How to Play Random 8th, 16th & Triplet Notes w/ a Metronome

Learn how to play 8th, 16th and triplet notes using a metronome and how to improve improv technique from musician Michael Aarons in this Howcast video.


So a more advanced technique that I learned when I was starting improvisation is something that seems on paper very simple, but it is actually harder than you think, and what it is is playing random notes with a metronome without stopping. What it does is it gets you out of your comfort zone. We all play licks, we all play lines. Even as we improvise we pretty much gravitate towards muscle memory, where our fingers are used to going. And by getting out of that box, we start to work on ways to not know where we're going next, which is really improvisation.

But what it also does is it helps us hone in on our picking technique, because if the left hand doesn't know what the right hand's doing and vice versa, and you're improvising in real time and you can't stop with the metronome, it really takes you out of your comfort zone. I'm just going to play random 8th notes. Now you'll hear that I kind of flubbed a few notes and why that was is because, keep in mind as soon as you find your fingers, and you find yourself going to natural places where you know, and you start playing a lick or you start playing a line that you've played before, stop yourself and remind yourself that you just have to play random 8th notes.

And as soon as you do that, you'll see that you might flub a couple notes, because you're forcing your way out of the box to do some new things. And it's a really cool thing to do. You can also instead of 8th notes, you can do 8th note triplets and 16th notes, raising and lowering the BPM of the metronome. The faster you go and the rhythmic values that you do that a little harder it really becomes challenging. So here's some 8th note triplets. So you can hear that it's starting to really become a little bit more challenging. Let's try it slow first and then try it faster and you'll see that it's pretty cool. Keep in mind your picking hand and you'll really start to be able to get some better facility and get around the guitar. And your improvisational skills will definitely improve.

Popular Categories