Are you aware of the importance of using a guitar metronome in your practice?
I know that when I first began learning how to play guitar, I thought that metronomes were just for pianists. A couple of my friends used to play piano and they would practise using a metronome but I really didn’t see the need for a metronome in my own guitar practice. This was especially true because they cost money in those days and I was a tight-fisted so and so. These days, however, there really is no excuse for not using one because they can be accessed easily and for free online. OK, so there was no excuse when I started learning guitar either because they weren’t all that expensive, but nevermind.
So why should you use a metronome? Well, there are a number of reasons, but I think the most important one is that it instills discipline in your practice.
When you play anything on your guitar, you’ll probably find certain things easier to achieve than others. It might be that there’s a certain piece that you really struggle with and your fingers need a bit of extra time to get into position, so you slow down a little when you get the particularly tricky bit.
Likewise when you are sailing through a part that you’re entirely comfortable with and could play in your sleep, you’re likely to speed up. This is completely natural and everyone does it.
But, if you allow this to happen, over time the habit will become engrained in your playing. A piece that is supposed to be played at an even tempo will slow down and speed up, which causes all sorts of problems if you’re playing with other musicians. And even if you’re not playng with other musicians, it just sounds bad anyway.
Another reason to use a metronome is that it helps you get the most out of your practice sessions. What you should be doing is setting the metronome to a tempo that you can comfortably play your chosen part – even the difficult sections – accurately and smoothly. This will usually be a little slower than you would normally play most of the piece, but playing the whole piece more slowly allows you to learn it better and to get it nailed properly.
You can then increase the tempo slightly and, having practised at the slower speed for a while, you’ll find that the bits where you used to need to slow down are coming much more easily. Before you know it, you’ll be fluent, accurate and playing at a consistent tempo. Your playing will sound much more professional and your fellow musicians will notice the difference.
Give it a try for a few weeks and I’m confident that you’ll notice the difference. Surf on over to Amazon dot com (other web retailers are available) and pick yourself up a decent guitar metronome in the sales, you won’t reget it.