If at some point in your life you have taken lessons from a piano instructor, chances are you’ve used a metronome. Most piano teachers would agree that using a metronome is the most effective way to learn a musical instrument. But what is a metronome, exactly? In this article, we are going to show you how to use a metronome while practicing piano. We will also provide some useful tips to make your practice more effective.
What is a Metronome?
A piano metronome is a device usually placed on top of a piano. The intention behind it is to create a beat pattern that helps us play our music in the correct rhythm, timing, and accuracy. Invented by Dietrich Nikolaus Winkel in Amsterdam in 1812, musicians since have used piano metronomes to better their playing.
Metronomes now come in three different types – the analog, the electronic, and digital. Although it is easy to download an app with metronome functions, it is usually recommended to purchase a dedicated one instead of using an app, if you are serious in playing or learning to play the piano. A physical metronome serves one function. Online metronomes and mobile apps can cause us to easily lose focus as we also use those devices for games, communication, news, and more.
How to Use Metronome For Piano?
It looks easy to do, but using a metronome can be a bit frustrating at times. So when you want to learn how to use a metronome for piano, you have to keep your patience until you master it. Below are the steps.
Look for Your Time Signature
This is the first thing that you should look for. The time signature, most of the time, is found at the sheet music you’re practicing with. Here is how to determine the time signature of the piece you’re playing; the top number indicates how many beats are there in one measure while the bottom is the note value of a single beat.
Determine the Tempo
Many pianists in training mistake the tempo with time signature. Although it can be the same thing, the tempo is far different from the time signature. Tempo sets the pace of the piece. It determines whether the piece should be played fast or slow. When your piece has more intricate notes, it’s better off to start with a slow tempo. When you’re starting to get the correct timing, you can speed the pace up until you’ve reached the actual tempo of the piece.
Set up the Volume
When you’re using either the electronic or digital metronome, keep the volume of the metronome’s “tick” up so you can still hear it when you’re practicing. When you’re getting the hang of your piece’s notes, slowly turn the volume down so you can focus more on your pacing and timing. The metronome will then be just an indicator whenever you make a mistake along the way.
Remember to Practice Slowly
With a metronome, you never have to rush things. As mentioned, start with a slower tempo and then gradually increase it until you’re getting the piece right. We know it can get a little frustrating, but it will surely help you play your desired piece perfectly in time. If you want some visuals, click on the link to watch a video on how to use the metronome.
Have You Used A Piano Metronome Before?
These are the ways on how to use a metronome with the piano as well as some critical tips. Remember that the metronome is a tool to help you play the piano better, but you shouldn’t be dependent on it. When you practice with the keys, use the metronome for a while and then set it aside and play your piece without it. That way, the metronome can help you with your practice, but you’d be able to learn without any aid from it. If you’re looking for piano lessons by piano professionals in Middle Tennessee, kindly click on the link.