Categories
Uncategorized

Learn How a Metronome canIncrease Speed and Accuracy

The metronome is the most important guitar accessory you can buy besides a tuner. The metronome should be purchased before you spend your money on a stomp box or some other sound altering device.

It’s not just for beginners. You will run across problems with timing in many songs. The song may be slightly off but it sounded good and got recorded as it was. Sometimes in music an odd unit of time will be added to a song. The Beatles did this on a few of their songs on the White Album.(Opens New Window)

Music is all about Timing

This guitar learning tool can make you play more accurately and faster in a shorter amount of time. It can be used for single notes or chords or a combination. It will tighten up your timing for 16th notes or triplets or anything else you play.

You might think that taping your foot is accurate enough but you will be surprised how easy it is to get out of time. What can cause this is your attention might be on chord changes or you might get caught up in the emotion of the song or progression.

How to Use Metronomes

Metronomes are great for helping to get your timing down on quick or odd chord changes. Sometimes you get an extra measure of 2 beats in a 4 beat song, that the writer needed to make the lyrics work. This will throw you out of time.

Start Slow – 60 – Beats Per Minute
One Beat a Second

The best way is to start out is with the metronome at 60 beats per minute. You should do single notes for a few minutes and then chords for a few minutes.

This is mostly for a beginner guitarist you can adjust the speed if you have been playing for awhile but never used a metronome before.

Whole Notes

Set metronome for 4 beats at 6o BPM

Play the C scale letting each note last for 4 beats-whole note

Repeat until you can stay in time before increasing speed

These notes are counted 1 2 3 4 playing the note once and letting it ring for 4 beats. These notes are worth 4 beats

Here is a C scale in whole notes with tab we’ll use for the example.

Flash

QuikTime

Windows Media

The C scale in whole notes

That last note was off a hair did you hear it? Early or Late? Listen for the accent on the metronome for the 1st beat

Half Notes

Set metronome for 4 beats at 6o BPM or less if necessary

Play each note letting it last for 2 beats

Practice until perfect before speeding up

Half notes are counted 1 2 play the note once and let the note ring for two beats same with 3 4. These notes are worth 2 beats

Here is a C scale in half notes with tab we’ll use for this one.

Flash

QuikTime

Windows Media

The C scale in half notes

The next to last note was off time did you hear it. Don’t play yours off time.

Quarter Notes

Set for 4 beats at 6o BPM or less if necessary

Play each note once for every beat

Practice until perfect. The note are getting shorter

Here is a C scale in quarter notes with tab we’ll use for this one.

This one goes up and back down. The notes don’t have as much room in between them

These notes are counted 1 2 3 4. They are worth one beat.

Flash

QuikTime

Windows Media

C scale ascending and descending in quarter notes

Eighth Notes

Set metronome for 4 beats at 6o BPM or less if necessary

Play two notes once for every beat

Practice until perfect. The note are getting shorter

These notes are counted 1 & – 2 & – 3 & – 4 & . They are equal to one half of one beat

Flash

QuikTime

Windows Media

C scale ascending and descending in eighth notes

Sixteenth Notes

Set metronome for 4 beats at 40 BPM

Play the C scale notes in a group of 4 per beat

Practice these until you can stay in time

These notes are fast in a normal tempo song. This is why I started at 40 BPM for this one

These notes are counted 1 e & a – 2 e & a – 3 e & a – 4 e & a. The & is the same & in the eighth notes. Four of these notes are equal to one quarter of a beat

Just like in fractions 4/16 equals 1/4.

Flash

QuikTime

Windows Media

C scale in sixteenth notes

So far what we have done is divide the note value from the one before. The halve note is half of a whole note, the quarter is worth halve of the half note and so on.

This continues on to 32nd notes and 64th notes which in a fast song is like a humming birds wings, we’ll stop at the 16th notes for now.

Triplets

Triplets are three notes played in the same amount of two notes of the same value.

Eighth note are the usual but they can be any value note.

The song Good Times Bad Time by Led Zepplin has some good examples of triplets.

But before you start playing like that you have to learn the basics

Set metronome for 4 beats at 6o BPM or less if necessary

Play three notes for every beat

Practice until you have it perfect before speeding up.

I learned to count triplets as 1-trip-let, 2-trip-let and so on but I like the 1-e-& method better because the & is the actual eighth note.

We are just putting a note between two eighth notes but playing them in same time as two eighth note.

There is no other time symbol for triplets other than the bar across the top with the 3.

This is more of a feel hing than it is a counting thing. Just pay attention to the down beats and make your note fit in between.

That is what gives these groups of notes their triplet feel. This feel is also similar to a Blues shuffle or 12/8 time.

This is a good exercise for practicing a scale to take the boredom out of it. As long as you learn the scale and play it in time it doesn’t matter how you learn it.

Go right from the top image don’t pause. I had to separate them so you could read them on the page.

Flash

QuikTime

Windows Media

The C scale ascending and descending in triplets

Swing Eighths

If you leave the middle note out of a triplet you will get Swing or blues eighth notes or close to it. This is the way you should play eighth notes in blues and swing tunes.

It’s a slighly delayed 2nd eight note. A kind of layed back style of playing.

We’ll use the A minor pentatonic scale for this example

The way I wrote the swing eighths isn’t exactly how they’re played but it’s close. They don’t have a way of writing them out without getting into 16th notes and rests making the music complicated so they just write swing eighths in the beginning of the song.

I’ll play regular eighths first then the swing 8ths.

Flash

QuikTime

Windows Media

Regular and swing eighths

Metronomes

Here is a link to where I buy most of my guitar strings and other things.

You don’t need an expensive one. I think I paid about 30-35 dollars for a Korg MA-30 about 5 years ago.

Correct that same mistake you keep making over and over by working your speed up to the song tempo.

Practicing with a metronome will get you playing better faster.

All types of Metronomes

(Opens New Window)