Fun With a Metronome

“Fun with a metronome?”, you may ask.  It sounds like an oxymoron.  But the truth is, that the metronome is the guitarists best friend, and if your ever going to learn to play in time, it should be yours.  There’s no way to get around it.  Our brains aren’t always as good at judging timing as we think we are, but with practice that can improve.

Why Is It Important to Have Good Timing?

Often bad timing isn’t as noticeable when playing alone, but when recording, bad timing becomes quite obvious.    Bad timing will also be a major issue when playing with other musicians and make it harder for you to play along with the rest of the band.

Practice Tips

At first, you may find it a little difficult to play in time with the metronome, but with a little practice you will be able to play to it.  Try to play right on the click of the metronome, so that it virtually disappears beneath your note.  At first, set the metronome to a moderate pace 100 to 120 beats per minute.  Play a note on every click.

When you get the hang of this, slow the metronome down to where you can play two eighth notes for each click.  You can also practice playing four sixteenth notes on each beat.  When you can play four sixteenth notes for every click slowly raise the speed one or two beats per minute.  When practiced regularly this method you will gradually increase your speed.  Resist the temptation to speed the metronome up before you’re ready to, or to speed it up too much at a one time.

Another exercise you can do try to play an eighth note in between the clicks of the metronome, without playing on the click.  There are many variations on these exercise try and see how many of your own you can come up with.