Clark JM Jazz Mandolin
Tips & Tricks Mel Bay Mandolin Sessions








Sage Wisdom

"Good improvisation communicates harmonic progression melodically. Effective melodies manipulate harmonic content through the use of guide tones and preparatory gravity notes, masterfully woven in systematic tension, release, and transparent harmonic definition."

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September 1, 2005 | Metronome Techniques Part 1


There is no substitute for practicing with a metronome! Nobody has perfect timing; this is a skill that must be developed. You can't do this without a mechanical "referee," a good metronome. You don't have to spend a fortune to get a decent one either!

We like the Seiko SQ-50 for it's woodblock-like tone, although there are a number of other models of varying sophistication around the JazzMando Research Facilities. (We'll mention other options, later...)

A helpful metronome technique is to set the metronome at 60 beats per minute, and think of the click as a woodblock (or better, Hihat cymbal) and hear 1, 2, 3, 4, emphasizing beats 2 and 4 as the backbeat. In other words, the silence between clicks become beats 1 & 3, the metronome click is the audible 2 & 4. (Of course, you can vary the tempo faster or slower, but this is a good place to start.)

This space also gives you time to hear what your doing, and the metronome becomes the "reference point," rather than a proactive rhythmic drive, putting more pressure on you, the player to develop your own good sense of time.

Posted by Ted at September 1, 2005 12:48 PM

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