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Essential Secrets 32: Use a Metronome

29 August 2017

Essential Secrets


Compliments of performance coach/bassist David Motto

DAVID MOTTO

Secret 32:
Use a Metronome

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Making Sure Your Tempos Are Even

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Mastering the basics will make you a great bass player. As you work on basic music elements like intonation, tone, rhythm, and dynamics, it’s essential that you learn to keep even time. Playing at a steady speed is a crucial part of mastering rhythm and an absolute must for playing successfully in any band.

If you’re serious about keeping a steady tempo, you need a metronome in your arsenal of musical accessories. The difference between practicing with a metronome and practicing without one is like the difference between driving on the freeway with your eyes open and driving while blindfolded. It’s simply too dangerous to practice without a metronome.

Metronomes reveal a universal truth that you can’t see on your own: Bass players slow down when the music gets really difficult—and they usually don’t even know they’re stretching time! Many bassists think they’re doing just fine. Without a metronome, they’re completely unaware that they’re speeding up and slowing down as the notes get easier and harder to play.

With a metronome in place, you will be instantly aware of any fluctuations in your tempo. If you hit a section where you can’t keep up with your metronome, you’ll know you’ve just defined an area that needs special focus. This is a huge practice success! Knowing exactly what to practice is one of the most important time-saving strategies for musicians, and metronomes are the perfect tool to point out which sections of music need the work.

Metronomes are crucial for two other reasons: (1) having a steady, slow tempo to work out Tough Stuff and build muscle memory, and (2) building up speed to the performance tempo for a song.

To make the most of your practice time, use a metronome to help you with all of your time and rhythm issues.



Books by David Motto:



THE TEN MINUTE BASS VIRTUOSO
THE TEN MINUTE
BASS VIRTUOSO
-EBOOK/PDF-
ESSENTIAL SIGHTREADING STUDIES FOR ELECTRIC BASS -- COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET
ESSENTIAL
SIGHTREADING STUDIES
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET

-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-



BASS IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

ESSENTIAL SIGHTREADING STUDIES FOR BASS, 3 Vol. set
ESSENTIAL
SIGHTREADING
STUDIES FOR BASS
3-VOLUME SET
-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-
These three books from David Motto make up one of the great sightreading resources of all time. Available singly or as a set, in print or ebook form, with accompanying audio.

GETTING STARTED

Just learning your way around the bass? We'll start you right.

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PLAY BASS TODAY
PLAY BASS TODAY
Teach yourself to play bass guitar at your own pace. Includes CD with instruction and backing tracks.

BEGINNING ELECTRIC BASS
BEGINNING
ELECTRIC BASS
Part one of a three-part series, this book introduces music theory, scales and chords. Learn to build cool bass lines.

Click here to see all our Beginners titles.

JOSQUIN DES PRES

JOSQUIN DES PRES
Bass player, record producer, songwriter, and TV composer Josquin Des Pres has also found time to write many instructive books for bass. His work includes everything from funk and hip hop and R&B to classical music, sight reading, fretless and even music-career advice.

Click here to see all Josquin's books.

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