Essential Secrets 52: Know How to Use Your Metronome
Know How to Use Your Metronome
Going Beyond the Simple Quarter-Note Click
Metronomes are great tools for busy bass players. They help you play evenly, achieve tempo goals, discover sections that need more focused practicing, and train your muscles to play without making mistakes.
Try using your metronome to do more than simply click quarter notes. To keep your practicing fresh and to learn faster than ever, try these metronome tricks:
· Modern metronomes can subdivide accurately for you, and it’s great to hear eighth notes, sixteenth notes, or triplets when you need them.
· Have your metronome click less frequently than quarter notes, forcing you to fill in the other beats mentally.
· For music in three, have the metronome click only the downbeat. You’ll need to count and feel the other beats.
· For music in four, set the metronome to click on beats one and three or on beats two and four. (If, for example the tempo is quarter note = 120, set the metronome at 60.) To hear the metronome clicking beats two and four, start counting “one” and “three” during the silences, and the click will line up on two and four.
· Use the “Disappearing Click” technique. If you’re playing in four with a lot of eighth notes, for example, start by setting the metronome to click eighth notes. Next, set a click of quarter notes. Then, give yourself a click only on beats one and three (the equivalent of half notes). Finally, set the metronome to click only on the downbeat. You’ll be playing and counting eighth notes the entire time—but your reference is slowly disappearing. This way, you learn to control time better and do not become dependent on your metronome.
Have fun using your metronome. Develop your own creative ways to use this valuable tool, and you’ll forever change the way you think about playing the bass.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET