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 RHTYHM

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 LEAD

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