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Using the metronome-Part 2 clicks/durations

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Feb 28, 2011 - 4:12:58 PM

Jim T

USA

432 posts since 5/19/2005

John,

I get what you're saying and pretty much what Joe is saying. What I was having trouble with, was understanding what the person I quoted was saying. It didn't just seem to be correct to me. If I play 2 notes per beat with the metronome at 100 bmp it seems really slow. If I speed it up to 160 bpm and play 2 notes per beat it's still pretty slow (althought getting up towards the top of my range at present) but, compared to Earl Scruggs playing Foggy Mtn Breakdown, it's still really slow. But yet folks say he plays that around 135 bpm, I think. So that's what makes me think that when I play 2 beats per click at 160, I'm really playing at 80 bpm.

Jim

Once in a while I see someone post that they've been playing for a few months and are able to play several songs at 150 bpm and a couple at 200 bpm. It makes me think that we may not all be on the same page with this "bpm" thing. LOL

Feb 28, 2011 - 4:23:34 PM

13420 posts since 3/6/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Jim T

John,

I get what you're saying and pretty much what Joe is saying. What I was having trouble with, was understanding what the person I quoted was saying. It didn't just seem to be correct to me. If I play 2 notes per beat with the metronome at 100 bmp it seems really slow. If I speed it up to 160 bpm and play 2 notes per beat it's still pretty slow (althought getting up towards the top of my range at present) but, compared to Earl Scruggs playing Foggy Mtn Breakdown, it's still really slow. But yet folks say he plays that around 135 bpm, I think. So that's what makes me think that when I play 2 beats per click at 160, I'm really playing at 80 bpm.

Jim

Once in a while I see someone post that they've been playing for a few months and are able to play several songs at 150 bpm and a couple at 200 bpm. It makes me think that we may not all be on the same page with this "bpm" thing. LOL




JIm, yes,folks often attempt to play songs in 4/4 time but they express the time signature incorrectly. Try playing roll patterns as 16th notes,4 per beat, at 135 and you'll get the picture.

Feb 28, 2011 - 6:58:30 PM

Jim T

USA

432 posts since 5/19/2005

OK John, You've confirmed my thinking. My next goal is to go from playing 2 notes per beat at 160 bpm to 4 notes per beat at 80 bpm (same speed) in hopes of moving on to faster speeds in the future. I don't think my 64 year old fingers are ever going to see 4 notes per beat at 135 bpm..........but I think 100 bpm might be reachable.

Jim

Mar 1, 2011 - 9:06:01 AM

13420 posts since 3/6/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Jim T

OK John, You've confirmed my thinking. My next goal is to go from playing 2 notes per beat at 160 bpm to 4 notes per beat at 80 bpm (same speed) in hopes of moving on to faster speeds in the future. I don't think my 64 year old fingers are ever going to see 4 notes per beat at 135 bpm..........but I think 100 bpm might be reachable.

Jim




Keep plugging away Jim. No one can say for sure how fast you'll ultimately be able to play, in maximum speed, since everyone is different. But everyone can improve their speed to some degree. Playing 2 notes per click in cut time allows you to reach some of the speeds that are on the 'average' of what most folks play to, in jams.

Mar 13, 2011 - 11:24:53 AM
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2 posts since 3/12/2011

I read an article years back written by Jim Mills? about how he slept with a loud clock in his room (60BPM). I think initially metronomes are a bit hard to get used to, just listening to 100BPM for a few minutes every day without an instrument in your hand is an excellent way to adjust. No one basically plays in perfect timing but it certainly helps if you can relate to what perfect timing is. Chris.

Mar 14, 2011 - 5:31:49 PM

544 posts since 7/23/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Big Cooky

I read an article years back written by Jim Mills? about how he slept with a loud clock in his room (60BPM). I think initially metronomes are a bit hard to get used to, just listening to 100BPM for a few minutes every day without an instrument in your hand is an excellent way to adjust. No one basically plays in perfect timing but it certainly helps if you can relate to what perfect timing is. Chris.



This sounds like a good idea - I may try it out. I've been trying to get into the metronome habit once more, having never really established it. I'm feeling more motivated this time around, as I've been wanting to work on my note separation before submitting a video to Tony Trischka's online school, and working just a little with the metronome seems to help with this problem. A great bonus!

Apr 15, 2011 - 5:28:03 AM

kingfisher78

Australia

148 posts since 10/1/2009

quote:
Originally posted by GHohwald


V. CLOSING THOUGHTS Once you have reached the speed of 250 on the metronome, where do you go from there?

First play the measure at 250. Second Set the metronome to 125, which is one, half of 250/ Play the piece at 2 notes per click of the metronome. To aid in hearing the beat, count 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 one number per click. Continue on and say 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and Say the numbers with each click. Say “and “in the space between the clicks. Starting with 125 increase the speed as necessary.



 I have a bit of a problem. I can't count fast enough to keep up once I get to 160BMP . I can play simple forward rolls at 2 notes per beat (1/8 notes in 4/4 timing) at 160 BPM (maybe faster haven't tried). But I can't say 1&2&3&4& in my head quick enough. Do I leave out the "ands" or what?

God help me when I get to 1/16 note with the metronome, my brain will have a melt down. 

Shane.

Apr 15, 2011 - 6:33:38 AM

23 posts since 1/24/2011

Most tab seems to be written in 4/4 time meaning 4 beats per measure.  A lot, if not most, music (Ears's book is a prime example) is written in 2/4.  Learning to use a 'nome at 4 to 1 or even 2 to 1 aint easy, but learnable.  There are, however, on line 'nomes that can be a big help.  Go to metronomeonline.com.  One there can be set up to 900 bpm and you can choose the duration of the clicks and the sound of the individual clicks.  I use a duration of four and a different sound for the 1st and 3rd beats.  If you want, you can use a rest in place of click.  To learn 4 for 1 try setting the 'nome at 400 and a click followed by three rests.  Play a simple eight note roll with the 1st and 5th notes on the click and voila, you'll have 400 notes per minute at 100 bpm.  If it can help me, it can help anyone!  Hamp.

Apr 15, 2011 - 6:50:06 AM

13420 posts since 3/6/2006

quote:
Originally posted by kingfisher78

quote:
Originally posted by GHohwald


V. CLOSING THOUGHTS Once you have reached the speed of 250 on the metronome, where do you go from there?

First play the measure at 250. Second Set the metronome to 125, which is one, half of 250/ Play the piece at 2 notes per click of the metronome. To aid in hearing the beat, count 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 one number per click. Continue on and say 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and Say the numbers with each click. Say “and “in the space between the clicks. Starting with 125 increase the speed as necessary.



 I have a bit of a problem. I can't count fast enough to keep up once I get to 160BMP . I can play simple forward rolls at 2 notes per beat (1/8 notes in 4/4 timing) at 160 BPM (maybe faster haven't tried). But I can't say 1&2&3&4& in my head quick enough. Do I leave out the "ands" or what?

God help me when I get to 1/16 note with the metronome, my brain will have a melt down. 

Shane.


 

Shane

 

When you get to a higher tempos,  forget about trying to include the "&'s". For 4/4 counts, just go " 1 2 3 4  1 2 3 4" and for cut time, count  "1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2". The 'ands' will still be in there, but too fast to really count effectively. Let the clicks be the downbeats and the quiet spaces between them, the 'ands', will take care of themselves.smiley

Apr 15, 2011 - 7:15:17 AM

kingfisher78

Australia

148 posts since 10/1/2009

Thanks John, I thought it would to be something simple like that.

May 25, 2011 - 7:57:44 AM

jbburns

USA

1 posts since 5/25/2011

I have a question that is along the lines of this topic.  I have been playing for couple years now.  I went down to Merlefest this year and was playing with some of the guys that I was traveling with.  While playing I noticed while playing lead on this song that started out using a mixed roll I could tell that my timing was off when it switched to a forward roll.  I understand the duration of notes from playing trumpet in high school and college.  But obviously what I know and what I'm executing weren't matching up.  The best I can figure is that with the mixed roll my thumb hits the down beat and when the song switched to the forward roll I was rushing the notes sub-consciously trying to get the thumb on the down beat.  When I got home I downloaded a metronome to my computer with a feature the gives a different sound at the beginning of each measure.  I've been practicing with that to try and fix my issues.  My question is, "am I doing the right thing to correct the bad habit I've apparently developed practicing alone or is there something else I should consider/add?"

May 26, 2011 - 9:39:42 AM

13420 posts since 3/6/2006

quote:
Originally posted by jbburns

I have a question that is along the lines of this topic.  I have been playing for couple years now.  I went down to Merlefest this year and was playing with some of the guys that I was traveling with.  While playing I noticed while playing lead on this song that started out using a mixed roll I could tell that my timing was off when it switched to a forward roll.  I understand the duration of notes from playing trumpet in high school and college.  But obviously what I know and what I'm executing weren't matching up.  The best I can figure is that with the mixed roll my thumb hits the down beat and when the song switched to the forward roll I was rushing the notes sub-consciously trying to get the thumb on the down beat.  When I got home I downloaded a metronome to my computer with a feature the gives a different sound at the beginning of each measure.  I've been practicing with that to try and fix my issues.  My question is, "am I doing the right thing to correct the bad habit I've apparently developed practicing alone or is there something else I should consider/add?"


Yes, you are doing the ;right' thing, anytime to spot a timing issue you have and attempt to correct it.  Switching between roll patterns can be the areas in one's playing where timing can get a little tricky. If the two roll patterns that you are trying to blend together have different durations, then that compounds the transition too. Even if the rools being combined are the same duration, finding a smooth way to transition can be a challenge. Here's a  transition to try, going from the alternating thumb/mixed roll to a forward roll:

 

1-----------------------0----------------------0------------0----------0-----------/----------------------------------------

2-----------0-----------------------0-----------------------------------------------/----------------------------------------

3------0------------------------------------------------0-----------0---------0----/----------------------------------------

4------------------------------0-----------------------------------------------------/-----------------------------------------

5-----------------0-------------------------0--------------------0----------0-----/------------------------------------------

 

One thing to look out for in switching from the mixed roll to any forward roll pattern. The alternating/mixed pattern has a different feel and syncopation.smiley Its much easier to keep this roll 'squared' (staying metronomic in feel and timing). The 3rd and 4th strings naturally want to fall on the downbeats. Even with the syncopation that occurs with this roll, its easier to stay on the downbeats with those lead notes. But the forward rolls, when played with natural syncopation, do not want to have the saem lead note stay on the same beat or squarely on it.  Try playing the 3-1-5 forward roll in my example above in cut time , by itself with the metronome. You'll find that to get the roll feeling smooth and natural, you'll need to let the roll syncopate. This means the first note (3) will fall on a downbeat, but on the return to that note again in your repeat  of the pattern, the same note (3), will fall on an off beat., but the next time around, the saem note (3) will return to being on the downbeat. If you try this experiment in common time, the syncopation gets even quirkier.

Most of the issue with transitioning rolls is that you have to let the roll do what it wants to do, and not worry so much about the notes always falling squarely on downbeats, for example. This is where practicing with the metronome is so useful. It isnt about training you to play like a machine, but to help you hear, feel and locate the natural flow of notes when they syncopate. Its giving you a frame of reference, which is very important to understanding how to play 'straight' and play 'crooked'.

Aug 22, 2011 - 6:23:18 PM
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1125 posts since 7/15/2003

I recently attended Gerald Jones' Acoustic Music Camp in Arlington and had the pleasure of sitting in the class taught by Ron Stewart.  He talked quite a bit about the importance of timing and practicing with a metronome.  So, about 10 days ago I started spending some time each day practicing with my Boss Dr. Beat DB88 metronome.  I have discovered a number of things that take some boredom out of the learning process and actually I think add quite a bit to my 15 minute practice sessions:

1.  Play different rolls on time with the metronome.

2.  Practice chord patterns up and down the neck in time with the metronome.

3.  Listen for the chord sounds ....i.e.) I   IV   I   V   I .... or I   IV   V   I  type of stuff ... it is good ear training  and you are learning the neck of the banjo.

4.  With no capo.... play those patterns for the key of G.... then A ... then B.... etc.

5.  Pick a song you know and learn to play it with good timing of the metronome (this is a tough one for me and it tells on me).

6.  Do these steps at various speeds of the metronome.   SLOW is TOUGH but rewarding.

7.  15 minutes goes by in a hurry when you pick a couple or more of these steps and focus..... 

Phil

 

 

 

Aug 22, 2011 - 7:37:13 PM

361 posts since 8/12/2011

Banjophobic,

Thanks for sharing this info as a post, although I didn't see part1, is it still online? Anyways I'm new to playing any music and just starting, although I've been practicing for a week. I have several Metronomes in software programs I have including FL Studies 9 which I'm going to have to use for my timing. I tried to keep time by playing with the metronome a few times and found it sort of hard. As soon as I get the Metronome started I wate for the 4th beat and then try to start on the first beat but I can never get past the four beats before I'm lost and the Metronome gets away from me. I guess perhaps the metronome wasn't going slow enough for me. I think it was set to 50 bpm, guessing.

I will have to remember to look for this port and use it when I start practicing tomorrow.

Rick Blechl.

Aug 26, 2011 - 7:58:36 AM

1735 posts since 8/4/2011

I was just thinking about the rhythmic challenges of the banjo and how hard it is for me to get the timing right, and then I find this awesome thread!  I will definitely look into getting a metronome.  After 17 years of playing more-or-less haphazardly (just screwing around on it whenever I got in the mood), I think I'm ready to start some more intentional learning.  I have Trischka's Hot Licks book and cd, and I have Janet Davis's "up the neck" book.  I'll definitely look into getting a metronome too.  Good tips.

Joe

Aug 29, 2011 - 8:08:43 AM

13420 posts since 3/6/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Kemo Sabe

I recently attended Gerald Jones' Acoustic Music Camp in Arlington and had the pleasure of sitting in the class taught by Ron Stewart.  He talked quite a bit about the importance of timing and practicing with a metronome.  So, about 10 days ago I started spending some time each day practicing with my Boss Dr. Beat DB88 metronome.  I have discovered a number of things that take some boredom out of the learning process and actually I think add quite a bit to my 15 minute practice sessions:

1.  Play different rolls on time with the metronome.

2.  Practice chord patterns up and down the neck in time with the metronome.

3.  Listen for the chord sounds ....i.e.) I   IV   I   V   I .... or I   IV   V   I  type of stuff ... it is good ear training  and you are learning the neck of the banjo.

4.  With no capo.... play those patterns for the key of G.... then A ... then B.... etc.

5.  Pick a song you know and learn to play it with good timing of the metronome (this is a tough one for me and it tells on me).

6.  Do these steps at various speeds of the metronome.   SLOW is TOUGH but rewarding.

7.  15 minutes goes by in a hurry when you pick a couple or more of these steps and focus..... 

Phil

 

 

 


Phil

 

Thats a good exercise and I hope folks take note of it. Isn't it funny how very accomplished players use a metronome, yet  there is always the anti-metronome crowd who says using one will 'ruin' your playing or you 'cant learn to play BG banjo" with one? I don't think it hurt Ron's playing any...haha.

Aug 29, 2011 - 8:19:04 AM

13420 posts since 3/6/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Bigbear1700

Banjophobic,

Thanks for sharing this info as a post, although I didn't see part1, is it still online?
I will have to remember to look for this port and use it when I start practicing tomorrow.

Rick Blechl.

 


Rick

 

If you check back to page 2 here, I reposted PArt 1 on that page. But here is the link to it if this is easier:

 

http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/138751

 

Part 1 was a post about note durations themselves. Once that was established I used this post (part 2) to help explain how to use a metronome to identify them with the banjo roll notes you'll be playing. Im glad you find this information useful!

Aug 29, 2011 - 8:20:25 AM

13420 posts since 3/6/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Joe the banjo guy

I was just thinking about the rhythmic challenges of the banjo and how hard it is for me to get the timing right, and then I find this awesome thread!  I will definitely look into getting a metronome.  After 17 years of playing more-or-less haphazardly (just screwing around on it whenever I got in the mood), I think I'm ready to start some more intentional learning.  I have Trischka's Hot Licks book and cd, and I have Janet Davis's "up the neck" book.  I'll definitely look into getting a metronome too.  Good tips.

Joe


Joe

Yes, using a metronome, drum machine,etc will be one of the best tools you can use to help with your timing deficiencies. You wont regret it.wink

Aug 29, 2011 - 3:34:12 PM

1125 posts since 7/15/2003

So I believe the metronome is a good tool to help me with the steps I mentioned above and more:

1. Work on timing

2. Work on various rolls

3. Work on chord patterns

4. Learn more about the neck

5. Ear training

6. Work on different Keys without a capo (be careful with the 5th string on this step)

7. I like to stand up while doing these exercises - (I play in a Praise Band on Sundays and it is 100% standing) 

One important thing that has helped me with timing exercises with the metronome - I like to do a foot pat with the beat - don't know why but things get WAY easier for me when I do the foot pat.  (I also do that when I play on Sundays ... believe me, NOBODY cares if you pat your foot.)

Other folks might have more ideas for this post.... Hark!   Phil has been having some fun with Metronome Exercises???   YES!   ....Phil 

Nov 2, 2011 - 8:23 PM

1125 posts since 7/15/2003

If by chance you have an I Phone.......I just discovered there is a pretty neat metronome application ......FREE ....for the I Phone.  It appears very similar to the traditional old time metronome with time signature of 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4 according to your selection and is adjustable as to tempo from 1 bpm to 240 bpm and audio volume according to your volume selection for the I Phone.  Neat.

Edited by - Kemo Sabe on 11/02/2011 20:30:33

Nov 3, 2011 - 8:31:11 AM

310 posts since 7/28/2011

Ok, so I have been working with an online nome. I can switch rolls pretty easily without missing a beat. Where I get into trouble is when I perform the pulloffs within a song. My timing goes awry. Any suggestions?

Nov 3, 2011 - 10:16:56 AM

spaz

USA

403 posts since 4/26/2007

quote:
Originally posted by dougzbanjo

Ok, so I have been working with an online nome. I can switch rolls pretty easily without missing a beat. Where I get into trouble is when I perform the pulloffs within a song. My timing goes awry. Any suggestions?


What I did was practice the timing aspect of a pull-off with a hammer-on instead. Then once I got that timing correct, I switched to a pull-off. For me, it was easier to get the timing right using the hammer-on technique, and once you can 'hear the rhythm' of that, its easier to apply the same rhythm to a pull off. 

If you really need to, speed the mnome up enough (or slow your picking down enough) to have a click on each roll note, then the 'half-way position' of the pull-off or hammer-on note might be easier to hear.

Nov 4, 2011 - 7:55:07 AM

310 posts since 7/28/2011

Thank you very much

Dec 22, 2011 - 8:35:04 PM

92 posts since 5/16/2006

Fiddlen Al gave me a online link to a music looper drum machine.Music\looper_hi.swf It took a l----o----n---g time to get used to it at the slowest setting of 80 bpm but now I can't practice without it. Maybe anyone reading this and knowing computers better than me can figure out how to get it . I really enjoy using it and its free.

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