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Work That Metronome!

Every musician should have a metronome, there are many available for download for free. I highly recommend the Tonal Energy app for your phone, it’s a terrific tuner and metronome. I’d encourage you to use your metronome daily. Most often we use it to “keep the beat” which is good, however, we should also work on developing our timing skills or our internal clock. The following exercises will help with the development of pulse--the space between the metronome clicks. Set your metronome to a comfortable tempo, say, 100 BPM (beats per minute) and clap the following patters: (top line is the metronome click, bottom, tap, clap or play on your horn.

Adding space between beats. Rather than all four beats, set the click for the half notes…. Then just the downbeat. Then every other measure.

These studies should be practiced a variety of tempi, you’ll likely find that the slower the slower the tempo the more challenging this becomes. Once you’re comfortable clapping the patterns, add them to your instrument. Our goal here is to start interacting with the metronome rather than using it simply as a passive device.

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