Of all the gadgets, gizmos, and other practice devices that are available to guitar players, nothing beats a quality metronome. All professional musicians agree that proper timing is one of the most important qualities in musicality, if not the most important. A wrong note here and there can easily be masked, but it's impossible to hide (or excuse) poor timing.

One's practice routine should always include proper use of a metronome, both for improving technique and musicality itself. Of course, the goal is ultimately to internalize a perfect sense of timing, but unless you're a natural timekeeper, a metronme is needed to develop such skills.

Fortunately, today's metronomes are both inexpensive, precise, and portable. You'll want to make sure you have a metronome that has useful but not annoying click sounds and that allows a wide variety of adjustment. Some metronomes provide only a variable click while others will allow you to set different time signatures with an accent on the initial beat. Different metronomes will also provide various visual cues. Some even provide instrument input so you can practice quietly.