A metronome is a training device that produces a sound (a click, beep, or ping, etc) in a steady tempo. They can help us benchmark scales or pieces of music…”I can play this scale in 16th notes at 104″.
Metronomes are used by musicians to train rhythm skills (playing in time), and understanding (internalizing) different tempos. Metronomes range from very simple to complex.
Use a metronome for any aspect of your training and playing that aligns with your goals. A steady click for chord and scale studies, rehearsal, technical training, etc. is a sure way to measure your benchmarks and ensure improvement.
Working any type of study, figure, lick, riff in slow to faster tempos, in time with a metronome, is great way to increase speed, ease, and effortlessness.
For any technical study, such as scale training, we set the metronome (start at, let’s say, 92), choose a rhythm, and play single or repeated tones, until we have it locked in.
More and more now, I use drum tracks for training to keep things more interesting, but all of us should own and use a metronome for specific things at some point.
Many people always record with a metronome [depending on the style, type, or order of instrument recording]. If you plan to record, use a metronome when practicing your part.