There is a lot of opinions about why drummers use the metronome. A lot of drummers will tell you the metronome was good for his drum development, while others will tell you it wasn’t. In this article today, we will be examining how drummers use the metronome as a tempo keeping device to develop their inner clock.
It is a normal phenomenon for drummers to make use of the metronome for keeping time. Especially during practice sessions, recordings, or during live performances. Some drummers integrate their metronome with backing tracks, which makes it more fun.
Let see why drummers use the metronome and how they do it.
Why Drummers Use The Metronome
Metronome Is Used For Rhythmic Accuracy
One of the main reasons why drummers use the metronome is to use it as a practice tool, to develop better accuracy. As a drummer, making sure you play rhythms at the right time is very important. So the metronome is commonly used in as a reference tool to monitor your playing. Should in case you fall out of the time, you can easily refer back to your drum metronome.
There is a lot of situation where there will be a little misunderstanding in the band. Most drummers always have an issue of staying in rhythmic accuracy, and this is partly due to the loud acoustics of the drums. Drums are louder than most instruments, which might make it difficult for drummers to know when he is off time.
With the introduction of the metronome, anybody that falls out of time has something to reference. And with more practice with the metronome, all instrumentalists, including the drummers, will develop their inner clock. The inner clock is the phenomenon where your mind acts as the metronome instead of the digital metronome. This is developed by regular practice with the metronome. The more you practice the faster your inner clock develops, until you get to the point you won’t need the metronome anymore.
The Metronome Helps keep Tempo When Trying To Speed Up Your Fills
Another reason why drummers use the metronome is due to song transition. Most times, songs will have different transitions in different sections of the song, like the verse to chorus transition or the chorus to bridge transitions. A lot of times, drummers struggle to keep up with these transitions because they have to be played precisely with dynamics and feel.
Practicing this with a metronome is a perfect way to build your confidence in playing such fills. Metronome has helped improve a lot of drummer’s confidence when introducing chops or rudiments at the right time and tempo.
Metronome Is Used To Keep Tempo Have Better Sessions With Less Mistake
Most songs are performed with the use of the metronome either with the click track or the backing track. Although practicing with the metronome will get you prepared for such an occasion. Recording sessions could be costly, especially when it is done in an external studio. Due to the amount of work and time needed there are little or no rooms for mistakes.
It is easier to integrate your sessions with backing tracks or click tracks to reduce the occurrence of mistakes during play. Adding stuff like backing vocals, percussions, other instruments, and a lot of other things will help reduce the studio time in recording sessions, and also help reduce some production cost.
Metronomes Are Used To Keep Tempo In Developing Different Drumming Skills And Keeping Up With Your Progress
A lot of times, drummers want to practice their different rudiments on the drums and incorporate them into their fills or increase the tempo of whatever drum rudiment they are exploring. Trying to speed up your rudiments like the paradiddle or your kick speed, like trying to speed up your 8th or quarter note to 160 bpm is not something you will get just by practicing. You have to be sure you are practicing in the right time signature.
So, the use of a metronome will help in building your speed and rhythmic accuracy. You would start from your comfort speed like the 100 bpm with the metronome and work it up to 180 bpm gradually. The metronome is a way of monitoring your progress and also in making sure you are practicing your techniques at the right time. It is also known that the metronome helps keep you motivated while practicing and could make practicing more fun.
How To Practice With The Metronome
Always Start Slow When Using The Metronome:
Most drummers want to start with the metronome on the highest tempo, try to silence the desire to do this. The main reason for the metronome is to help you understand the trick-ish section of your playing by slowing down the tempo to a time you can easily grasp whatever is going on there. So, starting slow is the right way to go when practicing with the metronome, then as you find it easier, increase the tempo gradually.
Practice On Your Weak Spots:
Use the metronome on rudiments and fills that you find very difficult, especially the section that always make you deviate from the normal time. Using the metronome with different configurations in practicing the different weak stages slowly, will help turn those weak points to some of your strong points with frequent practice. The more you practice, the more you get better in your drum playing as a whole.
Try Varying The Tempo When Playing:
Try to switch things up a little by varying the tempo to improve your fills to help you play them at different speeds if the need arises. Varying the beat will show you some tempo you might find uncomfortable, work on them to make them comfortable as this will make you a better drummer by the day.
Use Them to Practice Your Fills or Chop:
Practice your chops and fills with the metronome, accelerating and slowing them at will, with rhythmic accuracy. Practice them in different bars and also in different tempos. Practice this with intensity, the more you practice, the more your inner clock builds up. Soon you will be able to stay on tempo without the use of the metronomes.
There are various reasons why drummers use the metronome and there are different ways to make use of the metronome(1), but never forget the main goal is to build your inner clock to help you keep tempo.
Last update on 2021-02-24 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API