourgaurd. you practice with a metronome. it is the best thing you can do for yourself. anyone who says otherwords is just plain wrong.

personal story: As the section leader of THREE sections of my high school band for two years... I demanded each student have both a metronome and a tuner, and with them... at all times. because it works. and I'm happy to say that my rule is still in effect.

and recording yourself while playing either with or without a metronome is very helpful. esspecially for intonation and tone.

I play everything slow and gradually fast and I do it with a metronome. It almost gets fun.
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#21
Me and my lackey, Jeff Berlin both think metronomes are useful - but only in certain cases. In others, like Anarkee said, I (we?) think they're overkill. I think people really don't give enough credit to their internal clock, but that's another story.

What a metronome is really the best for is "pushing" you. OK, you can play a fast lick, right? Well, why not try it at a faster tempo? I do believe that most people can play at the tempo of a song without a metronome (just running off memory), but when you wanna push yourself, your internal clock will slow as you get tired. Not cool!

I don't own a metronome and therefore don't practice with one (and noticed that online metronomes sound very inconsistant and awkward to my ears), but I will admit that I never ever push myself tempo-wise and that's a huge part of my playing that I definitely need to work on. I guess I try to challenge myself with the overall piece (like how I pretend to be able to play past the second bar of Chromatic Fantasy) as opposed to ramping up the speed. Both are crucial, no doubt about it, and the metronome's the only game in town. There's a world of difference between being able to play YYZ at it's normal speed, and YYZ 30 bpm faster than normal speed.

However, I do indeed believe that metronomes don't really help one's sense of actual timing. I believe if you can hear the song in your head, you can play it - and a metronome won't help or harm that. Many people think a metronome will help their playing when in fact they can't hum the part they're trying to play.

But then again, I tried to teach someone guitar, and his sense of timing was so offensively nonexistant that he just couldn't play anything properly, and actually got annoyed and frustrated when an online metronome was running because it kept "messing him up" and was "totally useless". But I mean the dude was so awful that he couldn't play one note in the pattern eigth, eight, quarter, eight, eight, quarter. The fact that he's a big mainstream music and rap fan is just a coincidence .

So, in conclusion, metronomes are great for pushing your limits and for that I wholeheartedly recommend one. However, as far as your sense of timing goes, either your internal clock is good enough for a metronome not to help you, or your internal clock is bad enough for a metronome not to make a damn bit of difference. But that's just my view. And Jeff Berlin's.

EDIT: mhuckins, those bandleaders must not have had ANY faith in their bandmembers if they made them carry a metronome and a tuner. Jeff Berlin and I also agree on ear-tuning as well, and how relying on mechanical tuners destroys your sense of pitch. Which, IMO, in turn, destroys your sense of time, since you probably won't be able to hear a said piece in your head and therefore won't be able to play it. That's like remembering tab notation instead of... how the bloody song goes.
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#22
Quote by thefitz
mhuckins, those bandleaders must not have had ANY faith in their bandmembers if they made them carry a metronome and a tuner. Jeff Berlin and I also agree on ear-tuning as well, and how relying on mechanical tuners destroys your sense of pitch.


I semi-agree. In our jazz band, we give the tuners to one person per section, the person with the lowest sound, and everyone bases their tuning off of that person, who bases his/her off of the tuner. But at the start of class, one person tunes to the tuner, then tunes everyone by their instrument. The other tuners are like a backup.

And yes, our band director shoves a metronome down our throats. But we deserve it. He's got one of the Rhthym Doctors (?) and can subdivide it into triplets, 16ths, ect, it's great.
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#23
I advise the drum machine route, not only can you simply set it as a metronome for when you want a bare bones practice set up, but you can jam along with the drums, and practice sitting properly in the pocket and exploring tasteful ways to occasionally hop out of it. It's pretty tough to do that properly with just a metronome.
#24
I have a metronome on the coputer that starts of with normal subs inbetween the ticks but then it mixes it up so you have to use your internal clock.