I'm starting to studying the Adagio from Violin Sonata No.1 in G minor, BWV 1001.
Normally I have some rhythm problems, and in this case I don't feel the pulse, my teacher has told me to study with 16 clicks per measure, in other words 1 click for every semiquaver.

  • How can I use the metronome for studying this piece?
  • What is the best way to perceive and get a feel for the tempo?
  • It's familiarity. Listen to heaps of different recordings. Try and find the quaver pulse, and fit the smaller notes in naturally. Be careful not to sound mechanical in the rhythm. Let it flow naturally.
    – Jomiddnz
    Aug 16, 2020 at 21:59

2 Answers 2


I don't feel the pulse

Most people play the piece very freely, without much sense of pulse, so it's not surprising.

my teacher has told me to study with 16 clicks per measure

That's a good suggestion. You can also try 8 or 32. Change from one to the other. See what works best for you. (Hint: this will change as you become more familiar with the piece.) If you have access to a metronome that offers clicks with different pitches to help define the meter, try using that. Most metronome apps I've seen offer this option.

Also vary the tempo itself. Another problem you might have with the meter in this piece is that there is such a range of note durations. When you practice slow, to get all the notes in, you will lose sight of the crotchet beats because they are so far apart. You can also practice faster, and just drop the notes you can't play yet. Try playing just the first note of a group of semiquavers, or leaving them out entirely. This will give you a sense of the meter and of the shape of the phrases that comprise long notes, so you understand the structure of the piece a little better.

Start by practicing strictly in tempo. Then, as you become more comfortable with the piece, reduce the number of metronome clicks from 16 to 8 to 4, and so on. This will allow you to introduce more metrical freedom into the piece. At the end, even if you are playing the piece quite freely, you should still be hearing or feeling the metrical pulse in your mind's ear, even if it is faster or slower at certain points than at others.


Not really an answer but a few different comments:

  1. When you're having the metronome tick 16 beats, run it a little bit slower - you naturally will play a little faster with fewer clicks.

  2. At some point, you should have the metronome tick 4 while you're still counting 16. If you can't do that and play, practice doing that without playing.

  3. You should also sing the piece - you don't have to sing well; the point is to give you a chance to figure out what the piece should sound like without simultaneously devoting mental energy (even subconscious) to working out where your fingers and bow should go.

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