How To Work with a Metronome

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    Hello Andrew and all,

    I realized today that working with a metronome is a real challenge for me.

    I know how fundamental this is! I suppose it’s like explaining how to do ABC and 123. ๐Ÿ™

    But as a metronome novice, it’s really difficult and confusing. I get really flustered and not sure where notes should fall.

    Is there a tutorial for this for absolute beginners?

    I understand basic music theory: note lengths, rests, etc, but how to translate that into correctly timed notes is the difficult part.

    Thanks so much!


    Hi Betsy, what you want to do is count and handclap rhythms alongside the metronome. This should always be done before playing, as it helps ingrain the rhythm. Our beginner lesson, which teaches this method and explains rhythms, can be found here.

    In the video tutorial (at 13:34 into it), I use this method to work through all 11 exercises with you. I would recommend doing it with me, and then trying it on your own with the on-screen tab viewer, with the metronome activated. Count and clap, and when you feel comfortable with that, count and play the rhythm (which is only the open A string) on ukulele.

    The above lesson is a great start, but if you really want to develop rhythm and timing, the best way is by learning to read notation.


    Thank you, Andrew. I will do that!
    I’m familiar with notation; I understand what the symbols mean, but I don’t know how to play them in time with a metronome.



    My pleasure! And yes, I understand what you are saying. Give that lesson a go, and if you need extra help, I’d recommend a Skype lesson with Stephen. He’ll be able to clear any confusion you may have.


    Hi Andrew,

    OK, that helped a little. I understand notation.

    It’s not so much confusion; It’s actually doing it.

    I can understand a dotted quarter note and a triplet, but actually playing it in time with a metronome or without, I get flustered too.

    I will keep working at what I can.

    Yes, the clapping in time is probably a good idea for me!!!

    I’m working on Better Together, a big challenge but I’m willing to try! The lesson is VERY clear.

    Of course, nothing replaces practice and familiarity with the notes, fingers, etc.

    Thanks again!


    Betsy I was struggling with the metronome too, it was actually one of my more recent revelations I had. Just wanted to holler that you aren’t alone though! I was using my metronome really weird for the longest time.


    I feel you, it used to confuse me too. Keep working at it. I’ll talk to Matt about doing a live lesson on this subject. I think it would be a good one for him to cover.


    That’s awesome Andrew! TY! I have a couple questions prepped for whenever that happens ๐Ÿ˜


    Hi Becky,
    I figured it wasn’t just me.

    Many people coming to uke are like me who had limited musical backgrounds, or quite often NO musical background before we became enamored with this little instrument.

    I did find that the online tab doesn’t work as well with MS Edge, so I switched to Firefox. On Edge it wouldn’t let me move the start cursor or effectively select to repeat sections! Grrr!

    So, that is a good tool to use, but I still need more practice to get past the mechanics enough to play in time.

    I’m working on Better Together, the “beginners” piece. Whew! I am progressing through it, it still seems daunting at this point! I’ll get there! Even if I end up stumbling, I”m better today than I was yesterday, so that’s good. Such a great piece of music and completely new to me.

    We’ll get there!


    Just talked to Matt, we’ll tackle this for July’s live lesson ๐Ÿ™‚


    You rock!

    MANY Thanks!


    Hey guys! Friendly reminder, tonight’s live lesson will be all about working with a metronome ๐Ÿ™‚

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