Tuesday, June 16, 2015

12 Reasons Why You Should Use a Metronome Every Time you Practice

12 Reasons Why You Should Use a Metronome Every Time you Practice.

1. No excuses. You can download the app for free if you have a smart phone. Even though I have a drawer full of stand-alone metronomes, I almost always use Pro Metronome on my iPhone. It's convenient, simple, and offers everything I need, including the ability to listen though headphones if I want.

2. It trains you to listen outside of yourself while playing, thus making you a better ensemble player

3. It keeps you honest about your rhythm and tempo, and helps you find errors in your playing. We all have a tendency to rush or drag with certain types of playing. We all have the potential to be lazy about correct subdivision of beats. You can improve and overcome these tendencies. 

4. It helps you know what you can and cannot do at certain speeds. We all need work on both faster and slower playing. Keep track of progress as you set goals and work to push your playing ability on both ends of the spectrum. Work to make your scales faster. Work to make your long tones slower.

5. It is a necessary tool when learning challenging syncopated rhythms. Slow it down and really listen. Don't stop listening when you speed it up.

6. Being prepared for performance is all about consistency. Practicing with a metronome reinforces consistent rhythm, tempo, and the ability to play through the piece or excerpt to completion with no mistakes.

7. It makes practice more efficient. Set goals. Play things at both slower and faster tempi than your final goal. Keep track of your progress and write down the speeds at which you have played the excerpt/piece and check them off as you accomplish them.

8. It prepares you to play with backing tracks/click tracks. Playing with that external click takes some getting used to. 

9. For rhythms that you're having a hard time figuring out,  put down your instrument and clap/sing the rhythms along with the metronome before you add in the extra challenge of playing them.

10. It builds in a sense of tempo markings, so that if you are away from the metronome and see a marking of quarter=140 vs. quarter=132, for example, you understand what speed that is.

11. You can fool most of the people most of the time if you have rock solid rhythm even though you've wigged out about playing the all the correct pitches. Good rhythm comes before correct pitches when it comes to a solid, convincing performance.

12. Techniques such as trills can mess with your sense of time. Always always practice with a metronome when you've got trills....especially long ones. 

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