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Anyone like using the metronome?

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Little Hawk 12 Mar 06 - 07:26 PM
Peace 12 Mar 06 - 07:27 PM
Sorcha 12 Mar 06 - 07:33 PM
MaineDog 12 Mar 06 - 07:47 PM
Chris Green 12 Mar 06 - 08:04 PM
Little Hawk 12 Mar 06 - 08:10 PM
MaineDog 12 Mar 06 - 08:16 PM
The Fooles Troupe 12 Mar 06 - 08:18 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Mar 06 - 08:50 PM
M.Ted 12 Mar 06 - 08:56 PM
Ron Davies 12 Mar 06 - 09:46 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Mar 06 - 10:32 PM
Little Hawk 12 Mar 06 - 11:11 PM
Peace 13 Mar 06 - 01:14 AM
GUEST 13 Mar 06 - 02:12 AM
M.Ted 13 Mar 06 - 02:39 AM
GUEST,leeneia 13 Mar 06 - 04:04 AM
Dave the Gnome 13 Mar 06 - 11:09 AM
M.Ted 13 Mar 06 - 02:07 PM
freightdawg 13 Mar 06 - 02:40 PM
M.Ted 13 Mar 06 - 03:44 PM
Zany Mouse 13 Mar 06 - 03:57 PM
Ron Davies 13 Mar 06 - 11:50 PM
GUEST,catsPHiddle@work 14 Mar 06 - 03:11 AM
Wilfried Schaum 14 Mar 06 - 03:26 AM
treewind 14 Mar 06 - 06:26 AM
*daylia* 14 Mar 06 - 06:45 AM
Windsinger 14 Mar 06 - 07:06 AM
GUEST,Vixen @ work 14 Mar 06 - 01:08 PM
GUEST,vixen @ work 14 Mar 06 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,leeneia 14 Mar 06 - 02:27 PM
Don Firth 14 Mar 06 - 02:53 PM
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Subject: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 07:26 PM

I've tried, but I seem to do better without it. Same goes for a "click" track. It drives me crazy. What about the rest of you out there in music land?


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: Peace
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 07:27 PM

Using it for what?


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: Sorcha
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 07:33 PM

I hate the damn things.


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: MaineDog
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 07:47 PM

The trouble with metronomes is that they never work right when new. You have to break them in for several days before they settle down and play at a constant tempo.
MD


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: Chris Green
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 08:04 PM

I haven't found one yet that can keep up with me!


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 08:10 PM

I bought one in a moment of weakness. It is now serving as a paper holder. Perhaps I can sell it on Ebay.

Peace, get serious for once! You are wasting bandwidth with all your dumbass comments.

(You use it to keep the piranhas docile, of course. Any fool knows that. They watch it go back and forth...back and forth... and they slowly get hypnotized. Then you can clean their tank in relative safety.)


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: MaineDog
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 08:16 PM

I had one like that, too. So finally I read the directions. Guess what,
there was a tiny hole in the back that hid a secret reset button which needed to be pushed with end end of a paper clip "in case of malfunction or after changing the battery" ( wish I had one of those..} anyway after I did that it almost worked right.
MD


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 08:18 PM

I thought you were talking about the Mterognome.


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 08:50 PM

I prefer taking the bus.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: M.Ted
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 08:56 PM

If you have trouble staying with the metronome, you've got trouble--because you can't stay with a steady beat. Why you can't stay with the beat is an open question--the easy remedy is to practice with a metronome until you can--


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 09:46 PM

I walk to the Metro and take it to work. That's as far as I go. There must be a reason for metronomes but I haven't found it. And we're not alone--Brahms hated them--said something to the effect that he refused to accept that a machine could successfully reflect the soul of music.

Only thing I could possibly think of as a use would be to try to envision how fast a composer intended a piece to be played or sung since there are markings sometimes at the start of a piece indicating how fast to set the metronome. But only if you want a steady beat--which therefore knocks out any chance for interpretation through tempo--and as a result can kill the soul of a piece.

I'm convinced it should be up to the performer to decide how fast he or she wants to do a piece. The composers are mostly dead anyway.


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 10:32 PM

I find very often that when my group is doing a gospel piece, we pick up speed as we go along on some of the fast numbers. I'd sure hate a little ticky-tacky smug-faced piece of machinery to tell me what to do.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 11:11 PM

It's fairly normal to pick up speed when one is doing a high energy number. I found I had to watch that tendency very carefully when recording songs with many verses and an exciting theme. If I watch it consciously I can fairly much avoid the speeding up by pacing myself from the beginning with the thought "now don't speed it up!".

I don't have much trouble holding a steady beat, in my opinion, I just have trouble matching it to the metronome for some reason. I mean, my steady beat is not happening at the same time... (grin)

I know people who can't hold a steady beat...or count measures in even "4"s (or whatever)...and it's pretty obvious, believe me. That's not my problem here.


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: Peace
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 01:14 AM

As was said above, it's a handy device if the music you want to play is on a sheet and you don't know what the tempo/speed should be. After that, I've never found much use for them.


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 02:12 AM

the reason you use a metronome when practicing is to develop your ability to keep a steady tempo so that when you play a peice you can maintain your tempo confidantly without the metronome. also helpful to develop that skill so when you play with real musicians you are not the wanker who slows down and speeds up all the time thereby ruining it for everybody except your own "artistic" self who thinks the world should revolve at your unsteady pace.


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: M.Ted
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 02:39 AM

I actually have a fairly good idea of why you have trouble with the metronome, LH-if you are playing a strum pattern, like say, the famous Dylan strum(which is really a Ramblin' Jack Elliot strum, at least in my opinion), you are keeping the beat, not following the beat--since the metronome doesn't listen, it doesn't know how to follow your beat, and goes it's own way.

What you have to do(at least if you want to be in sync with the metronome) is to stop keeping the beat and refigure what you're playing so that it follows the beat. It opens up you playing when you stop keeping the tempo and can concentrate on doing other things--


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 04:04 AM

"If you have trouble staying with the metronome, you've got trouble--because you can't stay with a steady beat."


I think the above is an oversimplification. I'm good at keeping a steady beat. I sing and play with others, and we all begin and end together. However, when I use the metronome, especially at the piano, my mind just doesn't seem to process the sound. It's ignored, the same way the fridge, furnace and meows are ignored. In music, different brains work different ways.

Sidelight - I have a cuckoo clock which ticks. When I'm playing the piano, I never notice the ticking until I play "My Grandfather's Clock." About halfway through that song, I notice the ticking. My husband says he does the same thing.

Here's one good thing I do with a metronome - use it to slow a song down slightly. Sometimes when our band wants to slow down a bit, we slow way down instead.


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 11:09 AM

Oy! Hands off them MetroGnomes - They worked very hard to build the underground railway in Paris and they belong to the same union as me. Anyone around here found using or abusing MetroGnomes is likely to wake up with a fishing rod up the jacksey...

:D


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: M.Ted
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 02:07 PM

You have to learn how to follow a metronome--it is a different skill from that of following others(which you do when you play with a group)--following a conductor is different yet again--

Each of these techniques for keeping the beat is different, and creates a different sound--early classical music was played without a conductor, and there are ensembles that now play even Beethoven without a conductor--it sounds much more "folkie"--


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: freightdawg
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 02:40 PM

I always thought the use of the metronome was as someone stated earlier: to get familiar with a piece of music or to work through some difficult phrasing of a piece of music. I use mine when I want to (correctly) increase the tempo of a piece of music, or when I want to really slow it down so I can focus on pick movement. After several minutes of playing along with the metronome I turn it off (I have an electronic model) and see if I can maintain the same tempo with my foot beating the time or some other way of keeping tempo. I have also discovered that when I am playing a song it is the lyrics that very often set my tempo - but then that is probably more a reflection of the type of songs I play.

The great value of electronic metronomes is you can add doublet and triplet beats in-between the major beats of the piece, which has been a tremendous help in working through some bluegrass stuff. I have an old wind-up model that has a great deal of emotional value, but as the spring winds down the beat gets slower. WHOA! What do you know? The wind-up metronome is just like the ol' Freightdawg himself - getting slower by the minute!

That having been said, I must agree that just because you can play along with a metronome does not mean you are ready to play with a band. It means you can play along with a metronome.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: M.Ted
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 03:44 PM

Incidentally, playing along with a metronome, or click track, is a fundamental skill in recording these days, and you've got to be able to do it if you want to want to use midi sequencers or music notation software--


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 03:57 PM

** SHUDDER **

Memories of childhood piano lessons, rulers across the knuckles etc.

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 11:50 PM

It's obviously important for a group to stay together. But staying together has nothing to do with a metronome. I've been singing with a large choral group (concerts usually in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall) for about 15 years. I don't believe I've ever seen our conductor use a metronome. Maybe he uses one at home as part of preparation. More likely he has an internal metronome--can visualize what tempo a piece should be taken at. I have seen him beat out quarter notes to give us an idea of tempo. But mainly he wants to be free to vary tempo.

Staying with the conductor ( or in another group, the lead instrument or the singer) is crucial. Keeping a steady beat is absolutely vital--so the group can stay together. But the group has to be sensitive to possible variations--which have to be determined by somebody acknowledged as the leader--it's obvious that everybody has to know who to follow. But again, this has nothing to do with a metronome.

If you want to know what a composer had in mind and there are metronome markings at the start of the piece, you can theoretically determine from them what he or she envisaged. But once you start, only if you wanted absolutely no variation in tempo in the whole piece would a metronome be useful.

I found some interesting stuff on use of metronomes. Beethoven was the first composer to use one--in 1817 he published metronome markings for all the movements of his (then) 8 symphonies. But the tempos indicated he indicated in some of his works (specifically the 9th symphony and the Hammerklavier sonata) are almost impossibly fast.
Of course in 1817 and after, his hearing was a real problem--I would guess this is probably a reason for the tempo problems. Interestingly enough, Schumann's works have the same problem.

I can't imagine that metronomes would be very useful in most types of folk music.


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: GUEST,catsPHiddle@work
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 03:11 AM

I used a metronome when I was at music college and studying for my exams and I don't particularly like them. The tempo had to be spot on or you'd lose marks. I learnt to follow a conductor from an early age of playing in orchestras and singing in choirs. I don't tend to use a metronome now. I can play to a steady beat confidently. It's a good skill to have!


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 03:26 AM

As was said above, it's a handy device if the music you want to play is on a sheet and you don't know what the tempo/speed should be.
Yes, that originally was Maelzel's idea, so appreciated by Beethoven that he dedicated M. a round (musical term, not in the pub).

A metronome is of no much use for me: I need 114 (German march), but the machines only give me 112 or 116.


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: treewind
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 06:26 AM

On setting a prescribed speed:
Metronome markings in music are often not accurate or appropriate. Some composers must have put them in without checking, or they had a bizarre idea of how their music should be played that isn't shared by most modern interpreters. Other seem to give sensible guidance but you don't HAVE to follow it.

On playing along with metronomes or click tracks:
Yes, of course it's difficult, but just like the first time you hear yourself recorded or watch yourself on video it's a humbling experience from which you have the opportunity to learn. You may THINK you keep a steady beat until.... "Hey, your metronone's gone wrong - it's slowing down!". Been there, done that (I didn't really say that, but it felt like it).

As someone said, you can learn to play to a click track, and the skill's worth acquiring: sometimes you need it for a recording session to solve a multitracking or timing problem. Any listening skill is worthwhile for a musician. Nothing to do with folk or classical/jazz/pop/whatever: just tools of the trade.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: *daylia*
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 06:45 AM

Yup. NOthing beats it!


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: Windsinger
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 07:06 AM

I like them, but would like them a lot more if there wasn't such a tendency for the click-track to refuse to leave the final mix... :P

(Even using an external electric metronome with headphones plugged into it doesn't seem to completely prevent cross-contamination and bleed-over.)

Slán,

~Fionn

www.geocities.com/children_of_lir


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: GUEST,Vixen @ work
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 01:08 PM

I find mine useful for getting my fingers trained not to blaze through some parts and slow down in others. I tend to use it as note-for-note practice tool to develop consistency rather than a tool to make me keep a consistent beat.


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: GUEST,vixen @ work
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 01:09 PM

it's a tool I respect and appreciate, but I don't like it one little bit.


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 02:27 PM

I think it's been established that Beehtoven's metronome was inaccurate. The music isn't supposed to be played as fast as his markings indicate.


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Subject: RE: Anyone like using the metronome?
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 02:53 PM

Tyrannical little machine. I rarely use one, almost never in relation to folk music. But I occasionally use one for classic guitar practice, especially if the technical exercise I'm working on is particularly nasty, or if a section of a piece I'm trying to learn is giving me lots of grief.

Back in 1980, I had a chance to sit in on a master class given by Pepe Romero, and one of the many things he said that stuck with me was his cautionary advice to practice any new piece or technical exercise very slowly to begin with, especially any passages or changes that are giving trouble. "If you try to play it up to tempo and keep making the same mistakes, what you are doing is practicing your mistakes. And you do not want to get good at making mistakes!" He went on to say that you should play difficult passages at a slow enough tempo so you can play them without messing up. Once you can do that, try it a tiny bit faster, but again, without mistakes. Eventually, you'll be able to play the whole piece up to tempo, confident that you know what you're doing.

That's the way I use the metronome. I slow it waaaaaaaay doooown, and play the exercise or passage at an almost almost ridiculously slow pace. I concentrate on getting the notes right, keeping my hands as relaxed as possible, and keeping the movements from note to note or chord to chord smooth and clean. Once I can play it consistently without screwing up, I turn the metronome up a click or two and try it again. Ultimately, I wind up at the correct tempo. Then, I take it a step farther. I move it up another notch or two and play the thing faster than it should go. Maybe even quite a bit faster. Once I can do that without mistakes, I can usually back off and play it at the correct tempo with a fair amount of ease and assurance.

Sometimes it even works.

Don Firth


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