For the longest time I did my best to avoid a metronome just like I’d avoid a geometry test. I was not a fan of either. But, with age comes wisdom and I’ve come to understand and really appreciate all the ways a metronome can help you become a better musician. I’m still no fan of geometry, but let’s explore the power of a metronome!
Why use a metronome?
If you don't know what a metronome is, a metronome keeps a steady constant tempo for us. The more a musician uses a metronome the more accurate their rhythm becomes. But it helps with more than just rhythm. Practicing with a metronome can improve, speed, technique, jam sessions with other musicians, and band practices.
When do I use one?
That's the coolest part of the power of a metronome- you can use it all the time! Whether your practicing a drum beat, strum pattern, bass riffs, or solos, a metronome always comes in handy. Use this when learning a new song or even just trying to revisit an old tune. I love using one when I’m doing warm up exercises to help me hit every note accurately.
Where to start
If this is your first time trying a metronome check out this website! Metronome online is a fun interactive site that will help you get started using a metronome, and even document your practices. There are plenty of great apps to download on your phone too. I’ve found that starting my metronome at 60 BPM can be the most effective. If this tempo seems too fast, slow it down to a comfortable tempo, maybe 50 BPM. If it seems too slow, just try it! Sometimes the challenge of a song is to play it slower, not faster. If you’re trying to learn a shredding solo start at a slow tempo and speed up the tempo in increments of 4 BPM each time. If you know the tempo of the song you’re trying to learn, see if you can play along at that exact tempo.
If you're still not sold on the power of a metronome, lets put things into perspective. Did you know that every song you listen to is recorded to the beat of a metronome? We don’t have to figure out the angle degrees of an isosceles triangle- that would just be obtuse! Just start practicing hitting a note every time you hear that beep, and you’ll be grooving in no time!
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