If you don’t posses a metronome then you really should get one! Clockwork or battery powered doesn’t matter although I much prefer the satisfying tic toc of a clockwork version. It is an essential and yet extremely underused gadget which can get your fingers moving really quickly, and most importantly: accurately.
So heres a little teaching tip aimed at bringing your piece of music up to speed while still maintaining accuracy.
First, get the metronome off the shelf! Now find that pesky piece of music that you can play, but just won’t come up to speed without any wrong notes. Now set the metronome to a really slow speed where you can play the whole thing correctly.
Speed at this point is irrelevant, the only thing that counts is no wrong notes.
When you can play the piece perfectly at that slow speed, slide the weight of the metronome down one mark making it run quicker (two beats per minute if your metronome is digital bpm) and play the piece again. If it’s not quite there, then slow the metronome down by the same amount and repeat until it’s perfect.
From here repetition is the name of the game. Every time you play your piece correctly: increase the speed. Every time it’s wrong: reduce the speed. Remember the previous article, 15 minute sessions playing this game is ample. Be warned this is going to get boring but do persevere, results will come pretty quickly.
Of course there is no need to do this on a whole piece of music; it’s a great technique for troublesome passages. Finally a word for those that intend playing in public. Use this to practice 10 to 20 bpm faster than you will ever play it out. The reason? It will always be easy to play in front of an audience meaning you can play with confidence and relax knowing the chances of a mistake are minimal.
Practicing with a metronome is one of the concert musician’s worst kept secrets, and you can see results surprisingly quickly with this simple method.
If you don’t already have a metronome, check out the Accordion Central shop.