Learn how to use a metronome to practice piano with great results!
The metronome is a very useful tool, basically necessary, for all musicians. Here you'll learn how to practice more effectively using a metronome.
For example four quarter notes, or crotchets, would be counted;
1 – 1 – 1 – 1 (instead of 1-2-3-4)
and two half notes, or semibreve:
1 – 2 1 - 2 (instead of 1-2 3-4)
Unit counting is great for beginners since you focus only on the length of each note instead of regular counting where you count the beats per measure. So it reinforces learning of note values and helps you sight-read music by keeping your attention ahead in the music.
However, unit-counting only works when playing hands separately, or until you start using different rhythms in each hand.
At that time you need to use "regular" counting, beats per measure, where you follow the time signature and count as many beats as it says per measure.
Allegretto is a moderately fast tempo, and the metronome count helps you to understand how fast exactly.
As soon as you play through the part once without mistakes, increase the speed with one click.
Gradually increasing the speed in such small increments is almost impossible to do without a metronome.
In this way
you are basically “tricking” yourself into playing faster and faster
without stress and – of course – no mistakes.
upon a goal for each practice session.
This gives you a clearly defined
goal to work for which is also measurable since you compare yourself with the metronome.
Since piano playing and practicing is very “qualitative” it can be difficult to know your progress for each practice session.
The metronome can function as a “measuring” stick to compare your progress with.
The most obvious “testing” is to play with the metronome when you think you have really learned a piece.
Of course, music should usually not be performed with a rhythm perfect as a metronome. You're not supposed to sound like a machine.
But “testing” with the metronome might help you find places that are not musically justified regarding tempo changes, but instead technically needs some extra practice... (Try to be unbiased)!
metronome is also a great tool for practicing piano sight reading.
By using short, easy melodies and setting the tempo very slow, you can train yourself to always look ahead in the score - the metronome's "tick" kind of pushes you to move along!
Generally, the best metronome is the classic "Wittner" metronome. Since it has an arm that swings, you get a better sense for the beat since you can anticipate the next beat visually. The sound is the classical "Tock" :) , which is nice to the ear.
A more economic alternative is an electronic metronome, just make sure you check the "tick" sound. If you like it, I mean. The sound should be big enough to be heard but not driving you "crazy"' either.
This is a favorite of mine, small but effective. It's made in wood and a very special little metronome with a nice sound.