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  • Click tracks: making, and using... any advice?

    I'm sure most of you guys have gone through this. Band plays music way too fast (my included), mostly because we lack a reference for the drummer, who sets the tempo.

    We really need to get this set up, because we're playing these things far too fast, to the point that listening to a recording of a set is kind of embarrassing.

    If you guys use them, how do you create and store (and play back) what you use? The ideal would be to have a little metronome that the drummer could stick a set of headphones into and get a click at a predetermined tempo.

    Does such a thing exist or is there some other way of doing this without a ridiculous amount of additional setup (lots of extra equipment, etc.)?

  • #2
    Is it a problem with the tempos being inconsistant as the song goes on--a lot of speeding up as you go? Or is it just a matter of starting at the correct tempo?

    If it's the latter, what I've done in the past is have the drummer use a metronome with a flashing light that he can set at the beginning of the song just long enough to give him the correct tempo to start with. If you can get by with that then great because actually playing to the click and setting it up with headphones, etc, becomes a whole 'nother ball of wax.
    _________________________________________________
    Appears the singers biggest problem is pitch and to much lesser degree his tone or phrasing. --- chord123

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    • #3
      Well, the simplest way is probably just to use a metronome app on a smartphone, and punch in the tempo before beginning the song.

      Or, if you need to pre-set various tempos, you could create various click track "songs" on a drum machine or drum machine program program at different tempos.

      And if you want more portability you could make recordings of the above and stick them on an iPod or other music player.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, the simplest way is probably just to use a metronome app on a smartphone, and punch in the tempo before beginning the song.

        Or, if you need to pre-set various tempos, you could create various click track "songs" on a drum machine or drum machine program program at different tempos.

        And if you want more portability you could make recordings of the above and stick them on an iPod or other music player.

        Comment


        • #5
          Or... The tried and true, "sing-the-chorus-to-yourself-to-get-the-tempo".

          When I was doing big band jazz, one conductor did this thing I've never forgotten. He was a real hep cat, don't you know. Slicked back hair and goatee. What I am about to describe took all of 5 seconds. He'd look at his shoes, facing the orchestra, he'd snap his fingers and sings the head ("the first or most prominent section of a song.") In pop music that'd be the chorus. In jazz it was that main melody line. He'd sing it, readjust his snapping slower or faster then... 1, 2, uh 1, 2 bada bappa doowah!

          I was 18 and 19 then. So moving forward into pop music, I always carried that lesson with me. If the drummer has an issue with this, he needs assistance. Even if he doesn't want it. Cause if he needs it, he needs it. So variations on that technique might be the singer or the bass player do the...

          "My my my my my my poker pace." 1, 2, 1234!

          It is a pretty important, powerful and essential technique to have under your belt. Well worth taking the time learning to do it well.
          __________
          Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
          Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
          Jesus

          Comment


          • #6
            Or... The tried and true, "sing-the-chorus-to-yourself-to-get-the-tempo".


            This is what our drummer does. Tempo issues rarely even get discussed because he's great at it. We try to just go song-into-song with no break in-between as much as possible but at those spots where we don't start right away I'll instinctively look over at him to see what's up and will often see him mouthing some of the words to the next song---obviously so that he get the correct tempo into his head.
            _________________________________________________
            Appears the singers biggest problem is pitch and to much lesser degree his tone or phrasing. --- chord123

            Comment


            • #7
              Basically covered already, but yeah, here's what SHOULD be able to solve your situation:

              1) Develop the SKILL, and make it a habit, to instinctively be able to figure the tempo (close enough should do)...and singing the chorus is the quickest and easiest way i know of...but it is a skill that needs to be developed and maintained.

              2) Metronome app on a smart phone. I like TEMPO ADVANCE for a pure metronome app, and GUITAR TOOLKIT for something with more bells & whistles (tuner, chord charts, etc.). Both allow for the visual cue (flashing light) as well as audio click. This will allow your drummer to free themselves from a headphone/IEM solution if he's also on a wedge monitor.

              3) Standalone metronome or similar: to me, it's really hard to beat the TAMA RHYTHM WATCH in this category. Headphone out, but also flashing light to clue into. This is pretty much THE standard for a drummer. Big wheel control allows you to dial forward and backward to the tempo you want. Also has ability to store tempo pre-sets and order them as if playing a 'show' (but you're limited to only 30 pre-sets, so more than 2 sets might be a challenge).

              If you want to go beyond those options, you could obviously also pre-record a click track for each song and play it back via any mp3 player or iPod, etc. in whatever order you choose.
              And you could go more technical and record a click track in a multi-track/DAW and include audio clues like "Start NOW, 2,3,4" or "DOUBLE CHORUS starts NOW, 2,3,4", etc.
              For cripe's sake, somebody buy that kid a freaking DICTIONARY already!

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm a keyboard player and use one of these for my praise band:

                http://www.amazon.com/Seiko-SQ50-V-Quartz-Metronome/dp/B000LFCXL8/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1346783281&sr=8-3&keywords=metronome

                Because of the type of music this is, I'm starting things out a lot. The drummer (bless his soul) is no help. He's in the band for other reasons. It really helps.

                I once worked with a drummer who played along to an old drum machine through his IEM. He'd set the tempo - had it set on a stand next to his kit. Best timekeeper I've ever worked with.

                The best drummers in the world play to clicks - by necessity to keep the show's sequences and lights in sync. Don't be afraid of it - or ashamed of it. It's done all the time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Or... The tried and true, "sing-the-chorus-to-yourself-to-get-the-tempo".

                  When I was doing big band jazz, one conductor did this thing I've never forgotten. He was a real hep cat, don't you know. Slicked back hair and goatee. What I am about to describe took all of 5 seconds. He'd look at his shoes, facing the orchestra, he'd snap his fingers and sings the head ("the first or most prominent section of a song.") In pop music that'd be the chorus. In jazz it was that main melody line. He'd sing it, readjust his snapping slower or faster then... 1, 2, uh 1, 2 bada bappa doowah!

                  I was 18 and 19 then. So moving forward into pop music, I always carried that lesson with me. If the drummer has an issue with this, he needs assistance. Even if he doesn't want it. Cause if he needs it, he needs it. So variations on that technique might be the singer or the bass player do the...

                  "My my my my my my poker pace." 1, 2, 1234!

                  It is a pretty important, powerful and essential technique to have under your belt. Well worth taking the time learning to do it well.


                  +1 that's how I've always done it..couldn't imagine having to que each song up on a nome in BPM time, what a hassle.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    +1 that's how I've always done it..couldn't imagine having to que each song up on a nome in BPM time, what a hassle.


                    How long does it take to sing the chorus to yourself to figure tempo?
                    5 seconds, 10 seconds?

                    I can spin the BPM wheel on a Tama Rhythm Watch and press start way faster than that.

                    The difference being...the tempo I dial up on the metronome won't ever be wrong. Given that the drummer in the OP is already counting songs in too quickly, i wouldn't rely on his skills to sing the choruses to himself at the right tempo too much...
                    For cripe's sake, somebody buy that kid a freaking DICTIONARY already!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, the simplest way is probably just to use a metronome app on a smartphone, and punch in the tempo into the drummer before beginning the song.


                      Fixed!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        How long does it take to sing the chorus to yourself to figure tempo?

                        5 seconds, 10 seconds?

                        I can spin the BPM wheel on a Tama Rhythm Watch and press start way faster than that.


                        It's also worth pointing out that playing with a click isn't something you have to do every time you play the set, or with every song- but it's a useful exercise to practice songs like that if there's concerns about the tempo- even if you don't even intend to use a click live.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well... I'm certainly not downing the click idea. Whatever works for you. I do know though, that the skill of finding tempo naturally is a learned thing. It's not hard, but it's impossible if you don't know some of the simple techniques.

                          I have no interest in getting into a shouting match about click vs. natural means. But it sure is nice getting that natural means under your belt.

                          For what its worth, I'm a huge proponent of "metronome for personal practice, ditch it for performance". I love tracking to a click, but if I'v got great players, I'd just a soon track it wild. Live, unless I'm working to sequences or picture, I prefer to stay away from any click. If you workout with a metronome, you get to be very accurate in your tempos without any help from a click/metronome come performance time.

                          That and just sing the freaking chorus for 3 seconds.
                          __________
                          Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
                          Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
                          Jesus

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Mike in my band does it another way. He has the original recording mixed in his IEMs. Seems to work great and no ****************ing around with sequences or devices.
                            Kickin' it in the sticks...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well... I'm certainly not downing the click idea. Whatever works for you. I do know though, that the skill of finding tempo naturally is a learned thing. It's not hard, but it's impossible if you don't know some of the simple techniques.

                              I have no interest in getting into a shouting match about click vs. natural means. But it sure is nice getting that natural means under your belt.

                              For what its worth, I'm a huge proponent of "metronome for personal practice, ditch it for performance". I love tracking to a click, but if I'v got great players, I'd just a soon track it wild. Live, unless I'm working to sequences or picture, I prefer to stay away from any click. If you workout with a metronome, you get to be very accurate in your tempos without any help from a click/metronome come performance time.

                              That and just sing the freaking chorus for 3 seconds.

                              Yeah this. If you were in the area we could hang out and do tempo tests: I used to do that with Corey all the time. I ain't bragging but so far I've humbled 3 different drummers and more than a few guitarists with this. It's just a deal where we play along with a song, then mute the audio while continuing on. Have someone cut the audio back on and see where you are in the tune. I love this exercise and do it every day to a certain extent.
                              Kickin' it in the sticks...

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