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Tools to help musicians excel have been around for centuries, but many will agree that few have been as helpful as the metronome. As early as 1581, people were working with the idea of pendulum usage as a means of keeping time. Many variations in this vein have been crafted throughout the centuries, and while the metronome as we know it was invented by Dietrich Nikolaus Winkel, it was patented and subsequently marketed by the German inventor and engineer Johann Maelzel in 1815 as an "Instrument/machine for the improvement of all musical performance." Since those days technology has continued to evolve and so has the metronome. Today, digital electronic techniques provide metronomes with unbeatable precision and accuracy, but regardless of format, display or production, the device's purpose has consistently remained the same. By producing a clicking sound that is measurable in beats per minute, the metronome is an invaluable resource for improving the timing of musicians. Before one can truly master their instrument of choice, it is crucial to have an understanding of timing. Almost all music is based on this notion. Because humans rarely play at an exact tempo, the metronome can help you maintain precision and accuracy, while also helping work through tendencies to slow down or speed up in specific passages. There are a variety of metronome exercises that can be used to obtain a fluid sense of rhythm. Mastering your craft with help from the metronome allows you to maintain your own distinct expressiveness while still being acutely aware of the passage of time. With a heightened sense of rhythm and tempo you'll be able to easily play your instrument in and around the pocket, giving your music a sense of excitement and spontaneity, while maintaining the craft and musicianship required to successfully navigate the complexities of any arrangement.