practicing with the metronome?

Hi everyone,

I’ve been really focusing on my single and double stroke roll technique. I don’t really care about speed I just wanna get the Basics down first I know speed doesn’t come over night.

The problem I’m having is I get obsessed about using the metronome, I know people say start slow then gradually increase the speed but I don’t know to say “okay I’m ready to move up the tempo”. Do I practice in increments of 5 then go through the sub divisions or do I say for an example 60BPM one day and 75BPM the next, so you keep changing it up.
Be cool if someone could give me some examples of what they do

cheers Dan
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
It's kind of silly to recommend anything at all, without seeing your playing. Can you post a short video? In my teaching experience, players who think they need to drill with a metronome, usually have some technique issues to sort out as well. The thing about technique is that it is speed-dependent; what works for your single strokes at medium tempos, may not work at faster tempos, or slower ones.

But... to directly answer your question: Practice a drill for say, 2 minutes straight without stopping. If you can do the entire 2 minutes easily, and without mistakes or hiccups, move up the metronome. 5 bpm increments is fine.
 

Ronzo

Junior Member
Build speed gradually and when your control starts to fall apart, back it off say 5-10 bpm until you can do that clean for a few minutes.

I use a metronome that allows me to automatically increase the bpm. ex....I start at 80bpm and the app increases the tempo 10bpm every 2 bars and I max out at 300 or more of less depending on what I am practicing.

I use to be obsessed with speed but have been more focussed on control lately.
 
It's kind of silly to recommend anything at all, without seeing your playing. Can you post a short video? In my teaching experience, players who think they need to drill with a metronome, usually have some technique issues to sort out as well. The thing about technique is that it is speed-dependent; what works for your single strokes at medium tempos, may not work at faster tempos, or slower ones.

But... to directly answer your question: Practice a drill for say, 2 minutes straight without stopping. If you can do the entire 2 minutes easily, and without mistakes or hiccups, move up the metronome. 5 bpm increments is fine.
Thanks for replying. Yeah I can post a video
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Apart from what's already stated, there are so many variables.

Development isn't a stright upwards line and it depends on a lot of factors. If things ar sloppy, you should probably back down, but it will depend not just on how you feel that day, but what else you've done and what type of practicing you're doing in general. Things that are mentally or technically challenging you should probably get to first, but that's also why conditioning is such a big deal. You want to be able to play thelast song at the show just as well as the first without having to think much about it.

I wouldn't be able to tell you what I do, because it changes all the time. I keep a log, evaluate and make changes.

As brentcn said, there usually are technical isses that ned to be adressed. Practicing slowly and perfectly with conditioned hands and increasing the speed is more a mental thing. If there's a tip thag would be it, to train your ears at the same time, not focusing on doing things with your hands you can't hear. I think there's a real danger of loosing sight of that with technique practice.
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
Like has already been stated, speed can only come with control. Without control, speed is like a runaway train.

Find your point where your control begins to falter and back off by one or two until you are challenged, but can execute. After a while (could be hours, days or weeks) bump it up a few.

Rinse and repeat.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I usually jump by 5, but it's totally up to you. If it is super easy do 10. I also tell students this. When you are practicing near the top of your ability, 5-10 bpm may be too fast. If you do 1 BPM increases every 3 days, that is 100BPM a year. so if you are at 100, that is very gradual and you will be blazing within the year. The faster you are, the longer it takes for every BPM.
 

roncadillac

Member
When I first started a long time ago I jumped right into forming an original pop punk band with friends and had our first show like a month later, I was 12 or so. We were terrible of course lol. As time went on and I wanted to actually be a good drummer and not just a kid hitting stuff with sticks I started working on reading, rudiments, and playing to a click. At first I found it very difficult until I realized I was approaching it wrong. I was so used to playing songs and with people, playing by myself was foreign and still (at 30) sometimes feels that way. I started practicing to backing tracks with a click, be it real songs without drums, random YouTuber diy tracks, or even things ive programmed myself. I immediately felt more 'at home' and just slipped naturally into a comfort zone where instead of stressing about nailing the click... I was happily jamming along with the other instruments.

This can apply to rudiments as well, put on a simple bass line with a click and practice over it. This teach you practical application while simultaneously developing those rudiments into kit parts.
 
When I first started a long time ago I jumped right into forming an original pop punk band with friends and had our first show like a month later, I was 12 or so. We were terrible of course lol. As time went on and I wanted to actually be a good drummer and not just a kid hitting stuff with sticks I started working on reading, rudiments, and playing to a click. At first I found it very difficult until I realized I was approaching it wrong. I was so used to playing songs and with people, playing by myself was foreign and still (at 30) sometimes feels that way. I started practicing to backing tracks with a click, be it real songs without drums, random YouTuber diy tracks, or even things ive programmed myself. I immediately felt more 'at home' and just slipped naturally into a comfort zone where instead of stressing about nailing the click... I was happily jamming along with the other instruments.

This can apply to rudiments as well, put on a simple bass line with a click and practice over it. This teach you practical application while simultaneously developing those rudiments into kit parts.
Thankyou for the reply that’s helped me a lot. Think because I’ve made playing with a click such a big deal it’s like I set my self up to fail. But your approach I didn’t think about and it seems more practical and better, instead of a constant click. Cheers I’ll give it ago
 

roncadillac

Member
Thankyou for the reply that’s helped me a lot. Think because I’ve made playing with a click such a big deal it’s like I set my self up to fail. But your approach I didn’t think about and it seems more practical and better, instead of a constant click. Cheers I’ll give it ago
What clued me into this is recording with a band who didn't practice to a click (not that any band I've been in has) and demo tracks didn't have a click but we recorded to a click so we could register the bpm to publish it. When I'd get into the studio it really threw me off so we started putting the click on the demo tracks and occasionally I would put a headphone in with a click at practice and not tell them, this lead me to realize how quickly I was able to become familiar and comfortable with it when it was just this thing in the background... Almost another instrument. For some reason it is SO MUCH easier for me to stay in time with another instrument then this loud obnoxious 'TLOCK' sound in my ear.
 

TMe

Senior Member
I jump by four clicks at a time, using conventional metronome settings.

For example, if I'm comfortable playing something at 88 bpm, I'll warm up four clicks lower at 72 bpm and focus on form. Then I'll play at 88 and work on different variations to get better control. Once things feel good at 88, I'll jump four clicks to 104. If 104 doesn't work, I go back to 88.

That approach forces me to stay reasonably relaxed. I try to avoid being tense and squeezing out every drop of speed, moving up one click at a time.

There are a couple of exceptions, though. For slow, 6/8 stuff, I move two clicks at a time. Above 120, I add an extra step at 132. That's because there's a ton of music that's just above 120, and my top speed for a lot of the rudiments is just above 120.

My numbers may be arbitrary, but I've tried a bunch of other approaches, and this is what works best for me.
 
I jump by four clicks at a time, using conventional metronome settings.

For example, if I'm comfortable playing something at 88 bpm, I'll warm up four clicks lower at 72 bpm and focus on form. Then I'll play at 88 and work on different variations to get better control. Once things feel good at 88, I'll jump four clicks to 104. If 104 doesn't work, I go back to 88.

That approach forces me to stay reasonably relaxed. I try to avoid being tense and squeezing out every drop of speed, moving up one click at a time.

There are a couple of exceptions, though. For slow, 6/8 stuff, I move two clicks at a time. Above 120, I add an extra step at 132. That's because there's a ton of music that's just above 120, and my top speed for a lot of the rudiments is just above 120.

My numbers may be arbitrary, but I've tried a bunch of other approaches, and this is what works best for me.
sounds like a great method man ..thanks for sharing this noob appreciates it .
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
Say I'm playing a paradiddle on the snare drum RLRR LRLL. I'll set the metronome to some comfortable tempo say 80 beats per minute. If I can play the paradiddle 10 times with no mistakes then I increase the metronome by 5 beats per minute. Repeat the process again and again until I hit my upper limit or decide to stop.

There are other reasons to use a metronome. Say I'm practicing paradiddles on snare, mounted tom, floor tom. I'm moving around the drum kit. I'm not just practicing paradiddles, I'm also practicing moving from drum to drum. I use the metronome to even out my flow across the drum kit.
 

TMe

Senior Member
If I can play the paradiddle 10 times with no mistakes then I increase the metronome by 5 beats per minute.
The problem is... if you're playing something at 60 bpm, going up 5 bpm to 65 is a substantial jump. If you're playing something at 144, going up 5 bpm is nothing.

That's why I prefer using the standard click settings. Those numbers are well thought out and provide a smoother acceleration/deceleration. If you're using bpm, you'd need to figure out a percentage to increase the bpm by, rather than a specific number, and that's a nuisance. It's easier to pick a number of clicks to move.

I like to use bigger jumps (usually 4 clicks) because if I use anything smaller I end up constantly trying to squeeze just a little bit more speed, so I'm always tense. With settings four clicks apart, I'm moving from one plateau to another, instead of always hauling myself up a hill without ever relaxing and settling into a groove.
 
Say I'm playing a paradiddle on the snare drum RLRR LRLL. I'll set the metronome to some comfortable tempo say 80 beats per minute. If I can play the paradiddle 10 times with no mistakes then I increase the metronome by 5 beats per minute. Repeat the process again and again until I hit my upper limit or decide to stop.

There are other reasons to use a metronome. Say I'm practicing paradiddles on snare, mounted tom, floor tom. I'm moving around the drum kit. I'm not just practicing paradiddles, I'm also practicing moving from drum to drum. I use the metronome to even out my flow across the drum kit.
Thanks man I’ll give this Method a try
 
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