Playing to a Click Track or Metronome..

So you're about to go into the studio for the first time? You've tuned your drums? You know your parts? You know what time you're meant to be there?

Excellent, there's just one thing left to do. MAKE SURE YOU CAN PLAY TO A CLICK TRACK. For the love of god, don't assume that you can play along to a click track "because I'm a drummer", unfortunately it doesn't work like that.

Our instrument consists of short sharp sounds (excluding the cymbals) and that means every single hit has to be in time or it's going to be glaringly obvious. Guitars, Bass, even vocals can get away with a little more than a drummer depending on the music, but your part has to be rock solid. If you've never played along to a metronome/click, go and buy one today and check you're okay with it.

You'd be surprised by the amount of drummers who are simply incapable of playing along to a click. You'll be very red faced come recording day if you can't keep a steady beat while you're wasting your precious recording time.

Here are some tips that should help you get your playing into shape asap:

  1. Practice playing along at all kinds of speeds. Try and get together with the band  BEFORE you go to the studio and decide on tempos.
  2. RELAX. It's very easy to concentrate too hard on the beeping in your ears. It's there as a guide and you should be able to push it to the back of your mind.
  3. Start off with a basic 4/4 rock beat and then move onto more complicated rhythms. Make sure you don't forget to practice all your fills as well because that's where a lot of people come unstuck.

Above all, it's an important skill that you can hone by slotting it into your practice schedule. If you're practicing your rudiments, stick on a click. If you're practicing your basic rock rhythms, stick on a click. It's a skill that takes no extra practice time and will improve your time keeping when even when you're not required to keep the same bpm all the time.

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