5 Metronome Tips and Tricks

If you're serious about becoming a great musician, then you must know that there will be a ton of practice involved. Yes, it might not be as fun as you'd like it to be, but persistence and patience pay off in the end. All those countless hours you've spent perfecting technique, boosting speed, and implementing all those different scales, chords, and chord progressions – it all has an ultimate goal. At one point, everything will fall into pieces, and you'll start using all of these things in your own original music.

But until then, you'll have to practice hard on daily basis. And although most of the guitar lovers find it so tedious, the use of a metronome is essential if you want to be really good at your instrument. No matter the type of music you're playing, no matter the instrument of your choice – practicing with a metronome is a must.

However, using metronome is more than just having a boring old click track while you mindlessly play those eight notes for a couple of hours. There are a few things that you can do with a metronome that will help you excel faster and reach the godlike guitarist status sooner. After all, that's the whole point of having a metronome. So let us begin.

1. Don't rush it, raise the tempo 5 beats per minute at a time

Look, it's no secret that all of us would like to be shred gods, playing 16th or 32nd notes at fast tempos. But you first need to get there, and you'll have to do it step by step.

Take the desired solo, riff, or a lick that you want to learn. Start slow, at a tempo that you feel comfortable with, at which you won't be making any mistakes. Sure, it might be as slow as 50 bpm, but just start from there. Once you've perfected it, raise it by 5 or 10 bpm and then polish it at that tempo.

It might feel like a very long and tedious process, but it's essential to get it 100% perfect before you move on to the next step. Persistence is the key, and you'll be able to conquer even some of the most challenging lead sections this way.

2. Different approach – pushing the limits

Then there's a different approach, sort of like an "opposite" to what we described above. Start by slowly raising the tempo, and when you reach a particular spot, try increasing it by 20 bpm or more. Of course, there's a high chance your performance won't be as good as it is supposed to. But after pushing these limits, then take it down to a more comfortable level, around 15 bpm. For instance, if you're playing it perfectly at 100 bpm, raise it to 120 and try playing it at that particular tempo. Then after going through all that hustle, bring it back down to 105 bpm.

It differs from guitar player to guitar player, but some might get better results with this method.

3. Use double time or eight note clicks for slower songs

Contrary to popular belief, those slow songs and pieces can actually be pretty hard to play. The most common mistake a beginner player can do is to rush the tempo and rush, drag, or just miss the beat or anything in between the beats. So you need a more "detailed" grid for you to practice. If the desired song is at a slow tempo, like 70 bpm, set it to 140 so that it can click on every 8th note. This way, you'll be able to have a firm hold on every potential rhythmical mistake you might come across.

Most of the metronomes these days have an option to add eight or 16th notes clicks, so you'll have no trouble with this.

4. Dotted rhythms

Playing the regular beat with only one click at every first beat might get boring. But to take things to a new level, you can do the so-called "dotted" rhythms. For instance, you can program your metronome to play one dotted eight, followed by a sixteenth note. This method can help you get a better grasp of some of those problematic parts in some lead sections.

5. Using different accentuation

Metronomes these days are way more complex and there are many advanced exercises that you can do with them. Aside from sticking to one tempo and doing the first beat, there are different accentuations of the beats in between that will help you improve your feel of rhythm. Why have the first beat as the loudest one when you can put it on the second or the third? This way, you'll be able to improve your rhythmic skills and play some of the more intricate riffs and melodies over complex drum beats.

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