Jazz Guitar
Learn how to play jazz guitar with our eBook bundle
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 56
  1. #1

    Tick tock... robot or not?

    This from the article. Should You Practice Jazz With A Metronome?
    The entire article is worth consideration though, and a catalyst for discussion.
    I won't say where I fall in this discussion, I'm just throwing the article out there. It came with Hal Galper's advocacy, by the way.
    David


    The article begins with the discussing the detrimental dependence on a mechanical source of practicing where the feel of an organic beat is essential...
    If one observes the way Count Basie pats his foot while playing they will discover this discrepancy even further.
    I had a young guitar student who was studying privately with me while attending a university jazz department trying to get a degree in jazz performance. He was proclaiming how much his playing was improving from the things I was teaching him and how it was producing gigs and income for him. Then one day he came to a lesson very upset and perplexed. He claimed the guitar teacher at the university was telling him to do things that ran contrary to what I was teaching him. He reported that the guitar teacher showed him a clip on You Tube of a guitarist playing a solo while placing the microphone on the floor next to a metronome clicking on 2 and 4. I observed this clip and found that the playing displayed a tremendous amount of technique with speed and velocity as well as a ton of notes. But it was not producing anything I wanted to listen to, nor did it swing. The student proclaimed that the teacher told him, “This is why you should practice with the metronome on 2 and 4” to which I responded by sending the teacher a clip of Wes Montgomery and his group playing “Impressions” with the drummers high hat popping on 2 and 4 in a manner that started your foot tapping involuntarily from the first bar on. I sent a note along stating, “This is why you shouldn’t practice that way.”

  2. #2
    A long, long time ago when I first started playing in a band or listening to recordings to practice with, I learn to listen to the drummer and bass player to get the beat and "pulse" along with whomever and whatever I was playing.
    Through the years it has served me well. No analysis paralysis.... just music. Enough said.

    KennyH

  3. #3
    I think the youtube clip in question was Metheny doing a masterclass

    I was having a discussion recently with another player (seriously good) about backing tracks and band-in-a-box (which is perfect like a metronome). He doesn't like that stuff because he felt it was a bad influence towards your feel. I thought about it and tend to agree, given that a mechanical beat never 'flexes' and responds to what you're doing, so in the end it just grinds you down and can make your playing a bit stiff. If I listen back to recordings of my playing with a backing track versus real musicians, the latter definitely swings better and sounds like how I want it to, whereas my playing over backing tracks is always 'missing something'.

    I still play at home with BIAB real tracks as I think it's a valuable tool, and sounds pretty good - but I'm now more aware of it's limitations.

    If you can't keep time with a metronome then something's wrong, it's a necessary skill to learn - but in the end all that stuff is training wheels if you want to really get to the source IMHO...
    Last edited by 3625; 09-03-2013 at 12:57 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Poland
    Posts
    6,192
    If you have gigs and practise with metronome/or Biab/ in home that is good idea.
    ...but if you only practice in home without contact to real musicians you can be a robot.Mechanical practise with mechanical background.
    Be carefull!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    anchorage, alaska
    Posts
    1,854
    Quote Originally Posted by Richb View Post
    Anyone who thinks that the Metheny's performance with the metronome is unmusical or anything less than INCREDIBLE has no ears, no musical taste and is an ignoramus.
    tell us how you REALLY feel about it, rich.

    if you can't play objective time, you sure as hell can't follow shifting time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    anchorage, alaska
    Posts
    1,854
    yeah, there's no groovin' to a metronome, alright...


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Mystic CT
    Posts
    1,470
    The metronome is your friend. Ignore it at your peril.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Richb View Post
    Anyone who thinks that the Metheny's performance with the metronome is unmusical or anything less than INCREDIBLE has no ears, no musical taste and is an ignoramus.
    When I saw that performance, I actually thought the metronome started to swing.

  9. #9
    Just ran across this video of Jeff Berlin explaining why he's anti-metronome. I find this topic really interesting. So many great players say metronomes have helped their timing but I didn't realize how many other equally great players feel so strongly against them.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    1,415
    I am really really really really really really really convinced that everyone should practice with a metronome. I feel like I have pretty good time, and it came from always practicing with the metronome. There's nothing worse than playing with someone who drops beats. Nothing.

    I'm sure there are guys out there who developed great time without a metronome, but I have a hard time believing that it is the majority of people. I'm also with Richb on this one. If your example of bad time is Pat Metheny, then I'm really not interested in your guidance.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    933
    I have never in my entire life practiced to a metronome. Honestly. I think my time is pretty good. Of course this could be a delusion and maybe it is not as good as I think it is. However, I have played along to tons of records when I was young and I have played with many many real live musicians. I personally agree that a metronome is not necessary. Jimmy Bruno also preaches against metronomes in his lessons.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Bloomington, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    1,346
    Quote Originally Posted by ecj View Post
    There's nothing worse than playing with someone who drops beats. Nothing.
    Ouch!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    1,415
    Quote Originally Posted by pkirk View Post
    Ouch!
    Haha - maybe I should qualify that with "in music".

  14. #14
    Interesting topic. Perhaps the metronome is simply like most any other devices or technology in that it can be useful, but can perhaps be overused or a crutch at times. I've used a metronome a lot and feel that at times I've experienced both. I will most likely continue using it sometimes and other times not. When practicing alone these days, I alternately use IRealB, Aebersold tracks, the metronome, my own comping recorded w/ a loop pedal, or no accompaniment. I think they all have their place. I suppose the most important thing is that we listen and feel time carefully, regardless how we practice. I had a teacher in college who used to stress that time and rhythm were way more important than pitchs.

    -------------

    This thread got me poking around You Tube a bit. Here's some stuff some might find interesting. Of course these guys are trying to sell you practice devices, but some of these exercises might be useful and are doable w/o buying anything.

    In this one the guy claims he got the idea from Metheny:



    I tried this exercise and found it did focus my listening in a different way.

    -------------

    These are two parts of the same thing. His first exercise is the one we all know (2 and 4) but some of the others may be more challenging.





    I just tried the one where you have a a click for 4 beats alternating with 4 beats of silence. I don't have a drum machine, but I figured a way to do it with what I have. I set my metronome to 120 BPM, plugged into my loop pedal and simply recorded myself tapping on a pickup for 4 beats alternating with 4 beats of silence for 4 measures. I then played the loop back, and practiced some heads, some licks and some improvising over it. It seemed to expose my weaker areas in a way that isn't always obvious to me.

    Matt

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    montreal, canada
    Posts
    6
    metronomes are great, crucial.
    just like a good drummer. it doesn't mean you can't play over it becasue it doesn't have feel.
    if you provde the feell it will sound good.

  16. Jazz music need to feel around each other without the metronome in my opinion.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Belgrade, Serbia
    Posts
    3,147
    Metronome is a tempo guide. It' s not a guide for timing and feeling.
    ^ ^ ^
    <<< My BlogSpot Page >>>
    v v v

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Jersey Shore
    Posts
    6,261
    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan View Post
    Metronome is a tempo guide. It' s not a guide for timing and feeling.
    That's my feeling as well. I really fail to see how a metronome can be detrimental to anyone's playing.

    Back in the day of the mechanical metronome, where a rod with a weight was swinging back n forth . . if the metronom wasn't perfectly level . . the clicks could tend to be erratic . . showing a rest and a dotted 8th. Now THAT was fun. It was almost like working with a drunk drummer. LOLOLOL I used to try to create a groove off of the inconsistency of the beat.
    Last edited by Patrick2; 10-01-2013 at 10:11 AM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Jersey Shore
    Posts
    6,261
    Quote Originally Posted by Richb View Post
    All deference to Berlin and Bruno, but Metheny is a master of music in a way that Berlin or Bruno could never even get vaguely close to.

    Not challenging you here, Rich. But, you've definitely piked my interest with this comment. Would you please explain the way in which Metheny is a master of music Berlin and/or Bruno could neve even get close to?

  20. #20
    Here we go again. Gentlemen, start stroking
    David

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Jersey Shore
    Posts
    6,261
    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz View Post
    Here we go again. Gentlemen, start stroking
    David
    It was an innocent question, prefaced with a disclaimer to any perceived discourse . . . . (unlike your follow up response to it). I'm not too much of a fan of Jimmy Bruno's style . . . (in most cases) . . . but, I believe that he takes a back seat to no one as it relates to his command of music and musicality. If I guy with Richb's often heralded credentials makes such a comment, I was thinking that a further explanation might help to further educate me . . because, even though Richb's posting style is frequently chided . . . I have no doubt that he's MUCH farther down the musical road than I am. I'm here to learn.

    I hope that explains the reason behind my question . . . and serves to avoid your anticipated shit storm.

    Cheers!!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Belgrade, Serbia
    Posts
    3,147
    C' mon Patrick, get serious. I mean, just type their names in to Google search, and difference will be more than obvious.
    Then, take a look st their wiki pages. Then imagine Bruno in Methinie's band, and Metheny in Bruno's. And so on.
    Couple of months ago someone compated Benson to Conti, almost favouring Conti. This Bruno vs. Methiny is not the same, but similar enough.
    ^ ^ ^
    <<< My BlogSpot Page >>>
    v v v

  23. #23
    No sides taken on either side here Mr Patrick2. Every time I see statements that hold one player's superiority over another's, it reminds me of the debate over whether Batman or Sponge Bob would win in a fight to the death.
    There's an argument fueled by very subjective ideas about what the sum total of a musician's musicality is and whether, in the end, it fits our own idea... or more to the point, whether it pushes our own magic button.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richb View Post
    If Metheny uses a metronome, and goes so far as to actually perform in public with it, then you can rest assured you better f-ing use it...

    If someone does something that works for them, it's because it works for them. It is not a mandate for musicality.


    There are camps of "who is better" firmly entrenched and at the first sign of a claim of "so and so is so much better than who and who can ever dream of being" I step back and watch the divisions form.

    Would you like me to remove my follow up response? Does it make you uncomfortable? I'll do that. I didn't mean for you to take offense. I may have misjudged, for which I am deeply sorry.

    I start threads with the hope of open up discussion. I'd rather see constructive discussion that I can learn from than read around a debate over who can wave their "mastery" in who's face.

    Tell me if this I'm out of place here. I'll be happy to remove the inappropriate post(s).

    David
    Last edited by TruthHertz; 10-01-2013 at 11:23 AM.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Jersey Shore
    Posts
    6,261
    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz View Post
    No sides taken on either side here Mr Patrick2. Every time I see statements that hold one player's superiority over another's, it reminds me of the debate over whether Batman or Sponge Bob would win in a fight to the death.
    There's an argument fueled by very subjective ideas about what the sum total of a musician's musicality is and whether, in the end, it fits our own idea... or more to the point, whether it pushes our own magic button.



    If someone does something that works for them, it's because it works for them. It is not a mandate for musicality.


    There are camps of "who is better" firmly entrenched and at the first sign of a claim of "so and so is so much better than who and who can ever dream of being" I step back and watch the divisions form.

    Would you like me to remove my follow up response? Does it make you uncomfortable? I'll do that. I didn't mean for you to take offense. I may have misjudged, for which I am deeply sorry.

    I start threads with the hope of open up discussion. I'd rather see constructive discussion that I can learn from than read around a debate over who can wave their "mastery" in who's face.

    Tell me if this I'm out of place here. I'll be happy to remove the inappropriate post(s).

    David
    I have no desire to see you remove your post. My response to your post was mostly disappointment that you would openly express your expectations of a shit storm. A post like the usaully precipitates one. I really don't care one little bit if Richb thinks Metheny is a superior player to Bruno. I was just curious about why he would suggest a difference between the two as it relates to the OP. . . which was to use a metronome or not. I too find it comical .. even unfortunate when people start to compare by nature of "who's better" such players of the level of a Pat Metheny or a Jimmy Bruno. An apple and an orange for sure . . . but, each an undisputed master.

    However, there is something in your post above that I find to be highly objectionable and totally ignorant of facts. There is no way that Batman could have ever stood up to Sponge Bob. I can only hope my 2 grand sons don't catch wind of such an implication! They would indeed give you a "what for".

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Jersey Shore
    Posts
    6,261
    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan View Post
    C' mon Patrick, get serious. I mean, just type their names in to Google search, and difference will be more than obvious.
    Then, take a look st their wiki pages. Then
    Never said I didn't realize or understand to differences. But, they both play in good time, in the pocket . . and they both groove well . . don't you think??


    imagine Bruno in Methinie's band, and Metheny in Bruno's
    .

    Wouldn't that be interesting? I doubt either would be so far outside their element that they wouldn't be able to adapt musically. We'd probably see a side of each of them that we've not seen heretofore.



    Couple of months ago someone compated Benson to Conti, almost favouring Conti. This Bruno vs. Methiny is not the same, but similar enough.
    Yeah . . kinda reminds you of the "who was better SRV or Jimi" nonesense.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick2 View Post

    However, there is something in your post above that I find to be highly objectionable and totally ignorant of facts. There is no way that Batman could have ever stood up to Sponge Bob. I can only hope my 2 grand sons don't catch wind of such an implication! They would indeed give you a "what for".
    I humbly stand humbled. Good thing we're not comparing apples to oranges. We know how that turns out:


    There is no way an apple could ever even be vaguely the fruit an orange is. Killin'
    David

  27. #27
    I know the thread is about practicing rather than performance. But still, I think it is interesting that supposedly Segovia's most important lesson to his students was how, in the end, time had to be bent to serve expression.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Jersey Shore
    Posts
    6,261
    Quote Originally Posted by jster View Post
    I know the thread is about practicing rather than performance. But still, I think it is interesting that supposedly Segovia's most important lesson to his students was how, in the end, time had to be bent to serve expression.
    This would undoubtedly be true in the case of a classical guitarist's solo performance and interpretation of a piece where such liberties could and should be taken. But, if you start bending time and tempo/meter while in a combo setting . . it's problem. Jimmy Bruno's name was mentioned herein. Jimmy was with Buddy Rich for a while. You start messin' with Buddy Rich's established tempo . . he's gonna open up a can of whup ass on you then fire you . . on the spot!! (RIP Buddy) Rumor has it that he was a prick . . . but he was also a monster musician.

    (Hopefully, this will open the door for some good Buddy Rich jokes.)

  29. #29
    My opinion is that there are a lot of practice activities that are more effective with the metronome and a lot of practice activities that may be more effective without.

    A good tip I got a while ago was that being able to play "in time" is not the same thing as playing "rhythm."

    The article provides good food for thought but is filled with intensely subjective, feeling-based opinions as well as conclusions based on logical fallacies. The former is something one can expect when reading thoughts about how music should be practiced, the latter can lead people astray with a false understanding of the issue.

    The author clearly has a very strong opinion but my perception is that opinion has led him to be intensely biased, and his attempts to explain his point result in him saying, well, some pretty weird and misleading stuff.

    For example, implying that the correlation of dropping record sales in jazz has to do with students being encouraged to use the metronome is a gigantic leap with no evidence to support it. I'm sure there are many variables that affect record sales for jazz besides whether the musicians have practiced with a metronome or not.

    Overall his perspective seems much more like a bias or a hunch than an opinion as a result of objective information.

    However, it's a useful bias and a useful hunch, it's good to re-evaluate where the metronome may lead us astray, and how we may focus more on our rhythm being metronomic than on feeling good.

    I think with a lot of these things we can say maybe it's a bit of that, a bit of this, a bit of the other, or maybe none of the above is best. Who really knows, it's music, not a science. "Good feel" is fairly subjective and definitely immeasurable anyway.

    Personally, I don't believe it to be either/or. Metronomic time keeping has its place, as does abandoning a goal of a computer-perfect pulse.
    Oh, hi - if interested, I post a lot of playing/practice clips at www.instagram.com/JakeEstner

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    1,692
    Everybody hates hip hop and dance music due to the consistent tempo and robot like timing. Oh wait, no they don't.

    Working with a metronome isn't going to kill your "cool" factor but it will help you zero in on your weaknesses. I wish more drummers would practice with a metronome. Nothing worse than fighting a drummer with bad time all night.
    Last edited by Jazzpunk; 10-01-2013 at 08:37 PM.

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