Before looking at how to use a metronome, let’s look at why you should use a metronome. Using a metronome helps to develop a good inner tempo. New guitar players tend to play easier sections faster and then slow down when it’s harder.
Playing with a metronome can help your technique. There was even a study done with golf players using a metronome to help improve their golf scores! It actually works. Having a solid sense of rhythm can help your guitar technique too.
How To Use A Metronome:
- Get a metronome. There are several types of metronomes on the market. The original are wind-up metronomes. They simple click different speeds. Newer metronomes can be set for different time signatures which makes them easier to use. We carry one of the newer tuner/metronomes.
- Clap first. To get an inner sense of rhythm it’s helpful to simply clap or tap the rhythm before trying it on the guitar. You can clap the rhythm of strumming patterns. If you’re learning to read music, you can clap the rhythm of the notes.
- Then use it while playing. Once you are comfortable clapping with a metronome, then use it when you’re playing the guitar.
- Practice exercises. Using a metronome is an excellent way to practice scales or other exercises. You can start off slowly and gradually increase the speed.
- Use a metronome to check your playing. When you’re comfortable changing chords, record yourself. Then you can use a metronome to help you play in time. It’s easier to hear where you’re slowing down.
Examples of How to Use a Metronome
The first example is simply clapping to the beat. The metronome is set to 80 bpm, beats per minute.
Here is the same 80 bpm but set with an eighth note getting one beat. On the old wind-up tuners, you would need to set the beats to 160 pbm.
Here is a common strumming pattern called ‘down – down up – up down up’.
Here is the pattern clapped in eighth notes at 60 bpm. On a wind-up metronome it would need to be set at 120.
Here is the same pattern at 80 bpm, or 160 on wind-up metronomes.
Use a Metronome When Playing
Here is the pattern using a guitar with the metronome set to 60 bpm.
When you’re learning a new pattern it’s very helpful to clap or tap the pattern before trying to play it on the guitar.
I hope this give you a good idea of how to use a metronome. Using a metronome is very helpful for musicians at all levels.
As a music major in college, we spent hours tapping out rhythm patterns in their listening labs. The two basic elements of music are pitch and rhythm. Using a metronome can help you excel in your rhythm.
If you don’t have a metronome, we carry a very nice one that doubles as a tuner. Learn more here – Center Pitch Tuner/Metronome.