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 Post subject: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
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Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
I am still using the same Wittner Super-Mini Taktell metronome that I started with in my youth (almost 40 years!). What does my metronome do for me?

1. It calibrates my internal clock
2. It reveals my weakness in any passage that is too difficult for me.
3. It reveals the changes in my internal sense of time that I may make to accomodate passages.
4. It takes me by the hand and helps me improve one degree at a time from where I am to where I must be.
5. It confirms for me when I have accomplished developing!
6. It never dictates musicality (or the lack thereof) leaving that to me but only wishes to train my hands.

What would I do without my coach and confidant?


Edit: Added "Super-"

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


Last edited by musical-md on Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:47 pm
Posts: 7
Hello...I recently dropped and broke my Taktell Piccolo.

So I went to e-bay and found an aqua-coloured vintage electric metronome

from Russia. It looks like a chimpanzee could've practised with in on Sputnik.

I still can't figure out how to translate plugs/voltage, but surely will.

A Romantic here, I shall be imagining lessons with Neuhaus...Robert


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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:36 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:11 am
Posts: 243
Location: Adelaide, Australia
I don't think my metronome is my friend. It's more like my conscience :-/

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Alexander Hanysz, http://hanysz.net


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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:21 am 
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Posts: 1040
Is the metronome then a crutch? I remember when I took lessons. There was a metronome on one of the pianos and, to my knowledge, it was used twice in maybe 10 years and that for maybe a minute a time just to check a metronome marking on a score. I do not own a metronome and it is not in my plans to get one. Recording myself gives me a much better idea if I am keeping time or not.

And mind you I am one who has a tendency not to keep time while playing, though I am very sensitive to others who cannot keep time. I believe this is something to do with uprights throwing the sound into one's face.

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:36 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:47 pm
Posts: 7
Hello...a crutch is a helpful thing, not a bad word.


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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:10 pm 
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But implies one cannot walk unaided and cannot carry anything in your hands. Trust me: I had to buy some for myself a month ago.

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Before you know it we'll be discussing Tiny Tim from "A Christmas Carol." :? All a metronome does is objectify time for us. Tempo and pitch are psychological, not absolute like velocity/speed or frequency. All the metronome does for me is help me look at myself from without instead of from within.

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:11 am
Posts: 243
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Despite my frivolous complaint, I'm with Eddy on this one. You should check with a metronome from time to time and find out what you're doing.

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Alexander Hanysz, http://hanysz.net


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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:03 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:47 pm
Posts: 7
the metronome...a device or a way of life?


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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:56 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:46 pm
Posts: 106
Location: Stockholm
Of course, metronome is a great thing. Anyway, we should try to avoid using the metronome and substitute the work with metronome with our own mind. We should be really able to thing rhytmically without metronoms. To me helped that I started to thing about pulsation of a piece in a different view. I am not trying to thing in a half beats, or quarter beats. I am trying to stretch the puls to half bars, or whole bars. It will become more compact and one can hear more where it is rushing or slowing down. The problem of metronome is its unmusicality...

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Bohumir - don't take it so hard, please... Usually I don't think about what I write.


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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:09 pm 
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First of all. Eddy, I hope I caused you no offence. My remark did sound a bit blunt but it was not meant to hurt. I keep David's words (in another post) at heart. :)

It did sound at first that you relied on the metronome. There are such people in the world, maybe the same who need a keyboard with the names of the notes written on the keys, but your following post makes clear you are not one of them. By all means, the metronome might be useful, but not a substitute to counting, to feeling time inside you. I strive for the latter and I seem to be managing this. Once time is in you, once you can "get out of your body" and hover above the piano and listen, a metronome is needless.

I sound like an Indian holy man. :lol:

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:34 pm 
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Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
richard66 wrote:
First of all. Eddy, I hope I caused you no offence. My remark did sound a bit blunt but it was not meant to hurt. I keep David's words (in another post) at heart. :)

It did sound at first that you relied on the metronome. There are such people in the world, maybe the same who need a keyboard with the names of the notes written on the keys, but your following post makes clear you are not one of them. By all means, the metronome might be useful, but not a substitute to counting, to feeling time inside you. I strive for the latter and I seem to be managing this. Once time is in you, once you can "get out of your body" and hover above the piano and listen, a metronome is needless.

I sound like an Indian holy man. :lol:


Transposed from the "Levels of Preparation" thread for suitability:
Quote:
I can't believe anyone would even raise the ideas of "crutch" and "counting." Such an inadequate level of development should not (hopefully) even be associated with this on-line community. I think that the recordings that I have already submitted betray a little something about my abilities and I just can't understyand how foreign the metronome seems to be to so many here but. This to me reveals a certain lack of understanding. In every physical endevor of performance, whether music, dance, athletics, etc. training always attempts to exceed that required. Runners run through the resistance of water or on sand or sprint uphill, dancers practice for endless hours to gain endurance that they will only need a fraction of for performing, and musicians (or at least myself) also practice works or passages in manners that are more difficult than that of an actual performance because it is one way of building reserve. One manner of doing such is to play extended passages (or entire works depending on their simplicity) with metronome (because it removes the psychological comprehension of time and replaces it with an objective rule by which we can measure ourselves). Then, to practice in such a manner at a speed that is greater than that required for performance builds reserve technical mastery. The point is not that when you attempt to do so it begins to disintegrate, the point is to master it at that faster level so that playing at normal speed is done with technical margin. When I am working to systematically develop speed and accuracy, I will proceed as follows: Say I am trying to "pass" at a speed of 96; I advance the metronome two clicks faster (to 104) and practice each hand seperate thusly, working all the problems that arise or are revealed. Then, when I am satisfied, I adjust the metronome to 96 and attempt to play it hands together. If I can do it well, I have passed "96" and can try all of it again one click faster. BTW, in the way that practicing with metronome faster than comfortable helps (IMO evidently) develop the physical execution, so to practicing SLOWER than comfortable develops the mental execution.

Last, I will draw upon the words of others to help me in my time of need. Ruth Slenczynska, who was a child prodigy performing her debut in Berlin at age 6 and who studied with Rachmaninoff, wrote an excellent little book entitled, Music at your Fingertips: Advice for the Artist and Amateur on Playing the Piano. In chapter 3 (Concepts of Proportion, Tempo, Rhythm) on page 27, she writes the following:

"A student's presto , for example, may sound very fast because he will play as fast as he can manage and his efforts to hurry become evident; but when an artist uses the same tempo it might sound slow, since he has perfect control of his hands and sounds controlled, while the student sounds hurried. This is why I recommend use of the metronome from the very beginning, from the very first scale, throughout our musical lives. I still use it daily, even on tour, to maintain the discipline of daily practice and full mastery of the keyboard, even when the keyboards vary. I prefer to increase speed by regular intervals ..." {bold is mine}

click, click, click, ...
Eddy

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:07 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:11 am
Posts: 243
Location: Adelaide, Australia
For reference, the other thread is viewtopic.php?f=18&t=4654 ; conversation about the metronome starts at post number 9.

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Alexander Hanysz, http://hanysz.net


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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
My metronome is also an old classic--the Franz Model LM-FB electric (not electronic) metronome. It's the black plastic (maybe bakelite) box with the silver dial on the front. You can set it to show the beat with a silent orange blinking light on top, or the sturdy audible click, or both signals simultaneously. Years ago this metronome was ubiquitous on pianos. Franz was one of the earlier manufacturers of metronomes, but unfortunately is now out of business. When multiple manufacturers flooded the market with electronic metronomes in the digital age, I suspect that Franz was too slow to react. They did bring a couple of electronic models to market, but it was probably too little too late, and they folded. I hope my Franz keeps on ticking and outlives me.

Here are the things I use it for:

Checking a metronome marking in a score

After working up a piece, then doing a play-through at tempo with the metronome to detect stumbles

Figuring out a difficult rhythm

Doing gradual increases to get a piece up to a fast tempo

Having said that, my metronome doesn't get a lot of use. I probably turn it on for one purpose or another once every couple or weeks or so. It can be a useful tool but should never be a crutch. I think that overuse could lead to metronomic playing.

David

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"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:23 pm 
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Posts: 1040
You will remember, David, that my fisrt submissions were very metronomic! An this from one who only counts time! I suppose when one, in younger years, tends to take all tempo ad. lib. this is only to be expected! By the way, did you see the last comment in the Audition room, Geyer Diehard?

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:36 pm 
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Location: U.S.A.
Hi Richard,

No, the last time I checked there Chris and Monica were deciding who would put up which parts of your submissions. I just now though left a comment.

David

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"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:01 pm 
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Posts: 1040
Hello, David,

The last aside here: Thank you!

I was referring more specifically to the comment that there is no bass!

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Richard,

When in comes to piano, there are many ironies!

David

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"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:35 am
Posts: 1418
Location: Gulfport, MS, USA
I have to go with those who love the metronome but avoid using it too often. I find I use it most when I first start working on a piece. Well, first I learn the notes and get it memorized, which doesn't take long. Then I go to metronome practice for discipline, though of course I take breaks during that period to play without metronome. When it gets closer to performance tempo I play with the metronome far less often, though I do still use it regularly to remind me where my internal clock is adjusting to my weaknesses.

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"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:43 am 
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Posts: 10
I never use a metronome. I use a metronome app. :D

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"Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art." F. Chopin


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 Post subject: Re: My metronome, my friend.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
mike2aces wrote:
I never use a metronome. I use a metronome app. :D

I never read eBooks. I read books. I bet there is great difference between our ages. :wink:

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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