Staying in time with metronome

Dismemberer

Garage band Groupie
Oct 16, 2021
22
33
I don't know much about rhythm and timing on guitar. I recently learnt about subdivisions like quarter notes and etc. I was practicing the exercises in the 3rd episode from the Introduction to Alternate Picking lesson which had an exercise with triplets so I started counting as I played 1 tri-plet 2 tri-plet and so on and I started playing with the metronome but I didn't know how to practice with a metronome. How do you know if you're playing in time with the metronome? Do you have to count notes? I tried counting but it's very confusing at high tempos. Help;-;
 
Solution
Hey! So besides the Theoretical side of playing with a Metronome, the first thing you want to do is get acquainted with the FEEL of playing alongside it. (You'll want to get used to 4/4 time before tackling triplets if you're not sure if you're playing in time 😊)

Here's a simple way to get in the pocket & know if you're playing in time:

1. Put on Back In Black by ACDC
2. Tap your foot/nod your head to it like you normally would at a gig.
3. You'll most likely be nodding along to the PULSE here. This is the most important part!
4. That pulse is what each metronome click would match up to and that's how you know you're playing in time, you're really just feeling the 1-2-3-4. These are called Strong Beats as they are where your body...

Christian Schulze

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Im not very well acuainted with the metronome, but with as with all that has to do with the metronome, start very slow. Even slower than you think you need to be. So you want to play triplets. Why dont you start with the metronome at 60 Bpm? It is slow enough that you can play a triplet which means 3 notes per beat. So 60 Bpm triplets effectively just mean 1 note at 180 Bpm. If you want to get a feel for the triplets, just play 1 note in triplets at 60 BPM, evenly spaced so that the 4th note you play starts on the second beat at 60 Bpm. I dont know if this helped, but I sure hope it does! Good luck
 
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Chris Johnston

Music Theory Bragger
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Hey! So besides the Theoretical side of playing with a Metronome, the first thing you want to do is get acquainted with the FEEL of playing alongside it. (You'll want to get used to 4/4 time before tackling triplets if you're not sure if you're playing in time 😊)

    Here's a simple way to get in the pocket & know if you're playing in time:

    1. Put on Back In Black by ACDC
    2. Tap your foot/nod your head to it like you normally would at a gig.
    3. You'll most likely be nodding along to the PULSE here. This is the most important part!
    4. That pulse is what each metronome click would match up to and that's how you know you're playing in time, you're really just feeling the 1-2-3-4. These are called Strong Beats as they are where your body naturally gravitates to when dancing, headbanging etc.

    There are loads of ways you could go about playing to a click, but I'd start simple by picking on 1-2-3 & 4 repeatedly. These would be your Quarter Notes because you can fit 4 of them before going back to the 1. This is essentially the length of 1 bar in your chosen tempo.

    You'll notice that there are pockets of space between the 1-2-3 & 4 as you're hitting those beats. The next thing you want to do is fill that space with more notes. You'd then count 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & - the numbers being on the clicks and the '&'s being between the clicks. These are called 8th Notes, as you're fitting 8 subdivisions in your bar. The length of the bar hasn't changed, you've just placed more notes evenly in the space. You can either downstroke all 8 notes or alternate pick.

    So far we've divided the bar of 4 strong beats into 8 evenly spaced beats - so let's make those 8th notes into 8th note triplets. You'd just count: 1&a 2&a 3&a 4&a. It's like each strong beats contains each triplet (This also makes your tri-pa-let- Rhhthm)

    This is dividing each beat of the bar into 3 even beats. If you're alternate picking this you'll start on a Downstroke on beat 1, an up stroke on beat 2, Downstroke on beat 3 and an upstroke on beat 4. If you could the above pattern aloud in time with your picking you'll see it match up 🤟

    The most important thing for your Rhthmic awareness is being able to feel those strong beats in whatever you're playing. Think of them as rhythmic bookmarks that keep your playing even and in time, even at high speeds. You always want to know where beat 1 lands basically.

    I'd start very slow with this stuff though, just so your brain & body has enough time to really feel and internalise what you're doing.

    Hope this helps! If you have any questions don't hesitate to DM me 😊
     
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