Meet The Metronome

Let your metronome be your best friend and thrive in your guitar journey! ;)


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I have met the metronome.

I am using it as Justin suggests to get the strumming in time with the beat. I am concentrating on three strumming patterns. 4D, 4DU and of course Old Faithful. I am practicing at 80/100/120 bpm as they match some of songs I play along with, on the app, I also occasionally change chords but that is not the problem, First two patterns are not too bad but with Old Faithful timing the last up strum and last down strum is problematic it is ok for short period of time. It is better at faster bpm but I think that could be as it is not so obvious.

I know the answer is more practice which is fine but would it be better either to

  1. do each pattern at 80bpm then move on to 100bpm for each pattern etc or
  2. Take each pattern through the different bpm

I am thinking the later what does anybody else think.

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I’m having similar issues and look forward to the responses from the more experienced players.

I’m having similar issues and look forward to the responses from the more experienced players

Glad I am not the only one Victor

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I think this entire issue is related to how we count from 1 to 4 when when we add ups. The great initial tendency is to go 1,up,2,up,3up,4 and then head back to 1. Even a bit of hesitation will throw off your rhythm at higher speed. I’m having the exact same issue with 16th notes when I have to count 1e+a, 2e+a, 3e+a,4e+a. I keep tripping up on the last “a” out of desire to get to the next number quicker, I guess. Maybe its panic when we get to what is perceived to be the end of the pattern. To get over this initial hang up I just sang the damn thing over and over all day long with an emphasis on that last up or a. When you expect it to be there it shows up in your count.

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@LunaC
I think the answers is practice, practice, practice, if it all came easily where would the fun being in learning!

In my thoughts, the issue is how to time the “&”, the “e” and the “a” correctly.

The metronome clicks on the beat, but nowhere else, so these additional strums need to come in this arbitrary space between the beats. We are not practiced in judging where to land in this space.

I have practiced by setting the metronome to faster beats. So for 8th note strumming, set it at twice your goal (120 for 60 bpm) and strum down on click one, up on click two and so on. Similarly for 16th beat. It helps you learn to even out the times.

@Jamolay
You sound to be way ahead of me on the learning path, still trying to get ‘Old Faithful’ in time with metronome, especially at slow speeds

@MAT1953 I found this to be really challenging too, but it feels really good once you get it.

One thing that helped me with “Old Faithful” was to tap my foot with each click of the metronome. Then you will start to notice that your foot is coming up on the “ands” which gives you a target for your up strums. Then you can start to feel how the rhythm fits in and around the beat.

Once you have Old Faithful mastered, you should use the metronome and foot tapping on other more complex strumming patterns and see how they fit around the beat.

One side benefit of this is that it has really helped with my timing when I am not using a metronome. By tapping my foot I can keep a pretty constant BPM and avoid speeding up and slowing down throughout the song.

Yes, a little ahead. But when I was learning old faithful, it helped me to time both up and down strums to the metronome as I described. That is how I learned where the up strums fit in and how to get all the components in on time.

@Rider2040
Thanks for the tip on ups
@Jamolay
The first up strum is generally ok but as you say the gap between the up strums is where it seems to go wrong in not getting the down strum on the beat. Ok for a few bars then it seems to go wrong, more practice I think.

I’ve been slowing it right down so I can sing the e, +, a while keeping a steady motion in between beats and then working up to speed. I’ve also resorted to rewriting it as two groups of 8 notes (2 old faithfuls) and putting emphasis on every 4 note. You still think you are playing 8th notes, but once sped up it sounds like 16th note strumming. Or you can do nothing and just develop a feel for it by ear. Before I knew anything about this I was noticing that some songs felt like they were magically just adding quick flicks. If you feel where they are you can be damn close to getting it right without knowing how to write it out. Unfortunately, I also think I start accelerating whenever I do that. I used to think old faithful was tricky, but it all gets figured out by the brain somehow.

@MAT1953

Do it slow, slower if necessary, get it right slowly, then build back up.

Hope that helps.

Cheers :smiley:

| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide

@Richard_close2u Thanks Richard. I have been doing a bit of analysis and experiments over the last few days and the issue as you would expect is the time interval between the up strums being too short. Went back to basics and started to count out the beats aloud and that has helped a lot. At 100 BPM it is starting to come together, also at slower BPM.
Michael

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