Quick: if given the choice between practicing with a metronome or a drum track which would you choose?
Most would opt for the metronome at first pass – and rightfully so. It’s cheap, quick, portable and serves the most basic function of music: keeps time reliably. But if you had another second to consider the question, I would make the case for the drum tracks and here’s why.
Why Use Drum Tracks Versus a Metronome?
I’m personally a fan of free drum tracks over a metronome if I can get my hands on them. Rather than just the tick-tock sound on loop, drum tracks have some character to them by trying to recreate the sound and feel of a live drummer. Granted, drum tracks are arguably just as robotic feeling as a metronome, but metronomes can’t make samba feels, they can’t make a rock groove and they just don’t have that sensation of hearing multiple drums playing at the same time to make one, big groove. Think of drum tracks as metronomes with style.
Moreover, finding a drummer to play with can be pretty challenging and usually among the reasons why bassists fail to develop that relationship as early on in their musical development as possible. And it makes sense considering drummers are usually the hardest seat in the band to fill.
Grab Your Free Backing Beats Below!
For this week, I put together another set of downloadables much like my counting 101 guide and bass guitar practice guide book: 10 bass guitar backing tracks. Each backing track is an isolated drum loop, completely compatible with any MP3 player or iTunes player.
Drum tracks are a great way to practice developing your sense of internal time and getting accustomed to hearing and feeling the rhythm of the drums. There’s quite an assortment of practice drum grooves including:
A samba groove
A 5/4 groove
A 7/8 groove
An RnB groove and more.
Check out the 7/8 groove from the download set below:
Though programmed drum grooves are far from perfect and far from replacing an actual drummer, they do serve as a valuable resource for those looking to tighten their groove to the sound of a drum beat and learn what it means to lock into the drums.
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