Jazz Guitar
Learn how to play jazz guitar with our eBook bundle
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 25 of 25

Thread: JB Metronome

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Woodlawn, NY
    Posts
    632

    JB Metronome

    Ran across this yesterday, never had seen this before. So forgive me if
    this has been posted before....



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Payson Arizona
    Posts
    2,597

    time

    excellent discussion of time---I totally agree.

    wiz
    Howie

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Woodlawn, NY
    Posts
    632
    Quote Originally Posted by wizard3739 View Post
    excellent discussion of time---I totally agree.

    wiz

    yea.... it's funny but I've only recently discovered the benefits of playing tunes rubato, which in turn has made playing in time when I have to much easier and organic.

  4. #4
    The metronome is a tool that can be used for different purposes. Some musical exercises have a purpose where the metronome is required to achieve that purpose. The purpose of other exercises might be hindered by the use of a metronome.

    To be so unspecific about the 'bad' uses of a metronome makes for a very lazy argument. I don't tell my students to always practice with the metronome. I remind them of the use of the metronome and when I want to confirm that they are capable of playing a piece or exercise in steady time I make them practice with the metronome and perform for me with the metronome.

    The points made about people's natural rhythm doesn't negate the use of a metronome, it's a comment on the fact a metronome isn't a necessity. That's true. You don't need a metronome to play in time, in the literal sense. It's simply a tool, obviously musicians can learn how to play well without it, that doesn't mean that it doesn't have quite a lot of use.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    4,985
    The metronome has been around since 1815.

    Do you think it's true what JB says.

    All classical musicians just about to a man never used a metronome to play that music.

    No rock musician ever used a metronome.

    The entire South American continent, "none of these musicians ever used a metronome".

    I think it really hurts his argument to make such claims.

    I've seen videos of Segovia working on passages with a student with a metronome. We could site so many examples if we took the trouble too.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  6. #6
    Through all my childhood piano study and on into college, no one ever told me to use a metronome. It was always "play it the way you feel it." I took that literally and pretty much ignored the requirements of regular rhythm. As a result I have a lousy sense of time - it's tough to keep a regular beat and harder to play a complicated pattern. DON'T neglect practicing at strict tempos if you're starting out. A metronome is great to help develop that.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    The metronome has been around since 1815.

    Do you think it's true what JB says.

    All classical musicians just about to a man never used a metronome to play that music.

    No rock musician ever used a metronome.

    The entire South American continent, "none of these musicians ever used a metronome".

    I think it really hurts his argument to make such claims.

    I've seen videos of Segovia working on passages with a student with a metronome. We could site so many examples if we took the trouble too.
    I agree, some of those claims are ridiculous. Their accuracy doesn't even need to be addressed.

    He may be a great player and great teacher but I think the argument as presented is foolish. Maybe if we were to see a longer clip with him presenting the issue in more detail then his position would seem more reasonable.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Norman, OK
    Posts
    577
    I'd have to disagree with this guy. It's not just using the metronome but rather how you use it that will develop your time. His argument is basically people can play together and agree on the pulse. Has he never played in a band were someone rushed or somone dragged? Just because you are playing together doesn't mean you're keeping a steady tempo. I used to play with the metronome religiously when I was a classical player but I still had bad time. That's because I was just playing with the clicks and not actually using it to develop my time. Now I use it a lot again but I now set the metronome as a check on my own internal pulse rather then setting it to give the pulse. For example just set the metronome to click on beat four (for a jazz drummer's cross-stick pattern) this makes you have to keep time yourself but you have a reference that isn't rushing or dragging. This makes you have to subdivide the beats yourself and you have to do it accurately in order to line up with the metronome. So you could think of it as playing with another person with absolutely perfect time. As a result of this kind of practicing my time has improved immensely.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    QLD Australia
    Posts
    94
    It hasn't destroyed Victor Wooten's rhythm.



    Someone has posted this here before and I think it shows that to get good rhythm you just need to focus on your rhythm. A metronome is a good way to bring your focus in on your rhythm. You don't need a metronome to get a strong sense of time but I think it can help a great deal.

  10. #10
    Hi Frank. Thank you for your thoughts. Using Segovia as an example of a metronome user means that so far, you have one classical artist using a metronome. This doesn't seem to be that great a number to base a belief on a practice device. Having come from a violin background, and from knowing the history of how many rock players learned their craft, and also having knowledge about how South American musicians playing the ethnic music from the various countries down there (a metronome had no part in how those players learn to play, something that you can verify for yourself if you check it out) I think that my argument has quite a lot of historic and verifiable merit.

    The important thing is that no one has to believe what I say, but instead, I do recommend that people look for themselves into my claims to see what they can find out. This would be a great way to either verify or dismiss what I state. I wish you luck in your search.

    Sincerely,

    Jeff

  11. #11
    Hi Jason. Yours are interesting comments. I would simply say that I can't remember anyone in my musical life that dragged or sped up the time. I am fortunate in that I only play with the best players in the world. Being a great player includes having great time. I also suggest that if you feel that you had bad time as a classical musician then this happened because you didn't learn how to play well at that time. People that exhibit bad time nearly always do so because they haven't learned how to play well yet. Bad time is a symptom of lack of playing skills. I also think that you don't have bad time at all. Practically no one does. Tho prove this, simply play a steady beat and notice if you rush or drag or pretty much stay in tempo, not metronomic tempo because this does not exist in the human musical experience. It is a false concept because barely anyone anywhere at any time can play metronomically. But if you can play a steady beat that does not require a lot of technique or complicated music to play, then your time is fine and it always has been.

    Anyone can do this test. If you can play in time on a simple 4/4 repeated rhythm or repeated notes, they your time is fine and this proof shows that if players rush or drag in performance, then this is the indication that they aren't ready to perform at the level that they have put themselves into.

    Thanks again for your comments.

  12. #12
    Hi Jake. I respect your comments that my ideas are foolish to you and I thank you for your honesty. It might be helpful for you to clarify your thoughts as your comment is best defined as an unfalsifiability. This means that your statement asserts that my hypothesis is false without giving reason for the contradiction.

    Most of what is believed about the metronome comes from a community acceptance of the opinions of their fellow players and from the well known teachers that support its use. Players seem to accept the statements that feel right to them and only because those comments feel correct. Few players actually investigate to see if either support or rejection of a metronome are correct or not. To me, never questioning what is being told to you no matter who is offering those thoughts falls into a cult view of learning. Cult members never question the leaders. They believe everything that they are being told and this is how many musicians also believe what they are being taught. It is inconceivable to many people that what their teachers or favorite players are teaching them might be in error.

    A responsible musician needs to question us all. Don't reject my thoughts because they don't seem right. Check them out. And don't accept the advise of anyone just because you trust them. Check out their claims as well. Buddha invited the people that he was teaching thousands of years ago to test him. He said to his students, "Don't believe me because you see me as your teacher. Don't believe me because others do." This was a very wise thing to teach. It cannot be a good thing to accept blindly or reject wholeheartedly comments about learning without first checking them out.

    Thanks for reading.

    Regards,

    Jeff

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    3,336
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Berlin View Post
    Hi Jason. Yours are interesting comments. I would simply say that I can't remember anyone in my musical life that dragged or sped up the time. I am fortunate in that I only play with the best players in the world. Being a great player includes having great time. I also suggest that if you feel that you had bad time as a classical musician then this happened because you didn't learn how to play well at that time. People that exhibit bad time nearly always do so because they haven't learned how to play well yet. Bad time is a symptom of lack of playing skills. I also think that you don't have bad time at all. Practically no one does. Tho prove this, simply play a steady beat and notice if you rush or drag or pretty much stay in tempo, not metronomic tempo because this does not exist in the human musical experience. It is a false concept because barely anyone anywhere at any time can play metronomically. But if you can play a steady beat that does not require a lot of technique or complicated music to play, then your time is fine and it always has been.

    Anyone can do this test. If you can play in time on a simple 4/4 repeated rhythm or repeated notes, they your time is fine and this proof shows that if players rush or drag in performance, then this is the indication that they aren't ready to perform at the level that they have put themselves into.

    Thanks again for your comments.
    Hi Jeff.

    Speaking of time, for me time is inseparable from feel. And feel speaks to the particular type of music you were playing, not necessarily music in general.

    One concept I am trying to incorporate into my practice was originally taken from Dizzy Gillespie, who taught it to musicians like Mike Longo and Hal Galper. Dizzy basically said, the slower you count the faster you can play well. So he learned and taught to count in half notes, even when playing eighth notes, triplets or even doubletime . Basically, treating up-tempo numbers as ballads . For counting purposes.

    Is that something you have come across in your studies? I suppose that counting in half notes is the equivalent of setting the metronome on the two and the four. No doubt that without the metronome, it requires a special attentiveness and concentration on the part of the practitioner to internalize.

    I also saw that on your Facebook page, you ran into your old buddy Alan Holdsworth at NAM. He is a musician that is held in great reverence here. ( makes sense, this is a jazz guitar site )

    What are your particular recollections of Allan's concept of time and feel, and how did you have to adopt your thinking to play with him ?

    thanks.

    Nav
    Navdeep Singh.

  14. #14
    And I guess I see time and feel as intertwined, but not inseperable...

    One can have good "textbook time," for example, but if the group is playing looser it might not sound good...

    or it might be intentional...

    Feel trumps the concept of "time" for me...things ebb and flow, in a real playing environment. If you can't feel the rhythm, the metronome isn't really going to help.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Of what use is a dream, if not a blueprint for courageous action?"

    --Adam West, as Batman, 1966.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Greenacres, FL
    Posts
    11,463
    I hadn't seen this before. Jeff Berlin's a great player. He makes a strong case.
    “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” Aristotle

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    And I guess I see time and feel as intertwined, but not inseperable...

    One can have good "textbook time," for example, but if the group is playing looser it might not sound good...

    or it might be intentional...

    Feel trumps the concept of "time" for me...things ebb and flow, in a real playing environment. If you can't feel the rhythm, the metronome isn't really going to help.
    I have an office adjoining a room with a piano lesson taught weekly by a lady with a full schedule of students (mostly elsewhere) and whom, I swear, has no sense of time/rhythm beyond very basic quarter/half note feels. She regularly uses a metronome and advocates its usage in practice. I think she thinks that just by turning it on it accomplishes something.

    Anyway, she approximates rhythms based out of sixteenths by "feel" rather than actually subdividing the beat and even plays 8ths out of time somewhat. It's the most confounding thing I've ever heard. I think basic hearing of subdivision of the beat is huge even if you're playing quarter notes. The metronome is a tool, but most people with good time have a lot more going on internally than just the big beat, like the feel you're talking about.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 02-26-2016 at 05:54 PM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    RI
    Posts
    3,080
    I can see both sides of the discussion here. Practical example. Last night I recorded a couple of ballads. My Foolish Heart and Over the Rainbow as simple one live take no editing one track vocal and solo classical nylon string guitar (old Yamaha with old strings - I'm getting old myself - a perfect trifecta). I set up my Korg metronome to my right and facing behind so hopefully not to be picked up loudly by my Tascam DR-05 digital recorder. So live performance, no dynamics, no Autotune, no reverb other than natural. The naked raw deal. Sitting down in my living room 'studio' - the Tascam facing me on the coffee table. And unfortunately for posterity, the sounds of my wife preparing dinner in the adjacent kitchen. The sounds of her programming the microwave and the clanking of dishes do add a thrilling sense of "being there". Like playing in an empty restaurant.

    One distinct problem with playing to a click is performing ritardi or ritardando passages properly or well. Another is the delicate use of rubato in a ballad recorded to a click. I like recording to a click, but these issues do come up. So at one point or another I have to try to ignore the click without losing focus on singing and playing. Given that the late RI jazz drummer the great Paul Motian likely did not make an appearance in spirit, my time was a bit all over the place in terms of being ahead or behind the beat. Add in that I was feeling my way a bit with the lyrics - getting old is a bitch with the eyes - I can't see properly even with those CVS close up glasses.

    Anyway, if Paul or a stand-in had been there, I imagine he would be tinkering a bit with the tempo. But in real performances, and I've monitored those of the greats like Sinatra or the greatest living singers in my opinion - Johnny Mathis and Tony Bennett - with a tap tempo on the metronome, conductors and bands freely alter the tempo to artistic musical effect so often. At least I think they are doing it on purpose....
    Last edited by targuit; 02-26-2016 at 09:45 AM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    RI
    Posts
    3,080
    I also find I have a distressingly strong desire to play on the backbeat often. Weird how that can affect the pulse. If Jeff is here and others of course, could you speak a bit about playing on the backbeat. If I missed something about that previously, pardon the question.

  19. #19
    Can you explain that? Do you mean behind the beat?
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Of what use is a dream, if not a blueprint for courageous action?"

    --Adam West, as Batman, 1966.

  20. #20
    Woah, Jeff Berlin! Thanks for visiting our small corner of the jazz world. Always enjoyed your work and I hope that you take time now and then to drop by with thoughts, ancedotes, notions, anything you want. How did you find this group, the metronome piece? I've been on TBL since the Usenet days and I don't recall ever seeing you posting in a public forum. Welcome, and I really hope you do spend a bit of time talking about even simple things, like bass/guitar duos, etc. Many of us here double.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    10,432
    I'll repost this:

    Should You Practice Jazz With A Metronome?

    FWIW, personally, my thoughts are that a metronome cannot:

    - give you a sense of pulse
    - help you understand rhythms
    - make you groove
    - improve your time
    - help your experiential understanding of rhythm applied to music.

    What can it do?

    - It can tell you if you are speeding up or slowing down
    - It can tell you what a tempo is
    - It can diagnose issues with respect to your mathematical understanding of rhythm
    - Erode your sense of pulse if you become too dependent on it (I've heard this said about drummers who play lots of shows to a click - they tend to drag, often.)

    If you can make a metronome swing on 2 and 4 then you can swing and stay in tempo. Carol Kaye has stated, for example, that she found it useful to practice with a metronome in this way. But you have to be able to swing to start off with.

    If you have a tendency to speed up you can diagnose that with a metronome. However, you can't (IMO) develop the ability to do stay at a tempo or swing by purely practicing with a metronome. Your understanding has to be deeper than that.

    Jazz swing is not a metronomic music. It is based on human time.

    I do feel that many players now develop their sense of time mostly by playing with a click. Players who do this can sound a bit stiff. True time feel is developed in collaboration with other musicians - all the great players are very clear on this.

    So, I have to agree that it's not necessary to practice with a metronome, but some may find a useful tool.

    It is necessary to play lots of gigs with musicians with strong time.
    Last edited by christianm77; 02-26-2016 at 06:29 PM.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    933
    I've never ever once practiced with a metronome. I think I have a pretty good sense of time. Jimmy Bruno has also told me never to use a metronome and he drills this to his students as well. I think his time is about as good as it gets. I think JB here is right on.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    10,432
    Yeah I dunno. Rereading the Mike Longo article I think he does put it a bit strongly.

    Plenty of great musicians have worked with a metronome - Emily Remler and Carol Kaye are swinging cats and they used it. Adam Rogers recommends it, as does Peter Bernstein... Loads more...

    The Tristano school regards metronome time as 'perfect' as I understand it.

    (I don't think I agree with this incidentally, with all due respect.)

    But I like what Adam says - he recommends using a metronome and not using it as well. Getting used to both. I think most good drummers have this attitude. It's good to be on nodding terms with clock time, but it's also good to realise it is not the be all and end all....

    I think if JB and Mike Longo are confronting the Cult of the Metronome and the Cult of Clock Time, then I am with them. I would rather have a strong, grooving and body centred but sometimes 'imperfect' sense of time over a cold mechanical evened out clock time any day. The players I love have a bit of flux, give and take in their time without ever losing that connection to the beat... I hear this even now in our click obsessed era in the playing of great drummers like Mark Guiliana, Bill Stewart, Dave King and so on....
    Last edited by christianm77; 02-27-2016 at 03:22 PM.

  24. #24
    I think when he's talking about all or none, the way he is in that video, you have to understand that it's hyperbole. But the point he's making can't be lost.There ARE people who absolutely say that you should practice everything with the metronome and that you shouldn't ever be working things out, out of time. Of course that doesn't make sense either.

    I like the way he says it, basically, if you can't PLAY something, OF COURSE you can't play it IN time.

    To be fair, he DID say it's a tool, and there's a time and place for using it. Just, not necessarily everything you practice.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    RI
    Posts
    3,080
    Over the past two days I have been trying to record a few tunes to put up here. At first I was working off a metronome, in part because it is kind of drilled into you that you don't want to be all over the place with your time, even if you are playing rubato, but time can be 'elastic' and still be in the groove in my opinion.

    I ended up this morning putting up the tune in the Showcase section I recorded last night - Estate by Bruno Martino - recorded on my Tascam DR-05. I didn't play to a metronome on this one, just the internal pulse. It actually sounds better to me natural. But I am so used to recording to a metronome with my Korg D1200 cause it feels funny not to set up tempo and a hi-hat click, in the sense of watching the measures flow by. I might change my MO.

Join our Facebook Page

Get in Touch


Jazz Guitar eBooks
How To Get a Jazz Guitar Tone?
Privacy Policy

 

 

Follow us on:

Jazz Guitar Online on FacebookJazz Guitar Online on TwitterJazz Guitar Online on YoutubeJazz Guitar Online RSS Feed