Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


metronome help

Related threads:
Electronic metronomes (24)
Help: Metronomes and rhythym (19)
Anyone like using the metronome? (32)
metronome parts (15)
Metronome help (16)
Downloadable Tuner and Metronome (5)
Music: Miss Metronome Discovers Timing (23)


Vixen 23 Jun 09 - 01:03 PM
The Sandman 23 Jun 09 - 01:19 PM
Smokey. 23 Jun 09 - 01:30 PM
Jack Campin 23 Jun 09 - 07:29 PM
Jack Campin 23 Jun 09 - 09:21 PM
Tootler 23 Jun 09 - 11:43 PM
Vixen 24 Jun 09 - 09:01 AM
Bernard 24 Jun 09 - 10:04 AM
Jack Campin 24 Jun 09 - 10:17 AM
Vixen 24 Jun 09 - 11:01 AM
Dave the Gnome 24 Jun 09 - 11:05 AM
The Sandman 24 Jun 09 - 02:07 PM
Jack Campin 24 Jun 09 - 02:45 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 24 Jun 09 - 02:54 PM
The Sandman 24 Jun 09 - 03:58 PM
Jack Campin 24 Jun 09 - 05:56 PM
The Sandman 24 Jun 09 - 06:12 PM
Tootler 24 Jun 09 - 07:37 PM
The Sandman 25 Jun 09 - 08:28 AM
Jack Campin 25 Jun 09 - 12:10 PM
The Sandman 25 Jun 09 - 01:21 PM
Tootler 25 Jun 09 - 08:14 PM
Tattie Bogle 25 Jun 09 - 08:44 PM
Greg B 25 Jun 09 - 10:01 PM
Jack Campin 26 Jun 09 - 03:21 AM
The Sandman 26 Jun 09 - 04:53 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: metronome help
From: Vixen
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 01:03 PM

Dear Cats--

I have always thought that MM=### meant the number of quarter notes (or whatever note was depicted in the designation) to be played in a minute.

I learned this in grammar school when we learned a song that went "ta-ta-ta-ta...my dear my dear friend Maezel..." so perhaps I'm confused.

I just looked at some music (Whiskey Before Breakfast) and it said MM=340. I just checked my metronome (a Boss tu-80), and it only goes up to 250, but that seems pretty darn undanceable. I know my old bakelite electric 'nome at home only goes up to 210.

I was feeling pretty proud of myself because I've just got "Red-haired Boy up to 130 (playing 2 (eighth) notes for every (quarter note) click.

Now I'm feeling suddenly like I don't know what I'm doing--Do I set my sights on getting up to 170 on the 'nome playing 2 notes for every click to get Whiskey up to tempo? Yikes.

????

Thanks in advance...

V

So here's the question...when


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 01:19 PM

reels play at metronome 100 to 109[200/ 218],hornpipes 148 to 150,jigs 115 to 122, irish polkas 140, slides 140.approximately.
speed is not paramount,but lilt is.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: Smokey.
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 01:30 PM

"Do I set my sights on getting up to 170 on the 'nome playing 2 notes for every click to get Whiskey up to tempo?"

Assuming it's another reel, yes, but the optimum speed for any tune is determined by the player and the instrument. Do it as it sounds and feels best to you. As a general rule for dance tunes, when listeners' feet tap as you play it, you're doing it right.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 07:29 PM

Dick has the conventions for hornpipe speed wrong. They're in duple time, two beats to the bar. So this:

Fisher's Hornpipe

which is taken at a pretty normal speed, has 64 bars of music in 88 seconds, which translates to 87bpm.

148-150bpm for a hornpipe is insanely fast if you mean 2 beats to the bar and much too slow if you mean 4 beats.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 09:21 PM

Vixen - missed the main problem in your original post - not a metronome does NOT count quarter notes, it counts major beats.

A reel is usually written with a 2/2 or "cut time" signature - two beats to a bar, and around 100-112 of those beats per minute. Hornpipes are a bit slower, quick marches slower still (84bpm, say).

A jig ALSO has two major beats to the bar (on eighth-notes 1 and 4) and goes a bit faster than a reel (though jigs vary enormously in speed depending on the kind of dance people are doing to them).

The only common dance with four beats in a bar is a strathspey. Often these have the same tempo as reels, so the bars are twice as long. Except when you use them as schottisches, in which case they're in 2/2 time and go at similar speed to hornpipes.

Polkas are anybody's guess. You have to know the dance. Scottish ones are more dotted, rhythmically irregular and slower than Irish ones on the whole, but there are some Irish polkas that are always played quite slowly as well. Continental polkas tend to be slower than Scottish ones.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: Tootler
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 11:43 PM

A metronome mark should give you both the tempo and the basis of that tempo, so the norm on music scores is not MM=xxx but [note value]=xxx

If a note value is not given - and it should be - then you need to look at the time signature to get the basis of the beat. For the common time signatures:

  • 2/2 and 2/4 are two beats in a bar so a metronome mark (MM) is based on either the minim (1/2 note) for 2/2 or crotchet (1/4 note) for 2/4

  • 4/4 is four beats in a bar so MM is based on crotchet

  • 6/8 and 6/4 are two beats in a bar so MM is based on dotted crotchet or dotted minim respectively

  • 3/4 and 3/8 are 3 beats in a bar so MM is based on crotchet or quaver (1/8th note) respectively.


you will also see C and C| (the | is through the C) which refer to 4/4 and 2/2 respectively.

You sometimes see reels and hornpipes notated with a 4/4 time signature. This is incorrect. As Jack says above they are in duple time and should be notated in 2/2 time.

Geoff


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: Vixen
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 09:01 AM

Wow! Thank you all--Now for the next questions...(please 'scuse my ignorance...I've been playing these tunes for years and I'm just realizing how much I don't know!

I know a jig goes "higgledy-piggledy" and a reel goes "one-potato, two-potato"; what does a hornpipe do? a polka?

And, based on the info you've provided, clearly the mm=340 printed on the version of "Whiskey Before Breakfast" isn't right--and (by my rule of identification above) it's a reel, so I should set my 'nome at, say, 80 for starters and work up to 105 or so?

What about "Red Haired Boy"? I've got that at 130...should I slow it down to 110?

I'm having this problem with just the Celtic/old time/fiddle tunes right now, but then there's the bluegrass material--Jerusalem Ridge, Rawhide, Come Hither to Go Yonder, New Camptown Races, etc. I'm trying to get "up to tempo" working by myself so I don't totally train wreck a jam session.

Thanks again for all the help!!!

V
PS, sometimes I'm on rhythm guitar, sometimes string bass, sometimes pennywhistle, and I'm now trying to learn the melodies on guitar.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: Bernard
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 10:04 AM

Hornpipes... step-hop step-hop
Polkas... one-two-three-skip, one-two-three-skip
(from the dancer's perspective)

Then you've got the 'Sailor's Hornpipe' which is a polka...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 10:17 AM

Those mnemonics are more a joke than anything else. Unless you already know what they're referring to, you can't make use of them.

You just need to listen to tunes in all those rhythms.

Bluegrass is a bit different from the others, in that you can get the same tune played at very different speeds - hardly anybody uses bluegrass for dancing so there isn't an imperative to maintain consistent speed. Some players like to show off by going as fast as humanly possible. To a lesser extent that also happens a bit in Irish music.

Listening to old recordings from performers who played for dancing will tell you what the original tempi and rhythms were. If you need metronome marks, you can calculate them from recorded performances the way I just did for that hornpipe - I've never found it easy to synchronize a metronome to a running piece of music.


                  number of bars in the tune * number of beats in the bar
Speed in bpm =   -------------------------------------------------------
                            duration of the tune in minutes


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: Vixen
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 11:01 AM

Jack, that is a really useful equation! I've written it on a stickie to attach to the back of my 'nome. Many thanks!

I agree about bluegrass being at undanceable tempos....sometimes they go so fast it's just a blizzard of notes and it becomes "noise" to me--no discernable melody at all. Clearly, I need more ear-training!

Thanks all!

V


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 11:05 AM

Some of my relations helped to build the underground railway in Paris. They were Metro Gnomes...

:D (eG)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 02:07 PM

Jack Campin,is talkin crap.
hornpipes are in triplet rhythym,although they are written in 4/4.
148 is perfect.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 02:45 PM

148 is perfect.

How do you explain the tempo of the video I linked to, then? I don't think many people would say it was so wildly wrong.

The dotted/triplet rhythm (when present, which it isn't always) is irrelevant to the metronome setting, it's not as if you write the thing in 12/8 and set your metronome to tick at every quaver. You want a tick at the start and middle of each bar. Which for most people would mean a metronome setting in the low 90s, a little bit faster than how Brian does it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 02:54 PM

"Metro Gnomes..."

they have them in Montreal as well *LOL*


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 03:58 PM

jack, your video,in my opinion is too fast,and not dotted[swingy enough],and in my opinion mot suitable for solo dancing,neither is it in my opinion,suitable for fast hornpipes[hoppies]used in dancing irish sets.but as a listening peice it is enjoyable http://www.connemara.net/video/index.aspx?videoid=fYvU7oBBgKA the above is agood speed for dancing solo hornpipes much better than your clip,
my speed 148,is ideal for dancing hornpipes such as nottingham swing or the belfast duck,hornpipes that are pattern dances


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 05:56 PM

That Connemara performance is WAY slower than I've ever heard the tune played before. You can see how it makes perfect sense to do it that way with the dancing, and it sounds great in its own right, but don't expect anyone in Scotland to play it that slow! (The feet are basically doing an even 12/8 over the 2/2 of the fiddle).

This is normal session speed for the same tune, though his title suggests a different rhythmic activity I'm not about to suggest a metronome speed for: The Liverpool ****pipe


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 06:12 PM

yes, i agree.that is about 143,I would guess.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: Tootler
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 07:37 PM

My metronome has a tap in function which is very useful for getting tempos - you can also see how steady the tempo is.

Hornpipe tempos seem to vary quite widely. Certainly here in NE England they are played quite quickly. The tempo of the Liverpool Hornpipe on the clip Jack posted just above is just under minim=80 and if anything that is a little slower than they tend to be played here. I did a quick check on my VotP CDs. On Rantin' and Reelin' which is mainly Northumbrian musicians, the hornpipes varied from minim=90 (Will Atkinson, and rock steady) to around minim=108 which is pretty quick. quicker than I would like to attempt. on Rig a Jig Jig which is music from Southern England there were only three hornpipes the tempos were minim=80 for two and minim=70 for the third.

The Connemara example posted by Dick above the fiddler was playing a rock steady minim=59

As to the rhythm, I know hornpipes are frequently notated in 4/4 but when I hear them played, they feel like two in a bar to me, and I noticed that the fiddler in the Connemara clip was tapping two in a bar even at that slow tempo. On the other hand, since hornpipes are normally played dotted, writing them out in 12/8 does give a reasonable indication of how they are played.

As an interesting aside to that last comment, someone in a session I go to in Durham recently brought in a tune called "Fools Jig" which he had got out of a tune book and which was claimed on the page was a morris dance tune - it may well have been, but when he played it I had this feeling of familiarity. The tune was in fact Roxburgh Castle transposed into D and written out as a jig!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 08:28 AM

I tap my foot as if it is triplet ryhthm,try that at mid 140s and you will see that we are pretty close.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 12:10 PM

The triplets are irrelevant - you're counting as if it were in 4/4, four beats to the bar, so you get the equivalent of 70something bpm in 2/2.

Mechanical metronomes lose accuracy at that speed so there's a practical reason for using the 2/2 timing. It's also just annoying to have the thing ticking at you twice as fast as you need it to.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 01:21 PM

jack ,bollocks ,I have no trouble with it at all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: Tootler
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 08:14 PM

Actually, Dick, I think your estimate for the Liverpool Hornpipe You Tube clip was low. Using the tap in on my metronome, I was getting figures for the minim beat of between 76 and 82 with it mostly being around 78 - 79. That equates to a crotchet beat some 13 - 15 bpm higher than your figure.

I usually tap a minim beat when I am playing as I think it makes it easier to maintain a steady tempo, but that is a personal view.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 08:44 PM

Surely the speed at which you play tunes is determined by
1. Personal preference
2. Personal capability - no point in setting it so fast you can't play it!
3. Whether playing for dancing, singing or purely instrumental - if either of the former 2 then go by what your dancer or singer wants: if you use a metronome then adjust it to marry up with your dancer/singer's preference (and maybe record the reading for future use).

The other main use of a metronome is to keep those folk who CAN'T keep time IN time, but they will probably mentally bypass the metronome anyway.
As for tapping, a quietly visible foot to watch is OK, but PLEASE, NO heavy stamping! My metronome is inside my head (no, I don't even have to nod it), not my foot.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: Greg B
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 10:01 PM

There's nowt wrong with a metronome that a drop from a
3rd-story window won't solve.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 03:21 AM

The main use I've had for a metronome is timing print exposure under an enlarger.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: metronome help
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 04:53 AM

tootler, you are right it is a personal thing,I find 147 perfect as a hornpipe metronome setting,Jack prefers something else.
if we met ,and Jack started a hornpipe I would listen to him and play his way,If I started a hornpipe I am sure he would do the same,there probably wouldnt be that much difference anyway.
in fact that is what makes the music interesting,hearing the different ways that people play,one thing a metronome is useful for is training people not to speed up,and end up much faster than they started,BUT the player has to accept that the metrornome is right,and listen LISTEN LISTEN.
playing with other people is about listening to them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 23 July 12:39 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.