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I'm new to this website.How should I use the metronome?

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How to practice with the Metronome
by: David from www.piano-play-it.com

Hi, that's a good question.

The first thing one should understand about rhythm is that all music beats are all equal.

So, when playing music, we may have different tempos (speeds) but we always keep the metre. The distance between each beat to the next one is the same. It's only the length of the beat that changes.

When we use the metronome we first have to determine the tempo (speed) we'd like to play in and then practice according to that tempo.

In this next page you can find information on different Music Tempos. A Tempo is the speed and the mood of the piece.

The reason we use the metronome is that we have so many details to pay attention to at a certain time (reading the notes, taking care of our technique and musicality) that we could use the help of someone from the outside that will tell us if we keep the timing right.

So let's say you started working on a new piano sheet music, or on a piano tutorial...

To begin with I'd work without the metronome.
I would first check that I can read the notes right. I'd take my time with it.

I would first work on the right hand, then the left hand and finally together. I wouldn't work on the whole piece at once but divide the piece to parts. I'd focus on one line or on four bars at a given moment. I would Double check my fingerings as well.

Once I'm familiar with the notes or the chords I'd
tune the metronome to a slowlier tempo then the one given in the piece or the one in the tutorial.

Why? Since I better start working slowly and give myself more time to think and realise what I'm doing before I challange myself to the final tempo.

Gradually as I improve and I realize I play the piece easily in that slow tempo I would gradually increase the tempo until I reach the final tempo.

Tip: When working on tempo always count according to the shortest length of the notes. If a piece has eighths, in it, count Ta-te-ta-te.
If a piece however has sixteenth notes you should count ta-fa-te-fe the whole time through.

It's important to be alerted to the sound of the metronome and have patience and be honest with yourself. If you can't keep the time go to a slowlier tempo again. Don't work with your ego!
Playing fast takes often time.
Working on the minor details gets you there faster.

That's basically it. If you have further questions don't hasitate to post them here.

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