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My metronome, my friend.

Discussion in 'Technique' started by musical-md, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    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-"
     
  2. noland

    noland New Member

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    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
     
  3. hanysz

    hanysz New Member

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    I don't think my metronome is my friend. It's more like my conscience :-/
     
  4. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    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.
     
  5. noland

    noland New Member

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    Hello...a crutch is a helpful thing, not a bad word.
     
  6. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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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.
     
  7. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    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.
     
  8. hanysz

    hanysz New Member

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    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.
     
  9. noland

    noland New Member

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    the metronome...a device or a way of life?
     
  10. sejra

    sejra New Member Piano Society Artist

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    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...
     
  11. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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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:
     
  12. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Transposed from the "Levels of Preparation" thread for suitability:
     
  13. hanysz

    hanysz New Member

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    For reference, the other thread is viewtopic.php?f=18&t=4654 ; conversation about the metronome starts at post number 9.
     
  14. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    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
     
  15. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    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?
     
  16. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    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
     
  17. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Hello, David,

    The last aside here: Thank you!

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

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Richard,

    When in comes to piano, there are many ironies!

    David
     
  19. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    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.
     
  20. mike2aces

    mike2aces New Member

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    I never use a metronome. I use a metronome app. :D
     

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