3 Big Myths About Using A Metronome For Guitar Practice

By Tom Hess

Most advice about practicing guitar with a metronome causes ineffective practice, mistakes and slower progress. Get more results from your guitar practice by staying away from these 3 myths:

Myth #1: Using A Metronome Increases Your Guitar Speed

Using a metronome does not inherently increase your guitar playing speed. A metronome is simply a tool you use to test your current level of mastery with a specific technique, exercise or any other practice item.

Focus on the things that cause your guitar playing to become sloppy at faster speeds. Then improve your fundamental technique by practicing without a metronome at slower speeds. Later, test yourself again to see what your playing level is at.

Myth #2: Everything Must Be Practiced Using A Metronome

Guitar players who always practice with a metronome usually get into the habit of using quarter notes, eighth notes and sixteenth notes while playing solos. They end up avoiding or rarely using other rhythms such as dotted notes or triplets throughout their musical phrases. This removes variety from your guitar phrasing and makes it sound boring.

Your lead guitar playing becomes more interesting and expressive when you use a variety of note rhythms to build and release musical tension. Take the time to practice without a metronome and force yourself to think of as many rhythmic variations as possible while improvising a basic 3-5 note phrase. Use various rhythms while keeping the note’s pitches the same. Then, use the metronome to make your timing tight.

Additional tip: Practice playing scales and arpeggios while using many different rhythms (rather than only using strict sixteenth notes or triplets).

Myth #3: Practicing With A Metronome Limits Your Rhythmic Creativity

A metronome only limits your musical creativity if you let it do so. Great guitar players use a metronome to improve their rhythmic creativity. Here is how you can do the same: Set the metronome to a slow or moderate tempo (around 100-120 beats per minute). Freely improvise rhythm guitar riffs using a basic power chord. Challenge yourself to use rests (silence), syncopations or unusual rhythmic values you wouldn’t normally use. You become more creative when you force yourself to step outside of your comfort zone.

This exercise also helps play perfectly in time with the beat. This skill is important for playing music with a band, recording songs and improvising lead guitar over backing tracks.

Want to get amazing results in your guitar playing during every guitar practice session? Check out this guitar practicing article and learn how to practice effectively with a metronome.

Author's Bio: 

Tom Hess is a highly successful guitar teacher, songwriter and a pro guitarist. He uses the best online guitar lessons to train guitar players to reach their musical goals. Go to tomhess.net to get more guitar playing resources , guitar playing eBooks, and to read more guitar playing articles.