Why Practice With A Metronome?

 

There's been a lot of talk about using a metronome in this Facebook group called the violin and you'll have like 41,000 members. And there've been like over 140 comments on this one post. Should you be practicing with a metronome or should you teach using the metronome? 

I'm torn between this conversation of, should you use a metronome? Should you not use a metronome? Because, I am a firm believer of the metronome.

Here's why you need to practice with the metronome people.

You don't practice with the metronome just to get it right.

You practice with the metronome so that way you can never get it wrong!

I think that's the most valuable lesson that you can get out of practicing with the metronome.

People come from different schools and whether you're a fiddler, classical musician or a jazz violinist, I think there's something to be said about having a good internal pulse and the only way to really learn about having that internal pulse is by using a metronome. 

I use this in with every single student and every single lesson. And some of them are like, no, I hate the magic. No, but no, you need to practice with it Metro, because it's for your own. Good. And then once you become pro and once you become, um, more, uh, in sync with like your, your rhythm inside your body, and you can really, really feel that rhythm, then you are at a point where you can be a little bit more flexible. 

Right. That's why in like the old international additions, you don't have just like one time. Strict tempo, unless like the composer said them themselves, but sometimes the editor would be like between like ADB, like 80 beats per minute, or the coroner will be like between 80 and 95 because the temple does fluctuate and does become more fluid. 

Once you become more comfortable with collaborating with another artist or a quartet. I agree that not every single piece of music out there needs to be like completely metronome driven. You know, if you're playing solo more like sonatas or chamber quartet, You want to have that sense of pulse, but then you're given a little bit of Liberty as to how you can utilize that tempo, how you can utilize metronome practice to help you play better. 

On the contrary, if you are an orchestral musician or you're preparing excerpts like orchestra excerpts, or if you're a young beginner student trying to learn the ways of the metronome gods, you want to be able to, you know, master practicing with the metronome.

Again, you want to practice with the metronome, so that way you can never get things wrong. 

Once you become a professional and play in an orchestra or if you become a professional violinist playing sonatas/chamber music, nobody wants to play with anybody who's out of tune, and nobody wants to play with anybody who has no good sense of tempo and rhythm. 

Those are the three pillars for me, as a violinist, and as a collaborator, I search in and kind of choose my coworkers wisely in that sense. I want to make sure I'm playing with reliable people who have good rhythm, good intonation and good tempo.

So, should you practice with the metronome?

Absolutely!

Do you also have the liberty to not practice with the metronome?

Yes! Because you want to be able to internalize the metronome inside you. You can't rely on the training wheels all the time. There's something to be said to have the metronome constantly in your practice regimen and be a presence in your practicing. 

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