I've been playing for 47 years, and every time I practice, I practice with a metronome.
Paul Mirkovich is the musical director for NBC's The Voice and has been the band leader, keyboardist and duet singing partner for Cher the last 16 years. He has also been the band director for Janet Jackson nd Anastacia and a member of the multi-platinum bands Whitesnake and Nelson.
On the importance of using a metronome
When you're practicing, especially your technique, you have to use a metronome. Not just a metronome on 1, 2, 3, and 4; sometimes I put the metronome only on 2 and 4. Sometimes I do it on the eigth note, and sometimes I do it on the 16th note.
Just so that you get the feeling of being in the right place with the pulse at every part of the beat.
So much of the music nowadays, almost all of it, is regimented strictly to a click. You have to find your own internal rhythm around a click; it's not enough to play with a band playing with a click.
You have to play by yourself with a click or with a metronome so that you understand where your place is within the beat. You have to be able to rush and drag with the click, based upon the style of music. You have to understand the ability to be able to be slightly slightly behind the click or slightly ahead of the click, and you can only do that when you practice by yourself.
If you don't know that feel already, when you get with a band they're gonna be able to tell.
We have a lot of people who come in here and play for The Voice...you can always tell the ones who play with a click and the ones who haven't. The ones who haven't – their time sucks.