I feel like in all the years, I’ve made so VERY little progress using a metronome… I questioned my own normalcy. ‘This is what everyone does - why doesn’t it work for me?!’
Now I think that maybe I finally figured out why…
Recently I’ve been using a method from Peter Hadcock, a clarinetist with the Boston Symphony (separate post). I feel like something’s finally happening. Without reproducing all the specifics here, the idea is NOT to sit on a tempo ‘until it feels comfortable,’ and only then move on. Rather, you use the metronome to coax more and more out of your hands (it’s hard to describe… I haven’t really analyzed Hadcock’s method yet to get ‘under the hood’).
Speed-X-until-it-feels-comfy - the way I always tried to use the metronome in the past - would be, in the weightlifting world, like saying: keep benching 100 lbs., until it feels comfortable, and then you’ll be able to do 120. (No you won’t! You won’t even get to 110 that way.) I know it’s dangerous to mix athletic metaphors into guitar practice, but I think this analogy may actually work.
If you’re goal is 100 lbs., you’ve got to do more than 100 lbs to reach it. Same with a scale, a lick, DWPS, etc.
I think I never got anywhere with the metronome before now because I didn’t understand the fallacy of ‘get-comfy’ thinking (which seemed like conventional wisdom to me). Makes sense? Anyone else had this experience?