TECHNIQUE AT A PEEK
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1, 2, 3, forty four...how to avoid losing your Tempo
Whether prompted by adrenaline, joyousness or garden variety panic, it is very common to speed up a song during a performance. You may not notice until it becomes almost impossible to play that complicated riff or find yourself singing twenty eight syllables over two bars of music in the space of five seconds.
Here's a simple way of getting a handle on tempo: try playing one of your favourite songs using this online metronome as your drumbeat and notice what happens. Very few of us keep the beat as regularly as we think - it's what makes us interesting human beings (of course it is), but metronoming gives you a better awareness of when you're hitting warp speed and you can self-correct before the strings catch fire.
Making sure you emphasise at least one of your strums per bar (the correct one is great, but the same one consistently is almost as useful) will help anchor your tempo too. Have fun!