Saturday, December 13, 2008

weight lifting for your rhythm

Have you ever done a weight lifting program? There's this weird phenomenon that happens after a few weeks... every day things seem lighter. You know you're getting stronger because you're increasing the weight at the gym, but some times at home you feel like superman when you go to pick up something heavy and you're surprised at how much easier it is.

I've decided the same thing happens with rhythm and working out to the metronome. I didn't think a metronome would make a big difference. In fact, I thought it would make my rhythm worse because I'd be relying on something external instead of building up my internal rhythm. That couldn't be further from the truth, working with a metronome actually builds up your internal rhythm. I've been using a metronome more and more for practicing over the past few months and I recently noticed that weight lifting phenomenon with rhythm. Suddenly I feel the beat much stronger and notice minor rhythm problems I didn't notice before.

I have a crappy little metronome but it keeps time and didn't cost much. If you don't have one, get one for Christmas! If you have one try just turning it on when you're playing through songs your working on or practicing scales. You'll notice the change!


lespaulplayerdoctor said...

that picture and transition has "Karl" written all over it.

Albeit, your transition was much more fluid and to the point! :)

Good post, I've been thinking about getting a 'nome for a while for the scales practicing.
btw, what do you call a dwarf that lives in the city?
-metro gnome.
i'll go now.

Brian said...

I've been thinking about this one a lot recently. Let's say I practice with a metronome until my timing is better than a swiss watch. How does that translate to playing with a live band where the drummer drives the time? I mean ... if the tempo of the song swings (and it will!), my 'perfect tempo' practice seems a little overkill for the situation. Should be instead practice with a moving target? Discuss.

electric community said...

Lespauldoctor - the manager at the local music store is like 4'8" and they call her the metro nome.

Brian - Good things to think about! A drummer shouldn't vary THAT much in rhythm... if they do they should be the only practicing with a metronome ;) Songs may ebb and flow but but the tempo from measure to measure should be about the same. If the drummer really is wandering around tempos that much, the band just isn't going to be tight, there isn't a way to practice anticipating bad rhythm.

Having good rhythm will also help you subdivide beats within the measure and play off beat rhythms. After you play with a metronome for a while you'll hear the beeps when a drummer is playing and you'll hit right on the beat - with the drummer.

Karl said...

Beautiful post! Good rhythm is so essential. Practicing to a metronome may have helped me as a musician more than any other one thing.

And @ Larry--

What do you mean my transitions aren't smooth and to the point? Oh, wait. They're not. :)