This is a free online metronome for you to play along to. You can customise the tempo (beats per minute), accent and time signature to suit your needs. Enjoy your practice!
What is a Metronome?
A metronome produces a steady pulse to help musicians play in time ('to tempo'). A metronome is a great pracatice tool to help develop your timing skills or learn to gradually build up a lick, phrase or song to the required speed.
Metronomes are also sometimes used in live performances and recording studios to make sure everyone is playing to an exact tempo.
BPM - Beats Per Minute
We measure the pulse of a metronome in beats per minute (BPM). For example, 60 BPM means sixty beats per minute, or one beat per second.
Using the Metronome
Start by selecting a tempo (BPM) using the slider. This metronome lets you set any tempo from 20 BPM to 280 BPM. If you are not sure what tempo you need, you can tap a few beats on the TAP button to the speed you want. The metronome will then calculate the BPM from your tapped beats.
Select the required time signature at the top. Most popular music is in 4/4 so choose that if you are not sure. If you're playing a waltz, choose 3/4 (3 beats per measure). You can choose whether you want the metronome to accent the first beat of each measure to help you hear the bars more easily. The more complex time signarues will allow you to select other accent patterns.
Top Tips for Using a Metronome
Find the tempo of the desired piece, either on a score or by tapping the beat. That way, you know what you're aiming for.
Alternate between playing the piece with and without the metronome, to internalise the tempo.
Start your practice at a comfortable tempo and only increase the tempo when you can play the piece without making mistakes.
Awesome One Minute Metronome Practice
Here is a simple exercise to help you to improve your timing with a metronome. It will only take you one minute! First off, make sure you are recording yourself so you can listen back. Next, do the following:
Set the metronome to 60 BPM
Pick up your instrument
Play 60 notes, trying to place every note exactly on the beat
Stop recording and listen back. Mark how many beats you hit exactly, how many before and how many after the beat.
You will soon notice that you have certain tendencies. Some people rush, others drag. The more you do this exercise, the more aware you will be of your tendencies and the better able you will be to correct your mistakes.
If you're reading from a classical music score, you may find the following tempo markings in the sheet music. Here's a guide to the different tempos and their formal names.
Larghissimo: 20 BPM or below
Grave: 21 BPM to 40 BPM
Lento: 41 BPM to 45 BPM
Largo: 46 BPM to 50 BPM
Adagio: 51 BPM to 60 BPM
Adagietto: 61 BPM to 70 BPM
Andante: 71 BPM to 85 BPM
Moderato: 86 BPM to 97 BPM
Allegretto: 98 BPM to 109 BPM
Allegro: 110 BPM to 132 BPM
Vivace: 133 BPM to 140 BPM
Presto: 141 BPM to 177 BPM
Prestissimo: 178 BPM to 240 BPM
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