I used to have horrible rhythm. I mean horrible. I could barely clap on the beat and dancing was an embarrassing affair. Throughout this period I was playing trombone and my music teachers, specifically Kevin Bradley, Greg Miller, Jon Nathan and Tyler Sussman, had been encouraging me to practice with a metronome. The best ways to use a metronome, I learned, are really just simple tricks that can be used to enhance your musical skill.
Whether you are a singer, instrumentalist, drummer or all of the above, using a metronome is going to make your rhythm stronger and help you develop your internal musical clock. I learned that when practicing with a metronome, not every note you play needs to fall on a click. In fact, practicing by playing with metronome beats in unconventional placement was highly beneficial to my practice. Then I learned one of the absolute best ways to use a metronome for jazz musicians: placing the click on beats 2 and 4 only.
In this video I show how to place the clicks on beats 2 and 4 with a swing rhythm on Billy Joel’s “The Longest Time,” which I rehearsed in depth to perform at my wedding where I surprised my wife with 7 friends. I also show you two other tips: how to learn to play any phrase you are rehearsing faster and how to learn to properly play syncopated rhythms.
In this video I’m using metronome online. I love metronome online because you don’t need to download any software or apps, you simply go to http://metronomeonline.com and it runs right in the browser. You will see that I used a screen capture to record my use of the metronome in real time.
What are some of the best ways to use a metronome that you’ve found? Post your response in the comments section below and feel free to write any questions or feedback.
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