As one of the most popular instruments across the globe, drums can be found in nearly every musical style and genre. From jazz to rock and roll, reggae to swing, or blues to pop, drums have been used as a focal instrument for ages, providing melody and rhythm to songs that connect people to the music.
A drummer is the foundational tool that all other musicians can build upon when creating an art piece that is a song. Many of the other musicians are looking to the drums for timing so they don’t have to worry about counting or what measure they are on, this places a big responsibility on the back of the drummer. He or she is needed to provide not only the tempo of the song, but also a range in dynamics and melodies as well.
For the purpose of this article, we will only be focusing on the tempo - the speed at which a passage of music is or should be played, and that’s where the metronome comes in! So let’s explore that in detail.
What is a Metronome?
A metronome is a device that produces an audible click or sound at regular intervals. The user can set these clicks to any desired speed - the speed (or tempo) is always measured in beats per minute or better known as BPM.
Whether you play the piano, guitar, drums, bass, etc, any musician can and should benefit from the use of a metronome.
How to use the Metronome?
Using the metronome is fairly simple. The majority of metronomes are capable of playing beats from 35 to 250 BPM. As a beginner, you should start at a slow pace, once you start practicing with a slow-paced BPM and feel comfortable, you can gradually increase your speed until you are able to master a wide range and variety of tempos.
Importance of Metronome for Drummers
An essential skill needed by all drummers is the dexterity to keep and maintain speed and timing for any kind of genre that they may be playing. Preserving a fixed tempo while playing can be quite challenging, just ask any musician you know! It takes time and practice to develop the expertise of playing the right beat with the right timing. Poor tempo judgement can often be the tell-tale sign of an inexperienced musician.
A metronome can help you grow your inner clock that dictates your own ability to keep tempo naturally. Using a metronome can help you identify which parts of a song you are having trouble with, whether you are rushing or dragging, and also teach you new tempos that you perhaps wouldn’t be able to learn without it.
- See also: The Importance of the Metronome for the Bassist
Where to Start?
While many of us want to jump right into any new thing that we are excited about, the best thing to do with a metronome is to start slowly. This will also help you to count mentally in the silence in between. It helps you keep a structured time without relying on the metronome as a crutch. If the BPM is too high (too fast) it will give you too many reference points so you don’t have to think or count for yourself, so while you may sound great while you’re playing, you won’t be able to build the necessary skillset to become a better musician once you take it away.
A metronome is also great for practicing different tempos. As a drummer, you want to be able to play different beats and fills at a variety of speed and time signatures. Some tempos are more difficult to play than others, so use your metronome to help you practice the speeds you struggle with.
There are also times where you may have difficulty with a particular section of a song. An effective technique is to isolate that section, slow it down with the metronome, and slowly build to being able to play it faster. You could also leave more space between each click- to test your internal timing / counting. This can help reveal where you’re rushing or falling behind.
Where to Find a Metronome?
The best way to have a metronome to practice and play drums with any song, quickly and directly, is using the Moises App (available on the App Store and Play Store).
The app features a Smart Metronome, automatically generated after the user loads a song into it. You can activate the metronome and use it at the song's original tempo or change the Playback Speed (BPM) - another feature of the app - making the song slower or faster. All of this makes practicing the drums much easier and more efficient.
Plus, Moises has other exciting features such as AI Audio Separation - where you can isolate the drums of a song - and Pitch Changer, providing more dynamism and autonomy to users. It can definitely help you create spectacular music and elevate your practice and technique even more!
We hope that this article has helped you understand the importance of the metronome for drummers. Practicing often with this amazing device can help you reach your full potential and put you one step closer to become a professional musician. Happy learning!