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FATpick's in-app metronome is a sophisticated, stand-alone digital metronome that can be used for free-form practice to improve your rhythm and timing. The v2.4.3 release featured a major upgrade the metronome, integrating capabilities originally added as part of the previously released metronome track that can be used during game play.

This post describes the functionality of the updated tool.

Screenshot of the revised stand-alone metronome tool

Contents

Launching the Metronome

The metronome is found in the FATpick Tools menu. To launch the metronome:

  1. Click the toolbox icon - or use the keyboard shortcut T - found at the top of the application window, then

  2. Select the Metronome option - keyboard shortcut M - from the main tools menu to open the metronome tool.

The Metronome Wheel

The metronome provides both visual and auditory cues that help you keep time while playing.

The visual component resembles a clock-face or wheel. It's a circle, subdivided into segments that represent each beat of the measure or bar.

When the metronome is playing the segments in the circle will light-up to indicate the current beat of the measure. Beats flow in the clockwise direction, with the first beat starting at the top of the circle (in the 12 o'clock position).

Some of the segments in the circle have a distinctive design that reflects the role of the corresponding beat in the measure. The specific styling depends on the application theme you've selected, but in the default theme for example: the first beat of each measure lights up with a green color and the start of a each sub-measure beat group is indicated by a blue highlight. This is a visual indication of the way in which beats within the measure are grouped to create the "pulse" of the rhythm.

Starting and Stopping

At the center of the metronome wheel you'll find a large Play / Pause button. Click this button to start or stop playing the metronome.

You can also use keyboard shortcuts to start or stop the metronome. Type P or hit the space bar on your keyboard to toggle the metronome playing state. If your keyboard includes multimedia controls - a physical Play, Pause or Stop key - you can also use those to control the metronome status

Control Panel

The metronome is controlled by a set of buttons found at the bottom of the screen.

Show / Hide Controls

Use the wrench button in the upper-right corner of the screen to show or hide the metronome control panel.

Hiding the control panel maximizes the size of the metronome wheel, allowing the metronome interface to make the most of the available screen real-estate.

You can also hit the C key on your keyboard to show or hide the control panel using a keyboard navigation shortcut.

Rhythm

The top row of buttons in the panel control the rhythm or meter that the metronome plays.

Tempo

The BPM field specifies the tempo of the metronome, measured in beats per minute. Use the buttons to increase or decrease the current tempo, or simply type a new tempo into the text field. Your changes will take effect immediately.

You can also use the up and down arrows on your keyboard to change the tempo in steps of 10 BPM at a time. These keyboard shortcuts are active even when the control panel is hidden.

Beats per Measure

The Beats field specifies the number of beats per measure (or bar) - the number of segments in the circle. This generally corresponds to the top number in a time signature. For example, set the number of beats to 4 when playing 4/4 time or 4/8 time and to 6 when playing 6/4 or 6/8.

Your changes should take effect immediately, increasing or decreasing the number of segments in the circle.

You can also use the left and right arrows on your keyboard to decrease or increase the beat count (respectively). These keyboard shortcuts are active even when the control panel is hidden.

Accent Pattern

The Grouping field can be used to sub-divide the beats within a measure into groups, creating distinctive "phrases" or "pulses" for a given meter.

For example, in 4/4 time a measure is often divided into two sub-groups, with a subtle emphasis on the third beat, creating a pulse that might sound something like "one, two, three, four" or simply "one, two, one, two" when counted out loud. 6/4 time is often divided into three groups - counted "one, two, one, two, one two" - as seen in the screenshot above.

The menu will list the different accent patterns that are available for a given beat count. Patterns are described as a list of numbers indicating the number of beats in each group. For example in 6/4 time one option is labeled "2,2,2". Selecting this option will sub-divide the measure into three groups that each contain 2 beats. Another 6/4 accent pattern is labeled "3,3". This will sub-divide the measure into two groups, each containing 3 beats.

When an accent pattern is active, the start of each beat-group is indicated both visually (in the color or style of the corresponding segment of the wheel) and auditorily (in the sound of the metronome "click" used for that beat - and the stress that is applied to that sound).

Sound

The bottom row of buttons in the panel control what the metronome sounds like.

Note Selection

The Strong, Moderate and Normal drop-down menus determine the specific "click" sound that is played for a given beat in the meter. The strong click sound is played for the first beat of every measure. The moderate click sound is played for the secondary accents that indicate the start of each group of beats within a measure. The normal click sound is used for all other beats.

Each drop down lists 60+ different percussive sounds that you can assign any of the beat accent types. You can also select the "None" option, in which case the metronome won't "click" at all for beats of that type.

Presets

Click on the small drop-down button on far right of the sound control row to open a list of metronome sound Presets. Each preset defines a set of click sounds - one for each accent type - that are applied as a group.

Use the presets as-is, or as a starting point by modifying the sound of individual accent-beats after applying the preset.

Closing the Dialog

To dismiss the metronome tool you can (1) click the X button dialog header, (2) press the ESC key on your keyboard or (3) click anywhere outside of the modal dialog frame.


FATpick is the tab player that listens. It opens any Guitar Pro tab - or hundreds of songs already shared by others - in a side-scrolling tab player that shows you exactly when and where to play each note, automatically synchronized with customizable backing tracks. FATpick listens to your performance as you play along with any guitar to provide real-time feedback on your timing and accuracy. Level up your playing with gamified guitar practice.

FATpick is available for immediate download for Mac, Windows and Linux.

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