Practising with a Metronome

I once wanted to train up to run a half marathon. What I did was to run two, sometimes three, times a week. But to build up my stamina, I pushed my limit a little more every week by increasing my distance by about half a kilometre. After six months, I had increased my distance from 2km to 13km.

Practising music is alot like that. More often than not, I like to pick up the guitar, enjoy a few riffs that I've played a thousand times before, jam to a backing track, or play with a cd. These things, however, don't really push me to my musical limits.

To be a better musician, you need to practise with a deliberate intention to improve. This means two things i) you need to repeat difficult riffs alot to master them; ii) you need to choose riffs that are just beyond your ability to play to stretch your limits. I find that a metronome is quite essential in helping you stretch yourself, as you can very gradually increase your tempo in a structured way (i've provided a free metronome on the right sidebar).

However, it also means that practices are less enjoyable, its like all the panting and aches I got while training to run further. But you need to look beyond that, and think about the pleasure you get when you finally master that difficult passage. Or in the words of Optimus Prime, "no sacrifice, no victory!".

For more, do check out this article I chanced upon in Fortune - "Why Talent is Overrated".


Rolly Polly said...

funny, i was in the middle of blogging about this. i recently bought a DB-30, and you are right, you have to push yourself beyond the limit. the only thing, is I actually enjoy playing with the metronome as much as i would a backing track :)

GabonMx said...

I was doing this when i enter to the site hehehe. I practice some whit 4 finger and scales.

My 3th finger hurt. :|

K, public the riff you play in the video

jonathan ho said...

oh my goodness
the last part was sped up right

Jam said...

lol that is awesome and funny.

Anonymous said...

that was some pretty sloppy playing

AJ said...

I had an audition to play for the Praise band at my church the other day and he told me to get a drum machine and do basically the same thing. But I can't afford one, So I think I'll skip that and just learn to play rythem (I don't think I spelled that right) at my local jam nights.

info channel said...

great blog!
check out mine,
its new, but hopefully itl get bigger.