Metronome Practice

The metronome practice exercises are designed to establish a feeling for the subdivisions of a pulse. Training to effortlessly switch between the subdivisions will instill confidence when sight-reading mixed rhythms.

Do not do the exercises mechanically. Play attention to your sound and especially on how well you are matching the metronome. These exercises are repetitive and they can become boring. Just do them for a short period each day. You can add variety by using different articulations and by playing them in other keys. If you find your attention beginning to wander, go on to another practice activity.

Memorize the exercises right away so you can play them without the music. Concentrate on merging your notes with the pulse delineated by the metronome.

Start with the metronome set to 60 bpm. The pulse is 60 beats per minute, or one click per second. As you become more proficient, gradually increase the speed.

Playing the Exercises

Play the first line of Exercise A several times with one quarter note on each click of the metronome. Pause. Breath where it is comfortable. This will vary depending on how slowly you are playing.

Play the second line of Exercise A several times with every other eighth note falling on a metronome click. Pause.

Play the third line of Exercise A several times with the first sixteenth note of every group falling on a metronome click. Pause.

After you have mastered the divisions separately, play them one after the other.


Play line 1 once, then immediately move on to line 2 and play it two times, then play line 3 two times, and then back to line 2, etc.

After you become comfortable with Exercise A, move on to Exercise B and follow the same procedure that was used for Exercise A.

Go through Exercise C the same way, then mix and match parts from all the exercises to challenge your ability to switch from one subdivision to the other.



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