Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Three Things To Try With Your Metronome

If you haven't done these things before try them. They may be painful or unpleasant at first, but they are not really hard and will make you a better musician.

1. Try setting your metronome to tock on the 2nd and 4th beats of the bar instead of the 1st and 3rd while you play a tune you know well. If you've never done it before, it might be hard, but do it slowly and try it for a while. It gets easier, and your rhythm and timing get better. (Note: this isn't really a metronome setting, your head has to do the trick.)

2. Try just playing rhythm chops along with your metronome with the beat on the 1 and 3 or the 2 and 4. Try switching between the two.

3. Before you play a fiddle tune or try an improvisation, play the chords along with the metronome on the mandolin. Make sure you know the chords and then try to play the tune or the improvisation along with the chords in your head. Think of the chords while you play the melody or improvise. Keep the metronome going.

If you're interested in rhythm and timing and have 25 bucks, you could get John McGann's Rhythm Tune Up DVD. He also has a range of more advanced material if you're interested.

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