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  • Metronome Usage

    Posted by Skyman on February 22, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    I have a couple of questions regarding how others are using their metronomes.

    -Do you always use it when practicing?

    -Do you only use it for certain practice skills?

    -What is your favorite metronome?

    I’m doing weekly in-person lessons, and tonight was a very frustrating lesson. Even the instructor was getting frustrated it seemed. I’m having a very difficult time when transitioning from strumming to individual chords, and keeping in line with the metronome. I’m having a tough time in general with the metronome and flat picking. I usually use the metronome in my chord changing practice, and songs I’m trying to learn. Strumming patterns are fairly easy. I feel like a total dork when trying to transition, and just don’t seem to get it. This is probably more like a venting rant, however I really am curious how others are using this valuable tool. I did just download a voice count metronome that has helped a bit.

    I’m really enjoying this ride, and the wonderful folks I have met here.

    Kyle

    BethL replied 2 years, 1 month ago 9 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • Cadgirl

    Member
    February 23, 2022 at 3:58 am

    Good for you if you can get strumming down. I have a hard time with it. As for the metronome. I use it here and there. I like to be able to get the chords and finger picking down before I try to keep up with a metronome. Also…. If the metronome is going too fast for you to keep up, make it slower, still too fast, make it slower still. You’ll find certain songs are tougher than others to keep in pace. I use a metronome that I downloaded from the internet. It’s called Soundbrenner, it was free. You can buy the Pro version, but I stuck with free.

    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/the-metronome-by-soundbrenner/id1048954353

  • albert_d

    Member
    February 23, 2022 at 6:42 am

    First I run through the song to assure I know it’s chord structure, progression, notes, etc. (If I don’t know what a G#7 chord is then I won’t be able to play it for sure with a metronome.) Then, If the metronome is messing me up, it is ALWAYS because I’m trying to go faster than my muscle memory can keep up. I hate it, but the answer is to slow it down and down and even more. But if I discipline myself to use a metronome, the total time to performance level is reduced.

  • jumpinjeff

    Member
    February 23, 2022 at 7:14 am

    I don’t use the metronome in the learning phase but I use it in the practice phase starting what sometimes seems painfully slow and then speeding up. Then I use it sometimes in the playing phase to change it up challenge my mind. I will calibrate and turn it off then calibrate and turn in off again. I use the Matrix MR-600 with the dial. One of the other things I do with the metronome is play a recorded song and work the metronome with the recording to understand what is fast and what is slow. It also is useful to determine what temp favorite artists are play a given song.

    It was super tough for me to use it at first but It is the key to playing with others so I fixed my determination and stuck with it until it became as comfy as a security blanket.

    • Carol-3M-Stillhand

      Member
      February 24, 2022 at 5:16 pm

      @Skyman I agree with @jumpinjeff Don’t even use your metronome if you are still in the learning phase of any piece. Get the music under your fingers first, let your brain be OK with your chord transitions and finger placements. If you don’t have those in place you will never be able to keep up with the metronome.

      I’d say the metronome is great for learning to play the notes/chords in the correct rhythm. Slow it down really slow at first and count out loud. All the beats and the ands and the ahhh’s. One-Eeee-Annn-Ahhhh, Two-Eeeee-Annn-Ahhhh, or One-Trip-Let, Two-Trip-Let, etc etc… Stress the counts where you are playing a note, ONE-eee-ann-AHHH, TWO-eee-ann-AHHHH, THREE, etc etc. I did some beginner’s drumming stuff and it’s amazing how that helps you learn rhythms!!

      Another really good use for a metronome is when you’re learning a piece and you’re thinking about giving up because you’ll never be able to play it at full speed (Like Tony P does it). So get out your metronome, set it at whatever. Pick something. 30 bpm. Try playing. If you can’t keep up, slow it down by 10 bpm. Try it at 20. Find the speed you CAN play it at. Once you can play it 5 times without a mistake, nudge the bpm’s up by 3 or 5. So go from 20 bpm to 25. Play it 5 times perfectly and nudge it up to 30. Before you know it, you are playing it at tempo.

      And yes metronome is good for practicing scales. Nice and level and even… Scales are good for us, like vegetables.

      My fav metronome is a free app called ProMetronome. You can make a different click for the first beat of a measure or make the same click for every beat. You can even make it silent. You can tap the screen (to a song you are hearing) and it will tell you what the tempo is in bpm. You can change to any time signature. Not bad for a free app.

      Sorry this is so long. I’m procrastinating playing my scales, hahahaha!!

  • Skyman

    Member
    February 23, 2022 at 10:13 am

    As always, your input is appreciated.

  • Loraine

    Member
    February 23, 2022 at 10:13 am

    Hey @Skyman I can completely understand the difficulty using a metronome, but I think it’s a necessity. I use it in the learning and the practice phase, albeit not well all the time. I use Pro Metronome, which I’ve found to work best for me. It has a lot of options, and the learning curve wasn’t too painful.

  • tailsawaggin

    Member
    February 24, 2022 at 11:58 am

    Hello @Skyman ,

    The metronome is like that super annoying member of your group of pals. He’s generally helpful and he makes the group better, but man, can he be a pain!

    So yeah, I don’t hang out with him all the time. I like to use it for practicing scales, and I find that as time has gone by here on the site, I’ll play Tony’s drills by using the tabs and the metronome instead of the play-along video. The metronome lets me move the speed up in smaller steps than the video’s speed controls. It’s also good for song practice, but only after I can actually play the song . . . if I’m still struggling with the song itself, the metronome is just another layer of difficulty and it doesn’t help yet.

    As for a favorite, I too like Pro Metronome from EUMLab. If you’re on iOS, it can be found here — https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pro-metronome-tempo-beat-subdivision-polyrhythm/id477960671 — not sure about Android. This is one of the few apps where the paid upgrade is really worth it, since that unlocks multiple beat subdivisions and it also adds different voices for the sounds. It can simulate a drum kit, and it can count “one and two and three and” after the upgrade.

    I think the most difficult part of using the metronome at first was being willing to go slow enough to make it useful. Like so many things with this instrument, it starts off being awkward and unnatural and difficult, but with just a bit of persistence, it gets easier and easier until it feels normal.

  • N-lightMike

    Member
    February 24, 2022 at 12:39 pm

    One more time, @Skyman , I am late to the party and you’ve already gotten some great advice. So I’m just gonna summarize what’s been said.

    1) Don’t use the metronome when learning chords, transitions, picking patterns, etc. Wait till you can play something smoothly and pretty much automatically so that you can pay attention to the metronome and not what you’re playing. If the right way to word it is “what you’re trying to play”, then you shouldn’t be using a metronome. (If your instructor disagrees with this, he’s not recognizing that you’re being overwhelmed and he’s not breaking things down to the smallest denominator.)

    2) The metronome is one more “skill” to learn. It’s going to take time. It will be challenging (as opposed to frustrating) at first. Take plenty of deep breaths and stick to it because it will be worth it in the end.

    3) When you do reach the point where you can use a metronome to your benefit, you can use it in many different ways for many different reasons. That’s where you decide what works for you and where you are going on your guitar journey. And it should be mentioned that once you are comfortable with a metronome, the first point is not as important. Eventually, you can become so good with a metronome that it can help you to learn new things.

    4) There is absolutely no good reason for me to suggest a certain metronome unless you ask for a suggestion because there are a gazillion metronomes out there and they all work.

    I hope this helps.

    MG 😀

  • Skyman

    Member
    February 24, 2022 at 4:48 pm

    Thanks @MikeGaurnier and @Tailsawaggin. Much appreciated advice. I just downloaded the “metro timer” metronome a few days ago. Much better than the guitar tuna metronome I was using. I really like the voice count feature. I’ll stay patient, and stay at it.

    • N-lightMike

      Member
      February 24, 2022 at 7:58 pm

      👍😃

  • BethL

    Member
    February 24, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    OK the metronome sucks. lol I don’t use one often enough at all. I would probly be a better rhythm player if I did. BUT….. Here’s the trick I taught myself for chord transitions = Start moving your fingers to the next chord on beat four! Just leave that beat out while your switching. That allows your fingers time to move. eventually the whole beat will be only a half beat as you get better at it. Experiment with this & see how it works. At first it will sound weird cuz your adding a whole note’s worth of silence but as you get used to where your fingers go this will get smaller & smaller! Keep strumming & Guitar Geeks Unite!!

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