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How to Use the Metronome
Posted on June 3, 2021
Every guitar player knows that being able to tune your guitar is one of the most important skills to have, besides knowing how to play of course. One way to do this is with the GuitarTuna app. However, did you know that the app comes with a built-in metronome as well?
Don’t know what a metronome is? Well, today we’re going to teach you just that. Keep reading to learn more about metronomes and how to use one with the GuitarTuna and Yousician apps.
You can also check out our video lesson to see how to use the built-in metronome in the GuitarTuna app. In the video, we’ll teach you how to use the metronome when learning new songs with Yousician.
Table of contents
What is a metronome?
You might have seen a metronome in your local music store or music class in school. The traditional metronome is a device with a pendulum that swings back and forth, producing clicks at regular intervals.
“Metronome” by jronaldlee is licensed under CC BY 2.0
This type of metronome helps you keep up with the tempo of a song by producing a steady rhythm. Although the old-timey metronome devices look nice, they can be inconvenient to use and carry around with all your other music gear and instruments. Luckily modern technology has made keeping up with the tempo of a song much easier, as you can have a high-quality metronome app right in your pocket.
What does BPM (Beats Per Minute) mean?
Before we get any further, let’s make sure we’re speaking the same language. One important term to remember is BPM. This stands for beats per minute.
With the GuitarTuna app’s metronome, you can set the beats per minute yourself. The higher the BPM is, the faster the tempo will be. For example, set the BPM to 60 and the metronome produces a beat every second.
The GuitarTuna app’s metronome makes a clicking sound on every beat. However, you might notice that the beats don’t all sound the same—one beat is higher than the rest. This is because the higher beat indicates that the beat in question starts the bar. Sounds confusing? Don’t worry, let’s use an example.
Say you’ve set your metronome to 60 BPM and the time signature is 4/4. This means that every beat is one-quarter note and the higher clicking sound represents a full measure. Give it a try. Take out your metronome app and try setting the tempo to 60 BPM and time signature to 4/4. Don’t forget to try different tempos and time signatures as well to see how the changes affect the metronome and its rhythm.
How to use a metronome
Now that we know what a metronome is and how it works, let’s move on to using a metronome. Practicing with a metronome might not seem like the most exciting way to learn and play your instrument (especially compared to Jimi Hendrix and his flaming guitar), but once you get the hang of using a metronome, you’ll notice just how useful it is.
Here’s a few tips to bring your playing to a whole new level:
- When you’re learning a new song, a metronome can be a helpful tool to have because it allows you to gradually build up speed. Start by setting a slow tempo and try playing the song. Once you get the hang of it, increase the tempo and see if you can still keep up. Continue practicing and soon you’ll be playing the song at full speed.
- The steady tempo of a metronome is highly useful if you feel like your playing is a bit sloppy and you can’t play notes with precision. Again, set up a tempo you’re comfortable playing with and keep increasing the tempo as you get better. Think of this like working out at the gym: as you build up strength you can increase the weights you’re working with. Similarly, when using a metronome, keep repeating the same exercise and bump up the tempo once the current one feels too easy and you can play the piece without mistakes.
- When practicing with Yousician, you can enable a metronome from the app’s settings. Turn on the metronome in the app’s practice mode and you’ll hear the familiar clicking sound of the metronome in the background. In Yousician’s practice mode, you can also adjust the tempo to slow down songs in case you need to practice at a slower tempo before playing at full speed.
- A metronome is a highly useful tool also when recording, whether you’re making a demo in your bedroom or working with high-end gear at the recording studio. Whatever it is you’re recording, you’ll want to play as precisely and accurately as possible. By using a metronome, you can keep up with the tempo more easily and record that flawless solo or immaculate drum fill.
Play with the steady tempo of a metronome
One of the best things about using a metronome is you can use it with pretty much any instrument, including your voice. So, now that you know how to use a metronome, pick up your instrument and start practicing your favorite songs.
If you’re looking for a good metronome to start with, check out GuitarTuna. It also comes with a variety of different tools, such as a tuner for a wide selection of stringed instruments, a chord library and more.
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