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BanjophobicPlayers Union Member

United States
10197 posts
since 3/6/06

02/02/2009 08:51:41 View Banjophobic's MP3 Archive View Banjophobic's Photo Albums View Banjophobic's Blog Reply with Quote

Ok, now that we've established how to basically count and what the note durations are, we can look at using the metronome to improve timing and help identify the durations. Ive omitted 'dotted' durations for now, to keep things as simple as possible. And Ive also omitted rest durations too-maybe for the last installment.
Ive heard folks in other threads talk about the metronome and comment how its 'not important' to know durations. Its really not possible to play in time without knowing this. Again, many folks have good timing and dont know what the durations are, by title/theory terminology. But they feel how long the notes should be from practice and instinct. If they did not have that ability, playing ideas with mixed durations and playing playing rolls and ideas in time, wouldnt happen. Its also the same idea behind learning a lick and using it in TIME, in the context of a tune. You first have to recognize how long the duration of the lick is, then where it would fit into the phrasing of the tune. Again, not possible to do smoothly and in time unless the player has the ability to know and feel that it will work 'here' or 'there'.
This is why using a metronome of some sort is invaluable to everyone, especially those who dont have that natural ability at first. Working with it, learning to recognize the durations and then internalizing it, will eventually lead to hearing and 'feeling' time, not relying so much on actual counting. Lets face it, performance speeds, you dont have the brain power or luxury of being able to count everything,haha( plus you run the risk of funny looks from others). Practicing with the metronome will give you the ability to count 'in your head' as an automatic reflex pattern. Its analogous to learning the alphabetic in school as a child. They explain how to combine letters, in dentifying consonants and vowels, how they sound,and then forming words. Fast forward years later..you dont THINK about saying something in individual letters-you just 'say it'. This is how you must approach playing the banjo in everything you learn. You keep doing it, CORRECTLY, until it becomes second nature and theres not as much conscious thinking as it is reflex and subconscious act.

Ok, lets start with the basic function of the metronome-counting beats. There is more than one way to use it to identify durations and show you how correct your timing is, but lets look at a couple ways here. Let's start with using the metronome to play each of the durations. I'll leave the speed up to you, since folks are at different levels in their ability to do this. Start as SLOWLY as comfortable. Remember speed is the result of practice. Never substitute speed for good timing and tone-I repeat NEVER...ok, im calm,haha. Repeating bad habits, especially timing ones, just means you are internalizing mistakes and bad timing, never a good thing. Lets begin with basic 4/4 time and then we can look at 'cut time'. My goal is to allow you to understand how to count in ANY timing signature. Cut time is just a division of the same unit- 4/4, anyway.

Example 1

Whole note
Lets play the open 4th string as our reference "D" note Set the metronome to your favorite BPM. I'll use 100 BPM as my setting. Play the 4ths string open at exactly the same time you hear a click ( let the metronome get going and just pick the click to begin the count).
Let this note ring out for 4 complete clicks:

Click...................click.................click.........................click................
(1&)__________(2&)________(3&)_____________(4&)________

D note________________________________________________


In my example here, I set my metronome at 100 BPM, which means my old fashioned pendulum swings back and forth, clicking each time ( a click for each beat, one per side of the swinging motion), a TOTAL of 100 TIMES in ONE MINUTE. This is "100 BPM (Beats Per Minute). If you use a digital metronome you may hear 'beeps' instead of clicks. some models can go silent and just flash a red light. They are all telling you the same thing, be it 'click','beep' or 'flash' of a light. If the setting is 100 bpm, in common time.

Half note

Play one D string open one the 'click', letting it ring for 2 BEATS, then play another D note and let it ring for 2 BEATS( dont forget to start the second note exactly on the 3 down beat, to be in time):


Click...................Click........................click.........................click...............
(1&)_________(2&)____________(3&)_____________(4&)________
D note_______________________(D note)______________________

So, you can ply TWO D notes in the same space/time as a WHOLE note.


Quarter notes

You'll now play one D note for each click of the metronome, and be playing quarter notes. Remember to start each note exactly on the first downbeat of each beat, to be in time:


click.....................click.......................click..................click.....------
(1&)__________(2&)___________(3&)_________(4&)________
Dnote_________Note___________Note_________Note________

So, you can play 4 notes, each lasting one beat each, in the same space as 2 half notes , or 1 whole note.



Now were getting in the beginning of banjoland here. Many folks prefer to tab banjo rolls out as 8ths and in 4/4/ time. This is called "Common time" because, well, its the most common meter. Using common time (4/4) means the measures also look less 'crammed full' of notes and it easier to see in written tab, which is nice. But most steady rolling patterns are actually doubled in real life BG banjo situations. This means you'll be playing 16th notes as rolls over the 4/4 patterns. Playing in 'Cut time' means the measures are based on counting 1@2@..1@2@, or as two beat measures. grouping the rhythm into two beat units means that you'll be playing 8th rolls as the 'normal rolling pattern'. We can examine 'cut time' in another thread. Lets stick with 4/4 right now since the main goal here to to be able to use the metronome to identify only the 'durations' of 8ths, in 4/4/ time.


Pick the open D string, but now we must play 2 notes per click (2 per beat/click ). This requires more skill as you must play one note per 1/2 beat .Remember that every full beat has 2 parts-UP/Down. You are simply playing a note on each 1/2 of that. Playing 8 notes in a measure is the same as two half notes, or 1 whole notes. Just like slices of the same pie. Each time you slice the 'pie', you get more notes, in the same amount of space, but the duration of each smaller note is SHORTENED by a factor of 1/2.


click------------------click------------------click---------------click-----------
(1&)____________(2&)____________(3&)__________(4&)_______
note/note______note/note________note/note_______note/note____



16 notes require you to play 4 notes per beat-2 notes on every DOWN half and 2 notes on every UP half, for a total of 4 PER BEAT. This requires even more skill and recognition of the duration and is usually what happens when 'rolling' in common time on a BG banjo.

click........................click.......................click.....................click................
(1&)-___________(2&)___________(3&)___________(4&)_________
note/note_______note/note______note/note_______note/note_______
note/note_______note/note______note/note_______note/note_______

Playing 16 notes in this measure is the same as those 8th notes, or two half notes, or 1 whole note. You can play 16 notes in the same space as 1 whole note, 2 half notes or 8, 8th notes.


Lets stop with 16ths. But if you follow this logic, then you can play more notes in the same 'space'/measure( 32nd,64th), knowing that you must SHORTEN the duration of each note in order to fit them in. Look back to the previous post, to see that graphic of how the durations compare. Use the metronome to practice not only 8th note rolls in 4/4, but whole notes, half,quarters, 8ths and 16ths. Find a speed on your metronome that allows you to play each, in time, not feeling like you are straining to stay with the count. Your ability to play at higher tempos depends on you playing slowly and gradually building speed with practice. How fast you are ultimately able to play, with great timing, depends on your practice time, ability to identify and play durations and your physical limitations. Everyone is physically different and some folks have the inborn ability to play at higher tempos with seeming ease. But the majority of players who can play at high tempos well accomplished this through playing and practicing A LOT. They have recognized how important timing is. Many have used metronomes.You can use the metronome to help you play faster yes, but its FAR more important to let it teach you to play in TIME and be smooth. Its also invaluable to use it to see how you can control dynamics, while staying in time, practice syncopating (topic for another post) and other more advanced concepts.
Ok, next we'll look at dividing all this up, using 'cut time' as our ruler.


Edited by - Banjophobic on 01/18/2011 07:35:47

kinggrumpy

United States
873 posts since 11/28/04

02/02/2009 11:34:48 Reply with Quote

Hi John I want to thank you for all you have done for all the banjo hangout beginners like me.Your last two posts on timing and using the metronome have help me so much thank you so much.
Ray J.

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NC Picker

United States
87 posts since 12/15/05

02/02/2009 13:53:24 View NC Picker's Photo Albums View NC Picker's Blog Click to see NC Picker's MSN Messenger address Reply with Quote

When I took a few lessons off Banjophobic a couple of years ago. The one thing that always stuck in my mind is him cranking up that metronome. and talking about the importance of timing. Every time he Showed me somthing on the banjo, and he still does it on the lick of the week videos he post here on the banjo hangout, Before he started he will crank up that metronome and its alway reminded me the importance of not only knowing how your metronome works but to know how to play with it, and always use it until you have to perform. What I learned from Banjophobic was more important than just learning some licks and things. Because I realized someone playing just a simple tune in good time will out perform someone playing a advance song out of time anyday ! It taught me to learn in moderation in good time and in good time I will be a good banjo player. Thank You So Much For That John! One of the most valuble lessons a banjo player could ever learn.
These post should be made a sticky

Later, Gregg

This Banjo you speak of, "Tell me more


Edited by - NC Picker on 02/03/2009 03:50:31

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Dropthumb

United States
381 posts since 2/13/03

02/02/2009 16:33:52 Reply with Quote

I know this is a Banjo forum

Can anyone put this to the TUNE of , or for a mandolin
Would be wonderful.

Keep on picking

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BanjophobicPlayers Union Member

United States
10197 posts since 3/6/06

02/03/2009 06:21:33View Banjophobic's MP3 Archive View Banjophobic's Photo Albums View Banjophobic's Blog Reply with Quote

quote
"I know this is a Banjo forum

Can anyone put this to the TUNE of , or for a mandolin
Would be wonderful"

Dropthumb

Durations are universal to any and all instruments. So, if you are a mandolin player, the notes you're playing will fall into these same durations. Mandolin players dont play 'roll's, per se, but sometimes they cross pick repeating patterns and use rapid tremelo. No matter what type style you use on the manolin, the notes can be identified by thier duration.

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BanjophobicPlayers Union Member

United States
10197 posts since 3/6/06

02/03/2009 06:23:56View Banjophobic's MP3 Archive View Banjophobic's Photo Albums View Banjophobic's Blog Reply with Quote

Greg

Well Im glad you learned something from those lessons that proved really foundational. If all student got from lessons was to play in time and make sure their solos were clean,had correct melody and tasteful I would say it was a sucess-. Thanks for the kind words.

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Koala_in_pjs

Australia
252 posts since 8/1/08

02/22/2009 02:55:59View Koala_in_pjs's MP3 Archive View Koala_in_pjs's Photo Albums View Koala_in_pjs's Blog Reply with Quote

This deserves to be stickied for us newbies

Great explanation of how to use a metronome and timing

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Brian T

Canada
9146 posts since 6/5/08

02/22/2009 08:25:38 View Brian T's Photo Albums View Brian T's Blog Reply with Quote

If I got this right, I need to pick 8 notes in 2 beats to get 16ths? I've got a drum machine which seems a little more humane to my old ears. I'm remined of a comment that Ross Nickerson makes near the beginning of his Banjo Encyclopedia:" most of the time, you're the drummer, keeping time." Thanks, John, for a great lesson.

We do not know where we are going.
Nor do most of us care.
For us, it is enough that we are on our way.
Le Matelot

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GlennM

United States
3875 posts since 8/31/05

02/24/2009 12:03:51View GlennM's MP3 Archive View GlennM's Classified Ads View GlennM's Photo Albums View GlennM's Blog Reply with Quote

Why is this in the Other Banjo Related section? Seems like it should be in the scruggs section.

Check Out TheBluegrassAcademy.com


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John AllisonPlayers Union Member

United States
9852 posts since 9/22/04

02/25/2009 06:39:49 View John Allison's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Great post John!

Froggie
"Courage is Fear that has said its prayers.

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Gun slinger

United States
63 posts since 11/28/08

03/17/2009 05:24:35 Reply with Quote

Great post! It has really helped me understand how to practice with the metronome. I have only been playing since Christmas and have been very pleased with my progress. I started out with some timing drills at first but slowly got away from them in the quest to learn as many new songs as I could. Big mistake, a coworker has been after me to bring my banjo to work and play with him. I brought it in last week and I found out quickly that my timing was off on most of the songs I knew. When I was practicing by myself and not using the metronome I thought everything sounded good. Since then I have used the metronome every time I pick up the banjo and it has helped in my weekly work jam sessions. I know one thing playing with another person even if it is only one guitar is sure harder than it looks but I keep plugging away.

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lmysliwiec

United States
16 posts since 9/7/08

03/21/2009 15:59:34 Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by Gun slinger

Great post! It has really helped me understand how to practice with the metronome. I have only been playing since Christmas and have been very pleased with my progress. I started out with some timing drills at first but slowly got away from them in the quest to learn as many new songs as I could. Big mistake, a coworker has been after me to bring my banjo to work and play with him. I brought it in last week and I found out quickly that my timing was off on most of the songs I knew. When I was practicing by myself and not using the metronome I thought everything sounded good. Since then I have used the metronome every time I pick up the banjo and it has helped in my weekly work jam sessions. I know one thing playing with another person even if it is only one guitar is sure harder than it looks but I keep plugging away.



You might want to check out my post from 3/21 called 46 ways to tell if your timing is bad. It is meant to be both funny and important. The metronome and timing are grossly underestimated in learning to play well. Good luck

Mr. LEE

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lmysliwiec

United States
16 posts since 9/7/08

03/21/2009 16:07:22 Reply with Quote

[quote]Originally posted by Banjophobic

Greg

Well Im glad you learned something from those lessons that proved really foundational. If all student got from lessons was to play in time and make sure their solos were clean,had correct melody and tasteful I would say it was a sucess-. Thanks for the kind words.


[/quote ] Have you checked out my list of "46 ways to tell if your timing is bad?" I posted it a few days ago. I hope you find it funny ... I think it is VERY important to consider timing as a critical part of learning to play. Often it is overlooked. A very good banjo player friend of mine always says " you don't know a tune well if you can't play it slow" ..Good advice I think.

Mr. LEE

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diagonally

Canada
63 posts since 9/9/08

04/23/2009 08:05:58 Reply with Quote

Could you provide a pointer to part one of this discussion?

quote:
Originally posted by Banjophobic

Ok, now that we've established how to basically count and what the note durations are, we can look at using the metronome to improve timing and help indentify the durations. Ive omitted 'dotted' durations for now, to keep things as simple as possible. And Ive also omitted rest durations too-maybe for the last installment.
Ive heard folks in other threads talk about the metronome and comment how its 'not important' to know durations. Its really not possible to play in time without knowing this. Again, many folks have good timing and dont know what the durations are, by title/theory terminology. But they feel how long the notes should be from practice and instinct. If they did not have that ability, playing ideas with mixed durationsand playing playing rolls and ideas in time, wouldnt happen. Its also the same idea behind learing a lick and using it in TIME, in the context of a tune. You first have to recognize how long the duration of the lick is, then where it would fit into the phrasing of the tune. Again, not possible to do smoothly and in time unless the player has the ability to know and feel that it will work 'here' or 'there'.
This is why using a metronome of some sort is invaluable to everyone, especially those who dont have that natural ability at first. Working with it, learning to recognize the durations and then internalizing it, will eventually lead to hearing and 'feeling' time, not relying so much on actual counting. Lets face it, performance speeds, you dont have the brain power or luxury of being able to count everything,haha( plus you run the risk of funny looks from others). Practicing with the metronome will give you the ability to count 'in your head' as an automatic reflex pattern. Its analogous to learning the alphabetic in school as a child. They explain how to combine letters, indentifying consonants and vowels, how ithey sound,and then forming words. Fast forward years later..you dont THINK about saying something in individual letters-you just 'say it'. This is how you must approach playing the banjo in everything you learn. You keep doing it, CORRECTLY, until it becomes second nature and theres not as much conscious thinking as it is reflex and subconscious act.

Ok, lets start with the basic function of the metronome-counting beats. There is more than one way to use it to identify durations and show you how correct your timing is, but lets look at a couple ways here. Let's start with using the metronome to play each of the durations. I'll leave the speed up to you, since folks are at different levels in their ability to do this. Start as SLOWLY as comfortable. Remember speed is the result of practice. Never substitute speed for good timing and tone-I repeat NEVER...ok, im calm,haha. Repeating bad habits, especially timing ones, just means you are internalizing mistakes and bad timing, never a good thing. Lets begin with basic 4/4 time and then we can look at 'cut time'. My goal is to allow you to understand how to count in ANY timing signature. Cut time is just a division of the same unit, 4/4 anyway.

Example 1

Whole note
Lets play the open 4th string as our reference "D" note Set the metronome to your favorite BPM. I'll use 100 BPM as my setting. Play the 4ths string open at exactly the same time you hear a click ( let the metronome get going and just pick the click to begin the count).
Let this note ring out for 4 complete clicks:

Click...................click.................click.........................click................
(1&)__________(2&)________(3&)_____________(4&)________

D note________________________________________________


In my example here, I set my metronome at 100 BPM, which means my old fashioned pendulum swings back and forth, clicking each time ( a click for each beat, one per side of the swinging motion), a TOTAL of 100 TIMES in ONE MINUTE. This is "100 BPM (Beats Per Minute). If you use a digital metronome you may hear 'beeps' instead of clicks. some models can go silent and just flash a red light. They are all telling you the same thing, be it 'click','beep' or 'flash' of a light. If the setting is 100 bpm, in common time.

Half note

Play one D string open one the 'click', letting it ring for 2 BEATS, then play another D note and let it ring for 2 BEATS( dont forget to start the second note exactly on the 3 down beat, to be in time):


Click...................Click........................click.........................click...............
(1&)_________(2&)____________(3&)_____________(4&)________
D note_______________________(D note)______________________

So, you can ply TWO D notes in the same space/time as a WHOLE note.


Quarter notes

You'll now play one D note for each click of the metronome, and be playing quarter notes. Remember to start each note exactly on the first downbeat of each beat, to be in time:


click.....................click.......................click..................click.....------
(1&)__________(2&)___________(3&)_________(4&)________
Dnote_________Note___________Note_________Note________

So, you can play 4 notes, each lasting one beat each, in the same space as 2 half notes , or 1 whole note.



Now were getting in the beginning of banjolang here. Many folks prefer to tab banjo rolls out as 8ths and in 4/4/ time. This is becouse they nca stretch measures out on printed page and the the notes are easier to read and takes less paper. The measure also look less 'crammed full' of notes and it easier to see. but most steady rolling patterns are actually doubled (see cut time)in real life. We'll look at that next time. Lets stick with 4/4 right now since the main goal here to to be able to use the metronome to udentify any duration, regardless of the signature.

8th notes

Pick the open D string, but now we must play 2 notes per click (2 per beat/click ). This requires more skill as you must play one note per 1/2 beat .Remember that every full beat has 2 parts-UP/Down. You are simply playing a note on each 1/2 of that. Playing 8 notes in a measure is the same as two half notes, or 1 whole notes. Just like slices of the same pie. Each time you slice the 'pie', you get more notes, in the same amount of space, but the duration of each smaller note is SHORTENED by a factor of 1/2.


click------------------click------------------click---------------click-----------
(1&)____________(2&)____________(3&)__________(4&)_______
note/note______note/note________note/note_______note/note____



16 notes require you to play 4 notes per beat-2 notes on every DOWN half and 2 notes on every UP half, for a total of 4 PER BEAT. This requires even more skill and recognition of the duration

click........................click.......................click.....................click................
(1&)-___________(2&)___________(3&)___________(4&)_________
note/note_______note/note______note/note_______note/note_______
note/note_______note/note______note/note_______note/note_______

Playing 16 notes in this measure is the same as those 8th notes, or two half notes, or 1 whole note. You can play 16 notes in the same space as 1 whole note, 2 half notes or 8, 8th notes.


Lets stop with 16ths. But if you follow this logic, then you can play more notes in the same 'space'/measure( 32nd,64th), knowing that you must SHORTEN the duration of each note in order to fit them in. Look back to the previous post, to see that graphic of how the durations compare. Use the metronome to practice not only 8th note rolls in 4/4, but whole notes, half,quarters, 8ths and 16ths. Find a speed on your metronome that allows you to play each, in time, not feeliing like you are straining to stay with the count. Your abiliity to play at higher tempos depends on you playing slowly and gradually building speed with practice. How fast you are ultimtely able to play, with great timing, depends on your practice time, ability to identify and play durations and your physical limitations. Everyone is physically different and some folks have the inborn ability to play at higher tempos with seeming ease. But the majority of players who can play at high tempos well accomplished this through playing and practicing ALOT. They have recognized how important timing is. Many have used metronomes.You can use the metronome to help you play faster yes, but its FAR more important to let it teach you to play in TIME and be smooth. Its also invaluable to use it to see how you can controll dynamics, while staying in time, practice syncopating (topic for another post) and other more advanced concepts.
Ok, next we'll look at dividing all this up, using 'cut time' as our ruler.





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llids

United States
24 posts since 4/2/09

06/26/2009 00:20:51 Reply with Quote

There is nothing more rewarding when practicing, then locking in on the click of the metronome. :Practice that way and you will get sharp and steady in a relatively short period of time.

Banjo begins at 50

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Banjophrenic

United States
23 posts since 12/10/08

06/30/2009 19:55:02 View Banjophrenic's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

So, I understand the original post, how to fit the notes in each measure and such. It works well with my vamping and single string, But when faced with a song - ex: "cripple creek" it all seems to be a mess and difficult to decipher if I'm on the right beat. (headphone in) mind you. Is this something that should be intuitive by this point, or is there still a way to keep rythm by listening to the 'nome'. wow that made now sense.

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10gauge

United States
1288 posts since 3/4/08

07/06/2009 14:26:15View 10gauge's MP3 Archive View 10gauge's Photo Albums View 10gauge's Blog Reply with Quote

The metronome should be used to "check your math" after you've worked out how the song works out in time. For me at least it would be too much to try and learn a song with the metronome going in the very initial stages of working it out. Try counting out the time. This allows you to slew a count out for a moment because your technique and how well you know what to do next isn't perfect yet. In your mind you'll know the weight of the note when you practice it while counting. If you get Tabledit and listen to how the computer plays a tune you'll get a better idea of how it should sound when your in time. Here's a video that supports Banjophobic's thread in a very basic "you don't need to know anything about music to understand it" way. youtube.com/watch?v=_sJu6fiSyb...nnel_page

Jonathan O''bug

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oagige

29 posts since 7/9/07

07/25/2009 14:35:02 View oagige's Blog Reply with Quote

Banjophobic, everything you state in this forum is true as I see it. And playing in time is VERY IMPORTANT, and for a beginner, the metronome might be the best way to learn to play in time. However, playing with a metronome does not teach bluegrass timing (some might call that drive). If you get really proficient at "feeling" the timing like a metronome provides, then go jam with PROFICENT bluegrass musicians you will most likely get accused of "dragging". The only way to learn bluegrass "drive" is to either play with excellent musicians or play along with profesional, quality recordings, such as Flatt and Scruggs, the Bluegrass Album Band, etc. Of course, "driving" the music is not the same thing as "speeding up" the music.

tuning timing tone

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BanjophobicPlayers Union Member

United States
10197 posts since 3/6/06

07/26/2009 18:07:39View Banjophobic's MP3 Archive View Banjophobic's Photo Albums View Banjophobic's Blog Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by oagige

Banjophobic, everything you state in this forum is true as I see it. And playing in time is VERY IMPORTANT, and for a beginner, the metronome might be the best way to learn to play in time. However, playing with a metronome does not teach bluegrass timing (some might call that drive). If you get really proficient at "feeling" the timing like a metronome provides, then go jam with PROFICENT bluegrass musicians you will most likely get accused of "dragging". The only way to learn bluegrass "drive" is to either play with excellent musicians or play along with profesional, quality recordings, such as Flatt and Scruggs, the Bluegrass Album Band, etc. Of course, "driving" the music is not the same thing as "speeding up" the music.

tuning timing tone





Well, I can appreciate this viewpoint. But this thread wasnt posted to debate "drive". Its about learning to use the metronome to identify musical durations and for an overall sense of timing. I would say that many professional players, myself included, use metronomes. Wether or not it hinders 'drive' is not really the point here. You learn to syncopate and to push/pull the beat by playing bluegrass with others. But many folks confuse "pushing the beat" with "playing out of time". Again, Im not trying to debate, but just express my opinion.
Learning to use a metronome, drum machine, program like BIAB and using click tracks in the studio... are all designed to do the same thing-help one develop solid timing. Since I think I play with decent drive, using a metronome didnt hurt me and probably wont hurt anyone else either. Many well known bleugrass players use metronomes and I dont think one could fault thier timing or drive. The only way iI can see that using such a device could be counter productive would be to be to sit at home with it all the time and never play with others.

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minstrelmike

8095 posts since 12/19/08

07/27/2009 08:39:52View minstrelmike's MP3 Archive View minstrelmike's Photo Albums View minstrelmike's Blog Reply with Quote

I discourage metronome use by beginners and read another post that said what I thought was the perfect way to learn to use a metronome. First, you have to already be able to play a song up-to-speed and in decent timing. If you can't do that, I say put away the metronome but others disagree.

Set the metronome to the speed you usually play your song at and play along with the 'nome.
Now set the timing a little _slower_ and play along. (You choose slower because you use the metronome to work on accuracy and evenness of timing, not on speed. ).

Try that approach first with familiar songs and many of the questions about when and where to pick and choose metronome beats while practicing will go away.

Mike Moxcey Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
moxcey.net/mike/minstrel/index.html

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BanjophobicPlayers Union Member

United States
10197 posts since 3/6/06

07/28/2009 11:58:34View Banjophobic's MP3 Archive View Banjophobic's Photo Albums View Banjophobic's Blog Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by minstrelmike

I discourage metronome use by beginners and read another post that said what I thought was the perfect way to learn to use a metronome. First, you have to already be able to play a song up-to-speed and in decent timing. If you can't do that, I say put away the metronome but others disagree.

Set the metronome to the speed you usually play your song at and play along with the 'nome.
Now set the timing a little _slower_ and play along. (You choose slower because you use the metronome to work on accuracy and evenness of timing, not on speed. ).

Try that approach first with familiar songs and many of the questions about when and where to pick and choose metronome beats while practicing will go away.

Mike Moxcey Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
moxcey.net/mike/minstrel/index.html




Yeah, I hear ya Mike. I dont start rank beginners out with it either. But there comes a point in thier progress that I highly recommend that they find something, be it metro, drum machine,,etc, to improve and hone their skills. never hurts to check your overall timing and see how good you think you are. If you start from an early stage with good skills and habits, they continue to imrove with time.

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banjoal79

United States
90 posts since 5/17/06

08/20/2009 07:50:00 Reply with Quote

Where is part 1? I can't seem to find it anywhere? Can anyone post a link to it? Thanks.

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Mountain Blue

217 posts since 7/23/09

09/18/2009 21:23:36 View Mountain Blue's Classified Ads View Mountain Blue's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Banjophobic, thanks for the lesson! I'm on the verge of buying a metronome and this will help.

I wonder if there is a type of metronome that will alert you when you start a new measure, either with a different colored light or a different beep or something?

That would seem to help us newbies when it comes being able to distinguish or stress melody notes while doing rolls, etc...

-----

When they find me out in the rain,
Be sure and tell them Thibodeaux's my name.

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OMBPlayers Union Member

United States
83 posts since 10/17/06

09/20/2009 12:54:44View OMB's MP3 Archive View OMB's Photo Albums Send OMB an AOL message Reply with Quote

I would bag the metronome in favor of some of these drum software programs, (many are inexpensive), and just get a country shuffle beat. (I use DrumCore with Basic Shuffle or use Country style with TB Train if you want the shuffle in split time). I have used various metronomes, but using a shuffle beat at various slow settings really helped groove a swing to the roll by ear, rather than volumes trying to define it. I also noticed in the 'revised' scruggs book, the tab and CD all emphasize a 'shuffle' rhythm.

It made a huge difference in my roll and playing. Sorry to differ, but it makes a huge difference.

Chris
OzarkMountainBoys.com

"How do you get two banjo pickers to play in unison?"
"Shoot the first one."

"How do you get a banjo picker to make a million dollars?"
"Start with two million."
Jeff Foxworthy

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OMBPlayers Union Member

United States
83 posts since 10/17/06

09/20/2009 12:58:04View OMB's MP3 Archive View OMB's Photo Albums Send OMB an AOL message Reply with Quote

I would bag the metronome in favor of some of these drum software programs, (many are inexpensive), and just get a country shuffle beat. (I use DrumCore with Basic Shuffle or use Country style with TB Train if you want the shuffle in split time). I have used various metronomes, but using a shuffle beat at various slow settings really helped groove a swing to the roll by ear, rather than volumes trying to define it. I also noticed in the 'revised' scruggs book, the tab and CD all emphasize a 'shuffle' rhythm.

It made a huge difference in my roll and playing. Sorry to differ, but it makes a huge difference.

Chris
OzarkMountainBoys.com

"How do you get two banjo pickers to play in unison?"
"Shoot the first one."

"How do you get a banjo picker to make a million dollars?"
"Start with two million."
Jeff Foxworthy

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Golden

United States
199 posts since 1/31/08

09/28/2009 11:02:52 Reply with Quote

Hi John,

You should make a video that goes with these written instruction.

Thanks Ron.

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