Re: Is it fair to play live with a metronome?
Whenever this topic comes up, it almost always comes down to older drummers vs. younger drummers. To older drummers like Doctor Dirt, playing live with a click is just like ripping the heart and soul out of music. To younger drummers, playing live with a click is just an everyday part of drumming like stick control and coordination. In an interview with Tim "Thunder" Mason, that he did a few years ago in Modern Drummer, he said he had not played a live show without a click in almost 25 years. Carl Albrecht, goes on and on in his clinics about how a drummer today should always rehearse, practice, and play live with a click. He goes on about how once you hit a certain level of success in music, playing live with a click is mandatory. Every big act uses a click live and if you can't do it, you won't work. I'm sure someone on here will respond with the name of some oldies act that still sells out stadiums and does not use a click, but pretty much any band that became big in the last 20 to 30 years uses one. I will admit that there is a bit a a backlash against it with some of the very newest rock bands out there. So maybe in the great revolving door that is art and fashion, live clicks may fall out of favor, but for now you must be able to play with one live in order to be suscessful in the music business.
In response to a couple of people who said that they tried to play with one in their bands and you had a hard time because the band woud immediatly get off of the click. When I first started using a click with my bands, the same thing happened. They had to get used to playing with me and with me playing with a click. The keyboard player and I went round and round with the guitar player that we were not getting off during his solos and that we could not just adjust to whatever he played. Eventually, he came to really like the click, and got upset one night I forgot the adapter to plug it into my inears. By that point, our time as a band had improved so much that his solos stayed in time much more than they had before the click. We had to work out into's that were "in time". I either had to count off the intros or count the band in afterwards. I had to kept soft time on the hihat when the drums would drop out. It's just a matter of getting creative when working with your live arrangment. The more the band is used to fluctuating time, the harder it will be for them to learn to play with the click.
Last edited by DrumDoug; 12-19-2011 at 08:12 PM.