How To Use a Metronome - Video Lesson

 

How to use a metronome video  

Finally a metronome lesson - by popular request!

Most techniques on the guitar require a lot of practice - and when you practice guitar techniques, it is mandatory to use a metronome!

I don't want to scare you to much, but if you spend some serious practcing time without the metronome - there is a big risk you will never be able to use the speedy techniques you spend so much time with over a beat. Beacause you lack timing, the techniques will be useless to you.

There is one exception to the "always-always metronome" rule - if you practice a lot to backing tracks, audio cd's or a band - you will also develop a sense of timing. Now keep on reading because...

     ...metronome practicing can actually be fun!


Metronome practicing is fun once you get going


Yep that's right - if you start seeing the advantages of the metronome, and realise that there are even enjoyable aspects of metronome practicing, you will have a blast while learning. Here is why metronome practicing can be fun:

1. Keeping track of your progress from day to day, this can be addictive for some. The metronome enables you to see exactly your top speed in bpm:s (beat per minutes). Nothing is cooler than when you realise that you have progressed just over a week.

2. Being able to aggressively use speedpicking in sync with a beat, is an ability given to few. Now you can get there - just stick to the rules of this video lesson.

3. Improved timing will reflect on your whole general musical ability - it's something you will wonder how you could live without, once you have got it.

 

     How is it done?!

 

Understanding metronome practice equals understanding note values. In other words triplets, eighth notes etc. If this sounds complicated or boring - read on and I will prove you wrong!!

First, to illustrate this isn't just theory stuff which no "true" rock guitarist needs to care about - I'll give you an example. One of my favorite rock guitarists is Nuno Bettencourt from Extreme - he has a trick that's cool: at high speeds he mixes sixteenth-notes and sixteenth-note-triplets. The resulting effect is a distinct, virtuoso sounding rhythmic effect.

Nuno would never be able to do this kind of thing without having practiced sixteenth-notes and sixteenth-note-triplets. And he most certainly wouldn't stand a chance if he didn't even know what sixteenth notes were...

Is it complicated? No it's easy, to play sixteenth notes simply count to four evenly...

1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4

...and make sure you stomp your foot on each and every "1". If this is working for you (it should!) - start playing a note on the guitar instead of counting. Voilà - you are playing sixteenth notes, and you have passed the test!

The next step is to start practicing the different note values with an actaul exercise - watch this lesson's video and you will be shredding like Nuno in no time.

As for today's backing tracks , I have given you metronome click in three speeds - 50, 60, 70 bpm - this should be suitable for the beginning "metronomers". Also, the backing tracks are aprox two minutes long - a perfect practicing increment/period.

Good luck,

   
Metronome clicks
   

 

     Lesson Questions, Feedback & Comments





Climate
post 18th January 2007


Member


Thanks Kris, never thought there was that much to a metronome!

Cheers
Kristofer Dahl
post 18th January 2007


Member


The metronome is a wonderful thing - once you get a hang of it! smile.gif
theozard
post 1st February 2007


Member


Hey Kris...ive heard you can have a .sis for my mobile phone..could you recommend us with something like this smile.gif
Kristofer Dahl
post 1st February 2007


Member


theozard: ??
adam1302
post 18th February 2007


Member


Nice lesson i think im gonna get one now.
~JD~
post 9th March 2007


Member


The video's sound and picture are going at different times, what can i do to fix it? Im new to GMC and still learning how to use your site. Is there anything i need to download to get the video to work better?
Kristofer Dahl
post 9th March 2007


Member


Welcome JD! smile.gif At GMCwe stream exceptionally large videos - if you have an older computer this may be the problem.

You might want to give it a try from someone else'e computer, trying increasing your browser's cache (tools>internet settings), make sure to let the video load (pause it in the beginning).
Leviathan
post 30th March 2007


Member


He Kristofer I found a good online metronome with various beats because I for one don't want to go out and buy one just yet. It's very good.

http://www.8notes.com/metronome/
Leviathan
post 30th March 2007


Member


The online metronome is free to. Another plus!
Kristofer Dahl
post 30th March 2007


Member


Great stuff!
kyeric
post 13th April 2007


Member


Just bought myself a new Korg MA-30 metronome(only about $29 from Guitar Center). Love it. Now that I know I won't be wasting my time and will be actually learning and IMPROVING, the "boring" stuff isn't bad at all. It is actually quite cool to see yourself improving in a quantifiable way! Even with something as simple as a little 4 note lick.
Fsgdjv
post 17th April 2007


Member


I just want to make sure that I've understood everything right, I'm just supposed to use the quarter notes click on the metronome and count for myself doing other notes, like eighth notes, sixteenth notes etc?
Overkiller
post 24th April 2007


Member


Nice, Kris. What kind of metronome are you using?
Kristofer Dahl
post 2nd May 2007


Member


Overkiller: Korg MA-30

Fsgdjv: That's a good way of doing it!
Overkiller
post 2nd May 2007


Member


Yeah, I thought so. That's what I'm using too.
Thanks Kris!
riffgiant
post 14th May 2007


Member


man, metronome playing is addictive...

one problem I'm having is playing scales to a metronome. for example, when practicing the A minor petatonic with 1/8th notes, I count 12.12.12... all the way to the thin E string. but when I reverse and come down, the rhythm gets messed up a bit because you only play the top note once. know what I'm talking about?

also when playing licks that have string bends, how many beats do you allow? I'm doing one beat for the clean note + one for the bend, not sure if that is right...
Andrew Cockburn
post 14th May 2007


Member


QUOTE (riffgiant @ May 14 2007, 01:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
man, metronome playing is addictive...
one problem I'm having is playing scales to a metronome. for example, when practicing the A minor petatonic with 1/8th notes, I count 12.12.12... all the way to the thin E string. but when I reverse and come down, the rhythm gets messed up a bit because you only play the top note once. know what I'm talking about?
also when playing licks that have string bends, how many beats do you allow? I'm doing one beat for the clean note + one for the bend, not sure if that is right...


For scales, I just play a note above the top root note then go all the way down, and it works fine, e.g.

c d e f g a b c d c b a g f e d, then repeat
riffgiant
post 14th May 2007


Member


thanks Andrew, that's a cool way to handle it.
Hemlok
post 16th May 2007


Member


Well i am glad i have found GMC smile.gif I am now working on playing with metronome, and undoing 2 years worth of only downward picking. Am totally addicted to guitar now. My Gibson Les Paul is on order hehe.
Hemlok
post 16th May 2007


Member


I have just been going up and down the fretboard on each string, finding each note. a bc d ef g. Would learning scales be a better way of learning where the notes are on fretboard? I am practicing minor pentatonic scales at moment also, but if you think scales would be a faster way to learn the fretboard, then i can focus on that more instead.
Andrew Cockburn
post 16th May 2007


Member


QUOTE (Hemlok @ May 16 2007, 10:17 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have just been going up and down the fretboard on each string, finding each note. a bc d ef g. Would learning scales be a better way of learning where the notes are on fretboard? I am practicing minor pentatonic scales at moment also, but if you think scales would be a faster way to learn the fretboard, then i can focus on that more instead.


Definaltely learn scales - knowing where al the notes are up and down on the string is useful, but playing scales leads to improvisation, whereas moving up and down the strings does not. Scales are great training in many different ways, and if you want to work on speed vs just getting the notes right, scales will help you there as well.

I would suggest sticking with the Pentatonic then adding the Major scale.
Hemlok
post 17th May 2007


Member


ok thanks andrew, will do, scales are a bit more fun to play too smile.gif
Sam78
post 20th May 2007


Member


I have a question. In the instruction video you play very constant parts that can be clustered into sets of 2, 3, 4 or 6. But to me it seems that wouldn't work in lots of music parts because there are always speed changes, rythm changes, notes that are stretched etc. How to handle that?
Andrew Cockburn
post 20th May 2007


Member


@sam78

That's a very enlightened question - a lot of people struggle to get to that point smile.gif

The answer is simple, you are right that timing can vary, but most musical passages when we are speedpicking are deliberately broken down into sections of constant length notes so that they can be played fast. With the metronome, you are training your ear and hands to handle each variation of timing so that you can use them appropriately at dififferent places when they crop up. You will rarely get a song that is all 16ths for instance, but you may get a bar of 16ths followed by 2 bars of 16th triplets, followed by half a bar of 32nds and half a bar of 16ths - they will come in manageable units so that the timing all adds up.
Sam78
post 24th May 2007


Member


@Andrew
Thanks for the explaination. I kind of figured that out during practice smile.gif

For any other people practicing with metronome, here is a hint: I found out that the intro of ACDC's Thunderstruck is a very nice piece for practicing. And it sounds pretty cool to wink.gif
signularis
post 26th June 2007


Member


thanks i didnt knew that it has a big diffrende like that, when i saw this i instanly bought one thanks it makes it much more easier. and it sounds better.
dk2
post 3rd July 2007


Member


hemlok when i practice where the notes i play arpeggios and chords(pretty much the same thin but arpeggios ar better) and scales
Mrblomme
post 26th September 2007


Member


thx for the lesson kris smile.gif
Lester
post 9th October 2007


Member


thank you for this lesson kris,
i had no idea about the metronome altough i play for three years!!
this will be a great advantage to me
skennington
post 1st December 2007


Member


great lesson Kris. I have a quick question. Say I'm using G minor and A minor pentatonic scale to build speed. Would you recomend 8th notes at say 100bpm versus tripelets at 60bpm?

Thanks in advance,
Steve
Iron King
post 7th February 2008


Member


hey Kris, I have a question regarding metronome usage.

I know the basics of triplets, 16th notes, etc... but I'm wondering how to best use my time with the metronome.

I've heard two theories on how to use it.

(1) That I should find the maximum bpm I can play cleanly and practice that until it is perfect, and then go up 5 bpm at a time

(2)During each session I should start at a comfortable speed, build up to slightly above my current skill level, and the return to roughly the fastest I can play cleanly...

what do you suggest?
also, how many hours did you personally spend per day with the metronome?

I've been spending 45 minutes a day with the machine and over the best 2 months I have seen very little progress... sad.gif
Iron King
post 7th February 2008


Member


**sorry that should be "Past 2 months", not "Best 2 months"
SHADER
post 5th March 2008


Member


KRIS Hi im new here been playing for about a year just plucking i seemed stalled hence i joined your site this lesson great lesson like this will keep me coming back thanks
BJJSchecter
post 11th April 2008


Member


Nice lesson...undoing years of playing is no fun but it has to be done I guess. I know I can play faster than the beginner BPMs but keeping the beat constant throughout is the tricky part..very usefull stuff. Thanks Kris!
sigma7
post 3rd May 2008


Member


haha i have the same metrenome as you
Eriksson
post 13th May 2008


Member


Hi, I don't exactly understand how to use the metronome in real songs/ other lessons here at GMC. Take this lesson for example: http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/solo-guit...-tune-beginner/ How am I suppose to count in it to get everything right?
//Jonas
fcastellon
post 10th September 2008


Member


Hey i need some help... If I´m playing some exercise and I can easily play it at 100 bpm with two notes per click, what should I do, try playing it with 4 notes per click or increase speed?
Emir Hot
post 10th September 2008


Member


QUOTE (fcastellon @ Sep 10 2008, 02:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hey i need some help... If I´m playing some exercise and I can easily play it at 100 bpm with two notes per click, what should I do, try playing it with 4 notes per click or increase speed?


2 notes per click/beat = eight notes

try also 3 notes per beat = eight triplets (this is already faster with the same tempo)

then try 4 notes = sixteen notes

and then 6 notes = sixteen triplets

after all this increase your tempo and try the same. This way of practicing helped me a lot. I can now play 4 notes per beat in 180 tempo.
fcastellon
post 12th September 2008


Member


Ok so I should start practicing sixteen and sixteen triplets before going to 110bpm or more... Thanks emir!
valentino
post 31st October 2008


Member


Hey there, anyone have problems with the video? Maybe is a problem with flash player 10. I only have problems with this type of videos, the rest of video lessons works fine.
Azzaboi
post 24th March 2009


Member


Good lesson, I haven't been using a Metronome much up till now, oops...

I found a free Metronome which is pretty good to help out. Wierd Metronome, it's one of the smallest, most versatile metronome software available, and it's free.

If anyone else is interested:
http://www.weirdmetronome.com/
Aleksander Sukovic
post 24th March 2009


Member


Excellent tutorial! Great job, Kris!
qoody
post 13th April 2009


Member


I cannot not count to 6 at 100 bps sad.gif
Murloc
post 17th May 2009


Member


Nice one! biggrin.gif
Todd Simpson
post 30th April 2010


Member


Very cool! I"ll link to this for my students working on alternate picking. Working with a metronome is critical!

Todd
WilliamWhite
post 11th September 2011


Member


A nice online metronome...smile.gif http://advanced.bestmetronome.com/


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