Opinion: a metronome is one of the biggest differentiators between a good musician and a technician of a musician.
A metronome is a device that keeps time. It clicks out a set number of beats per minute, or bpm, for a musician to play with, practice with, and most definitely record with. Although crucial for developing a concrete sense of time, the metronome is widely feared (especially in the guitar community) because of how quickly it highlights inconsistencies in one’s performance. Without a click, a musical passage might sound perfect to the player; however, nuanced time fluctuations in said player’s performance are “called out” by the metronome because their timing is out of sync with the definitive, mechanical cry of the metronome.
So many musicians (again, I’m calling out guitarists here) cast out practicing with a metronome as a result. What most do not know is that it only takes patience in the form of a little practice at a slower bpm to fix this time problem. I personally find that my playing improves everyday with just 15-30 minutes with a metronome. And when I can’t play something at the intended speed, putting in the hours at increments of 5-10 bpm – slowly ramping up speed as I get the passage tighter and cleaner – is the most consistent and surefire path to reaching that intended speed.
Opinion: at a certain point, using a metronome becomes a must.
Creative and Click Tracker