If you’re an accordionist, you’ve likely heard of the importance of metronome practice. But is it essential? Learning a new instrument can be intimidating, and many novice musicians often feel overwhelmed by the task. Let’s discuss the evidence and how to use a metronome in your practice routine.
Fortunately, help is available in multiple forms – instruction from your music teacher as well as with the use of metronomes. For decades now, these handy time-keeping tools have been used to aid aspiring accordionists on their musical journey – but opinions are divided when it comes to using them!
Some believe there are notable benefits while others think they’re not needed at all. Let’s dive into both sides of this debate so you can decide what works best for you!
What is a Metronome?
Metronomes are the ultimate timekeeper for musicians. They provide an unwavering beat to help keep players in tune with each other and their musical pieces, no matter whether they’re playing together or alone.
Available as both digital and mechanical devices – from quick tangos to slow waltzes- metronomes can be set up for virtually any tempo or desired rhythm.
A metronome is a tool used by musicians to maintain a consistent beat during practice. It can be set at different tempos or speeds of music so that musicians can work on playing faster or slower as needed.
A metronome also helps musicians keep track of their progress over time—the higher the tempo they can play without losing accuracy, the better they have gotten at that particular piece of music.
Benefits of Metronome Practice
Practicing with a metronome offers several benefits for accordionists. First and foremost, it helps you keep your rhythm steady and accurate while playing complicated pieces.
Without worrying about keeping yourself on the beat, you can focus more on other aspects of your performance—like dynamics and nuances—which will make your music sound more prosperous and expressive.
Five reasons to practice accordion with a metronome:
- A metronome will help you develop a better sense of timing which is very helpful for beginner accordionists.
- It will prevent you from unintentionally speeding up or slowing down while playing music.
- A metronome will help beginner accordionists synchronize the bass notes and piano keys with greater accuracy.
- Playing with a metronome will help you develop and polish your auditory and listening skills. You will develop a much better sense of rhythm and tempo (Music signatures).
- Metronome’s ticking sound will “declutter” and “clean up” any unnecessary pauses, buttons, or critical pushing and even help you with gauging your timing for opening and closing the bellows, thus, improving your “bellow technique.”
In the video below, the accordionist is playing a simple, beginners melody while using a metronome to help him pace the tempo and notes.
In a video below, a concertina accordionist is practicing a melody to the sounds of metronome.
Additionally, playing with a metronome will help you develop muscle memory for difficult passages so that they will come out naturally and quickly when you perform them live or in an audition setting.
Finally, practicing with a metronome helps build speed and accuracy in all aspects of playing the accordion — from scales to arpeggios to complex melodies — allowing you to become a better overall musician.
How To Use a Metronome in Your Practice Routine
Using a metronome in your practice routine isn’t complicated but requires patience and dedication. Start by finding the right tempo for each song—it should be slow enough that you can play each note accurately without rushing but fast enough that there are still some challenges involved.
Once you have found the right tempo, set your metronome to that number and begin playing along with it while paying attention to accuracy and timing. As you become more comfortable with the song at this speed, gradually increase it until you can play at full tempo without any mistakes.
Make sure to take breaks as needed so that your hands don’t get too fatigued; this will ensure that every practice session is productive and enjoyable!
A few popular metronomes to consider
Personally, I am a fan of mechanical metronomes not only because of their durable design and longevity but also their classic looks and appeal. These three are my favorites and I’d highly recommend them to any accordionist looking to invest in one.
Tempi Metronome for Musicians – Includes Ebook and 2-Year Warranty – Mechanical Metronome for Piano, Accordion, Keyboard, and other musical instruments (Plastic Teak Grain Veneer). This is a well engineered, durable and elegant looking mechanical metronome that can nicely complement your piano or button accordion.
Mechanical Metronome Loud Sounding suitable for any instrument including the accordion. Wood Grain finish by Ueteto. Pleasant click & bell sounds. Wind up mechanism produce metrical beats, no battery required; Tempo range: 40-208 bpm; Beat selection:0,2,3,4,6.
This is a gorgeous, classic German made metronome by WITTNER. A company known for producing some of the finest metronomes in the world for almost a hundred years. This model comes in a mahogany color and produces a wonderful organic pendulum sound.
A few final words
Metronomes are an invaluable tool for accordionists looking to develop their speed, accuracy, rhythm stability, and overall musicianship skills! Using one in your regular practice routine is essential if you want to reach peak performance levels across all areas of playing the instrument.
From scales to arpeggios to complex melodies – so take advantage of this vital step when preparing for performances or auditions! With some patience and dedication – not only will using a metronome benefit your playing – but it will also make practicing much more enjoyable!
Dino is a hobbyist accordionist who loves music, photography, architecture, design and a slew of other fun things. He decided to launch this blog due to an increasing popularity of the accordion. He learned how to play the accordion by ear as a child and then progressed on to keyboards and eventually a drum set. He grew up in the Balkans and now lives in California where he occasionally plays the accordion at birthday parties and NYE celebrations. He now shares his love for the accordion through this blog.