I'm sure you see these kinds of questions all of the time, so sorry about that. But this is puzzling me, people all over this site say that you can't become a good musician without practicing with a metronome.

So my question is, how exactly do you practice to a metronome? I know that it helps you keep time, but other than that it's kind of a mystery... What I think is that if your song is say 155 BPM, and your playing 16th notes or something... Would you just set your metronome to 155 BPM and then try to fit whatever 16th notes in your song into EACH click on the metronome?

Thanks a lot for your help, I really want to practice with a metronome, it's just kind of hard when you don't know how to. ^_^
Each 4 clicks is one measure. 16th notes: you will have 16 notes played in that measure, so basically 4 notes per click
Uhmmm... Well, apparently I was mentioned in a thread called "Japan and Lesbians."

Quote by Unknown_Biskit
Try typing "potatoes" with your dick then submit it.

My cover of Manchester Orchestra's "I Can Feel Your Pain"
http://www.mediafire.com/?jfvt54j4mkiiq99
OH ok. Does that ever change, the measure thing? Could there be five measures or is it just always four?
Each click of the metronome is 1 beat. So for 16th notes in 4/4 time, it would be 4 notes per beat. Here's a list of notes and their durations in 4/4 time.

Whole note = 4 beats per note
Half note = 2 beats per note
Quarter note = 1 note per beat
Eighth note = 2 notes per beat
Sixteenth note = 4 notes per beat
Thirty-second note = 8 notes per beat
Sixty-fourth note = 16 notes per beat
Quarter note triplets = 3 notes over 2 beats
Eighth note triplets = 3 notes per beat
Sixteenth note triplets = 6 notes per beat
Thirty-second note triplets = 12 notes per beat

Quote by Unispex
OH ok. Does that ever change, the measure thing? Could there be five measures or is it just always four?

It all depends on the time signature. If it is for example 7/4, that would mean there would be 7 quarter notes in that measure and with a metronome that would be 7 clicks. If it was 5/8 that would mean there are 5 eighth notes in that measure. #/16 is # sixteenth notes in that measure and so on.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
Last edited by Junior#1 at Dec 31, 2009,
i myself practice at 60bpm. i don't have the need to go for speed, cuz i can fairly play 16th's at about 250bpm. (i play the petrucci-exercise at 220 clean)
the only thing i'm practicing is getting my stuff cleaner, when working with lower speeds it's alot easier to actually control what you are doing, because of this thing called "muscle memory".
and when you do it a lot (i do it about 2h per day) you will make really large steps with it.
the good thing is: when you practice your stuff slowly, you'll also be able to play it fast :P
You mean 5 clicks? If you change the time signature you could have 3 or 5, etc clicks that male up one measure. But since you are obviously new to this concept, stick with 4/4 timing, so you will always have 4 clicks per measue. Also, generally, the first click will sound different than the other 3. This click (usually higher than the rest) marks the start of the next measure.

After you understand working with 4/4 timing, find a lesson on time signature and play with different metronome settings
Uhmmm... Well, apparently I was mentioned in a thread called "Japan and Lesbians."

Quote by Unknown_Biskit
Try typing "potatoes" with your dick then submit it.

My cover of Manchester Orchestra's "I Can Feel Your Pain"
http://www.mediafire.com/?jfvt54j4mkiiq99
if the song is in 4 4 time, the metronome will click for every beat like 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-etc.
Doesn't matter how many measures the metronome should keep on going

Thanks a lot, you guys cleared a lot of things up for me. BUT what if it's not in 4/4 time? 5/4 time? Would I just factor in one more beat?
Haha didn't notice all the answers to my other question. Thanks a lot, I'll start practicing with 4/4 songs and stuff.
Quote by Unispex
Thanks a lot, you guys cleared a lot of things up for me. BUT what if it's not in 4/4 time? 5/4 time? Would I just factor in one more beat?

Yeah, that's all there is to it. #/4 = # of beats per measure.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
Quote by Junior#1
Yeah, that's all there is to it. #/4 = # of beats per measure.

It's a bit more complex than that when you get to compound measure. 6/8, for example, doesn't have six beats in the measure.

If you find yourself playing a lot of songs that aren't in simple time signatures (2/4, 3/4, 4/4), get a metronome that doesn't accent the first beat of each measure. I personally own a physical metronome that does and it's great for those simple time signatures, but I use an online metronome when I play compound measures or when I'm too lazy to find the physical one. The only downside is that the BPMs are preset to every 4 but I can deal with that.
Last edited by iforgot120 at Jan 1, 2010,