It’s going to happen, you’re going to show up for a new gig and someone’s going to say it: “You’ve played with a click before, right?” This is not the time to suddenly wish you’d gotten more familiar with your metronome at home. So? How do you best prepare for this situation? It’s not hard, and it doesn’t even have to be complicated or boring either.
First of all get yourself a good metronome. By a good metronome, I don’t mean that $20 pocket sized black box with a bunch of old Italian words written all over it. To the contrary, a good metronome should have the following:
- A wide range of tempos (50-250 beats per minute is standard)
- Customizable beat groupings (4/4, 3/4, 6/8 are bare minimum essentials)
- Customizable beat subdivisions (1/4 note, 8th note, 16th note, and 8th note triplets are standard)
- A good quality headphone jack
On top of those basic features the ability to save your settings will come in very handy.
The Boss Dr. Beat has become the standard for a great metronome. The problem is, it’s expensive. The good news, if you’re a smartphone user, is that there are some great apps out there for a much smaller investment. I use Tempo on my iPhone and iPad – and it’s only $1.99!!!!
Now go out there and get yourself a good metronome, and get to know it and all its features. In Part II, we’ll talk about how to best practice with your new ‘nome.