I have a real problem playing to a metronome – and I know I’m not alone. Playing to a drum track is much easier. And the problem gets even bigger when I’m playing shorter notes than quarters – trying to play sixteenths to a metronome is a real challenge.
Enter the “Victor Wooten Metronome Trick” that I found on a blog called FlyingSoulo. Basically, set the metronome at double or quadruple the intended BPM. Say you’re playing a lick consisting of eights at 120 bpm, which would mean playing two notes every metronome click. It’s much easier timing that lick as quarters at 240 bpm, playing one note for every click. The actual playing speed is the same, but since you’re playing every note to a click it’s easier to time than when you’re interpolating one note between every click. The effect is even more noticeable when you’re playing sixteenths (although not all metronomes go to 480). When you’re comfortable at speed at double metronome speed, back down to intended BPM.
Read more an watch a video of Victor Wooten showing and telling at the FlyingSoulo blog.
Photo © 2011 J. Ronald Lee