The Importance of the Metronome to all Musicians
The metronome is a very important tool for all musicians. One of the areas where musicians commonly have problems is rhythm. It is common to see many able-fingered players struggle with this very important aspect of music. A main reason musicians have trouble with rhythm is that many refuse to practice with a metronome. Some common attitudes about practicing with a metronome are:
– It is boring
– It is unnecessary. A good sense of timing is always internal
– “Real” musicians don’t train with a metronome, they just “feel” the time
These and many more misconceptions about metronomes are completely unfounded. The reality is that the metronome holds the key to musicality success. Ultimately, the metronome should be seen as a ‘personal trainer’ for all musicians. A true essential and a definite must have. Still need convincing? Why not read below the experiences of Bill Cowie, Artist and Musician for almost 50 years..
Article by Bill Cowie
I have been playing guitar for almost 50 years and taught for 20.
My answer is that it is essential. You can have all the other skills necessary to be a great musician, but if you lack a sense of timing and rhythm you will probably suck to put it bluntly.
If you want proof try this. Assuming you don't play with other people or use a metronome. Try recording yourself playing over a backing track. It might sound great to you while you are playing it, but when you listen to the recording I guarantee you will hear yourself drifting in and out of the "pocket"
Another reason to use a metronome is this. When learning new material it is important to practice very slowly at first until you have it really perfected. Then you can gradually work on speed. This is one of the hardest things to teach. People tend to play too fast before they have a real grasp of the material. A metronome allows you to lock yourself into that slow speed and gradually increase the tempo.
When you are ready, you can use a metronome that speeds up in small increments as it plays. Once you have a phrase down at 79 BPM (beats per minute) You can set your metronome to start at 70 bpm and gradually speed up to ...say...100 bpm. You will get to 100 bpm without hardly noticing. If you tried to jump straight from 70 bpm to 100 bpm you will probably crash and burn almost immediately. So in summary a metronome’s are a very inexpensive tool but an invaluable asset.
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