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 Post subject: Metronome
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:26 pm
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Location: Miami, Florida, USA
I recently purchased a digital metronome at the suggestion of Chris to help set proper tempos. I hadn't practiced playing with a metronome since I was very young. My childhood teacher used to make me practice scales, arpeggios and other technical exercises at various speeds using my old mechanical metronome. That dinosaur has stopped working, and I still have it in the attic. It's approaching antique status. :)

I have been using my new digital metronome every day to remind me of correct tempos. I've also practiced a few pieces using the metronome to assist in maintaining a constant speed. What do you think of practicing with a metronome?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:13 pm 
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I now use my metronome regularly. My teacher insisted I use one and I’m glad he did. When I’m learning a piece, we set the metronome on a very, very slow tempo and I cannot bump it up until I can play through the piece perfectly. Click by click it goes until I am able to play at the correct tempo. It’s really helped me a lot, and made more efficient use of my practice time.



Quote:
It's approaching antique status

bring it to the Antiques Roadshow! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Metronome
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 12:43 am 
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Location: Gulfport, MS, USA
John Robson wrote:
I have been using my new digital metronome every day to remind me of correct tempos. I've also practiced a few pieces using the metronome to assist in maintaining a constant speed. What do you think of practicing with a metronome?

When I was growing up, I always hated practicing with a metronome, because in order to practice with it, I had to play much slower than I wanted to. I wanted to rush on, which I could only do in spurts and such. I think that learning discipline with the metronome, difficult though it may be, is one of the best aids to a true familiarity with a piece. Once the tempo and the notes and proper fingerings are under control, then I feel more free to take liberties with the tempo (if applicable) and I feel I can do so without destroying the breath of the music.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 4:53 am 
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Location: Germany
For playing Bach, I use the metronome regulary. For Chopin not, but maybe I should.
Monica, I find your approach for a new piece very interesting: with metronome but very slow. Have not done yet but maybe I can speed up my practising phase - I would need that since I am such a terrible slow learner.

With Bach, I sometimes try to use the metronome at very different speeds. E.g. playing at half speed helps me to detect and eliminate easier trouble spots where my fingers and hands are not truely relaxed. If I come through well at half speed it often does the same at full speed. Also the other way round: at half speed I often have the same troubles as with full speed, and the trouble appears much clearer.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:34 am 
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I rarely ever practise with the metronome. Despite regular comments about my steady tempo, I find it very hard to keep in sync with the thing for more than a couple of bars, and usually give up trying after a while :oops: I do as a rule use it to know what the prescribed tempo should be.

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 Post subject: Metro...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 6:55 pm 
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Location: Miami, Florida, USA
It's good to get this feedback.

Monica, you have my old teacher. :) She forced me to play with the metronome at very, very extremely slow speed. It was good for me because I had a terrible tendency to get gradually faster and faster, especially when I was young. I think it's the opposite case now. It also encouraged me to be more careful.

Chris, I feel better learning that you too have trouble keeping in sync with the metronome. I thought it was something wrong with me. But I'm still practicing some using the metronome.

Olaf, you obviously don't believe that practicing with a metronome has a tendency to make your playing more mechanical. Right? I've been practicing some Bach, of all things for ME to do, using the metronome. I was concerned that it may cause me play more mechanically when I stop using the metronome. :?:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:58 am 
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techneut wrote:
I rarely ever practise with the metronome. Despite regular comments about my steady tempo, I find it very hard to keep in sync with the thing for more than a couple of bars, and usually give up trying after a while :oops:


In my case it is often so that I find it hard to keep in sync with the metronome too. However it is in all cases so that those are exactly the trouble spots I need to work on. Once I really have a passage nailed, I don't find it hard anymore to keep in sync. So for me it is a very well working indicator for something I need to work on in order to make the thing better.

John Robson wrote:
Olaf, you obviously don't believe that practicing with a metronome has a tendency to make your playing more mechanical. Right?


I think the danger for playing more mechanical with metronome is there, especially if one needs to concentrate on keeping in sync instead playing musical. Also, if one tries to take the metronome to speed up. That is something I did give up. Instead I much more often use the metronome to slow down now.
I think one can very well play musical and with all expression, (also with rubato!!) with metronome. One only should not concentrate so much for synchronisation. If one needs to concentrate that much for keeping sync that is an indicator that something is wrong with the rhythm I think.

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 Post subject: trouble spots
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 1:27 pm 
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Olaf, I agree with you that the places I have trouble staying in sync with the metronome are almost always the parts that are most difficult for me to play.


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 Post subject: Metronome
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:25 am 
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Location: Ireland
I find the metronome invaluable when learning a piece, especially with classical and earlier styles.
but as soon as I can play fluently at an appropriate tempo I discard the metronome.
Then I concentrate on expression, rubato etc. The final performance will not necessarily be metronomically steady; did you ever try to get a metronome to play along with a professional performance on record? they rarely stay in sync.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:53 pm 
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Location: Gulfport, MS, USA
Isn't it funny how all the pieces we feel it is particularly important to use the metronome in practice, are pieces that were written before the metronome was invented (1812)? It's like, they invented the metronome, and shortly thereafter, tempo rubato became all the rage. :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:16 am 
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I really like the metronome. If I've got my mind set on achieving a certain tempo (slow or fast) it forces me into compliance, whether I'm comfortable or not. It takes some of the ego out a performance. It's my drill sergeant!

Pete


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 Post subject: Metronome is essential
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:09 pm 
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Location: the Netherlands
Since a few months I have a piano teacher again, and one of the first things he advised me (and which I do now) is to use the metronome often, if not always, when practicing. The second thing is to practice (very) slowly.
By forcing myself to practice (very) slowly, by using a metronome, I advance by leaps. For me this helps and I use the metronome every single day.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 2:40 pm 
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Location: Texas,USA
I always practice with the metronome
It is a good way to learn a new piece too

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:43 am 
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I don't even know what to do with myself when I don't have my metronome! :shock: it's my best friend! hehe

Seriously though... I practice everything I can with the metronome. As a couple other people here have said: taking a phrase, or a section of a piece, starting it out at half tempo, and then bumping up the metronome 4 beats per minute until it's up to speed.

I find that I learn new pieces a lot faster if I practice this way too... When I first started learning the last movement of Prokofiev's 6th sonata earlier this summer I learned it this way, and learned the notes in 2 weeks or so (granted, I didn't have much time to learn it, since I had to actually KNOW it in 2 months for a competition... so I spent 4 or so hours on it each day for those 2 weeks :P).

I'm restless when my metronome runs out of batteries...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:53 am 
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Location: Louisiana, USA
Yeah, I think metronome can actually help you play faster than without. I'm practicing the chopin 10/4 etude right now, and I thought I had topped out at my maximum speed. But I started with metronome and I'm up to 160 now in about 2 weeks.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 5:51 pm 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Hi all,,,

I have to say I MUST :( use metronomes for speed works....ones is done. Or ONE must use metronoes at the begining of learning curve where inaccurate beat occurs in one's playingNO METRONOMes for playing . Once my mind is shaped my metronome. The musicality should come out nice and precise.


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 Post subject: Re: Metronome
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:16 pm 
proper tempos in abstract don't exist.
Tempo is a variable depending from expression, sound, mood, psychic images.
The "correct tempo" is a too much simple convention, good for industry or academies.
Regards,
Sandro


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:27 pm
Posts: 194
I've got the Boss Dr. Beat digital metronome, it is a thing of beauty. It can count the
eighths, sixteenths, triplets, play in 4/4, 3/4, 6/8, etc... and place accents wherever you want.
Plus it can do it with a voice that will drive your dogs mad! I live by myself so I am able
to just leave it on all the time (sometimes). Doing that helped me develop a really strong
groove when I played bass more. I've got a constant click-track in my head now.
At least it drowns out the voices. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:25 pm
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Location: the Netherlands
pianolady wrote:
I now use my metronome regularly. My teacher insisted I use one and I’m glad he did. When I’m learning a piece, we set the metronome on a very, very slow tempo and I cannot bump it up until I can play through the piece perfectly. Click by click it goes until I am able to play at the correct tempo. It’s really helped me a lot, and made more efficient use of my practice time.



This is exactly what my teacher does. And it really works fine.

And, for who might be interested: Another thing he insists on is to stimulate me to play "blind", without looking at my hands at all.

Rene

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:57 am 
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Location: Minnesota, United States
Metronomes are NECESSARY! I've played with mine so often, that now on solo pieces I generally don't, because when I do I'm right on beat anyway. But I use it when practicing for any ensemble pieces I'm working on. There's nothing more irritating than trying to put together an ensemble, and somebody's rushing or dragging! It's a way of making sure that my tempo is steady and in the correct range for the piece.

It's also invaluable if you ever have to follow a conductor (I play for several choirs). It's a great way to learn to take 'someone elses' beat.

As for playing mechanically - once I know my tempo's right and steady, I concentrate on expression.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 11:39 pm 
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hasekamp wrote:
And, for who might be interested: Another thing he insists on is to stimulate me to play "blind", without looking at my hands at all.


I don't want this to get off topic, but I did want to mention that I think it's really silly when teachers force their students to NEVER look at their hands. There are some passages where it is necessary to watch different things... On the other hand, in some places (the octave jumps in the right hand near the end of Liszt's Mephisto Waltz, the octave jumps in the left hand in the coda of Chopin's 3rd Scherzo, the last chords of Chopin's 2nd scherzo, etc) where it's good to practice without relying on seeing. When I have to do this, I go to a practice room at my local college (one with no windows :P) and turn the lights off... it works well!

But anyway... back on topic

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