Originally Posted by Stoney
To put in my penny's worth...
Yes practice is the key but the most important thing is to feel comfortable with the click and not get bogged down by it. It's ok to play ahead or behind the click or right on it. You just have to keep it as a reference and nothing more. I think perhaps whilst you are playing with it you are concentrating on the click more than you are yourself! Just relax and play loosely around it and think of it as a reference and the more you do it the more relaxed you will become :)
How are you playing with music that has been played to a click btw? Record yourself doing that and hear back how that sounds. There's loads of play along stuff out there and it's far more enjoyable than playing with just a click (from a practice point of view).
Before shows i jam to my own bands songs.. i have the sessions. so i crank the click and mute the drums basically... we have click tracks mp3s rendered too so its nice to have.
I agree with you for the most parts.. but when practicing recording in time to a click or your just starting.. its good to try and play with the click. not in front or behind. same with rudiments.. once you get good at playing in time.. you can work with ahead or behind the beat. I also think playing to a click ALL the time isn't great either. I do sometimes but not as often as i should, but i feel i have a pretty good sense of time. no where near perfect. learning how to keep time without the metronome is nice.. and not concentrating on BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP and just having fun is what its all about. but for recording I'm a huge believer in a click.
I'm no expert on a click like some guys.. i flam my kick and snare the odd time but that's part of my style now... also.. when i have a click going its usually 220-240bpm.. so doing blast beats and double kick at these speeds its hard to be PERFECT all the time too..
. as the other guy said, I have my click on an earbud when i practice and i need it LOUD!!! like damaging loud....
your best bet ( if you can afford it) is a set of mics. so you can have a set of isolation headphones. that way you don't need your click blowing your ear drums. or get a set of gun range headphones and an earbud in one ear with a click. slide the ear cup off the other ear to hear your drums.. that way the click is isolated and doesn't have to be too loud.
personally the style of my band I play in, I want to be BANG ON the click all the time. (death metal) probably why my post is biased to recording with a click and having good time.
when i play jazz or blues i prefer not to have a click on as its nice to change tempo from time to time or play in front of or behind the beat as you said. or same as if I'm just jamming out on my kit playing
either way, practice is key. with or without a metronome.. your timing and coordination is only going to improve.. nothing happens in a day