METRONOME - very important tool

I have largely hated metronome, but it was because I was using the old fashioned arm that swings back and forth (visually disturbing) and it has such a light click tone that I can easily ignore it or continue to be ahead of it; being “stay home” quarantined with Kirk ( pro bass player) has brought a new awareness of the NEED for better time; he set me up with the app and put the sound as cowbell - nice and loud and sounds like a drummer hitting that cowbell
practicing tunes and even phrases with the loud metronome has helped;
now at least I can HEAR when I am rushing
so here is a new tune I am learning " I’ll Remember April" and we recorded this right after my practice on the tune with a metronome it improved my time


Love this Lori, sounding great.

And thanks for the tips and reminder re. metronome work. It’s an easy thing to overlook particularly when performing lots of ballads.

What metronome app are you using out of interest?

I have the “Tempo” app on my iPhone which I like:

It’s a handy little app with an intuitive interface.


Nice! I have also been working on IRA with a metronome, as it turns out. Several things about this tune make it a really good one for metronome work.

If may abuse my role as a PianoGroove teacher for one second, I have a tidbit of unsolicited advice that might help other students as well (so I’m going to take the risk of offering advice openly rather than privately, and I apologize in advance if that’s off-putting). And then I also want to offer a bit of discussion following up on something you said about the metronome.

Unsolicited advice: Practice comping in your left hand with a “Charleston” rhythm. What I’m hearing is chords on beat one and beat three, and your comping can go to the next level just by anticipating the chords you’re currently playing on beat three. Play them on the “and” of beat two instead, at least most of the time. I predict you’ll find it propels the harmony better and gives a better time feel overall.

And about the metronome: Yes, it is a pain when the metronome is too quiet. However, I find that setting the metronome quiet so I have to listen carefully for it has actually helped me grow as a musician because it forces me to be listening attentively while I play. It makes me listen to how the timing of my playing relates to the timing of my bandmate (who is, in this instance, a metronome).

So give this some thought. Consider that you don’t want the metronome beating you over the head if you can help it, because in group situations your band is hopefully not going to do that. It needs to be loud enough, but only just. The quieter you can make it (without artificially lowering the volume of your own playing), the more you’ll be forcing yourself to use your ears while you practice with it.


Robert. I spent more time working on the comping rhythm and my time … it’s still hesitant in the left hand but I think I’m getting more FEEL…

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Really wonderful improvement! I hear a lot more confidence in your timing and articulation in both hands. In the first video even phrases that were correct sounded a bit tentative at times, and now by comparison everything sounds really much more solid.

Thanks for sharing that! Well done!

This comparison really shows what a difference the FEEL makes, as you mentioned.