Using a Metronome/Click on stage

New Tricks

Platinum Member
]we practice with a click so that we can perform passages that are hard in time.
Same here. It's a great tool !


I am not his buddy however he is referred to by his first name in the same way Tony and Buddy are...what's wrong with that?
I didn't say it was wrong. I said it is funny :)

The OP asked if he should use a click for those songs where the tempo needs to be exact.
You are reading words that aren't there. All I read was I just need a general idea of the BPM for maybe 10 songs and I just want something (for now) to be able to punch in the BPM and hear the click for a few seconds, get the idea and then GO.

If a band can't follow your time then you are always on a losing battle.
I'm not in the "follow the drummer" school. I'm in the "band plays together" school.

There will be times when a player is playing a difficult segment while trying to sing something rhythmically unrelated and the tempo will suffer slightly. Other band members will instinctively make unrecognizable adjustments and it will appear perfect.


I feel that I'm the flexible adhesive that helps hold things together.

I have several instances where, for whatever reason, the person fronting the song seems to want to play at a certain tempo. At first I will try to guide the song to what it is supposed to be but, after experiencing the same thing time after time, I will just let it go where it wants to go and it will be fine.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I have several instances where, for whatever reason, the person fronting the song seems to want to play at a certain tempo.
Perhaps the main reason is that the singer/guitarist knows that the song feels and sounds best in a very narrow tempo range. He/she wants to make sure that the song always starts at the pre-determined tempo, unaffected by anyone's perceptions skewed by exhaustion, excitement, alcohol, or anything else that might prevent the count-off from being correct.

Look at it this way: once the tempo is agreed upon, and you start and keep it there, nobody can ever accuse you of counting it too fast or slow. If they're having a problem, they have to look at themselves. Or, establish a new tempo at the next rehearsal.

I was in a band where a couple of established tempos were re-adjusted later, but only by 1 or 2 BPM. Sometimes that makes a noticeable difference.

Bermuda
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
Perhaps the main reason is that the singer/guitarist knows that the song feels and sounds best in a very narrow tempo range.
Absolutely. It's the frontman's song in most cases. If it sounds good, I'm certainly not going to step on it.


I was in a band where a couple of established tempos were re-adjusted later, but only by 1 or 2 BPM. Sometimes that makes a noticeable difference.
Those are some good ears !!
 

_Leviathan_

Senior Member
I couldn't do it unless I could switch it on and off.

1. There are many songs where the fills are difficult to keep 100% in time. You may have great meter but it only takes a milisecond to get out of whack.

2. In a LOT of cases, you will be constantly trying to pull or push the lead man into your time when maybe you should be playing in his time.

I have a set up where I can turn a click track on/off with the strike of a stick. I sometimes use it to keep things in check. If the song sounds good, I just play it.

It is great to run a click in rehearsal though. It's humbling and will help everyone get on the same page.
To your first point, I don't think that's true at all. All you have to do to keep time perfectly with the click during a fill is to keep your left foot doing quarter or eighth notes. If you are doing four bars of time then a fill then during the fill you keep the time going with the hats, and make sure the time is covered while your hands are free to explore the snare and toms, etc. Eventually you just feel the pulse naturally and can develop playing free yet completely controlled at the same time which helps both click and non-click playing.
 
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New Tricks

Platinum Member
. All you have to do to keep time perfectly with the click during a fill is to keep your left foot doing quarter or eighth notes..

Heh heh....all I have to do huh?

Most of the stuff I play is very simple and fills are a no brainer.

In a lot of more complicated music that I hear (and occasionally try to play), there is no way my left foot is going to do anything important during the offbeat syncopated fills. All I could do is hope that everyone else is keeping track .:)


Also, in an attempt to to validate my point, the number one issue I've seen/heard in live bands is the tempo errors during or coming out of fills. It's really quite common so it must be difficult. Actually, it may be the #2 issue right behind playing too loud :)
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Okay, anyway, to the OP's question:

I have a Yamaha 8-channel mixer that I use for in-ear monitoring. I plug my phone with Visual Metronome into channel 7 or 8 and the live feed goes into channel 1 (with compression and eq). This allows me to either tap in a tempo or dial in a tempo prior to clicking off the song. I usually just listen to two or three bars of tempo and start it off as close to it as I can, which is plenty close enough for government work (and guitarists). I have the luxury of a great rhythmic acoustic guitar player who has no problem keeping time on his own, and so once we lock in I don't worry about it much.

I only have one song in our current set I like to set the click and keep it going throughout -- it's a moderate paced song with sixteenths on the hat and straight fours, and I don't want to speed it up. But by and large I don't bother with clicks live. I practice with clicks and click-steady music to not have that problem.
 

goodcat1337

Senior Member
I used to use an ipod with earbuds. I made a click for each song we played, and I memorized where the next track button was, so I would be able to change the track with the ipod in my pocket. There were 2 songs that we played back to back with no break, so I made a longer track for those 2 songs.
 

porter

Platinum Member
It's really quite common so it must be difficult.
I think that's more an issue of drummers who haven't practiced their fills or are trying to show off more (feeds into the #1 issue you mention). It's inexperience, plain and simple. Understandably, the demographic of this forum is going to at least care a little more about that, at least enough to join a forum, so we may have less experience with it than those who maybe are a bit earlier in the cycle.
 

_Leviathan_

Senior Member
Heh heh....all I have to do huh?

Also, in an attempt to to validate my point, the number one issue I've seen/heard in live bands is the tempo errors during or coming out of fills. It's really quite common so it must be difficult. Actually, it may be the #2 issue right behind playing too loud :)
This is because these drummers haven't internalized the quarter or eighth note pulse and don't know where the fills they play land in time (basically just guessing and hoping for the best). If a drummer can play solid time for grooves but loses time going in and coming out of fills then they need to work on time during fills and transitioning between fills and grooves, especially for more complicated licks.

I know because I used to have this problem, years ago. Fills should add to or contrast grooves and never interrupt the overall continuous flow, whether simple or complex.
 

adamosmianski

Senior Member
I guess it really depends on the scenario you're playing in. I haven't used a click live for a few years. I just used to use the good ol' Dr. Beat. The old one with the big yellow wheel, and it suited me fine. But I was playing with it in my ears the whole time, not just to grab a tempo.

If you're in a quieter situation where you're worried about the 'nome being heard then I would definitely consider the Tama Rhythm watch, as it's got that cool function where you hold down a button and it pulses so you can feel the click rather than hear it.

Like Bermuda said, if you're looking for speed I would get an app or something where you can quickly punch in the numbers.
 
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