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Just wanted to share an experience: Our keyboard player brought an electronic metronome to last night's rehearsal (I am in a 7 piece pop/rock covers band), wired it into our sound system, and announced it was time for "boot camp". We went through a bunch of songs, playing along with the "click track".

What a revelation (or embarassment?). I was stunned at how often we were going fast or slow, and also at when this was happening - for example we vocalists (I sing backup) tend to rush the tempo when we do 3-part vocal harmonies. The great thing is that everyone gave it a good try, and by about half way through the rehearsal, everyone had bought into this, and we will continue to do this at future rehearsals. I am looking forward to how this will enable us to play with a tighter groove.
 

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This is great practice---and really difficult, at first.

The only caveat is not to make it such a habit, like one of the bands on the island, that the drummer gets so ingrained that he always has to play to a click.
 

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We do the same in our group at church when our drummer can't make rehearsal. Makes it much easier.
 

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I play in a band where the keyboard parts are played through MIDI. We use in-ear monitors and the drummer hears a click track and keeps the tempo accordingly so the band and the keyboards never get off from one another. So the drums are always right and you have to play whatever tempo he's laying down.
 

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I can feel so embarassed without anyone even there. Just by practicing with myself I can can realize how I am messing up the rhythms and how fast and slow I am going. After a while (if I am trying to perfect a piece) everything falls into place and the benefit is greater than never working with a metronome.
 

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Agent27 said:
I play in a band where the keyboard parts are played through MIDI. We use in-ear monitors and the drummer hears a click track and keeps the tempo accordingly so the band and the keyboards never get off from one another. So the drums are always right and you have to play whatever tempo he's laying down.
Those pesky non-human instruments never listen!;)

Of course, to sync with tracks (midi or otherwise), you must use a reference click. I wouldn't say the drummer is right, I say that the 'track' is right. I try never to have to play in a band that uses tracks (read: pay more money:D), except to practice--guess I'm old fashioned;). You get a more consistent product, but OTOH, you lose spontaneity that comes with diverse tempos, different rubatos, etc. etc.

The correct answer to playing ANY unpleasant music is 'sure, I can do it, and here's how much it's going to cost.'--that's part of being professional.

Luckily, I have a day job so that I can pick and choose both who I play with , and what I want to play.
 
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