Creeping Metronome

Most people suffer from trying to achieve things too quickly – this is especially true in the music practice room. Trying to practice too quickly will mean that you are not able to li

sten properly, may not get things exactly right and end up taking much longer to complete the practice task at hand. Unfortunately it’s very difficult to rely on ourselves to be patient and practice more slowly.

Enter the creeping metronome . . .

The metronome is a very useful tool in the music practice room. If you don”t have one then you should definitely consider getting one – you will certainly need it to use this practice method! Metronomes come in many different types – some are clockwork, some electric and some digital. They all however have one thing in common. They can all change the number of beats they give one notch at a time. You can read our article on choosing a metronome for more advice.

So here’s what you do to prepare. At the start of your practice week find a section of music or technique that you are having difficulty with. Next, set the metronome to a very slow speed (try starting at 54 beats a minute). Try to play the music at this speed. You need to be very disciplined to stick to this slow speed – don”t be tempted to rush and stick to the beat.If you can play the section of music comfortably at this speed gradually increase th
e speed of the metronome to a speed where you can only just play your section of music. Note down in your notebook what that speed is. That is the preparation complete – now you are ready to begin your practice for the week with the creeping metronome method.

Start the week by practicing your section of music one notch slower than the speed you wrote down. You should be able to play the section reasonably well at this speed – aim to get it as good as you can. Only practice at this speed the first day. On the next
This method needs some will power – you will be tempted to move the metronome up 2 or 3 notches a day. Don’t! Resist this temptation. By doing this it will take you longer to improve in the long run. One notch at a time and you will very soon be able to play that section of music very well! day increase the speed by one notch (this is the speed you wrote down before) again practice at this speed only and try to get is as good as possible. Onto the next day and you should increase the speed by another notch. Each subsequent day of the week you need to increase the speed by one notch.

Rememeber that sometimes the speed might feel quite slow – you need to concentrate at these times to make sure you are being as accurate as you can.

Enjoy your practice!

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