How to Use a Metronome

By Contributor
Use a Metronome

How to Use a Metronome. Some music requires you to play at a certain speed or tempo. By measuring the beats per minute, a metronome will help you keep time steadily without wobbling.

Look at the scale of numbers printed on the metronome. The numbers indicate beats per minute.

Set the metronome at 60 (60 beats per minute) and turn it on.

Set the speed to 120 beats per minute, twice as fast as 60.

Start out on a low number, then gradually go higher.

Repeat the beat of the metronome on your instrument; for instance, if you are playing the piano, hit a key on each beat.

Read your music, paying attention to the tempo mark at the top of the page. For instance, if it says M.M.=100 (M.M. stands for Maelzel's Metronome), play the piece at a speed of 100 beats a minute. Set your metronome accordingly.

Play your music following the pulse of the metronome.

Turn off the metronome after you've developed a feel for the right tempo, and play the piece with the pulse in your memory.

Try this practice with a variety of music at different speeds. You will eventually be able to memorize the right tempo for every piece you play.

Tip

There are basically two types of metronomes available today. The original Maelzel's Metronome measures time through the mechanics of a pendulum moving faster or slower depending on the position of a metal weight sliding upwards and downwards. The digital metronome is of a more recent date and also a little more accurate. It is started by setting a dial button to the appropriate speed and turning it on.