Contrary to popular belief, practicing guitar with a metronome does NOT help you to “improve” your guitar technique or “improve” your guitar speed. There are certain elements that get involved with guitar speed that must be exercised and polished, frequently at super slow speeds without the metronome. The metronome is then used generally as a test to determine how effectively you have mastered these elements. The speed at which you can play will suggest whether or not you have to do additional training (without using the metronome) to overcome the technical flaws hindering you from playing guitar as fast as you want.
So, just before you start using a metronome to “measure your improvement” in speed, you have to spend a significant amount of time improving the fundamental technical components that make guitar speed possible (without using the metronome). This goes totally against the platitude of exercising everything to a metronome in order to improve your guitar strategy, but is a far more efficient way of developing this skill.
How you can Use A Metronome To Improve Your Rhythm Guitar Playing
The guitar players who never (or very rarely) practice guitar using a metronome say that they want to possess the freedom of not needing to stick to a rigid tempo so as to be more musically expressive with what they are playing. Even though this style of guitar playing has its place in music, most people who only practice guitar without the metronome typically have a hard time whenever they do need to play in strict time. It is essential to be able to play by changing the tempo, dynamics and other musical for expressive reasons, but it is similarly as important to be able to lock perfectly in time with a specific tempo. If you have always stayed away from practicing playing guitar to a metronome for the reasons mentioned above, chances are that your timing needs improvement.
Unlike the concept of guitar speed, practicing guitar with a metronome is a very critical part of what really “establishes” your potential to play guitar tight (in time). As you play, you can tell quickly if your guitar playing is in time if you can make the sound of the metronome click “disappear” on most (or all) of the strong beats of the music. If you are playing in perfect time, the notes you are playing will align precisely at the top of the metronome click, creating an illusion that the click has become silent or it disappeared. If you can accomplish this goal, you are making exceptional development.