Practice vs. Efficiency

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by silverstar, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. jcstites

    jcstites Mezzo Forte User

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    I use a metronome in at least 75% of my practice. There is no better way to practice technique than by slowing it down and playing it perfectly in time, especially with a subdivided beat so the rhythm within the beat is exact.

    I didnt practice with one when I was younger and I can tell.

    I dont think you should use one when actually playing a piece, like your solo, but to tear it apart and clean up the technical passages you need one to ensure that what you are playing is exact.

    Playing in an ensemble if an entirely different thing, but using a metronome in your personl practice can do nothing but help your internal pulse and ability to play in time with others.

    And thats about all i have to say about dat. lol. :D
     
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Maybe I mislead with what I was trying to say, although I always said that used judiciously, a metronome can be a valuable tool used in the way that JC described, but again, I'll reiterate, unless you have some issues with eveness in your playing or your time is really whacked, I just don't see a point in using one all of the time.
     
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    I've played in big bands where the drummer was so good, you almost didn't have to count because he set everything up for you. In those bands, the overall ensemble was incredibly tight thanks to the way he played and set things up, and I think that if you listen to some recordings of good big bands, you will find that to be the case for those drummers too. That IS the job of the drummer. The drummer is supposed to set things up and kick the band. I know because I are one. ;-)
     
  4. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

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    I have listened to plenty of recordings. Try playing in a jazz combo when the piano player isn’t playing the changes in a way that can be heard and the drummer is playing modern jazz set like Jeff “Tain†Watts. If you rely on them to know where you are at you would be lost. If you really want to narrow down who carries the time in a jazz group that would be the bass player, but that doesnt mean everyone else can blindly follow them.

    Also, anyone that thinks playing along with a metronome will “stifle your creativity†is seriously misguided.
     
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Wrong - I'm a drummer and I don't follow the bass player, nor do they follow me - we lock in together, but if one of the two of us has to be chosen as the band clock, it's me. When in doubt, you follow the drummer because they have the most defined and audible elements for time - hats, ride, kick, and snare - they are a lot more defined than whatever obscure pattern the half-baked bass player is putting out there.

    Also, now that I have my drummer cap on, the drummer is going to give you plenty to hinge on for time - hats, kick drum, snare, ride....they all work together to form the groove. If a horn player has a problem locking into the drummer's established groove, maybe it's time to rethink being musician, and all the work in the world with a metronome isn't going to help them much.

    I never said that the drummer HAD to count or set up everything, however, any big band drummer worth their salt sets up and kicks the band and makes counting LOADS easier for the horn sections. That's not really an opinion either and as a horn player AND a drummer I can say that with a certain degree of confidence.

    I never said that playing with metronome stifles creativity, I just don't seem to place the level of importance on it that you do, and I'd put my ability to play and keep time up for scrutiny any day.
     
  6. silverstar

    silverstar Mezzo Forte User

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    Jan 6, 2005
    Wow...maybe I should have dubbed this "metronome mainia" or something! :lol: :-P :cool:

    Anyway, I should probably use a metronome when I know that there is a place in my music that I ALWAYS slow down...most of the time I'm pretty good about timing, but there are those places in every piece of music that I tend to slow down...sometimes because I think it sounds better slower, most of the time because it's a part in the music that I have some difficulty playing for whatever reason.

    Thanks for all the responses and stuff! It's appreciated!

    Lara
     
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Well see, there you go! That's a perfect example of a good place to utilize what a metronome can do for you.

    I think that if you can maximize your practice time by hitting the bare basics, that's always a good way to go.
     
  8. silverstar

    silverstar Mezzo Forte User

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    I've also been using it for my part in a piece of music called "Symphony for Band".

    There are lots of eighth rests and eighth notes and all sorts of rhythm things that need to be down pat or else it won't lock in with the rest of the band. Plus, it's really making me work on not holding rests too long or long notes too long.

    It's an interesting piece of music to play...not exactly my taste in music, but it's fun.

    Lara
     
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Again, a great place to use a metronome to make sure that you are placing everything correctly and not losing time. One of the things that I really like about my Yamaha Clickstation when it comes to things like that is the ability to divide and subdivide the beat, as well as accent the downbeat. (all to the user's preference - it will just click the beat if you want it to) That way, there is NO doubt about your note placement when you play with it.

    As of late, I've been using my Clickstation more than normal - I have been using it to get my hands going while playing a halftime shuffle (Think Toto's "Rosanna" or Led Zepplin's "Fool In The Rain") and I have been using it with my son while working some of his music and playing duets out of the back of the Arban's book.

    Back to the subject of efficiency in practice, I have been playing duets with my son for very specific reasons. For one, when playing alongside of someone, the tendency is to play up to the next level, and when he plays duets with me, his sound opens up A LOT because unconsciously, he's trying to match me. The other reason is that because I have a more developed sense of time than he has, it is smoothing his playing out and making his rhythm more even. (I use the metronome as a means to give him total confidence in our time.) Anyway, because he's playing with me, it makes his practice time more productive because without his even realizing it, he works multiple aspects of his playing in his efforts to play up:

    His time
    His sound
    His articulation
    His intonation
    His phrasing
    His dynamics
    His focus
    His listening
     
  10. silverstar

    silverstar Mezzo Forte User

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    Jan 6, 2005
    That is a great idea. I haven't played a duet with anyone since....well...wow...I don't think I've played a duet with anyone since middle school. I've always just been in band, and done solo stuff. I was in a trio last year which was pretty fun...

    Hmmm....I think I'm going to hunt down someone to play a duet or two with now. lol.

    Lara
     

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