A metronome is a valuable tool but like any other, it is only helpful when used properly. This article will focus on two beneficial uses and identify a potential pitfall. First of all, it is helpful in identifying unwanted fluctuations in tempo. A frequent challenge is a tendency for the tempo to shift when we change dynamic levels. When we play louder we tend to speed up and when we play softer we tend to slow down. After a while, we lose sight of the fluctuating tempo. This tool can help to identify these problem areas and correct them. Secondly, it can assist us when we are working to increase the tempo to the desired level. To do this set the tempo at a comfortable level, then ladder up; increase one notch at a time until you have arrived at your destination.
Do not use this tool to avoid counting. By counting, we generate the beat from within and this helps to develop our inner rhythmical discipline. Always count when you are using the metronome.
In need of a metronome? A variety of free apps are available to download on your mobile phone or laptop. My favorite is Metronome Beats available on Google Play.