Learning rhythm from the metronome visual indicator

Yup, agreed! I’ll be working on that! :blush:

You’re missing the point. You don’t see music you here it. Anyways, have fun with that! :slight_smile:

Yes, looking at the Time Trainer screen definitely helps me with working out strumming patterns… for each section of the circle I can visualise if there I want only the downstrum on the beat or only the up strum or both…it’s way easier like this, the hand keeps on moving and I can play the patterns in time. Once I get into the feeling of the pattern, I don’t look at the screen anymore. Also it is fun to switch to different patterns within the same practice session.

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I don’t really understand why you’re asking this question. Pretty much everyone is telling you to practice and master listening to the beat, yet you’re still pushing back and claiming your method is fine. I’m not sure why you would ask the advice of others, some of which are very experienced, if you’re not willing to take it. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

The long and short of it is that everything is hard if you’re not used to doing it, and the only way to get used to doing it is to DO it. As JK said right at the start, visual seems easier because we are naturally so reliant on our vision. To be a good musician you need to get used to using something else, and the sooner you get down to it rather than making excuses, the better. After a couple of weeks of dedicated practice when hearing the rhythm comes naturally to you, you’ll be asking yourself why you ever tried to use visual cues in the first place.


I review all of the advice, but many of it is obvious and provides no additional information. I, so far, am not giving up on the current method because I see its effectiveness. However, if the method Melody_Mosaic mentioned is better, I will use it. I have not yet had time to compare these approaches in practice.

And in my experience in any training the right approach is often more important than the effort and amount of time spent

wow ok I’m out.

One question to ask is why the metronome has a visual element at all. It has a purpose, and my opinion is that it is there as a reference.
This is useful to me when I am initiating a new pattern of strumming or picking, just for the first grasp.
It also is useful when I start thinking I may have strayed a bit. A quick glance can straighten me out, or confirm my screw up.
However, aside from these, I really try to not look, because that is what I need to learn most of all. It is hard, and I am clearly it very good at it, but more and more I stay on target and use visual cues less and less.
Having a different tone on beat 1 is very helpful, but I am often struggling to differentiate it with the guitar sounds as well.
That and the “disappearing metronome “ per Justin’s lesson. Just when you have it perfect, the metronome sound “disappears” and then I lose track and freak out. D’oh!

I find it hard to understand how you could actually validate dthat your playing is in the rhythm as you are comparing apples with oranges… The visual cue will never create a conflict with the sound, thus you will never instantly know when it’s right or wrong.

Only a dark room and a strong strobo would do that for you I guess…

My Advice:
Train your ear.
drum backing track,
bass backing track,
you hitting a bucket and looping it…

everything is better than a visual clue


Three important things:

  1. Keep practicing and working on your timing. I’m a foot stomp guy, but you be you.
  2. If you prefer visual indicators at this point in your journey, use them. This is rock – there are no rules.
  3. Find your own voice on the instrument.

Just keep playing! We all learn differently. There are plenty of players out there that don’t post any music but are quick to repeat all of the rules. Play on playa!

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I haven’t used the drum backing track yet, so I’ll try it. Thank you for this advice

Surely try that; many find it easier to relate to than a metronome (including me)
Mixing it up with metrnome and playing without enything makes your “rhythm snapping abilities” more flexible ,)

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Great clip on Ringo!

You don’t hear the beat; you feel the beat. What happens when, and in many pieces of music it happens, the music and/or drummer stops and you have to pick up the beat again. What you going to do - take a metronome on stage with you? There are plenty of visual clues, the drummers hands, your fellow guitarist’s strumming arm, dancers on the floor in front of you. We don’t know how are brains process all these stimuli - there are no rules…

Edit: Ps: and of course I forgot to mention orchestra conductors. That’s a very big visual clue to the beat

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Here’s an example of what I mean with a song where the band stops (twice) and the guitar picks it up:

I guess pro musicians don’t have to rely on visual cues to that extent, otherwise they’d be watching each other’s hands all the time. Sure, some guidance may be needed from time to time, but not all the time…

In this video you can see Miles sometimes gesturing to the band when to stop and start again, but they didn’t need to watch each other every second.

So, I think the sooner one starts to rely on their ears and feeling the beat/rhythm, the easier their learning will become.

I’m following this thread with interest and need to add a second comment. I honestly don’t see any harm in using visual cues, only pros. It’s like if someone told you to do a 1 mt jump or told you “jump to this red flag, it’s 1 mt”; you do your exercises to the red flag, accurately and repeateadly, and your senses and all body will naturally develop a feeling for what 1 mt is until you won’t need the red flag anymore. Especially at the beginning it happened to me so often to play bars with 5 beats :see_no_evil:…practicing looking at that “red flag” telling me where the bar ended helped to divide my foot tapping in groups of four…because it’s not like I could tap my foot consistently naturally, I needed to train it to tap. Most of the times I also need to visualize in my head where the beat is, draw an accurate mental picture of the song to be able to play it and my foot will follow along, it may sound nerd-like but it’s the only way I have a chance to learn to play the music I love.

If you were playing in 4/4, you could have just listened to and counted the clicks.

Anyway, everyone learns for themselves first and foremost, so whatever helps with getting better varies from person to person.

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Am I missing something out here? Why not use metronome or beat playing in your speakers in appropriate speed (you can tune up your bass so you can actually feel your desk/floor pulsating to the beat) and switch visuals on at the same time? Obviously remembering that they need to be synchronised with each other. It’s not a black or white kind of situation at this point, if OP is starting just use both, but ideally not only visual.

Artur, might I direct you to this topic, you may find it helpful.

I have a certain amount of sympathy for @ThereIsNoUsername 's strong preference for doing things in a way that seems to work better for him.

Rhythm was always a huge challenge for me. I couldn’t feel the beat while playing. And the conventional suggestions - count out loud, tap your foot - didn’t help at all…in fact, they made things worse.


I think it is possible this could be a bad habit in the long run. It’s hard for me to imagine developing into a good player without being able to synch up with an audible click or beat.

@ThereIsNoUsername, have you recorded yourself playing over a click or a drumbeat?

If you are in time, it should be very obvious. But with a visual indicator, you could be a little ahead or a little behind, and not know it.

If you listen back, and are clearly on the beat, then your approach is probably ok, at least for now. (But I would still dedicate at least a little bit of time in your practice routine to playing over an audible beat).

But you may be surprised - what we think we are doing while playing is sometimes not what is actually happening…and recordings don’t lie!

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