Free Guitar Lesson: How to Use a Metronome

Guitar Lessons - Metronome

You have a hard time staying on a steady beat, or do not know how to reach the speed?
In this guitar lesson you will learn how to use a metronome and master the beat.

Guitar Lessons - Metronome

This mechanical or electronic device helps a musician to keep proper time when practicing their music.

The first of these devices was apparently invented in the late 1600′s by a man named Étienne Loulié but is quite impractical by today’s standards as it stood almost seven feet tall!

Imagine carrying that around in your guitar case.

In the next century Johann Maelzel was credited with inventing the modern form of the metronome. Although there remains some controversy (some say Ditrich Winkel was the real inventor) you often see Maelzel’s name on your music as M.M.

If you’ve ever watched small children at about primary (elementary) school level clap to a beat or song you’ll notice something the world over, regardless of culture or country and almost without fail.

They ALWAYS speed up over time until the clap or beats gets ridiculously out of hand. They actually enjoy doing this but they do not notice at first that they are indeed doing it, it is a subconscious phenomenon.

It points out dramatically that people need to be trained to keep a beat and more complex rhythms. Using a metronome is a precise way of doing just that and this guitar lesson will teach you how.

In particular, when you’re practicing a piece slowly you really need to use this device to keep time properly.

With a beginning student especially it will help them develop an internal sense of beat and rhythm. Not to mention the practicing of different “exotic” time signatures that have come into vogue in the 20th & 21st century that need more precision and understanding.Why is this necessary? What are the objectives?Human beings are not born with “perfect time” or “internal clocks”. All musicians must and will spend much time practicing with a metronome to develop a sense of tempo and groove. Musicians have to learn to keep steady beat in spite of fluctuate constantly.
So, daily practice with the metronome will help you master the music pieces you want to play and measure your progress.Coordination:
The metronome forces us to listen to a consistent click and match it.
In ensemble playing we must be able to listen to and match other players. To do this we have to feel when the next beat will come, we can’t listen for it then play it. To this end it is necessary to play consistently from beat to beat and measure to measure.
Rhythm is the spine of music because it will give the drive and in ensemble playing it is one more contributor to ragged groove (I’m even talking about classical here).

The students usualy say they can’t hear it.
But, the idea is to split your attention into something besides your own playing, in this case the sound of the metronome.You can learn to hear it; firt by singing the rhythm instead of playing it directly on your guitar.
Practicing with the metronome does not make the music rigid. It helps you to gain control of tempo, learn to play with others and improve one’s playing. It is easy to play a loose tempo; you won’t forget how when you need to.For all these reasons it just makes sense that you practice your music pieces in time. This way you will develop the technical ability for your fingers to remember the scale and chord shapes and at the same time learn to play them on the beat. It only takes a little extra effort to practice this way but pays huge dividends in your playing.A metronome is as a tool to gauge you progress. By starting on a slow tempo and working your speed up, you can see how much progress you are making, set goals, achieve the goals and move onward!Hints:
1) Always play slow and clean.2) Start with quarter notes (1 note per click)3) Advance to eighth notes (2 notes per click)4) Do triplets too! (3 notes per click)5) Keep track of you metronome speed settings and try to improve them.6) Move your foot up and down with the down matching the click.Exercises:
Set the metronome at 60 (that means 60 beats per minute) listen to it and count quarter notes along with the beats: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4. Make sure you can listen to the metronome and then play 1/4 notes on an open string along with the beats. Just be sure you can hear the metronome.When you are comfortable with 1/4 notes, count eight notes and, once you’re doing OK, play 1/8 notes on open string.Repeat the same thing with triplets and 1/16.Let’s take a chromatic pattern on frets 5-6-7-8 and repeat excercises.

The goal is not to go fast but accurately play on the beat.
Just play 1/4s to get a feel for the beat and get comfortable.Once you feel comfortable, increase it to 1/8ths

hold it there for a while, then increase it to triplets

hold it there for a while then increase it to 16ths

Do not increase the number of notes per bar until you are totally comfortable with what you’re playing.Now increase the tempo, but only increase it by 10bpm at the most – then start practicing 1/4s at this tempo, and work up to 1/16ths as you did at the previous tempo.

Advanced Metronome Practice Tricks

A helpful trick to strengthen your timing ability is to play around with adding and removing subdivisions of the click.For example, instead of playing sixteenths over a quarter-note click, try doubling up the click so it is doing eighths. Yet as you play over this, retain the feel of the main pulse only on downbeats (every other click). In this case the “middle” eighth click is there just to help you mark the upbeat more precisely so you can focus on hitting that note (the 3rd sixteenth) precisely on time.After playing like this a while, then halve the click tempo back to quarter notes and focus on supplying the same articulated feel of the upbeat — but without that middle click to support you.Along the same lines, try removing beats entirely. Transform 16th notes into 32nd notes by halving the speed of the click. Or you can think of this as still playing 16ths, except the click only cues you to every other beat. Then let the click hit just every third beat. That’s tough! The slower the click goes, the more space you must fill to stay in time.When playing exercises or pieces containing a constant flow of notes-straight eighths for example-my favorite trick is to move the click to hit different notes of the pattern. The 3:2 ratio (a hemiola) is the best place to start.So instead of playing eighth notes, for example, change the beat to fall on every 3rd note and play the same sequence in triplets. Wow! That breathes new life into old, stale exercises. The 3:4 (triplets on sixteenths) pattern gives a similar effect. You can also try 4:3 and 5:4 for a little more adventure. After a little practice with this kind of rhythmic interplay, it comes easy yet always feels more interesting. It literally feels brand new, yet your fingers seem to already know the way.Next try moving the click to a rhythm off of the beaten path. That is, instead of making the click define the pulse, you make it play quarter note triplets for example. Now YOU generate the feel of the pulse and it clicks away somewhat “against” you. On top of that, play your exercise in eighth or sixteenths or whatever. That puts an entirely new spin on things!OK, now practice on a study or sniplet. It is important to set the metronome clicks to a very comfortable, slow, speed when starting to learn a piece. If used when starting to learn a piece, inaccuracies in note values will not be learned. Repeating a phrase or two at a time, and using the metronome to count the beats between repetitions is a very useful technique. As notes are learned, additional phrases can be added to the loop until an entire section is practiced.The metronome can be used as an anchor through long repetition practice. This ensures that note and rhythmic accuracy are maintained. Players can use the metronome to physically settle in to a piece.The metronome can be used to gain familiarity and memorization.Before a piece is performed, there needs to be complete mastery of the notes, there cannot be any insecurity. Once the notes are mastered, then sing the rhythm and, if it’s a really difficult one, play only the rhythm on open string. Then, when you get it down ad the notes at a comfortable tempo. Make sure the phrasing is flowing and not patched. An easy, steady pace encourages the release of tension in the arms and hands. Many technical problems work themselves out by using the metronome wile playing.

How to use the metronome to overcome technical difficulties

Let’s say you have to play an arpeggio in 16ths at a fast tempo.

First, start to learn all the notes and play the chords first

Then, play 8ths

Are you ready? OK, play the first beat with 16ths, and a 1/4rest, second beat, 1/4rest, 3rd and rest, 4th and rest.Now, play the arpeggio without the rest.

You want play faster?Do not target all the beat, but, instead, aim the 1st and 3rs beat and emphasize them:

Practice a few measures at a time. When you’re ready take another group of a few bars… One you’re comfortable, put them together.Do the same thing with next groups and the first page… and so on.

Always start with a little group. The metronome will also be as a gauge to measure your progress.Note the speed you reached and try to go faster the next day… You’ll build up the speed every day.
Makes sense you have to practice on a regular basis…Guitar Lessons in Fort Worth6201 Camp Bowie Blvd. Fort Worth Texas

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