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  • I Need Help Using A Metronome

    Posted by N-lightMike on September 18, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    So, I would love some encouragement at least, and hopefully some pointers.

    I recorded a guitar track to send to Brandon for the Recording class. I was not able to keep a steady strum. When I pick up my guitar now, all I can do is close my eyes and listen intently to the metronome to try to stay with it. I can do a short, simple chord progression. I can’t sing. Even a song I know the lyrics. It is so difficult for me to stay with the beat, it takes all my attention. This is so boring I can only do it for a couple of minutes. But I can’t do anything else because then I would be continuing to practice my bad habit.

    I’m literally ready to quit playing guitar. This is the worst crisis in my guitar journey since I joined TAC. I NEED HELP!

    MG 😀

    N-lightMike replied 1 year, 7 months ago 5 Members · 14 Replies
  • 14 Replies
  • the-old-coach

    Member
    September 18, 2022 at 11:14 pm

    Mike–

    I’m going to be following this thread closely……….

    I am not able to offer any advice whatsoever on how to play along with a metronome, as I and my metro are still not on speaking terms since the accident that sent it across the room into the wall, after which I had to tape it back together. 😒

    -coach

    • N-lightMike

      Member
      September 19, 2022 at 12:23 am

      🤣😂😅😶🤔

      I’m gonna have to take that as great encouragement. Your experience tells me I’m doing well. I did play for over a 1/2 hour with the metronome after writing this post. 😄

      MG 😀

      • jumpinjeff

        Member
        September 19, 2022 at 7:15 am

        @N-lightMike : you are perfectly on track and exactly the right place at the right time. Playing in time was no easy thing for me. It is still not. I am a daily practitioner of rhythm training. Initially I was where you are. I thought there was something wrong with me and that I would not get it. Because I loved guitar (and know why I do), was able to toss out my expectations as they clearly where killing my fun quotient, muster persistence, oh…did I mention expectation, oh…yes I did, it bears repeating as this is what allowed me to get down into the depths of the process, embracing the simplicity of a single note played in time with the metronome. In doing this the satisfaction of success came back and that allowed my attention span to increase, my mind to relax. Removing the tension from my mind allowed my fingers to darn near magically become rhythmically aligned with the metronome. That is when I would venture out and start introducing complexity to the rhythm going form quarters to eighths and back, quarters to triplets and back, and this one, Eighths to Triplets, that took a long while before I could move between them at will, intuitively and on the beat. And once there, a whole universe starts to open up by adding space to triplets and eights as dynamics come it to play to accentuate the space. When this was under finger I would move to strums, following the same recipe. You will come back to your songs and understand them in a new way after you have gone down the rhythm road. Slow is always better than fast. Let tension be your guide as to when to increase speed. Don’t hate it, embrace it as part of the process while letting go of what you think you should be able to play. I look forward to hearing more of your experience as you reframe from frustration to curiosity and effort.

      • N-lightMike

        Member
        September 19, 2022 at 11:37 am

        Wow, @jumpinjeff , this is some really deep experience. I had never gotten to the point of thinking about changing beats within the beat. Yeah, that gives me something to look forward to. It actually sounds like fun. Fun with a metronome, who woulda thought?

        Now I actually have motivation. I want to break out the metronome and begin my journey. Perspective is such an amazing thing.

        Thank you so much.

        MG 😀

      • jumpinjeff

        Member
        September 19, 2022 at 11:48 am

        Don’t forget to come back with updates good or not so good. Together we can keep our course corrected and headed to where we want to go. Always fun sharing experiences @N-lightMike

      • N-lightMike

        Member
        September 19, 2022 at 11:57 am

        Yeah it is, @jumpinjeff . So, maybe you’d like to be my guitar journey sponsor? 😅

        I guess that’s what’s been happening anyway. I’m usually the last to know what I’m doin’. 😂

        Yes, I will provide updates. 😎

        MG 😀

      • the-old-coach

        Member
        September 19, 2022 at 9:25 am

        Not sure I’d take my story as encouragement😜

        Jeff and C-G’s are MUCH better……

        I have read Jeff’s post 3 times thru- (so far)- and I like it a LOT. Help and explanations like that are extremely helpful. This is the stuff that can’t be “taught”.

        Thanks Mike for starting this thread- and thanks to those who answer!

        -coach

      • N-lightMike

        Member
        September 19, 2022 at 11:54 am

        Yeah, Mark @the-old-coach , this is a great thread. I love to follow great threads. I usually don’t start them, but I’m happy to contribute to the community when I can. 😁

        It’s harder to ask the question that leads to a great thread than it is to make comments on a great thread. 🤔

        MG 😀

  • Cadgirl

    Member
    September 19, 2022 at 3:45 am

    @N-lightMike , NO….. don’t quit! Can you listen to the song / track with head phones on ? Play along with it that way? You could record it while you are listening on the headphones. Then you would have the proper speed, etc. I hope this gives you something to think about.

    My sound doesn’t work on my computer, I have to use my head phones all the time. But, I found it helpful at times because I can listen as I play, to make sure I have the right beat without the music being to loud.

    • N-lightMike

      Member
      September 19, 2022 at 11:52 am

      No, @Cadgirl , I’m not going to quit. I was just feeling desperate. When I use “if this then I’m gonna” statements to push myself. When I say “I’m gonna quit guitar if I can’t get the metronome”, then I can’t give up on practicing with the metronome. There is no option there. Because believe me, I was about to say, “oh, who cares”. But not being able to keep time with a metronome is no longer ok. 🤔

      I was using headphones as I listened to the click track and tried strumming my guitar using a very simple chord progression. If you do that, listen to music through your headphones as you play along, then you are already doing what I’m trying to do. 😉

      Yeah, that’s right. I’ve been playing guitar on and mostly off for 20 years, and then over 3 years of TAC playing everyday, and I’m just now trying to play along with a fixed rhythm. My bad. 😏

      Except one thing, @jumpinjeff says I’m right where I’m supposed to be right when I’m supposed to be. I’m familiar with that and used to say it to others. It’s a true statement. So yeah, this was my path. I’ll embrace it. 🤗

      I love my guitar journey. I have become so content with it, that this discomfort shook me up. We love to be comfortable, but it’s not always a good thing. If we fall into lethargy, we need to be shaken up. I consider this my guitar journey wake up call. 😎

      MG 😄

      • Cadgirl

        Member
        September 19, 2022 at 12:34 pm

        you know what @N-lightMike . I didn’t think it sounded like you to quit. 🙂
        Glad to hear it.

      • N-lightMike

        Member
        September 20, 2022 at 11:08 am

        I started this music theory project, and it has turned into a gigantic monster that is consuming my time and energy. I think that has affected my moods some, but I’m still playing guitar. I do have my ups and downs. But I must remember that ultimately, the guitar isn’t for any other reason than for me. I can let the metronome take whatever time it needs and play some without it just for relaxation.

        MG 😀

  • Val

    Member
    September 19, 2022 at 2:33 pm

    I had a table top metronome years ago. I disliked it as the sound and beat was tedious and distracting. I now use an app for a metronome, it’s simply called Metronome. I can change the tone of the first beat to something other than a click (I choose a drum beat or cymbal depending on my mood.)

    The change in the first measure count sound helps me figure out when I’m in time or it I’ve drifted. It’s not as tedious either.

    Many apps are available. Someday I might look into a digital table top but for now (7 months into proactive sessions) the free app doesn’t bother me at all and so far no ads interrupt the syncopation.

    • N-lightMike

      Member
      September 20, 2022 at 11:01 am

      Thank you @Val ;

      I, too, use a free app. I have one on my phone and another on my computer. I also have a drum machine for my audio setup. And now I am using them whenever I play or practice.

      MG 😀

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