Trouble following up with a fast metronome

JimmyJ

New member
Hi Guys! I've been a drummer on and off for a while, and I wanted to start playing at church soon. One problem I want to work on before I jump on board with them however, is work on my timing using a metronome.

They asked me to send a video of me playing a 155bpm song. To my knowledge, I can keep my tempo and play around with groove with any song up to around 110 bpm-ish with or without a metronome, is super easy and I have no issues. Once I past this point however, trying to keep with the metronome is just a little confusing and it throws me off, I feel like I keep the tempo easier without a metronome after 110bpm, but I fear I might be wrong and I want to make sure I get timing perfectly.

Naturally I'm aware how mastering playing on tempo is absolutely essential, so I wonder if any of you have any tips, or know any videos or something that can help with that... Thanks!
 

Frank

Gold Member
My drum teacher from childhood taught me a simple, very, very important lesson: "gradually bring it up to speed."

Start your workouts at 100 bpm. Play at that tempo for at least a minute. Up it 5 bpm. Continue. Do that until you reach a bpm where you are sloppy. Stop.
Whatever your sloppy limit was, subtract, say, 20 bpm, and start over.

Do that Every day. Multiple times a day if you can.

It won't happen overnight, but you Will stretch your bpm comfort zone this way. The Right way**.

Key is: not just getting to the target bpm, but getting to the target plus 20%, and, doing it Cleanly and Comfortably.

If you ain't comfortable, you ain't mastered it. Relax your arms, hands, and body, and keep working.

If you stick**** with this daily, you Will reach it. I promise.

If you follow these directions, please come back here and tell us how you are doing.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

**Absolute wrong way - is the Whiplash way. Brute forcing at super high speed, until you bleed. Nope - that never worked for Anyone Ever.

****Pun absolutely intended.
:)
 
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JimmyJ

New member
My drum teacher from childhood taught me a simple, very, very important lesson: "gradually bring it up to speed."

Start your workouts at 100 bpm. Play at that tempo for at least a minute. Up it 5 bpm. Continue. Do that until you reach a bpm where you are sloppy. Stop.
Whatever your sloppy limit was, subtract, say, 20 bpm, and start over.

Do that Every day. Multiple times a day if you can.

It won't happen overnight, but you Will stretch your bpm comfort zone this way.

Key is: not just getting to the target bpm, but getting to the target plus 20%, and, doing it Cleanly and Comfortably.

If you ain't comfortable, you ain't mastered it.

If you stick with this daily, you Will reach it. I promise.

If you follow these directions, please come back here and tell us how you are doing.
Fantastic advice... Will do :)
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Sometimes hearing the click really fast doesn’t work. Divide 160 by 2, and play double time to that setting, it might be easier. When I play fast jazz, the click is always “1” to me, so there’s four beats between each click. It’s like setting your internal clock to lock into a slower beat while your body is simply subdividing.
 
Without knowing what you're about to play: Can you make it work with more quarter notes than eight notes? Maybe this will make it easier to keep the higher tempo. This is about 160 bpm:
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
Sometimes hearing the click really fast doesn’t work. Divide 160 by 2, and play double time to that setting, it might be easier. When I play fast jazz, the click is always “1” to me, so there’s four beats between each click. It’s like setting your internal clock to lock into a slower beat while your body is simply subdividing.
This, or just have the click set to 1/4s, not 16ths, at the actual bpm of what your playing. The metal guys that are playing 270+ aren't listening to a click set to 16ths.
It will take some time and you may have to change your technique to get there. Just realize you may have to use less leg and arm movement and more wrist/finger & ankle than you're use to. Just remember to stay relaxed, because tightening up will slow you down, and possibly lead to injury.

Good luck.
 

wraub

Well-known member
I've been a working bass player for years, and this is how I have always counted, subdivide as needed, but, one is always one....
Learning drums now, and...it's different. ;)




Sometimes hearing the click really fast doesn’t work. Divide 160 by 2, and play double time to that setting, it might be easier. When I play fast jazz, the click is always “1” to me, so there’s four beats between each click. It’s like setting your internal clock to lock into a slower beat while your body is simply subdividing.
 

DrumDoug

Senior Member
Since you didn’t name the song, this might not apply at all, or it may be your problem. I get a lot of charts at church in 6/8 with a tempo marking in the 150s. Whoever is deciding on the tempo is setting the click to the 8th note instead of the dotted 8th note with a subdivision in 3. You may be trying to play a fast beat to a song that’s actually slow. Or maybe not.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Some thing /i have my students do when they are pushing tempo is "layering on of limbs" :
1. start at comfort tempo; play simple/comfortable beat for about 2 minutes;
2. go up 10 beats on the met; start with just the snare on the 2 & 4 (of the same beat from 1 above); do that till it settles in, then add the bass; do that till it settles in, and then add the subdivision on the ride or HH
3. stay at that tempo until it feels good, then add another 10 beats, and repeat the process.

When I was learning to play super fast punk beats (D-beats) and also currently with double bass speed work, this is what I do as well.

I also think that it helps to remember that, for non "metal" drum beats, the faster the beat, the less "stuff" happening in it, the better. Once I get above 160 playing groove beats, ghost notes, super busy bass patterns and frantic fills go away.

If I am trying to play metal, it is sometimes different as that style calls for some busyness. In my surf-punk band, a lot of the songs run at 170-180 bpm, but they are "groove" beats (a la Surfin USA) so I really just play a "4 on the floor" stomp pattern...real simple, and it allows me to keep the momentum going.
 

BonsaiMagpie

Junior Member
My drum teacher from childhood taught me a simple, very, very important lesson: "gradually bring it up to speed."

Start your workouts at 100 bpm. Play at that tempo for at least a minute. Up it 5 bpm. Continue. Do that until you reach a bpm where you are sloppy. Stop.
Whatever your sloppy limit was, subtract, say, 20 bpm, and start over.

Do that Every day. Multiple times a day if you can.
This is fantastic advice. I'm going to start doing this!
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Like others have said, adjust the metronome. 160bpm 1/4 notes = 80bpm 1/8 notes = 40bpm 1/16 notes.

You can set the metronome to anyone of the above settings and it is the same. If the click is too fast, cut it in half: 160bpm 1/2 notes = 80bpm 1/4 notes = 40bpm 1/8 notes. It's all the same, how you hear it comfortably is the issue. Do the math, adjust the click.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
Some metronomes will allow you to set a different sound for the 1, and change volume of the others. So when I have one that's too much info so to speak I'll turn down the inner beats pretty low and focus on the loud one.
 

mrfingers

Senior Member
Like others have said, adjust the metronome. 160bpm 1/4 notes = 80bpm 1/8 notes = 40bpm 1/16 notes.

You can set the metronome to anyone of the above settings and it is the same. If the click is too fast, cut it in half: 160bpm 1/2 notes = 80bpm 1/4 notes = 40bpm 1/8 notes. It's all the same, how you hear it comfortably is the issue. Do the math, adjust the click.
Wait! Isn’t that backwards? Wouldn’t 160 1/2 notes = 320 1/4s?
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
A metronome is just a subdivision. 155 in triplets is easier to play than straight 16ths. My band plays alot at 200-220 bpm, i didn't get there over night. Years and years ago I used to switch the right time to half the notes, or do triplets on my feet rather than 16th notes because I physically couldn't do it. It takes time and tons of practice to build speed, and even more to make sure it is tight. practice in a range that feels and sounds good. Muscle memory goes a long way for speed.
 

JeffCrouse

Member
Another piece of advice I can share is to not think "fast" when you are playing quicker tempos. And don't think "slow" when you are playing slower tempos. I found myself doing in that in the past and would rush the up tempos and drag the slower tempos because of my mindset. It's also important to breath on faster tempos. This will help you to relax more.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Another piece of advice I can share is to not think "fast" when you are playing quicker tempos. And don't think "slow" when you are playing slower tempos. I found myself doing in that in the past and would rush the up tempos and drag the slower tempos because of my mindset. It's also important to breath on faster tempos. This will help you to relax more.
I actually think of it as "more space" (slow) and "less space" (fast) between the pulse. This helps me relax and groove in all situations. It makes me focus on the space, which is where the groove is.

I also teach it this way now with my students, and for some, it heads off that instinct to tense up when they play fast.
 

JeffCrouse

Member
I actually think of it as "more space" (slow) and "less space" (fast) between the pulse. This helps me relax and groove in all situations. It makes me focus on the space, which is where the groove is.

I also teach it this way now with my students, and for some, it heads off that instinct to tense up when they play fast.
Well said! Many people rush slow tempos because there is so much space between each beat and usually the notes. Lots of room for errors.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Well said! Many people rush slow tempos because there is so much space between each beat and usually the notes. Lots of room for errors.
yep. I think playing slow is MUCH MUCH more demanding than playing fast....BUY, i challenge my self to play fast, and still have a good definition of the "space" in fast, since there still is space. I really strive to have the "grooviest" punk beats, surf beats, d-beats, and blast beats
 
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