I started “Pick Up The Pieces” today. Getting the right rhythm and emphasis on the correct note and note-ties is going to take some work. I go over and over with – da-da dat daah da da dit or something like that. It’s a great song. I also have it in one of my R&B books. Same key Bb and mostly 16th notes.
This year i’ve focused more on timing, and i use the metronome all the time when practicing, except when playing along to backing tracks.
Most new music sheets, i sing them in time with the metronome (using ta 1/4 notes, ti-ti 1/8 notes, tu-tu-tu-tu 1/16 notes etc anything like that, i use the da’s for jazz). A useful tip that works for me – find the most difficult bar timing wise, and slow the metronome way down, so i can play that bar in time easily, and then i can practice the whole sheet at that metronome speed without having to struggle as much. then slowly up the speed.
by phrasing the da da da stuff, the brain recalls the tempo more better than counting, so later on, you can whizz through the sheet at an alarming rate and ignore counting all the notes etc…