Learning to play with a metronome is an essential skill to develop. Here’s why:
Learning to play in time to a metronome will massively improve your understanding of timing. For me, it’s been an essential part of my practice for as long as I can remember.
When playing live shows, TesseracT has always performed to a metronome (within Cubase) – and without doing this, we simply wouldn’t be in time with each other.
The benefit of learning progressive grooves and fills when you have the metronome present is that the metronome maintains the relationship to the intended pulse of the song. Even if you’re playing complex ideas, the intended pulse is always there as a waypoint.
All of the exercises I teach within my Progressive Drumming Masterclass are recorded to an audible metronome so that no matter how complex the idea might be, the intended pulse is always present and referenceable.
If I’m jamming in my home studio, I’ll often use this free online Metronome app: https://www.metronomeonline.com/
Working with a metronome opens up massive possibilities for live performances.
Firstly, you can program a specific set in advance (this is what we do in TesseracT) so that you make sure you don’t overrun your given show length. You can program in specific cues and if everyone in the band is running on in-ear monitors (IEMs), you can make the show super-slick by removing the need for the drummer to count into the song – it’s a small detail but it makes a big difference when everyone on stage can drop into a song perfectly in time.
Exercises to help with timing
I’ve pulled together a handful of timing exercises you may wish to explore. These cover a range of concepts that I cover in considerable detail in my Masterclass.
The important thing when working through any of these is to focus on playing in a relaxed style and to focus on locking in with the metronome. Understand where the quarter notes are, the 8th notes, the 16th notes, etc – make sure you’re not rushing or dragging. If you are rushing or dragging – SLOW the exercise down.
Double stroke timing exercise
Double Kick Dominant Leg Timing exercise
Three-limb 16th note triplet timing exercise
If you find this lesson helpful, get in touch!
I want to connect with drummers who are eager to take their progressive drumming to the next level and may be interested in becoming one of my Masterclass students.
You can set up a free Zoom call with me to chat about your drumming, my drumming, and how I can specifically help you. No pressure, these calls are casual and intended to give me a better understanding of your playing, if you’re interested in becoming a student.
Either way, I hope this free lesson gives you some insight and some new ideas, and I hope to hear from you soon.
My other resources you may find helpful
8 exercises to level-up your double kick control.
TESSERACT - Nocturne Course
11 lessons, 86 guided videos, 80 loop exercises
3/4 Polyrhythm Course
6 lessons, 26 guided videos, 35 loop exercises
3/2 Polyrhythm Course
Five lessons, 28 instructional videos, 34 loop exercise videos