How to practice with a metronome
Your metronome can be simple, with only a dial and power switch, or it can be highly sophisticated, with multiple programs and play options. For new players, opt for a simple metronome and upgrade as needed.
Set your speed:
Your metronome with have a dial with numbers ranging from 40-200+. These are the BPM, or beats per minute. Use these to choose a specific speed at which to practice.
The tempo markings, such as “adagio,” “allegro,” “presto,” etc, will also be displayed somewhere along the dial, usually marking the range of BPMs that fall under their tempo marking.
Move the dial to the tempo at which you would like to practice.
When learning a new piece of music, you will want to start slower than the tempo marking in the music. A good rule is to start at about half the speed of the assigned tempo.
Start at a tempo slow enough to play the passage without making any mistakes. This can be tedious depending on its difficulty, but you will learn the piece accurately.
Once you are able to play at the slowest speed perfectly, set the metronome to a slightly higher tempo, 5 or 10 beats faster.
Gradually build your tempo up to the desired tempo of the piece. If you’re practicing everything correctly, you will be able to play your passage at the correct speed with ease!