Drummers: Use a metronome
I first started using a metronome about 2 years ago and at first I was completely against it. The thought of having something dinging in my ear for 30 minutes didn’t sound like fun.
The first time I ever used a metronome was for a song called God You Reign by Lincoln Brewster. It has a simple beat but you can speed up and slow down very easily with it.
Our guitar player who was also a drummer and my mentor urged me to use a metronome because he was more than likely sick of me speeding up and slowing down. It’s completely understandable.
It was definitely tough getting used to using one. I would stop it all the time because I would get off beat and get messed up. I would get really discouraged and frustrated. But like everything in life, you have to try and work hard to get good at it.
2 years later I would consider myself “advanced” in using a metronome. I don’t like to play without one. It just feels weird. I feel more “in the pocket” when I use one.
Some people say that it’s cheating or it’s for beginners but if you go to any professional concert. More than likely the band is using what is called a Click Track. It’s pretty much a metronome but it runs through the bands in-ears (glorified headphones)
Really the only way to successfully use a metronome live is to have some sort of in-ear system. I use a make-shift one but most churches nowadays use what’s called an AVIOM system.
If you don’t have an in-ear system then just practice with a metronome at home and at band practice. It might be annoying to your other band mates but they will appreciate it in the end.
I have noticed that when my band uses a metronome we sound better, we are more “in the pocket” and we flow better.
Using a metronome not only helps your band but it also helps you as a drummer. You will feel more confident, your beats will be tighter and you will play more smoothly.
If you’re looking for a cheap metronome I recommend the app Tempo by Frozen Ape. It’s an android/iPhone app. It’s $2 in the App Store and its definitely the best $2 I’ve ever spent. You can create playlists, change time signatures and BPM’s right on your iPhone or Android. It’s an all around great app for any musician.
You can find most BPM’s (Beats Per Minute) by simply looking it up on google or just tapping the tempo in on your metronome. Most metronome’s have what’s called a Tap Tempo button.
I hope that you find this blog post useful and start using a metronome! Remember, you won’t be a pro at it right away. It takes time to get used to it. So practice!
If you have any other questions concerning metronomes or in-ear systems you can leave a comment or find me on twitter.
Also you can check out my video on YouTube on how to set up a cheap in-ear system. Easy in-ear setup
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more tips on worship and music.