Wednesday, March 19, 2008
To metronome, or not to metronome? Is there a question? Everyone thinks he has great meter. Well, this thing will test you, prove you're wrong, then help you get better. For the last three months I've been working on one of the most difficult drum pieces I've ever tried to learn and this humble little appliance has been an invaluable assistant/slave driver the whole time. Actually, I use a pair of isolation headphones with a built in metronome, but that's beside the point. The salient bit here is: this tool will help you improve. Here are a couple of things to try with your little clicky friend. Set it to play a quarter note and solo against it. Then set it to play a half note and solo against it. Then set it to play a whole note and solo against it. Next, set it to play a quarter note and solo against it, but play so that the click is on your "e", "and", or "a". Next, imagine your telephone number is a string of note groupings, i.e. 737-4279 (by the way that's not my number so don't call it). Set your metronome to play a slow quarter note and play those groups against it as tuplets. That number would be: septuplet, triplet, septuplet, quadruplet, duplet, septuplet, novuplet. 'Taint easy my friend. Okay, one more thing. Any clock with a second hand is a great metronome. Of course you're stuck playing at 60 bpm or 120, but who cares? It's still a great way to waste time at work.