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How Important Do You Think a Metronome is?

Instruments and Gear
marcush  
9 Jan 2010 22:33 | Quote
Joined: 21 Sep 2009
New Zealand
Karma: 1
I'm seeing how important people think a metronome is. Do you think it as absolutely essential in the development of good rhythm and timing, or do you think those things can be natural?

I myself believe that rhythm and timing can be an internal thing, as I play in a band and I find it really easy to play in time without a metronome (I just listen to the other players, mainly our drummer, and I work it out, play how I feel). On the flip side, I think a metronome can be a very useful tool for people who have trouble with timing, but I myself have never been able to use one properly because I find it hard to pay attention, count and play all at the same time.

What are your opinions?
case211  
9 Jan 2010 22:41 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
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Karma: 24
A metronome can only help.
BodomBeachTerror  
9 Jan 2010 22:41 | Quote
Joined: 27 May 2008
Canada
Lessons: 2
Licks: 1
Karma: 25
my opinions are pretty much the same as yours here
AlexB  
9 Jan 2010 22:49 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Mexico
Licks: 2
Karma: 23
sometimes we play and we think we play in time,cause it sounds good to our ears,but NO! mostly happens to novices and unexperienced players and musicians.

Metronome helped me a lot,cause,when you play with a drummer,tempo is not always exactly the same,its always changing,sometimes its slower for the guitar player to play on time or faster,i dont know,the thing is,a metronome is always exact,when being exact with a metronome,youre gonna be exact with a changing tempo live drummer,got the idea?

The thing is,metronome iis your best friend
marcush  
9 Jan 2010 23:14 | Quote
Joined: 21 Sep 2009
New Zealand
Karma: 1
@ AlexB: but if people can perfect pitch, why can't they have the equivalent for timing? Although I think you are right as well, I used the metronome quite a bit when I began learning, but for some reason I lost the ability to use it. And @ BodomBeachTerror: I'm glad you agree =)

Interested in hearing more opinions!
AlexB  
9 Jan 2010 23:24 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Mexico
Licks: 2
Karma: 23
People can have perfect pitch,but its not like they born and they listen to a note and they say "oh its B" people need to be trained,for everything
punkrawk101  
9 Jan 2010 23:24 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jan 2009
United States
Karma
better just to practice with one....
JustJeff  
10 Jan 2010 00:36 | Quote
Joined: way back
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 21
im surprised that Jazz hasnt been here yet.

metronomes are important
deefa  
10 Jan 2010 09:11 | Quote
Joined: 22 Dec 2007
United Kingdom
Karma: 8
I couldn't cope without a metronome. I tend to speed up a little when I'm approaching a particularly 'tricky' bit of a solo. The metronome lets me know instantly when this starts to happen and gives me a chance to steady myself before I ruin everything.
I've also heard from several sources that a metronome is crucial for legato training (shredding). It apparently helps you to build up your speed gradually. This isn't important to me as speed isn't a crucial aspect of my style, but it might be to someone who wants to be the next Ritchie Blackmore or Yngwie Malmsteen!
Empirism  
10 Jan 2010 14:25 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
Karma: 35
Yeah, totally agreed. I have also "loose timing", when it comes to playing without metronome or midi drumtrack, I like more drumtracks, because I go crazy with Metronome TIC TOC sound... cant get to mood XD.

but certainly you should always practise with metronome, because even you stay on rhythm, but staying in exact tempo is very hard without it. It might sound boring, but you can let it go when jammin :)

Cheers
Empirism
JazzMaverick  
10 Jan 2010 15:05 | Quote
Joined: 28 Aug 2008
United Kingdom
Lessons: 24
Licks: 37
Karma: 47
Moderator
haha Jeff - I've finally joined!

Dude, count 60 seconds PERFECTLY - can't do it? That's because you're not a clock. We're human, we're not perfect, we will always make mistakes. When it comes to this - it's inevitable.

A metronome will help keep you in time --- it will always help you - it's then down to your brain to process it.

Like what I always pressure drummers to do when they're starting out : LEARN WITH A METRONOME!

You'll be grateful in the end dude.
BodomBeachTerror  
10 Jan 2010 15:59 | Quote
Joined: 27 May 2008
Canada
Lessons: 2
Licks: 1
Karma: 25
when im playing with a metrenome i completely lose my soul and i sound like im just playing on each beat (which i guess i am) but i guess thats probably just because im not used to it
deadman2k666  
11 Jan 2010 20:49 | Quote
Joined: 21 Sep 2009
Canada
Lessons: 1
Karma: 2
i hate metronomes, i cant use them, ive tried and tried! just does not work. since i seldomly play with a band, as long as i keep a steady time, nobody cares. But i have the knack for rhythm anyways.
JazzMaverick  
12 Jan 2010 12:25 | Quote
Joined: 28 Aug 2008
United Kingdom
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Moderator
@deadman,

It's because you're not opening up your mind, you're "stuck in your ways" as they say. So now it's time to GET OUT OF IT!

Seriously, nobody cares because they can't tell you're out of time. You're going to get fcuked over once your band gets good enough to realise you're not playing in time properly.

That or it will be the most annoying job ever for a Mixing & Mastering guy...

My point is that if you don't act on it now - and make yourself improve you'll always suck. Meaning stop saying you CAN'T and say you WILL.

I don't mean to sound brutal, but it's an important fact.
carlsnow  
12 Jan 2010 13:44 | Quote
Joined: 29 Apr 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 23
Metro-Gnomes and Country-Gnomes and Jazz ....

almost had to say "silly question" but made a silly joke instead and slapped myself for thinking ANY question = 'silly'

metronomes are one of the, if not THE, best friend any beginning musician can have.
sure they are irritating as hell, I'll give all of that opinion (myself included) that much, but they are irritating FOR A REASON.
T I M E
ya gotta feel it, and to feel it, many must, learn how and where to 'feel' it. about 90% of my "kids" (even those of A.A.R.P. age) use one regularly to
1- 'check their rhythem' and timing against it (it wins)
2- learn new time signatures like 7/4 and such
3- work scales ... IE: earn to play their scales backwards (high to low) at the same speed and with the same accuracy as hey do "frontwards"
4- practice speed drills (not the Elliot Smith tune)
INCLUDING the hardest "speed drikll" ->How S L O W can yego? (much harder than fast)
5-learn to play on, say, the "1 & 3" ETC only w/out drastic meltdown
6-learn patience
7-learn more patience

indispensable tool

RAWK!
Cs

raptorclaws  
12 Jan 2010 19:15 | Quote
Joined: 14 Jul 2009
Canada
Karma: 1
Guitar playing is suppose to be fun..not a chore. If your goal is playing in public, jamming with a band, etc. then practicing with a metronome is a good idea.

I use one when doing scales. I'll make a game of it and turn up the pace until I crash out. I'll do the same when playing some fun pieces such as 'De-Re-Mi' from the Sound of Music or Greig's 'Hall of the Mountain King'. Making it a game takes out the repetitive drudgery.

I agree with carlsnow re slowing down. It's difficult to put the breaks on the fingers' muscle memory. It's easy to play slowly but not slowly and on the off beat. I'll slow my reggae tunes down to practice hitting the off beat...just about impossible (at least for me) without a metronome.

As for 'natural rhythm'...don't confuse it with timing. No one had more rhythm than Robert Johnson, Blind Lemon, etc. but their timing was often all over the place. One can get away with it as part of the grittiness of older blues but it sticks out like a sore thumb if done today with all of our technical advantages.
JazzMaverick  
13 Jan 2010 02:11 | Quote
Joined: 28 Aug 2008
United Kingdom
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Karma: 47
Moderator
Raptorclaws, although I get what you mean... there must be time where musicians struggle... face a challenge. It's entirely up to that individual to decide if it's "not fun" or if it's simply worth the struggle.
JustJeff  
13 Jan 2010 10:32 | Quote
Joined: way back
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 21
Just thought I'd mention that I found my metronome a few days ago... It made me feel so good :) It's been missing forever!!
marcush  
16 Jan 2010 21:56 | Quote
Joined: 21 Sep 2009
New Zealand
Karma: 1
Hey everybody, I've managed to gain access to a computer again.

These are all good points. Thanks @ JazzMaverick for the clarification of timing and rhythm in particular, I tended to use them interchangeably (not anymore though, lol).

I've actually put the metronome question to a few irl muso friends, and their opinions are all over the frigging map. I can't get a straight answer out of any of them. I have been using a metronome, sparingly, for the past few days, but only when practising scales. I feel that since I mainly play lead in my band, and most of my lead work involves scales (not always though. I don't like to constrain myself to just one aspect of lead work), this seems like a useful focus and balances the need to use a metronome with my difficulty in using one.
les_paul  
16 Jan 2010 23:32 | Quote
Joined: 14 Feb 2008
United States
Lessons: 3
Licks: 2
Karma: 11
A simple test to prove the importance of a metronome.

If you have never used one then try it out for a week. Use it while doing your scale practice and tap your foot along with it while you play. If your timing doesn't improve by some degree in a week.....

Then it's still important your just a slow learner ;P

Seriously a metronome is the most important piece of practice equipment. To keep from getting bored with it try 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, triplets or even half and whole notes. Use different melodic patterns to break the monotony as well.

It really comes do to this question, how good do you want to be at guitar?

I heard someone describe music once as the combination of sound and time. Anyone can pickup a guitar hit the stings and make noise.

If you want to make music you have to embrace it in it's totality. That includes perfect timing.


Your rants are rubbing off on me Carl.
Just to make it official let me add.

RAWK!
(that felt good : P)


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