May 042017

How a metronome will improve your playingPracticing with a metronome seems like a boring and useless thing to do, but the opposite is true. Practicing with a metronome will develop your ability to keep time and become a tight and solid guitar player. This is one thing that your really want to be good at if you’re aiming to becoming a good musician.

It will also develop your dexterity, improve your accuracy and increase your speed. Enough reasons to check out the metronome. You can look for a metronome online, an app on your phone, or get yourself a real quality metronome that keeps you focused on your practice without getting distracted. You can also choose a good digital metronome which is really accurate and easy to set up.

The metronome practice consists of two parts: Rhythm (chords and songs) and Lead (scales and licks). Practice everyday for 20 to 30 minutes and your playing will really shape up.

Let’s get into the beat!


Practicing downstrokes
– Play a C major chord
– Set your metronome somewhere between a 70 and 100 BPM (Beats Per Minute).
– If you can adjust the time signature on your metronome set it to 4/4 time.
– Listen carefully to the click of the metronome for a minute or so.
– Now strum down on each click.
– Count |1 – 2 – 3 – 4 | 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 | 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 |… on the clicks.
– Make sure you keep perfect time by hitting the strings exactly on the click.

Practicing down and up strokes
– Play a G major chord
– Set your metronome somewhere between 90 and 110 BPM (Beats per minute)
– Listen carefully to the click of the metronome for a short while.
– Now strum down on the click and strum up in-between the clicks.
– Now count | 1-and-2-and-3-and-4-and |, where the down-strokes will fall on 1 2 3 4, (on the clicks) and the upstrokes will fall on “and” (in-between the clicks)
– Again make sure you lock in with the beat by hitting the down strokes exactly on the click.

Practicing eight note down-strokes
– Play a D major chord
– Set your metronome somewhere between 90 and 110 BPM (Beats per minute)
– Now strum down on the click and strum down again in-between the clicks.
– It’s the same as the previous exercise but now you’re just playing solid down strokes on and off the beat.
– Count “1-and-2-and-3-and-4-and”, where all down-strokes will fall on | 1-and-2-and-3-and-4-and |, (“on” and “between” the clicks)

Practicing chord changes
– Set your metronome to somewhere between a 70 and 100 BPM
– We’re going to change chords every two bars.
– Play a G chord and play downstrokes for two bars |1 – 2 – 3 – 4 | 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 |
– After two bars change to a C chord and again play downstrokes for two bars
– Change to a D chord, then to the C chord and back to a G chord.
– Remember play every chord for two bars.
– Make sure you change chords smoothly and just in time
– Once you got this down you can play the same chord progression with down-and-up strokes and then with eight note down-strokes.
– Keep listening closely to the click and make sure you’re perfectly on the beat every step of the way.
– Once you feel comfortable with these exercises, try different tempos, fast and slow.

Practicing songs
– Turn on your favourite song on your playlist.
– Listen closely to the beat of the song.
– Tap along with your foot or clap along with your hands.
– Turn on your metronome and match the click with the beat of the song.
– Slow down or speed up the click until both the song and the click are in sync.
– Most songs are in 4/4 beat. The kick and the snare of the drums determine the beat.
– In a 4/4/ beat, the kick is usually found on beats 1 and 3, and the snare on 2 and 4.
– Make sure the click of the metronome and the beat of the song are in sync.
– When you got the tempo right write down the BPM. Now turn off the song.
– Set the metronome to the number of BPM you feel comfortable playing along with.
– Now play the song (rhythm and chords) along with the metronome.
– Practice the song in your own tempo and lock into the beat (the click).
– Gradually increase the tempo until you can play the tempo of the original track.
– Note: This is not about speed, it’s all about keeping time!


Practicing a major scale
– Set the metronome somewhere around 60 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
– Start with the first position of the G major scale
– Play one note per metronome click (quarter notes)
– Use a pick and play the scale with alternate picking. Down – up – down – up – down – up – down – up.
– Make sure each note is right on the click and sounds clean and clear.
– Keep practicing the scale ascending and descending until you feel really comfortable with the tempo.
– Gradually increase the tempo once you can play the scale comfortably and perfectly clear ascending and descending with each note right on the click.

Practicing in eight notes
– Can you play the previous exercise without falter, move on to this exercise.
– You’re now going to play the G major scale in eight notes.
– That means you play two notes per click.
– Set the metronome around 80 BPM.
– Play one note on the click and one note in between the clicks.
– When playing alternate picking the down-pick is on the click and the up-pick is in-between the clicks.
– Again gradually increase the tempo once you can play the scale perfectly clear and in time.

Different scales and licks
– You can also practice the previous exercises with different scales and licks.
– Once you got the major scale down move on to the awesome pentatonic / blues scale, the natural minor scale and other scales.
– You can also practice cool licks like 2 notes-per-string licks, 3 notes-per-string licks, alternate speed picking licks and country licks.

Whatever you practice, keep time! ;)

How A Metronome Will Improve Your Playing
Source: Guitarhabits