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Is on beat metronome important?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by loopfinding, Apr 15, 2021.

  1. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    seeing as the backbeat is most usually the anchor for nearly all popular music.

    when i play listening to the metronome as on beats and playing 16th notes, above 150 or so, it's like i'm pushing to get through the notes, with a lot of tension and my accuracy suffers.

    but then if i perceive it as 8th notes at 300bpm with the clicks as 2 and 4...i have no tension and i'm more accurate.

    there are a lot of jazz teachers out there that are like "use the metronome as 2 and 4."

    so is the straight way really necessary? what gives, why is it easier to me the second way?

    should i just use it this way if it's working well for me for increasing speed and accuracy and then go back and clean up later?
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
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  2. scook

    scook Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I think too many clicks, coming at you too fast, is very cluttered sounding and hard to keep up with.

    I think you’re safe going the 2 and 4 route, especially if that enables you to remain relaxed.

    I too have heard jazz teachers state that setting it and 2 and 4 and making it swing in time is where it’s at.
     
  3. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Yup, 2 & 4.

    Also, I remember watching a video where the instructor, I think he was a jazz bassist, suggested, as an exercise, setting the metronome to click once per measure, then playing against that, taking the click to hit in one place than another: play with it clicking on 2, then with it clicking on the "and" of 3, etc...
     
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  4. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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  5. matrix

    matrix Tele-Meister

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    Personally, I find 1 & 3 with the metronome easy; 2&4 is the challenge goal. If you are at a place where you find 2&4 easy, I kinda feel like you have already accessed the higher level.
     
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  6. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    What do you snat yer fingers on?
     
  7. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Another somewhat related exercise is to play strict alternating picking, DUDUDUDU, *BUT* do the upstrokes on the beat: UDUDUDUDUD.
     
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  8. johnny k

    johnny k Poster Extraordinaire

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  9. fretWalkr

    fretWalkr Tele-Meister

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    It works on 2 & 4 because it gives you a better rhythmic feel. I would stick with that.

    Doing the 1 click per beat sounds too metronomic...too mechanical at that tempo. It's even better if you use a drum track or something like a Dr. Beat to give you more "percussion elements" instead of a single click.

    I would rather hear someone with a good feel who plays musically than a really fast mechanical sounding player. I seem to mentally tune out mechanical playing as soon as I hear it. It sounds unmusical to me, like listening to typing.

    Years ago, I played in a jazz big band at a university. The leader would start off the group by snapping his fingers on 2 and 4. Then he would start in with the usual voice count off, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4 while keeping the finger snap going . Everyone else was used to that but it totally threw me off until I figured out what he was doing. Years later I figured out why he was doing it.
     
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  10. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Friends don't let friends clap on 1 & 3. This is a classic video. Harry throws in a bar of 5/4 around 0:40 to move the claps to 2 & 4. The best part is the drummer raising his hands in triumph at 0:45! I believe this was in France :rolleyes:

     
  11. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    It's very important to stay on time. It's also very tedious to listen to 16th notes constantly. I would focus on keeping the time and use the 16ths sparingly (and on time).
     
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  12. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've heard it suggested that you practice over a variety of metronome patterns. You can set up your metronome to play quarter notes, half notes on 1/3 or 2/4, but you can also set it up for quarter notes, triplets, whatever. I also like the idea of playing over actual drum parts, which are easy to get these days, ideally with some nice swing in them. Another option is to play along with your favorite songs....play rhythm over the Purdie shuffle played by Mr. Purdie himself, etc. But if you watch this video and listen to what he is doing with hi-hat and snare it could give you ideas for lots of different ways you could set up a metronome rhythm pattern to practice over.

     
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  13. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks for sharing that Harry Connick, Jr. clip. Good reminder as to why the guy is rich. He can write and arrange songs, play the hell out of the piano, lead a big band, sing like Sinatra, act in movies,
    and is handsome to boot. Probably dances pretty well, too. If a guy like that can't make it in show biz, nobody can.
     
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  14. Speedfish

    Speedfish Tele-Holic

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    I prefer a drummer that pulls back slightly behind, rather than right on top of the beat. I like the tension it creates and it sounds less robotic.

    Doesn't work with all styles of music.
     
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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Increasing speed and accuracy is so 21st Century!

    What tool increases heart and soul?

    Or curiosity and surprise?

    Or cracks open the mind of the listener?

    Don't we have enough speedy accurate players that almost nobody wants to hear play?
    Sorry if this sounds judgemental, but IMO it's a legit and even important question for the guitar playing community to grapple with.
     
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  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Drummer wave arms!
     
  17. Piotr

    Piotr Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Metronome on just the 4 is an interesting thing. Also, counting "ands" in my head helps me not to rush the 8th notes.
     
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  18. aeyeq

    aeyeq Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    When I use a metronome it is always 2 and 4 on the half time setting.

    I prefer a drum app however.

    That click drives me crazy after a bit.
     
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  19. CCK1

    CCK1 Tele-Meister

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    Metronomes can be a cruel mistress!
     
  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Curious where to "get" these drum parts?

    I got a beat buddy and didn't find much swing in there but need to spend more time with it, and there are additional libraries available for purchase. Using other tools while playing music is not my strong point and I'd love to just put on some Elvin Jones and play.

    Or other swinging funky drummers.
     
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