By: Dan Brown
Practicing with a metronome will improve your time keeping dramatically! What... you say you can already keep time? Try to keep time with a metronome for about twenty seconds. It will show you how good you really can keep time. If you have never tried it...try it! You will see there is room for improvment.
In order to be an outstanding drummer you'll need to keep good time, and practicing with a metronome can help you do that. A metronome can improve your time keeping almost by magic. And, we know how important time keeping is, particularly for a drummer.
You may wonder what the big deal is and think, "No one is gonna be able to distinguish any small changes in tempo in the middle of a song." Well, that may be true, but the major importance of keeping good time is at three different places in a song...
1) The times when you break away for a fill and come back to the original rhythm. 2) If the song contains pauses and later returns to the original rhythm. 3) If the song contains different tempos and returns to the original rhythm.
A metronome is such a vital tool in music education that most teachers of guitar, piano, and violin all utilize the power of metronomes within their lessons. How then, even more important for the time keeper of a band to practice with a metronome.
I can't strees enough the importance of practicing with a metronome. Once you go out and invest in one, start out by setting it at 80 beats per minute and play along with a standard 4/4 disco beat. This is a good pace to begin. It will give you enough time between beats to concentrate and land your beat in sync with the beat of the mertonome.
You will see that when you first start practicing with a metronome it can become very discouraging, but then you will eventually get the hang of it and keep pretty good time. Then it may become a little boring. It's at that point where you must challenging yourself a little bit more.
Adjust your metronome to a few more beats and increase your speed. Not so much where you will sacrifice your form, though. You don't want to become sloppy. Once you feel like you are really getting good at staying in sync with the metronome using a 4/4 beat and at various speeds you should begin to practice a variety of different rhythms, also at various speeds.
Practicing with a metronome will improve your drumming dramatically, so if you don't have one, get one. You will be amazed at how much it will increase your level of playing.