Came up with another metronome trick, building off the tempo regression I mentioned the other day. I find that depending on the exercise I'm running, sometimes I want to gradually increase the tempo, and sometimes I want to decrease it. YMetronome lets me do either one, hands-free.
But what if I want to do both? Playing a lick over a range of tempos seems to help with learning it better and playing it faster. I'd like to go back and forth between say 50bpm and 70bpm without so much clickety clack to change the settings whenever I change direction.
Found the solution. YMetronome can run multiple instances. I set up one to ascend from 50bpm and the other to descend from 70bpm. Then I just stop one and start the other to change direction.
I thought of a good analogy for building speed. Imagine you're The Hulk, and your job is to run through walls. Before you're able to run through a wall, you need to lift some weights to get stronger. If you try before you're strong enough, you'll never make it through, and you might hurt yourself. But you won't get through without trying either. Running through a wall is a combined effort between building a necessary foundation of strength and testing your limits.
Same goes for plunking. You need to put in meticulous work at slow tempos to get faster, but you'll never get there if you don't occasionally try to play faster than you think you can. That's why I'm setting up my metronomes like this, so I can go back and forth between the weight room and running into the wall.