Metronome - Playing in Time

There is no way around it. A musician must be able to play in time.

PUBLISHED: Mar 19, 2013 • UPDATED: Feb 13, 2020 • LESSON CODE: ML-basic-06 • VISITS: 69

ANY music Subjects: beginnerrhythmreading

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Metronome - Playing in Time

There is no way around it. A musician must be able to play in time. Playing in time is an important musical skill for ALL musicians.

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“A metronome is an external time device for developing an accurate internal time.” - Curt Sheller

There is no way around it. A musician must be able to play in time. Playing in time is an important musical skill for ALL musicians.


Here are some definitions of common music terms in regards to playing in time:


  • Beat - The beat is the regular time unit or pulse of a piece of music.

  • Tempo - is the speed of music as measured by a metronome in beats per minute (bpm)

  • Rhythm - is the duration of a note or chord in music.

  • Meter - Is the organization of pulses in a piece of music. It is represented by two numbers in the beginning of written music called a time signature. Common time signatures are 4/4, 6/8 and 3/4.


Using a Metronome to Learn to Play in Time


A basic use of a metronome is to externally track of the beat and tempo with audible clicks, beeps or a light. It is great for learning and practicing new music.
Set the metronome to the goal tempo for the music you are working on. If not successful set the metronome to a tempo that you can play the music at. With every successful performance increase the metronome until you are at the goal tempo.

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