Metronomes and Such
I was just wondering about everyone's use of metronomes. I know this might sound a bit weird, but i really like to learn say a riff without the metronome at first, just to get used to where to put my fingers. After that, i usually start using the metronome. I do this because i actually find it harder to play a riff if the metronome is going so slowly that i can't get the rhythmic 'feel' of it.
Does anybody else do this? Or is it a bad practice habit and should i learn to use the metronome on about 40bpm?
"We all have always shared a common belief that music is meant to be played as loud as possible, really raw and raunchy, and I'll punch out anyone who doesn't like it the way I do." -Bon Scott
I do exactly the same thing. The metronome just distracts me when I'm trying to learn what the song should sound like and where to put my fingers. After I manage a passable version without it, I turn on the metronome and discover just how bad my timing is...
if I'm trying to learn something note for note, having a metronome going while I'm trying to do that (either by ear or by tab) is abit like having a phone ring continuously in another room - plain annoying. actually, I mostly use a metronome for my own tunes once they're worked out a little or for e.g. scale practise. I much prefer looping sampled beats for improvising (or using backing tracks) as there's more of a groove and I'm having to 'feed' off the music which is closer to a 'real' jamming situation. for recorded tunes e.g. by the rolling stones, I prefer to play along with the cd - except for little wing by hendrix, but only because I can never be bothered to detune my guitar for the sake of one song.
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Ditto. I try to learn whatever it is I'm trying to learn first without it. Once I'm comfortable with what my fingers are suppose to be doing and have a general sense for the timing (using that good old fashion foot) then I'll practice it with the metronome and, like another poster said, realize how off I really am.
I use a cheapo Qwik Time metronome that just beeps or flashes an LED or both. I set it to flash and put it just outside of my field of vision just enough to catch it flashing periodically. That way the beep doesn't throw me off yet if I need to all I do is look up a little and bring myself back in time. Not sure if it is the correct way but it works for me.
All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff. ~ Frank Zappa
I've got blisters on my fingers. ~Ringo Starr
Music is spiritual. The music business is not. ~ Van Morrison
Same here. You can't play in time if you don't know where to put your fingers first! :D That being said, I think that the flashing LED metronome is much more useful than the clicking. I've found that if I'm forced to watch the LED, I'm not looking at the fretboard. This really makes you to get the technique down pat, like typing on a the computer without looking at the keyboard.
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don't want to sound heretic but i believe that it is not useful to use a metronome until you know what you're playing and i'm referring both to rhythms and to fingerings! I mean metronome is meant to become confortable with new things and to develop your rhythmic precision so it can not be used properly by an absolute beginner. Actually the ones who get the most out of a metronome are the professionals!
At the beginning it is far better to play with some guitar basis than to use metronome because you have to be quite confident with playing on time not to be distracted by the click of the metronome. Also it does not make sense at all to play at 40 bpm some piece that it should be played at 130! If you need to play something so slow it simply means that you're not ready to play it! Having said so, it is extremly helpful to use a metronome when you're an interemediate player because it helps you to build precision following your own path: being an heavy metal fan I have to be able to play most common metal rhythms at least at 160 bpm. I started at 110 or 120 bpm and after a few weeks i'm now quite confortable at 140 (being confortable means playing clean without any error for a few minutes), i hope to get 160 in the next couple of months. Yesterday I found out that after playing metal rhythms with their enpashis on downstrumming, now i can play sixteen notes patterns easily at 110, while until a few months ago I struggled at 85!That's the beauty of playing with a metronome but I repeat it again you have to learn the basis of playing on time before using it properly.