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Thread: Playing with a metronome ... you guy's are going to hate this !

  1. #1

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    Default Playing with a metronome ... you guy's are going to hate this !

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    I didn't know how to title this .
    The main band I play with lost the keyboard player last year . We've been through a couple of keyboard players but..they are lacking in their skills . So the band leader hired another guitar player to fill up the parts that are left empty by our lack of keyboard player . Well that's not working at all ! So I decided to put my Roland SPD-S pad to work ...real work .
    I've been using the pad only for the percussion samples in the Latin gigs I do . For this band I decided to program the keyboard loops we've been lacking . And it's not working out with this band either !
    I started out taking the samples from YouTube or the Cd's . But then some of the songs are not in the original keys so I went out and got some keyboard equipment so I could play them myself . I was hoping NOT to have to go that rout . I had called a couple of keyboard friends to play the parts onto the recording software but I couldn't get a clean loop without any flubs or in time (tempo) . Very frustrating !
    I'm not a keyboard player by any means.. but I don't have to be . I only have to get it right once and then just loop it in the software and then dump it onto the SPD-S . That is simple in theory ... in real life it's a whole other bag !
    It's not the loops or the idea ...it's the other musicians in the band that now find themselves having to practice playing to a metronome so that they will be in time to the loops ! It started out with simple keyboard loops , nothing that got in their way as long as they followed my groove . But now that I've gotten to the horn phrases ... well they can't play along with those without rushing or dragging . In the beginning we had discussed this and they were all for it (loose the extra guitarist and split the extra money) . Tempos were set before hand and at first they were loving it . But now that THEY have to put work into it ....well they're not having it ! LOL !!
    In the back of my mind I knew it wouldn't work with this band . For years they have gotten away with being sloppy and not playing the right changes and stuff like that , never had they been call out on it . And mind you ..these are people who do this for a living !
    But I went ahead because I knew that I would learn a lot from having done this . My keyboard skills are coming along and maybe next year I can start renting myself out as a keyboard player as well . My people skills have improved ( I had to learn some of the guitar parts and spoon feed them to our guitar player..without making him mad ! ) . My memory skills...having to map out the loops and phrases on the pads , then try to remember which pad had what sample ! And then having to hit the pad at the right time in the song , in time , without messing up . I tell ya that "ALL SOUNDS OFF" button on the SPD-S came in handy a few times ...LOL !
    I know some of you would never do this . That's cool...maybe your situation doesn't require this sort of thing . (lucky !) And maybe with these guys it's not going to work . But I know that it can work and maybe I'll put my own band together and carry on . Still tho..I just wanted to share what I've been up to . I seldom post anything . So now you all know a little more about me .
    Comments ... criticisms...jokes..dirty pictures..always welcome .
    Have a good one ya'll !!

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Playing with a metronome ... you guy's are going to hate this !

    Great thread Rudy! I'm in a new band now and at the first band practice, I brought in my metronome and unbeknownst to me, all of the songs that this band plays have been "metered" due to the file sharing process they have followed for their last 3 CD projects. Here's what I found interesting; none of the songs my new band-mates have written has ever been played with a "live" drummer and that in itself has some really weird implications. They all noted that since I've shown up, the music has "feeling"; something it lacked since none of the musicians ever stepped foot in the same room together when their tracks were being recorded. In fact, the core group in this new band has only played some of these songs just once while it was being recorded in the studio.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Playing with a metronome ... you guy's are going to hate this !

    Man, that's more work that I would put into it. My hat goes off to you. The experience will be good for all the players in the band. It improves listening and timekeeping skills. I know this from experience.
    - Tom

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  4. #4

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    Default Re: Playing with a metronome ... you guy's are going to hate this !

    A couple friends of mine have a duo act. One plays bass guitar, the other acoustic guitar, and they use a drum machine and programmed fills. They also loop guitar parts and use a vocal harmonized. They are both very good musicians, but every time I've heard them live, there's always been at least once per gig that they had to completely STOP a song and restart....because the drum machine and other equipment does NOT miss a beat, adjust tempo or drop a beat to compensate for one of them getting off tempo or coming in at the wrong time. Also, as Rich said, there's zero "feeling" to their music. It drives me crazy to listen to them for more than 1 or 2 songs, but bar crowds love it because it's easy to dance to.

    I will say this; it's amazing to me to watch them work it all. It Can't be easy. I would rather bring 2 more people in to the band and take home half the money.
    Last edited by N2Bluz; 02-28-2017 at 02:35 PM.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Playing with a metronome ... you guy's are going to hate this !

    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    Great thread Rudy! I'm in a new band now and at the first band practice, I brought in my metronome and unbeknownst to me, all of the songs that this band plays have been "metered" due to the file sharing process they have followed for their last 3 CD projects. Here's what I found interesting; none of the songs my new band-mates have written has ever been played with a "live" drummer and that in itself has some really weird implications. They all noted that since I've shown up, the music has "feeling"; something it lacked since none of the musicians ever stepped foot in the same room together when their tracks were being recorded. In fact, the core group in this new band has only played some of these songs just once while it was being recorded in the studio.
    Love it ! Back when I was on the road we would encounter bands that had done away with the drummer for a drum machine . The places would be almost empty and the band would be upset that the people didn't "get it" . When you're live you just got to have a real drummer !
    It must be easy playing with these guys since they have their timing down . I envy you .
    The guy's I'm currently playing with are just to old and set in their ways to try anything new . I don't want to fall into that trap myself .
    By the way...what metronome do you use ? I have a Boss Dr.Beat DB-30 that I use for the "critical" stuff . I hang it off my neck on a lanyard .
    Take it easy brother !
    Rudy .

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Playing with a metronome ... you guy's are going to hate this !

    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    A couple friends of mine have a duo act. One plays bass guitar, the other acoustic guitar, and they use a drum machine and programmed fills. They also loop guitar parts and use a vocal harmonized. They are both very good musicians, but every time I've heard them live, there's always been at least once per gig that they had to completely STOP a song and restart....because the drum machine and other equipment does NOT miss a beat, adjust tempo or drop a beat to compensate for one of them getting off tempo or coming in at the wrong time. Also, as Rich said, there's zero "feeling" to their music. It drives me crazy to listen to them for more than 1 or 2 songs, but bar crowds love it because it's easy to dance to.

    I will say this; it's amazing to me to watch them work it all. It Can't be easy. I would rather bring 2 more people in to the band and take home half the money.
    The three keyboard players that came through all had their own trios or duos like your friends . They all had one of those "workstation" keyboards with the built in rhythm patches . So they didn't have a live drummer either . And so when they told me this I thought "great ..then he can keep time !" . NOPE ...LOL ! And they mostly play in small restaurants , stuck in a corner where no one really listens or can dance .
    I can't stand it either when there is no live drummer .

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Playing with a metronome ... you guy's are going to hate this !

    I could never understand why people seem to love my friends' duo act. Every song sounds the same (to me); synthetic harmonies, no dynamics or feel and the same straight 4/4 or 2/4 beat. Yet, they pack places. Then it hit me. Every song they perform (even Waylon & Willie songs) sound like a dance club song. People who are "into" music don't like it, but people who want to drink & dance LOVE it. It seems like such a waste because they're both talented singers and guitarists. But...they play out every weekend, travel light, charge as much as my band and only split it 2 ways. They have fun & make good money.

    What really irritates me is when people comment on how "great" their vocal harmonies are or how they sound like a full band. I just want to say, "you realize the harmonies are fake and they're strumming the same straight rhythm while no one is playing the guitar lines you're hearing?" (But I never do).
    Last edited by N2Bluz; 02-28-2017 at 06:18 PM.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Playing with a metronome ... you guy's are going to hate this !

    I started writing and triggering tracks about 5 years ago. I did it for the same reasons. Some songs just need the signature keyboards/horns etc and keyboard players are scarce around here.

    The guys I played with then were generally able to keep in tempo but it was often a struggle. I broke the songs into segments (intro, verse, chorus, bridge etc) so I could "reset" if they went astray. I used an SPD SX and remote trigger pads to make it easier to hit them.

    At first I tried to find someone to write the parts but then I sucked it up and figured it out. Recording software makes it simple. You just have to get it close, then drag the notes into place. I think it worked GREAT and wondered why more drummers didn't do it. In some songs it was a no brainer to trigger the samples. In others, I had to think too much.


    My current band uses tracks but we just run straight thru the songs. https://soundcloud.com/deja-vu-33955421
    The guitarist plays keys but he can't play guitar and keys at the same time.

    If you have really good players, they can do it easily. It's just a matter of practice. Just follow the drummer who is following a click. Playing the tracks straight through the song makes the drumming 100x easier. I only occasionally need to fight someone back into tempo.

    All the work that went into learning to write and record the parts have made me a better musician. It also opened the door to writing original music because I don't have to ask someone else to play what's in my mind. Also, playing constantly with a click has to have helped my tempo...or made me lazy
    Last edited by NewTricks; 02-28-2017 at 08:29 PM.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by NewTricks View Post
    If you have really good players, they can do it easily. It's just a matter of practice. Just follow the drummer who is following a click. Playing the tracks straight through the song makes the drumming 100x easier. I only occasionally need to fight someone back into tempo.
    Back in the late 80's I was on the road with a band and we were playing to a sequencer . We had two female singers , one is Ron Tutt's daughter , and a guitar player . I was using an electronic kit back then . So I can play to a click all day and make it swing . I have found that there are more musicians who can't play to a click than those who can . These guys here...not so much . And I get ya ... it's a no brainier to do it like this . But as I said .... in theory , but in real life it has become somewhat of a nightmare LOL ! And it's not my band . The lead singer is in charge and he makes out the checks . So you count off the song and then he turns around and says "pick it up..it's too slow!" . So then I have to silence everything and not use the loops !
    That's why I didn't want to spend too much money on he support gear . I use Audacity because it's free and it suits the need perfectly . The midi keyboard and modules I got cheap off of Craigslist .
    As we are doing R&B dance music it shouldn't be so hard . The parts are easy enough to play into the software ,clean them up, then dump them to the Sample pad . But the more I get into it the more I realize it's not going to work with these musicians/band .
    Thanks New Tricks !

  10. #10

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    After reading this, I cannot describe the total and complete joy I feel knowing that we did NOT have to deal with this. Going up on stage and looking around and seeing that everyone was a real, live, person, that you could actually converse with, have great late night BS sessions without having to know FORTRAN (which I had heard of from a computer geek that attempted to explain it to me. My response was "Oh really" and went back to my Playboy which did not require a translator) and get a answer back from someone other than Robby the Robot.

    The fact that no 1 in the band needed a Doctorate in Computer Science, and that we didn't need to "ditch a guitar player" and hire Stephen Hawking to write a computer program for our gig every night, allowed us more time to just "set up and run a sound check" and have a pizza and beer.

    I wonder how Fleetwood Mac, Heart, The Who, The What, and The When, would have liked to be told that they have 30 minutes before the next band arrives or risk being thrown into the pit of morons that seem to be what was once called a audience but has now become a den of living dead with gang signs.

    I realize now how lucky the people were that started in the '60's and '70's, where the most interesting things happening were Tom Scholz, Devo, David Bowie, and Grace Slick, then, at the end of the '70's Gary Numan.

    Now I have this trick radio in my Mustang that I can talk to, adjust it to pick up satellite signals, and hack into other cars radios, and I have it set to 1 station. It's a oldies station out of Charlotte that I listen to mainly because I CAN UNDERSTAND THE WORDS THEY ARE SINGING.

  11. #11

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    Makes me pine for the days when guys got some instruments and just played!

    all the best...

  12. #12

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    i remember buying a 45 of Cars by Gary Numan at Tower
    RED DIRT MOUNTAIN
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  13. #13

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    I don't hate this jedi but metronomes make you play one way and one way only (unless someone has a sixth sense), on top of the beat. There is no room for error with them and they take feeling away. I've tried playing to them before but it's so distracting. I can't enjoy playing drums or the song.

    Using this song again which i still like a lot but watch the drummer at around 2:10 mark he looks like he's ready for a straight jacket, Cedric Sharpley r.i.p.

    Last edited by slinky; 03-01-2017 at 08:08 AM.
    RED DIRT MOUNTAIN
    http://reddirtmountain.com/
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by kay-gee View Post
    Makes me pine for the days when guys got some instruments and just played!

    all the best...
    ...............................and here I thought pine was a tree.

  15. #15

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    How many drummers does it take to screw in a light bulb ?

    None --- they have a machine for that too.


    I have two friends that were in a band with me long ago that love to spend their days writing and recording; one is a vocalist and one is a keyboard player.
    The keyboard guy does all the instrumentation and is also very good using samples and loops off the web................they put some great songs together, but it sounds like robots.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  16. #16

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    I hate this.
    Signature here

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    .....I have two friends that were in a band with me long ago that love to spend their days writing and recording; one is a vocalist and one is a keyboard player.
    The keyboard guy does all the instrumentation and is also very good using samples and loops off the web................they put some great songs together, but it sounds like robots.
    I know a couple who do the same . They write all their music to a drum track . The husband is a hell of a guitar player and the songs are pretty good . But they know enough that once they're far enough in the song they will call me to put REAL drums on there . I'm given free reign to play whatever I want ... and I play what's right for the song of coarse . And I know what you mean...if they would have finished the song with just the drum machine part it would sound aweful for all the reasons you said . I put up a video of one of the songs on a thread a while back , I can't remember what thread tho ...LOL .
    Its easy for me to play with the metronome/click track . I can make it swing . I can do it with or without . I understand that there are A LOT of people who can't or wont play with it and that's cool . There is room for all ....

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by jedi View Post
    Love it ! Back when I was on the road we would encounter bands that had done away with the drummer for a drum machine . The places would be almost empty and the band would be upset that the people didn't "get it" . When you're live you just got to have a real drummer !
    It must be easy playing with these guys since they have their timing down . I envy you .
    The guy's I'm currently playing with are just to old and set in their ways to try anything new . I don't want to fall into that trap myself .
    By the way...what metronome do you use ? I have a Boss Dr.Beat DB-30 that I use for the "critical" stuff . I hang it off my neck on a lanyard .
    Take it easy brother !
    Rudy .
    I use the Dr. Beat 90 and use the Tama Rhythm Watch mounting system and attach it to the base of my hihat stand (arrow) so I can glance down and visually see and hear the meter. The "needle" is hard to see when the stage is dark so I often rely on the two little LED lights that alternate from the count of "1" if I loose the click in the headphones/earbuds.

    Last edited by late8; 03-02-2017 at 09:28 AM.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    I use the Dr. Beat 90 and use the Tama Rhythm Watch mounting system and attach it to the base of my hihat stand (heighted with arrow) so I can glance down and visually see and hear the meter. The "needle" is hard to see when the stage is dark so I often rely on the two little LED lights that alternate from the count of "1" if I loose the click in the headphones...
    Awesome kit ! I like where you have the time piece .

  20. #20

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    Default Re: Playing with a metronome ... you guy's are going to hate this !

    Quote Originally Posted by jedi View Post
    Awesome kit ! I like where you have the time piece .
    Thanks Rudy!

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