Practicing with a Metronome
By: Renee Bordner
Do you use a metronome when you practice?
Are you afraid to use a metronome?
Do you know how to use a metronome?
Are you using the correct metronome for you?
Over the past 12 years I have been asked countless questions about how to use a metronome, what type to buy, etc. I encourage students to try a variety of metronomes and to start with free metronome apps that are available on most smartphones and tablets. Some students prefer a flashing light and in the case of percussion students they may need a flashing light. Other students prefer to see the swinging pendulum in their peripheral vision. Yet some students prefer a dog barking sound versus a click or beep!
When using a metronome for practice, I do not expect for a student to use it for every piece assigned every day. Sometimes I have students only use it for their warm ups so they can practice steady beats. Other times I have students use a metronome to keep a consistent tempo in a challenging piece. I believe that it is important to play a piece correctly without a metronome as most performers do not perform with a metronome on stage.
Here is a terrific video on how to use the metronome correctly when practicing any instrument at home. Included in this video are some tips of things to avoid when practicing with a metronome. Enjoy the video and happy practicing!
Renee is the studio director of Note-worthy Experiences, the chair of the Sudbury Chapter of the National Piano Guild, and a private piano instructor.