MUSICIAN'S BEST FRIEND
When practicing with a metronome, you are training your muscle memory to play “in-time” and your mind to connect the music to a steady beat. I encourage all my students to use a metronome when they practice but they can be expensive to buy. 20 years ago my metronome cost me $90, but with the new technology we today, metronomes have become far more affordable.
Pro Metronome is my favourite metronome app. You can download it onto your iphone, ipad or ipod touch, so now you can take your metronome with you anywhere. The round clicker allows you to change the speed quickly by moving it clockwise to increase the speed or anticlockwise to slow down. For a more careful way of selecting your tempo, you can use the arrows on either side of the play button.
Another great way to choose your speed is by tapping the ‘Tap’ button the beat you hear in your head. I use this all the time when I want to know the speed that a student is currently playing at. I can tap the beat I hear them play and the speed pops up.
All the default settings are the best to use, so no need to change anything when you click the tool/settings button. What you do need to change is removing any beat accents. Click the button on the bottom left and make sure the numbers are 1/1. I see no need to use accents as I think they are more distracting than helpful.
I highly recommend anyone practicing with this app to use earphones so the metronome beat is clearly heard by the practicer, but not by the rest of the family.
Really, the best thing about Pro Metronome is that it is free! Instead of pushing parents to buy expensive metronomes, I can just write down the title of the app and a student can download it that afternoon. Makes life a whole lot easier!