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Metronome and Learning New Tunes

Posted by blazo on Monday, December 4, 2017

like this

My usual way to learn a new song is to do it without the metronome, that comes later. I feel like I need to get the song in my fingers before I really start to think about about timing. Lately, I've been thinking this is the wrong way to go about it. I wonder if it's better to learn the song while using the metronome and build the timing in with the memorization of the song? What're your thoughts on this?

I have a couple of versions of Cripple Creek and a couple versions of Cluck Ol' Hen in my fingers, been working with the metronome to stitch them each together. Twice on the A part, twice on the B part, then repeat that sequence with the second version. It's slow going but I see improvement every day. I wonder if I built the timing in with the memorization if I would have an easier time with this. I'm going to start learning songs with the metronome to see what happens, it certainly can't hurt.

I recently bought Hatfield's books, 1-3 plus the Exercises and Jamming books. I've discovered, by reading the exercise book, that I had a couple issues that need correction. I didn't even realize that they were problems until I read about them. These books are almost as good as having a teacher that can show you the mistakes and how to correct them. Thanks Jack, for bringing things to light that I may not have otherwise considered. It pays to slow down and really focus on technique. 


5 comments on “Metronome and Learning New Tunes”

Boadicea Says:
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 @12:58:21 AM

I love reading about everyone's practising.

I know nothing about metronomes, but it is exciting to see your blog entry blazo!

I couldn't do without my banjo teacher, but that is just me.

I will look forward to reading more of your banjo music making journey, and how you work out what types of learning work best for you in your learning journey.

pickn5 Says:
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 @5:34:09 AM

@blazo try using backing tracks. Here on BHO, go to Media, MP3 library, and use advance search to see if there is one for the tune your practicing. Keep picking.

WayneConrad Says:
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 @8:12:31 AM

Always learn with good timing. That doesn't mean you have to be able to play it fast, but the relationship between the notes should be right. At first, just make sure that the quarter notes are really quarter notes, that two eight notes are evenly divided into the beat, and that your beats are regular (later, you'll modify the timing subtly to make it more musical, e.g. "swing" or "bounce"). The metronome can help to learn that timing. I would say to practice a few tunes using the metronome from the beginner. As you get more sure of your timing, you won't need the metronome to learn a tune, but you will still use it for difficult rhythms or to speed up a tune and still keep your timing good.

WayneConrad Says:
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 @8:15:14 AM

"from the beginner" should have read "from the beginning."

Boadicea Says:
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 @5:29:44 PM

pickn5 backing tracks! Great idea! ***goes off to search for some backing tracks*** I didn't think to search the BHO for backing tracks.

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