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Metronome help

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Vixen 30 Jul 04 - 08:16 AM
Leadfingers 30 Jul 04 - 08:54 AM
Vixen 30 Jul 04 - 10:01 AM
JohnInKansas 30 Jul 04 - 10:09 PM
The Fooles Troupe 31 Jul 04 - 03:16 AM
Jim McLean 31 Jul 04 - 08:44 AM
GUEST,MCP 31 Jul 04 - 10:47 AM
Vixen 02 Aug 04 - 08:31 AM
The Fooles Troupe 02 Aug 04 - 11:30 AM
Vixen 02 Aug 04 - 01:28 PM
GUEST,mechjd@yahoo.com 02 Aug 04 - 06:39 PM
The Fooles Troupe 02 Aug 04 - 09:04 PM
Kaleea 03 Aug 04 - 12:42 AM
GUEST,MCP 28 Oct 04 - 07:32 PM
Vixen 29 Oct 04 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,MCP 29 Oct 04 - 12:03 PM
Gypsy 08 Dec 05 - 10:15 PM
The Fooles Troupe 09 Dec 05 - 08:35 AM
Wilfried Schaum 11 Dec 05 - 05:34 PM
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Subject: Metronome help
From: Vixen
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 08:16 AM

WOW--

A search for "metronome" in the Forum found only TWO (short) threads! Amazing...

When I tried to post to them, however, the thread didn't appear on the forum, so I'm starting a new one.

Here's the question(s).

1) IF there's no metronome number indicated in the music, what are the "standard" tempi for various types of tunes? E.g., someone posted that 120 is standard march time. So what are the "standard" speeds for jig, reel, hornpipe, waltz, pavane, etc?

2) If the music says "andante," what speed is that? I know it's slower than "allegro" and faster than "largo," but are there standard speeds for these tempo definitions?

3) Some of the advice about using the metronome that appears here confuses me. What I do is set the speed of the ticks to correspond to the speed of the beats in the measure. I do this because the tunes I have that DO have metronome numbers on them indicate tempo with a quarter note symbol, an equal sign, and a number. If someone would post a clear explanation of the "proper" use, I'd find it helpful...

Thank you all, very much--Mudcats are the best! (I have learned so much here!)

V


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Subject: RE: Metronome help
From: Leadfingers
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 08:54 AM

120 as March time is 'Paces per Minute' for Marching men - Unless they are Light Infantry , when it is 160 paces per minute . I must admit I dont know how this relates to a Metronome setting .

There again . ARE there really nomes in the Paris underground system ?


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Subject: RE: Metronome help
From: Vixen
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 10:01 AM

That's why the trains don't run on time...

V


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Subject: RE: Metronome help
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 10:09 PM

120 bpm for marching is a "customary" standard for marching bands, typically using approximately a 16 to 18 inch "step."

Music, when used for marching troops is normally played at about 60 bpm (the same music) with a step to each beat. Since musical accompaniment is "unusual" for troop movements, the pace frequently "creeps up" when there's a band, but seldom past about 80 bpm. My recollection is that the FM (Army Drill Manual) specified a 29 inch "step" for marching troops for use in calculating how fast a group would cover ground.

Sort of like the difference between music and bluegrass.

(It has been noted that several of J. P. Sousa's Marches make fairly decent Foxtrots if you double the speed. As Marches, they're usually played "faster than he wrote them," about "foxtrot" tempo when done as "musical performances" rather than as troop marches.)

John


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Subject: RE: Metronome help
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 31 Jul 04 - 03:16 AM

"the tunes I have that DO have metronome numbers on them indicate tempo with a quarter note symbol, an equal sign, and a number. If someone would post a clear explanation of the 'proper' use"

This is the normal proper use - if your metronome (I was brought up on mechanical ones that had a bell) has the extra facility of counting the beats in a bar, then you set that number to be the number of those specified beats to a bar.

There are a few tricks for learning very difficult pieces.

You can slow down the pace at first.

Also if the piece has lots of fast eighth notes, for example, you can set the pace at an appropriate rate, and set it to the eighth notes, as well as setting the correct number of those beats to a bar as the "bell sound" marking the start of a bar. So for a 4/4 time signature, temporarily pretend it is an 8/8, whatever.

If trying to practice Irish type music with a metronome, you should be aware that the beats do not come on the count as indicated, but 'bend' or 'swing' - if you haven't heard the music style, you won't learn it by yourself and by using a metronome.

Once you have some training, you should be able to keep the pace of 'Classical' Music internally, without need for a metronome, or any other external timing aid. And since much 'Folk Music' and 'Jazz' type music (also much 'ethnic' stuff) bends the basic 'Classical' beat, you will find it unuseful except for marking the basic start of bars anyway.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Metronome help
From: Jim McLean
Date: 31 Jul 04 - 08:44 AM

Joe Heaney (Irish traditional singer) said that folkmusic had no beat, it had pulse!


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Subject: RE: Metronome help
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 31 Jul 04 - 10:47 AM

As Foolstroupe says tunes with metronome markings will usually specify something like QuarterNote = 120 to indicate a tempo of 120 QuarterNotes per minute. But you might find that sometimes the unit may not be the beat. In 3/4 It might show Dotted-HalfNote = Number or in 3/8 Dotted-QuarterNote = Number, telling you how many bars per minute. Similarly in 6/8 or 9/8 you might get Dotted-QuarterNote = Value (with 2 or these or 3 of these respectively to the bar). In 2/2 or Cut 4/4 (C with a vertical line through) the tempo might be indicated with HalfNote = Value. You can always convert these to get beats on each note in the bar by multiplying the Value up eg if the tune is 6/8 and tempo is given as Dotted-QuarterNote = 60, then each Eighth note will be at tempo of 3*60 = 180. But usually the beat value is specified.

For tunes without metronome tempo markings you can use the following as a guide:

Largo          40 - 60
Larghetto       60 - 66
Adagio          66 - 76
Andante         76 - 108
Moderato
Allegro
Presto
Prestissimo


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Subject: RE: Metronome help
From: Vixen
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 08:31 AM

Mudcats are the best!

Foolstroupe, I know what you mean about the "swing". I try to learn the intervals and fingerings "straight," at about half speed, then bring them up to tempo, then add the "swing". I'm trying to correct several deficiencies simultaneously: 1) my sense of time is inconsistent; 2) I'm still learning to play my instruments (pennywhistle and guitar) so some fingerings are not yet in muscle memory--hence, the ones I know go too fast, and the ones I don't, I stumble through; 3) I am trying to develop my sense of rhythm so I can learn to improvise and stay on the beat.

MCP, thank you for the guide to the Italian tempi--do they increment by 10's from Moderato to Prestissimo?

Jim--I like the "pulse" idea...for actual playing in company, that's the ideal to strive for--organic, living, responsive. I don't want to be the clot in the vein, though. Hence, in practice, I'm trying to cultivate a bit of discipline makes the ideal "pulse" accessible to me and those I play with.

Thanks again...

V


Again, all thanks...


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Subject: RE: Metronome help
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 11:30 AM

"I'm still learning to play my instruments (pennywhistle and guitar) so some fingerings are not yet in muscle memory--hence, the ones I know go too fast, and the ones I don't, I stumble through;"

1) You need to practice the bits you have problems with, not the bits you don't.

2) By constraining your self to play at a regular slow pace, you won't race the bits you know, etc. Doing this racing and slowing down will only teach you this bad habit, so don't do it!

3) Play at the slowest pace that will get you thru the whole piece at the one tempo, no matter how slow. Also pick out the bits that are the hassle and just practice them - then start putting it together.

4) Practice the notes you DON'T know more than the notes you do.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Metronome help
From: Vixen
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 01:28 PM

Dear Robin--

What you said!

#3 is what I'm working on mostly. #4 is the other part I'm focusing on.

#2 is why I'm working with the 'nome in the first place!

Actually, I LIKE working with the metronome. Once I admitted that it was me that was going faster and slower, not the infernal device, things have been improving at a tremendous pace. I practice with it for about 30 minutes twice a week, focusing on whatever I'm having the most trouble with at the time. Several people I jam with have mentioned that they've seen the improvement. Most important, my partner has noticed that my playing is getting more "in the groove!"

But I do believe it's a difficult device to learn to use effectively.

V (still wondering just how fast a jig should go...)


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Subject: RE: Metronome help
From: GUEST,mechjd@yahoo.com
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 06:39 PM

Instead of two 30 min. sessions, try 30 hours a week. The tempo of a song or tune is up to the singer or musician. I work 12 hours a day, and play a lot. Their is no subsitute for practice.


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Subject: RE: Metronome help
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 09:04 PM

There is not so substitute for practice, but you can over-practice. This induces tiredness, muscle and tendon strain (RSI) and actual deterioration of skill, as well as loss of interest.

If you do want to practice 30 hours a week, the beginner will have to build up slowly over quite a long period of time.

If starting to seriously increase the intensity of training, you should have regular rest breaks to allow the body to heal or you will end up with serious problems.

Robin
Sports Trainer Level II Certificate
Australian Sports Medicine Federation.


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Subject: RE: Metronome help
From: Kaleea
Date: 03 Aug 04 - 12:42 AM

Vixen,
I also play guitar, whistle, & bodhran & Celtic Harp & a bunch of other stuff the average mid-westrn USA "Traditional" Musician plays.    Sounds like you are intersted in Irish (Celtic) Music & possibly other traditional Music. Jigs, reels, hornpipe, etc, should be played no faster than you can dance them!! Folks often do not realize that these tunes are usually dance tunes. Until you have attended--& preferrably danced at & then played for some dances, it is difficult to understand the Music. Many Amricans around these parts make all Irish tunes sound like bluegrass. Some Jigs are slow jigs, some faster, a "pop jig" for the little ones would often be played slower than a jig for zestful adults. Jigs are often played at the tempo of reels, & no one can dance to them. Of course, sometimes musicians get together for a session/jam & go crazy with the tempo--or they are performing in a concert type setting & then the musicians play some of the reels faster than one can even comprehend the tune.
   Then sometimes an air is way too fast, reels are so syncopated & slowed that they become hornpipes. ARRGGHHH!!! An average "Contra dance" in many parts of North America has most reels at or just under 120 beats per min. The members of my band didn't really understand what I was trying to get across to them (even though I was raised around Irish Music & played in Ceoli bands since I was a teen) about tempos & such until we invited a local Irish dance instructor (originally from across the pond--Ireland) & her students to come dance while we played. I asked her to give us the tempo before each dance. My bandmates really got it after that.
   SO------I reccomend that you get you get some good recordings of good Musicians of the kind of Music you are learning. Stick to Musicians who play in the traditional style (acoustic) with no synths or rythym tracks, elec funkfuzz guitars etc. For Irish, you could start with the Chieftains, & Cherish the Ladies of course. There are lots more. Perhaps you could try your local public library as they usually have a nice selection of "folk" &/or "traditional" recordings. There is a video out of The Chieftains playing in various pubs about Ireland with local Musicians & dancers joining in which is a good representation--"Water From The Well." & also one of the Chieftains with James Galway.    There are also many local organizations which have Musicians playing/jamming with their kind of folk or traditional Music.    You should be able to get a much better understanding of style, tempo etc. if you can find some of the above
& really get into the tunes or songs.    Have fun, & good luck!


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Subject: RE: Metronome help
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 07:32 PM

I've just discovered that the table I gave above was incomplete. The full table should have read as below.

Mick





Largo          40 - 60
Larghetto       60 - 66
Adagio          66 - 76
Andante         76 - 108
Moderato       108 - 120
Allegro       120 - 168
Presto         168 - 200
Prestissimo    200 - 208


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Subject: RE: Metronome help
From: Vixen
Date: 29 Oct 04 - 08:56 AM

MCP--thank you for posting the complete list! I'm going to print it, cut it out, and tape it to the top of my metronome so it's handy for reference!

As an update, when we played for the dancers at the Ren Faire, the "dance mistress" gave us the tempo for the music by clapping her hands. Two of the tunes went a shade slower than I had practiced them, one was about the same tempo, and one was significantly, though not unplayably, faster.

AND, I was actually able to keep a simple beat on a hand drum for some other numbers, and not speed up or get off the beat! I've decided metronomes are great tools for training the "rhythm muscles!" (At least for the 'rhythmically challenged' such as I)

V


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Subject: RE: Metronome help
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 29 Oct 04 - 12:03 PM

Vixen - sorry I didn't see your earlier post and realise that I'd missed out half of the table (You can thank Big Mick's query for making me look back here). The table is the one embossed on the back of my small electronic metronome and seems reasonable enough, though of course you do find composers with different ideas, an Italian tempo indication with a metronome marking quite different from the ones listed above. Personally I always like to see a metronome mark on a piece, though you can't always have that. (There are also some pieces where I ignore it anyway, when a different tempo seems more suitable for the piece than the one indicated!).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Metronome help
From: Gypsy
Date: 08 Dec 05 - 10:15 PM

So, what are you setting the metronome TO? When we are playing for a contra dance, the tempo is generally twixt 112 and 120something.........but say it is a reel: Are you ticking off the quarter notes, or the down beats? I had thought you set the ticks to the time signature, but if you do that, a contra would be way too easy to play. So, what basic rule of thumb am i using? For a reel, waltz, and jig. I would imagine that a hornpipe would be the same as a reel, and wouldn't a polka be the same as well? thanks, all


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Subject: RE: Metronome help
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 09 Dec 05 - 08:35 AM

The MM rating is for the number of Beats Per Minute (bpm). The bar has 3, 4, 6, (the top number in the time signature) whatever. The bottom number tells you what TYPE of beat.

For a 3/4 say, at 80 bpm, set the metronome beat speed to 80bpm. The mechanical types (except perhaps the VERY cheapest!) had another indicator that set the number of beats to the bar - set to 3. Now the clicking will be at the 80 bpm, and the bell will signal the first beat in a bar. Adjust this however you want.

Modern non-mechanical ones have similar functions.


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Subject: RE: Metronome help
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 11 Dec 05 - 05:34 PM

MCP's tempi on the metronome are the same as on mine (German brand).
Astonishing are the great gaps for Andante (32 bpm), Allegro (48 bpm), and presto (32 bpm). No Allegretto given).
A few tempi given by Beethoven:
Allegro = minim MM 84 (5th symphony, 4th motion)
Allegro assai = minim MM 80 (9th symphony, finale = Ode to Joy)
Allegretto = quaver MM 88 (8th symphonym 2nd motion)

Beethoven welcomed the invention of the metronome (1816) and dedicated a funny round for four voices to its inventor Nepomuk Maelzel, where every 4th tact simulates the ticking of the metronome in quavers.
In 1817 he wrote: "... I thought for a long time to give up the paradoxical names Allegro, Andante, Adagio, Presto. Therefor Maelzel's metronome gives us the best opportunity."

About the nonsensical definitions of some of tempi:
Andante (76-108) = going fits the slow march (80), but not the quick march (114), which I wouldn't define as Moderato (108-120), especially if we keep in mind that 120 steps per minute, just the border between Moderato and Allegro, was the attack step changed soon to the double quick (as fast as possible. All marching tempi according to the German Field Manual of 1906).


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