Practicing with a metronome for just a few weeks will drastically improve your musical ability. You may think “Well Devin, I've played in time since I started. I don't need to use a metronome. “You’d be wrong.
Your internal time keeper (I affectionately call mine Fred). Now Fred, he may not always be right. He may be close, but more than likely he's off by a few beats, or seconds. By removing your reliance on Fred by buying a metronome, you can make sure you're in time in time for the performance. (See what I did there?)
Furthermore, when you’re working on increasing your speed, a metronome is an invaluable tool. Picture this: You’re working on getting your speed up for a solo that you’re working on. Sure, you could start slowly and increase your speed as you see fit, but you’ll never really know at what speed you started at and never really know when you get up to the right speed. Take it from me, this can be infuriating. There’s something about never knowing that you've completed your objective that is infuriating. But, with a metronome, you will know exactly at what speed you started and you’ll know exactly when you've gained enough speed to finally tackle that solo.
Now days, metronomes are built into a variety of devices. I have a metronome that’s built into my tuner. They are also quite cheap. You can pick one up here:
That metronome is embedded in a tuner and runs about forty dollars, pretty cheap for an invaluable tool for any musician.
A metronome also allows you to practice your song without having music playing in the background. I cannot tell you how many times my parents have told me to stop playing with a backing track at four am. With a metronome, you won’t have that problem. The only thing I would caution is to make sure that you can actually hear your metronome while playing your instrument. Nothing is more devastating is getting a new metronome, setting up to practice and then realizing that you can’t hear your metronome over your instrument. I’m sure that as a broke musician, spending money on something you can’t use is money that you’d rather not spend. If you use an electric instrument, consider getting an in-ear metronome.
Devin is a student in the Professional Writing program at Algonquin College. He has be writing on and off for the past five years. In his spare time he enjoys learning all he can about obscure rock bands