So how do I play with a metronome? Do I play the chords or notes at the beat each time or does it vary?
A metronome gives you the tempo. It plays a steady beat, kind of like a drum machine but of course without drum sounds.

Here's a good demonstration. In the beginning he uses the metronome like it's normally used - to keep the tempo and to make sure he's playing accurately. Later in the video he shows some more advanced exercises. But I would say first get comfortable with using the metronome like it's normally used.

You can play anything with a metronome. Metronome is there to keep a steady tempo. As I said, it's kind of like a drummer. But you don't always have the opportunity to play with a drummer. Also, it is much simpler than drums - it gives much less information which I think is a good thing. It requires you to focus more on your timing.

Playing with a metronome may sound simple but if you have never done it before, it may not be as simple as it sounds. With a metronome you will notice if you are speeding up or slowing down accidentally. It's a great tool for making sure that you are playing everything accurately. So if you are for example struggling with a fast lick, set the metronome at a slower tempo and try playing the lick in that tempo (and make sure you are playing it accurately). Once you can play it in that tempo, speed it up a bit and repeat until you have reached the original tempo.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jul 13, 2016,
So a good metronome in 4/4 sounds like this:

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4

CLICK click click click CLICK click click click

Let's say you're playing the typical pentatonic scale (https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/m/misc_scales/a_minor_pentatonic_ver3_tab.htm), you want each click to be a new fret, and you want that new note to be hit exactly when the metronome click hits. You know you've done it right when you've effectively drowned out the metronome.

The big trick is that you don't want to 'ghost' the click, by which I mean you don't want to hear the click and then play the note. The clicks are unchanging, they will always fall in the same spot. You just have to sync up to those clicks, the goal is to drown out the clicks with each new fretted note. If you're struggling just play to a slow metronome like 80BPM to make really obvious click-note matches.

When you first play to a metronome it can be quite frustrating, just give it time and do it in bursts. You don't want to do sessions of metronome training, you want to do it in little 5-10 minute pockets.

Here's a good online metronome:


And this site below is a really good site for building up your internal metronome because it allows you to set the BPM whilst also enabling you to have the metronome fade away and come back in, this is really good for keeping up a constant tempo when a metronome isn't always present:


If you're really struggling just start the metronome and count - without playing - either out loud or to yourself going:

ONE, two, three, four, ONE, two, three, four, ONE
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