Practice Tip of the Week:
Use a Metronome (Part 1)

Mastering the basics is what makes great musicians sound so great.
Knowing that you have control of intonation, tone, rhythm, and time
lets you focus on your phrasing and add a depth of emotion to your playing.

Mastering time often gets neglected as musicians work to perfect
their other skills. But, having a mastery of time is what allows
groups of musicians to work together successfully in the first place.

And, if you’re serious about controlling time, you need to have a
metronome in your arsenal of musical accessories.

The difference between practicing with a metronome and practicing
without one is like the difference between driving on the freeway
with your eyes open and driving while blindfolded.

Why do I say that?

Because metronomes open us up to a universal truth for musicians:
We all tend to slow down when the music gets really difficult–and
we don’t even know we’re doing this!

Many musicians think they’re doing just fine playing through their
music. They’re completely unaware that they’re speeding up and
slowing down as the notes get easier and harder to play.

With a metronome in place, you will have a guide to show you where
you should be focusing your practice time.

Here’s what generally happens: A musician will be playing through
something and will hit a section where they can’t keep up with
their metronome.

Most people define this as a failure. Actually, it’s a huge practice
success! You’ve just successfully defined an area where you should
be concentrating your efforts. That’s what your supposed to do in
the practice room!

With this knowledge, you can slow that section down and teach your
muscles to play it correctly. And, even at the very slow speeds
necessary to train your muscles, you’ll still be using your metronome
to guide you through the process.

To Your Musical Success!