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João Luiz on Rhythm and Metronome

Brazilian Guitarist João Luiz talks about the importance of rhythm and practicing with the metronome

Inspiration by Metronome Online with

We are joined this week by one of the best Brazilian guitarists out there. An artist-in-residence at Stony Brook University and a member of Brasil Guitar Duo, João Luiz answers a few questions for us.

1) Why is rhythm important?

I like to think about rhythm and pulse as two of the most vital components of music, at least regarding the type of music that I like to listen and play. Good rhythmic foundation is essential, and it is present in Palestrina, Bach, Chopin, and many others. In the guitar, the act of synchronizing the left and right hand is the understanding of the ‘rhythm’ of the fingers of each hand moving together at the same speed.

2) How often do you practice with a metronome?

I only practice with the metronome. Even at times when I am playing extremely slow, or sight-reading a piece I always like to use the metronome and play around with its subdivisions.

"The more you learn how to play on the beat the freer you become!"

3) Why is it important to practice with a metronome?

One can be so creative using the metronome, with a lot of possibilities of subdivisions, accents in different places, or even as I like to do using two metronomes with different speeds. The metronome allows me a lot of flexibility in my practice, as oppose to imprisoning as many people think. The more you learn how to play on the beat the freer you become, at least in my experience. Although I don’t think that the practice with the metronome corrects bad rhythm it is important that musicians do use the metronome regularly and creatively, and that brings us to the great features of Metronome Online.

4) Can you name one thing that you like about the metronome on

I like how metronomeonline keeps track of our practice goals.

João Luiz on Rhythm and Metronome

João Luiz

Two time Latin Grammy nominee guitarist, educator, and composer João
Luiz, began to play the popular music of his native Brazil professionally
during his childhood and was later trained in classical guitar by his
mentor Henrique Pinto. Winner of the 2006 Concert Artists Guild
Competition as a member of the critically acclaimed Brasil Guitar Duo,
João has performed extensively in the United States, Asia, Europe and
Latin America. As a performer and composer João is equally at home
with classical, Brazilian and world music; his solo guitar, guitar
ensemble and chamber music repertoire covers all the main works in the
guitar literature from Dowland to Berio and Brazilian rhythms from
Choro to Baião. His versatility led him to be chosen to collaborate with
Yo-Yo Ma and Carlos Prieto on a project to celebrate the 75th
anniversary of the Cuban composer Leo Brouwer in a landmark concert
in Cuba in 2014.

His arrangements and compositions have been recorded and played by
Marina Piccinini, Fábio Zanon, Paulo Martelli, Quaternaglia, Olson/De
Cari Duo, Paquito D’Rivera, Clarice Assad, Parker String Quartet,
Bridget Kibbey, Sybarite 5, The Newman & Oltman guitar duo,
Aquarelle Guitar Quartet, and the New York City Classical Guitar
Society. João has recorded more than thirteen CDs playing solo, duo,
trio and in quartet, most of which have featured his arrangements of
classical or Brazilian works. João holds a masters degree from Mannes
College as a student of Michael Newman, and as the recipient of the
Augustine Foundation scholarship he earned his doctoral degree from
Manhattan School of Music where he studied with David Leisner.
Eager to expand the repertoire of his instrument João has commissioned
and premiered works written for him by Sérgio Assad, Leo Brouwer,
Clarice Assad, David Leisner, Paulo Bellinati, Marco Pereira, David
Sampson, and Frederic Hand. João is the director of chamber music at
CUNY Hunter College and also teaches guitar at Stony Brook
University. João plays on Sérgio Abreu guitars and uses Augustine

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