This is a public version of the members-only Banjo with Tony Trischka, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Banjo with Tony Trischka.
Join Now

Level 1: Beginner
Level 2: Intermediate
Level 3: Advanced
Old Time Fingerpicking
Classic Style Banjo
Celtic Tunes
30 Day Challenge
Playing Backup
«Prev of Next»

Banjo Lessons: Metronome

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Written Materials +

+Level 1: Beginner

+Level 2: Intermediate

+Level 3: Advanced

+Old Time Fingerpicking

+Classic Style Banjo


+Celtic Tunes

+Playing Backup

Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   

This video lesson is available only to members of
Banjo with Tony Trischka.

Join Now

information below Close
Course Description

This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Banjo with Tony Trischka. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Banjo Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
the most important aspect of playing music
is playing in good time.
Playing with really good rhythm and though
some people, like Earl Scruggs,
was just born with a psychotically amazing
sense of time as you know, are others.
Most people like to work with a metronome
to kind of, or they may not like to but
they do work with a metronome to get their
timing together.
I really enjoy it because it feels like
I'm working with something outside myself.
Some people, I say metronome because it's
easy to travel with.
I just throw it in my banjo case and I've
got it with me.
If you have a laptop if you travel, or
just at home, you can, I think there's
something called online you
can get that there are drum machines.
There are a lot of various time keepers
that you can use.
Right now I've got a metronome right here.
And you know, I'd rather hear someone
playing very simple music really in time,
as opposed to someones who's learned a
whole bunch of hot lyrics and is not
really playing them in time, where it's
just a little bit scattered rhythmically.
So, I'm trying to give you a couple of
ways to get started with a metronome.
I always do a work, when I do a workshop I
always say, okay, how many people
have a metronome and at least two-thirds
of the people raise their hands up high.
And then I say okay,
how many of you use their metronome, most
of the hands come down.
So, I really do highly suggest working
with a metronome, because there's nothing
better when you start feeling the groove
and you start feeling in your own fingers.
That you've really, you're starting to get
good time.
And it takes a while, working with a
Unless you are one of those lucky people
that have really great time to begin with.
To just really start feeling that groove
and feel like, okay,
this is really happening right now.
You're really starting to lock into the
And again, playing with other people, it's
really important.
And you might play with people that don't
have the best time but
you can become a groove merchant if you
The person that's laying down the time and
kind of locking things in for the band.
They can use you for their human
So I can't stress this enough.
Really work with the metronome.
Really get your time together.
I have this set at 88.
It's a little random.
Somewhere around that time, tempo.
It could be 80, it could be 92, somewhere
around in there.
[SOUND] Turn it on.
[SOUND] And most metronomes these days
have a little moving light
there which gives you a visual cue as well
as the aural cue.
[SOUND] Let's take the alternating thumb
[SOUND] And I think to start with, let's
just play one note per click.
So let's do all of Boiling Cabbage Down
playing one note per click [SOUND]
Okay, once you're getting that down you
could play two notes per click, which is
what I usually do.
Which means you're playing twice as fast.
So, again, let's just go to the
alternating thumb roll.
One two, one two, one two, one two,
Like that.
And now let's try a little bit of the
Osborne roll.
One two,
one two, one two, one two, one two, one
Here's Sourwood Mountain.
And so on and so forth.
So really get down with your metronome,
really work it.
this is also a really good way to build
speed by just setting it at one tempo.
[SOUND] And moving it up.
And I'll talk a little bit a, more about
that in a little bit so,
just remember that building up speed can,
can come from the metronome as well.