A metronome is a device you can use to help you learn to keep a steady time on the guitar. And also determine the correct tempo to play a song. There is no such things as a “guitar metronome”, so really this can be used for any instrument.
The number that is indicated is the number of beats per minute, sometimes referred to as “bpm”.
For the online metronome below, just click the “on” power switch below, and use the slider to select the speed.
If you have any trouble with the online version of this flash metronome, or would like a copy to use on your computer…below are some download links. One is for use on a Mac, and one for a PC. Right click on the link, and save the file to your computer. The download metronomes are in zip files, so you will need to unzip the file once it is on your computer.
Please Login to download this Metronome (Mac or PC)
Metronome Indications in Guitar Music
If you are playing from written music, you will sometimes see the tempo of the song written like…
The m.m. actually stands for “Maelzel’s Metronome”, who was the original inventor. But often these days people take it to mean “Metronome Mark”. Sometime the m.m. is not shown, but just so you know what it means if you do see it.
Then there is an indication of which rhythm the click of the metronome is going to represent. (In this case the quarter note), and then the number for the bpm.
You will also sometimes see some English words that represent the feel and tempo of the song. So you might see something like these…
Italian Tempo Terms & the Metronome
If you are playing Classical Music, you will often see the tempo written as an Italian term. Below are some of the most common ones, and the metronome ranges for each.
Largo – Very Slow (40–60 bpm)
Adagio – Slow (60–80 bpm)
Andante – “at a walking pace” (75–105 bpm)
Moderato – Medium (90-115 bpm)
Allegro – Fast (120–140 bpm)
Presto – Very Fast (140-170 bpm)
Prestissimo – Extremely Fast (170+ bpm)
Practicing Guitar With a Metronome
If you are new to practicing your guitar with a metronome…just accept that you may get a little frustrated at first.
The good news is you can’t throw this online metronome across the room in anger…just please do not stick the neck of your guitar into your computer monitor Pete Townshend style
At first try an only play a small part of the song or exercise with the metronome. Start slow, and then increase the speed as you become more comfortable. Keep one ear on what you are playing, and one ear on the metronome.
Another important part of playing with the metronome is learning to anticipate when it’s going to click. If you wait to play until you hear it, it’s too late. You will always be behind the time.
Practicing your guitar with a metronome helps keep you honest with the time. Without it you may play some parts of the song faster, and other parts slower. But the ultimate goal of guitar practice with a metronome is to help you develop your own internal sense of time.