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Peter Erskine on Rhythm and Metronome

Words of Wisdom on Rhythm and Practicing With a Metronome

Inspiration by Metronome Online with

Peter Erskine has played the drums since the age of four and is known for his versatility and love of working in different musical contexts. He appears on 700 albums and film scores, and has won two Grammy Awards, plus an Honorary Doctorate from the Berklee School of Music (1992).

1) Why is rhythm important?

Rhythm is life — orbiting planets, the rising and setting of the sun, the changing of the tides and the leaves, the cadence of our speech and the patterns of our steps — everything in nature moves in rhythm. Music most of all!

2) How often do you practice with the metronome?

At least once a day.

"A metronome can be like a conscience. We all need one!"

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

It is easy and natural to not pay attention to tempo while focusing on other things (like wrestling with our instrument or with some notes on a page). A metronome can be like a conscience. We all need one. Likewise, it is important to turn OFF the metronome during your practice session. I often suggest to my students that they use a metronome as a reference tool: to set a tempo (then turn it off) and then to check on their tempo consistency at the end of an exercise or etude, etc.

4) Can you name one thing that you like about the metronome on metronomeonline.com?

It is always available if you can connect to the internet. This is a remarkable service to students, teachers, and professionals.

Peter Erskine on Rhythm and Metronome

Peter Erskine

Peter Erskine appears on 700 albums and film scores, has won 2 Grammy Awards plus an Honorary Doctorate from the Berklee School of Music. Fifty albums have been released under his own name or as co-leader. He’s played with the Kenton and Ferguson big bands, Weather Report, Steps Ahead, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Diana Krall, Kenny Wheeler, John Abercrombie, John Scofield, et al. Peter graduated from the Inter-lochen Arts Academy and studied at Indiana University. Peter’s writers several books including “No Beethoven” and “The Musician’s Lifeline.” He’s a professor at USC and has developed several play-along apps for iOS.


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