Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Metronome vs TEF

I am sure this question has been asked already, but is it ok to learn off the TEF files and not practice on a metronome? I am having trouble keeping up with a metronome but am finding my rythm with TEFView.

(I have also bought a dictation type foot pedal (USB connection to the computer) that you can program each of the 3 pedals to a shortcut key on the keyboard, which allows you to quickly stop / start / restart the TEF file in TEFView. I have found this useful to get repetition on sections of a TEF file).

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Love the foot pedal idea! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Personally, I love the TEF files. I find them easier to follow than the regular tab files and they really help me learn to keep time.
The only metronomes I’ve played with are the digital kind you download to your phone, or the tiny flashing light built into my Snark tuner. They confused me a lot!

I say if you are finding your way forward with the TEF files, stick with them. There’s no point in adding frustration when practicing. I’m thinking you can always add a metronome later on when you are more comfortable at picking.

And that’s my “expert advice from a Beginner.”

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Thanks for the support!! Yes, I have a metronome on the phone, one that I recall @BanjoBen suggested. It is good, but as a beginner I just struggle with keeping the timing especially when mixing 1/8th and 1/16th notes. I have only just recently returned to the TEF files and am picking up songs from the lessons real quick (both accuracy and speed). Songs actually starting to sound like they should!

The foot pedal idea came when I went back to Boil Dem Cabbages Down to warm up the fingers with some rolls and the TEF File launches straight away. By the time I pressed the start button, I had no hope of getting my hands on the banjo and catchin up. Guess I could have put the keyboard on the floor also… Find it very useful for highlighting sections of the TEF that need practice and starting, stopping and restarting sections.

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Thanks @JohnnyD, I use the loop, but guess I get impatient. If I get part way through the loop (and if it is a long loop), I can stop and restart the measure quickly, without waiting to the end and the loop to restart. Anyway, I am finding that the TEF files are a great way to practice. I hadn’t really considered using them but after going back to the start of the lessons and using the TEF files again, I have seen a big improvement.

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I think that’s fine, and often I use the metronome feature in tabledit, too.

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Somewhere on this forum I outlined how I learn, but in short, it’s like this.

1 - learn what the lesson sounds like when properly played by listening to Ben’s first MP3 file of the lesson over and over.
2 - watch Ben’s preview video and look for any odd left hand fingering.
3 - download the TEF files and loop it a couple of measures at a time until I can play the whole thing from memory.
4 - reference Ben’s lesson videos for places that I feel could be smoother. Often I find that I’m over complicating things that Ben has found better ways of doing.
5 - start playing along with the backing tracks.

Repeat Step 5 about a thousand times (seriously, that’s not an exaggeration) until I’m playing up to speed.

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Thanks @Mark_Rocka for the advice. I haven’t done (5) yet. I will jump onto that tonight.

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