The first point...Use a metronome for training and practicing. Get one. Do it!
A metronome is a device that produces a sound (a click, beep, or ping, etc) in a steady tempo.
Metronomes are used by musicians to train rhythm skills (playing in time), and understanding (internalizing) different tempos. Metronomes range from very simple to complex.
Use a metronome for any aspect of your training and playing that aligns with your goals. A steady click for chord and scale studies, rehearsal, technical training, etc. is a sure way to measure your benchmarks and ensure improvement.
Working any type of study, figure, lick, riff in slow to faster tempos, in time with a metronome, is great way to increase speed, ease, and effortlessness.
For any technical study, such as scale training, experiment with the rhythmic figures which follow.
|- Quarter Note ||- Eighth Notes [1-and]|
Eighth Note Triplets
[tri-po-let] or [1-trip-let, 2-trip-let]
|- Sixteenth Notes [1-e-and-a]|
|- [1- -and-a]||- [1-e-and- ]|
|- [1- - -a]||- [1-e- - ]|
|- [1-e- -a]||- [ - -and-a]|
1. Play single tones. Play only one tone per click. Set the device at something slow, such as 63, and start with quarter notes - one tone per beat (click).
2. Play 8th notes - 2 tones per beat (click).
3. Move through the list of rhythmic figures. A good way to organize is to pick a scale, then a figure. Next, pick a new scale and a new rhythmic figure.
4. Use the figures on repeated tones. 2 note figures for 2 repeated tones, 3 note figures for 3, 4 for 4.
Quarter notes (typically one per beat - in common time), can be broken into all of the figures shown following the first quarter note in the table. [A typical way we count the figure is in the brackets].