Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Attack of the Metronome

Drummers know that practicing with a metronome is the key to learning to keep good time. We all hear the pro's talk about how important it is to practice with a metronome, but I find that it is much more infrequent that I hear anyone give much insight on HOW to do it effectively.

A few years back I was studying shuffles with groove master Zoro when he showed me his 'Time Machine' which was an exercise geared towards learning different shuffle feels and maintaining the groove. I loved it and learned a lot from it but it was definitely a higher level exercise, and is geared specifically towards shuffles.

I used some of his ideas and developed my own exercise, Attack of the Metronome, for practicing with a metronome and learning to shift between different time feels and still keep the groove and maintain the tempo. Attack of the Metronome is designed for beginners and pro's alike and the concepts can be applied across a wide variety of musical styles.

Feel free to download the exercise and read it, work through it, share it with your friends, use it for your students, whatever you want. Once you get it up and running start adding simple fills between lines. That's where a lot of drummers struggle to keep time. You may also switch from hi hats to the ride when switching lines as the different sound and feel between the two tends to throw people off as well.

One thing is for sure, however you choose to use Attack of the Metronome, you'll be a better time keeper and a better drummer for it!