Help playing with a click

alex19

Senior Member
ive done a search, but its not quite what im after. so please bear with me.
ive never played with a click before. anyways, i tried it and i found i wasnt playing very well as i was constantly concentrating on the click, rather than the music.

were desperate to record, and some of the songs NEED a click. what tips do you have to play along with a click, without "overconcentrating" if that makes sense? thanks very much for any input you have.
 

choki

Senior Member
Try putting the click on a setting where it pulses eighth notes. With less space between clicks, it might be easier to concentrate. Besides that, the best thing to do is spend a LOT of time with it. Nothing beats putting in some hours with it. You'll eventually get to the point where you don't even notice it.
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
When I first started playing to a click, I took me a while to be able to anticipate the click instead of waiting for me to see and hear it.

Just keep laying along with it until you stop thinking about when the next click will happen.
 

THC

Senior Member
I do a similar thing.

As soon as I hear that I am off a bit I concentrate so much on trying to get back that I spend the next 30 seconds under and overshooting it trying to get back on.
 

alex19

Senior Member
cheers. i forgot to mention, i dont have a kit set up at home, as my drum room, is now a nursery :( i plan on practicing yo a click just using my sticks on my thighs. i cant think of any other way. will just have to keep practicing i suppose. does anyone know of a good metronome program on the net?
 

Fuzrock

Silver Member
I know we probably sound like a broken record here but experience is the only sure way to become proficient at playing with a click. The more you do it, the better you get at it and the more natural it becomes. Once you get good at it on your own, you'll have another obstacle in front of you when you try to use it with your band. They'll be pushing and pulling but you have to let them know that you're the boss when it comes to tempo and they need to follow you.
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
use the click while playing on the pad just to get used to it being there

try to sit right in it

the problem most have when learning to play with the met is they play TO the click not WITH the click

keep that in mind

relax and let it flow as part of you
 

alex19

Senior Member
yeah i think thats my problem, im playing to it not with it. ill just have to practice. luckily the band arent that bad at push/pull. im gonna invest in a metronome i think, and practice with the band using it. thats the only was i suppose.

thanks guys

Edit - can anyone recommend a metronome which is suitable for my needs. i wont be using it to play live. just so i can get used to playing with one for the purpose of recording. thank you
 

Fuzrock

Silver Member
yeah i think thats my problem, im playing to it not with it. ill just have to practice. luckily the band arent that bad at push/pull. im gonna invest in a metronome i think, and practice with the band using it. thats the only was i suppose.

thanks guys

Edit - can anyone recommend a metronome which is suitable for my needs. i wont be using it to play live. just so i can get used to playing with one for the purpose of recording. thank you
I have always used a Tama Rhythm Watch. It's loud enough to hear while playing but also has headphone jacks if you would rather do it that way.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
the problem most have when learning to play with the met is they play TO the click not WITH the click
My intended words exactly, and with that in mind, a simple drum or percussion pattern/loop is easier to work with than just a click sound. It's much easier to play with another 'drummer' than "TOCK tick tick tick TOCK tick tick tick..."

For the studio, I'll make a stem (audio track) of a drum beat, typically with 8th note hats. If the tempo is a little slower, I'll program 16ths on the hat so I get a relentless pulse to follow, with as little dead air as possible where I could lose the timing. It's important not to put too much space between clicks.

Think of it this way, if you were playing at 125bpm, and only got a click on the "1" of each measure, it would be extremely difficult to stay with it. If you got a click on the "1" & "3", it would be somewhat easier, though very easy to stumble. A click on every count - 1/4 notes - is easier still, and going to 8ths from there makes the pulse undeniable. Apply that sensibility to a drum pattern, specifically the hat, and you've got a very workable "click" to follow. Re tempos, at 125, I wouldn't take the hat to 16ths, as that sound just gets in the way. But something at 95bpm is a good candidate for the additional subdivision.

Don't be a hero with clicks: "Oh, I'm good, just give me 1/4 notes." Cook up a click where you can't fail. You'll make it easy for yourself, minimize the number of takes for the person paying for studio time, appear more professional in the process, and get more calls for recordings and gigs. Drummers who work well with clicks/tracks are quite valuable.

Bermuda
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I have always used a Tama Rhythm Watch. It's loud enough to hear while playing but also has headphone jacks if you would rather do it that way.
Oh yeah, one other crucial thing: you've got to be able to hear the click in order to play with it!

Seems obvious I know, but when tracking, don't try to mix the click in with the song in a musical manner. The click is God, and should be at least as loud as your kit in your phones, if not a bit louder. If hearing you and the click means bringing everyone else down in your mix, do it. Your job in the studio is to lay down a solid drum track, not hear a well-mixed song in your head.

I like my click loud. And I do mean LOUD, so that I cannot possibly lose it. To that end, I use some pro iso phones that allow me to completely control what I hear. That is, not even my drums leak in, they have to be part of the mix. Complete control. And the isolation works both ways - my loud click doesn't leak out and into the mics where it wouild be audible during breaks or quiet sections.

The moral is, keep some high-end iso phones in your arsenal, as studios (surprisingly) don't always have them available.

Bermuda
 

skreg

Senior Member
Unfortunately, I do not think that there is an easy solution to your problem. I need to practice daily in order to really be able to perform well in a studio setting.

My number one recommendation is to practice the following exercises:

http://vicfirth.com/education/drumset/gruendler2.php

This will make a tremendous, unbelievable difference in your playing!

-sheldon
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Another thing I read on here a while back that helped me a lot was to think of the click as another band member; just some dude standing in the corner hitting a wood block. Play with the click as you would any other band member and you're golden.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I noticed something a bit odd in this thread...

I've always found it much easier to play to a 1/4 note click than anything more. I guess I see the logic ya'll are using here, I just thought it was odd, since I've always been distracted by 1/8 clicks. I tend to internalize the quarter notes as the "pulse" in my playing, so maybe that's why.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Another thing I read on here a while back that helped me a lot was to think of the click as another band member; just some dude standing in the corner hitting a wood block. Play with the click as you would any other band member and you're golden.
Well, a band member that isn't going to show up in the final mix anyway. You certainly wouldn't want to trade licks with a metronome.

Sounds fun though. Perhaps I'll name my metronome to really make him one of the guys; 'Phil' sounds good. Then I can yell at Phil when things aren't going right.
 
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