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  #1  
Old 03-07-2006, 05:16 PM
mtlin mtlin is offline
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Metronome vs. drum machine

Is it better to practice with a metronome or a drum machine? When I practice with a metronome, I set the click for the 2 and the 4. Here are advantages of each as I see them.

Metronome advantage: Clicks on the 2 and 4 make you keep time more and rely on the metronome less.

Drum machine advantage: Better simulates real world playing conditions. Playing with real drum beats gives you practice fitting guitar parts in with drum parts.

What do you think?
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  #2  
Old 03-07-2006, 05:46 PM
gomez1856 gomez1856 is offline
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I think they both serve their purposes differently. I use both. I use a metronome just as you mention to help me "feel" the beats and their subdivisions.

I also take exercises that I'm working on and play them along with my DR-880 drum machine. This acomplishes a couple of things for me that a metronome can't:
1) the most obvious is that it simulates a group setting allowing you to find a groove and get a sense of the "pocket"

2) Let's say I'm working on a major scale single-note exercise. Maybe I'm working on increasing speed, phrasing, dynamics, anything. With my drum machine (it has rythm accompaniment also), I can keep working on whatever I'm working on, but change the underlying harmony to get an sense of "color" (As Tomo puts it) of the passage over the outlined chords beneath. Example - I'm playing a passage in Dmaj... Well, put the Boss on a D major pattern and it sounds fine. But, how's it sound when I play the same lick or pattern over a Gmaj chord? This can help you simultaneously delve into the world of modality and harmony, all while just practicing the same thing you would have practiced with a metronome.

So, short answer (for me) is that I use both all the time for completely different purposes and find that (again - for me) they're both indespensible.

Hope that helps

Rick
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  #3  
Old 03-08-2006, 03:32 PM
Hipster Dofus Hipster Dofus is offline
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here is a site I like....
http://www.playrecord.net/resource/m...-metronome.php
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  #4  
Old 03-08-2006, 04:49 PM
slackandsteel slackandsteel is offline
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Thanks Hipster!
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  #5  
Old 03-08-2006, 07:35 PM
fr8_trane fr8_trane is offline
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I find a drum machine or loop to be much easier to use than a metronome. This is borne out every time I watch players struggle with a click track in the studio. Most rock/pop musicians need more than the 2 and 4 to accurately keep time.
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  #6  
Old 03-08-2006, 10:09 PM
Joe Boy Joe Boy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomez1856
I think they both serve their purposes differently. I use both. I use a metronome just as you mention to help me "feel" the beats and their subdivisions.



So, short answer (for me) is that I use both all the time for completely different purposes and find that (again - for me) they're both indespensible.

Hope that helps

Rick
..what he said..
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  #7  
Old 03-09-2006, 09:33 AM
jzucker jzucker is offline
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A metronome used sparsely (i.e. less than 4 beats per measure) forced *YOU* to find all the subdivisions. A drum machine fills in the gaps for you and allows you to be more lazy in your accuracy. They're both valuable but for for purposes of improving accuracy, the metronome is superior.
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  #8  
Old 03-09-2006, 11:25 PM
KRosser KRosser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzucker
A metronome used sparsely (i.e. less than 4 beats per measure) forced *YOU* to find all the subdivisions. A drum machine fills in the gaps for you and allows you to be more lazy in your accuracy. They're both valuable but for for purposes of improving accuracy, the metronome is superior.
Couldn't possibly agree more...I have a whole routine I do myself, as well as give to my students, filling in subdivisions that the metronome's not playing, and I've seen the results.

I'll tell you, I think the greatest investments I made towards improving my playing many, many years ago were $25 for a cheapie metronome and $30 for a Radio Shack portable cassette recorder.
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  #9  
Old 03-10-2006, 06:52 AM
Guinness Lad Guinness Lad is online now
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Taking Jack's statement one further, a bass player told me once (who has awesome time BTW) try playing so the click is only on the 1 and keep time this way. Try coming in on the 1/16 before the 3rd beat after waiting a bar. Holy crap this is tough. I learned a long time ago it's harder to play less notes sycopated then it is to play more right on the beat. Especially when sight reading.
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  #10  
Old 03-10-2006, 09:23 AM
Tomo Tomo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRosser
Couldn't possibly agree more...I have a whole routine I do myself, as well as give to my students, filling in subdivisions that the metronome's not playing, and I've seen the results.

I'll tell you, I think the greatest investments I made towards improving my playing many, many years ago were $25 for a cheapie metronome and $30 for a Radio Shack portable cassette recorder.

I can't live without my tape recorder!!!

Tomo
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  #11  
Old 03-10-2006, 02:17 PM
KRosser KRosser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryjmic
Taking Jack's statement one further, a bass player told me once (who has awesome time BTW) try playing so the click is only on the 1 and keep time this way. Try coming in on the 1/16 before the 3rd beat after waiting a bar. Holy crap this is tough. I learned a long time ago it's harder to play less notes sycopated then it is to play more right on the beat. Especially when sight reading.
Try playing with the metronome only clicking on one, then only on two, only on three, then four. Try the metronome clicking only on the "and" of one, then, the "and" of two, three or four. Hear the metronome click as "one" in a bar of three, then play four against it, so the click is always on a different beat. Likewise, four, five, etc. Play scales or lines in offbeat eights with the metronome on the downbeats, then the last two notes of a triplet with the metronome playing the downbeats alone, the last three sixteenths, the last four quintuplets, the last five sextuplets, etc...

...like I said, I have a whole routine. Guaranteed to work wonders for your time. And I just gave away quite a bit of it here right now for free!

Help yourselves!
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  #12  
Old 03-10-2006, 02:20 PM
mtlin mtlin is offline
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Thanks guys! Those are some great suggestions.

Martin
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  #13  
Old 03-11-2006, 07:22 PM
Andy_T Andy_T is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomez1856
get a sense of the "pocket"

haha, I love this term
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  #14  
Old 03-12-2006, 08:07 AM
HarryJ HarryJ is offline
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Some great suggestions here

I constantly record myself to aid in the constant quest to reduce the suckage level :-)

I do agree that a metronome, being more minimal, potentially allows more space, and more human error, and therefore a great learning tool.

But I also have to add, that I also recommend for my students to practice with drum machines and loops simply because it is more fun.
In general "more fun" translates to more time devoted.

In the past few months I have discovered the value of the Digitech Jamman looping device. At this point most of my students now also have this.
I now simply create loops on my computer and port them over via USB 2.
Students then can work on what ever we are doing at home not to mention having the ability to adjust the tempo.

I spent much time comparing the Digitech to the Boss, and found the features of the Jamman to be far superior. I must say that surprised me a bit, as in general, I have always preferred Boss in the past.
It then made a bit more sense when I found out that Digitech built upon the design of the Lexicon Jamman.

Harry Jacobson
www.harryj.net
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  #15  
Old 03-12-2006, 11:28 AM
fr8_trane fr8_trane is offline
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Quote:
They're both valuable but for for purposes of improving accuracy, the metronome is superior.
I agree. A metronome will help you develop a better "sense" of internalized timekeeping. But for quick results either with students or in the studio a loop is my preferred method. If you play solo pieces alot a metronome would be invaluable.
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