Is there any Metronome app that keeps poor time?

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I have found that playing with musicians who have bad time is far more difficult than playing with ones that have really good time. I wonder if there’s an app that has a setting for bad time programmed in so you can practice playing with players whose time is very poor. If there’s not one, I wonder how hard it would be to create one, or modify an existing one.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Just play along to any number of records recorded before say 1989...lol....

There are abundant examples I'm sure.
 

Channing

Member
This is hilarious. And yes I’ve met these guitarists who can’t keep time and expect you to follow them. Some of them think they’re being creative by varying the tempo all over the place. Fine if you’re playing an acoustic set with just you and your guitar; not so much with a full band. I won’t play with them anymore. It just ends up making me look bad as a drummer if the whole band is out of time. You don’t need a metronome with bad time, you need better guitarists.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
This is hilarious. And yes I’ve met these guitarists who can’t keep time and expect you to follow them. Some of them think they’re being creative by varying the tempo all over the place. Fine if you’re playing an acoustic set with just you and your guitar; not so much with a full band. I won’t play with them anymore. It just ends up making me look bad as a drummer if the whole band is out of time. You don’t need a metronome with bad time, you need better guitarists.
Like Stevie Ray Vaughan! Have you ever taken a metronome to pride and joy? Wow! All over the place.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
This seems like the worst idea ever. :)
I'm guessing your post in jest as no drummer would ever want to train themselves out of keeping steady time.
I literally have metronomic time. I can record my playing for several minutes at a time, play it back, and I am perfectly in time with a metronome if I test my recording against a metronome. I trained this skill with another drummer in college. But that skill doesn’t help much when I’m playing with people who have poor time.
What I’m talking about is not an app that would train you to have bad time. I’m talking about one that rushes and drags randomly, to varying degrees according to your selection. This is exactly what bad players do, rush and drag randomly. So why not get really good at adjusting to it, instead of spending years learning the skill in miserable gig situations with not-great players?
 

danondrums

Well-known member
Cool. It will be fun to hear of your experiment.
I'd rather leave a group that can't keep time than try to learn bad habits, but it will be fun to see if you go for it.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Cool. It will be fun to hear of your experiment.
I'd rather leave a group that can't keep time than try to learn bad habits, but it will be fun to see if you go for it.
what I need is someone who has programmed a metronome app at some point, to tell me the easiest way to do this. There’s probably an easy-ish way to tie a random number generator to a metronome app (all open-source software) and have the beat drag or rush by small increments every few measures, for a couple beats or measures each time. Or really mess with you and only have 1 beat late/early, then back to regular time.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I literally have metronomic time. I can record my playing for several minutes at a time, play it back, and I am perfectly in time with a metronome if I test my recording against a metronome. I trained this skill with another drummer in college. But that skill doesn’t help much when I’m playing with people who have poor time.
What I’m talking about is not an app that would train you to have bad time. I’m talking about one that rushes and drags randomly, to varying degrees according to your selection. This is exactly what bad players do, rush and drag randomly. So why not get really good at adjusting to it, instead of spending years learning the skill in miserable gig situations with not-great players?
I really think this is performance craft, not a practice room skill. I don't think learning to chase randomly fluctuating pulses is going to work. If you analyze what they're doing wrong, usually it's not totally random. They tend to screw up the same thing every time. I don't think it's a good practice to simply adjust to all of their timing errors. What if there's another good player on the gig? He's going to think you suck as much as they do.

You can try listening to them extremely closely, like you're playing free jazz, or trying to ignore them completely. I used to make it a game to see if I could force them/trick them into actually listening to me by what I played. There's also a difference between having metronomic time vs. actually communicating it to the other players, so I'm always thinking if I'm playing the right stuff the right way for this particular batch of knuckleheads.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I really think this is performance craft, not a practice room skill. I don't think learning to chase randomly fluctuating pulses is going to work. If you analyze what they're doing wrong, usually it's not totally random. They tend to screw up the same thing every time. I don't think it's a good practice to simply adjust to all of their timing errors. What if there's another good player on the gig? He's going to think you suck as much as they do.

You can try listening to them extremely closely, like you're playing free jazz, or trying to ignore them completely. I used to make it a game to see if I could force them/trick them into actually listening to me by what I played. There's also a difference between having metronomic time vs. actually communicating it to the other players, so I'm always thinking if I'm playing the right stuff the right way for this particular batch of knuckleheads.
Oh, I hear you. I’m not saying this can take you all the way. But it’s got to be better than just learning it totally on the gig. Specifically, I feel like you don’t really have a part nailed until you can play it with players who can’t keep a steady beat.
I used to play a xylophone solo with a drumset player who either couldn’t keep a steady beat, or deliberately screwed with the time to get revenge on me, I never could figure out which. Fortunately, I knew the solo well enough so that she couldn’t throw me off. But there’s a different level of mastery beyond just being able to play a specific piece of music to a steady beat. I feel like an app like this could be a bridge. Especially if the volume would also randomly go up and down, just like when you’re playing in a room where you can barely hear the other players, and/or if they play more quietly when they get to a part they can’t play as well.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Yikes. I've had to adjust for a looper, and that sounded so bad. IMO, the drums...assuming they are right...everyone should come back to the drummer, not the reverse. It ruins the flow.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Yikes. I've had to adjust for a looper, and that sounded so bad. IMO, the drums...assuming they are right...everyone should come back to the drummer, not the reverse. It ruins the flow.
I grew up playing in orchestras, and got my music degree with an eye on playing timpani professionally. The very idea that string players even have the ability, as a group, to adjust to whatever a percussionist/timpanist is doing is laughable. Orchestral percussionists/timpanists spend their entire careers trying to stay with the strings. I mean, there’s like 60 of them, and 1 timpanist. So I’m just used to going with whatever the tempo-challenged ‘tards around me are doing, and doing my best to sell it. LOL
 
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