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Hard Core Violin
Wondering how many folks out there ever use a metronome?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
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Oliver
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June 26, 2014 - 8:45 am
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I really hate the metronome.   That is only because it distracts me from the rhythm that I want to invent.  After all, I am the artist!   ("METRONOME" includes software versions)

Some people use metronomes as a practice aid and they are good at it. 

My metronome says that I have a tendency to rush the music which makes me wonder if it is working right?

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Panzón
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June 26, 2014 - 8:57 am
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I'm a complete beginner (just a month), and at first, I didn't use a metronome at all because it just confused me. After I learned to play a bit, though, I could see that my rhythm was pretty uneven, so I've begun using a metronome for some of my practice. It takes some getting used to, following the beat of the metronome instead of the beat in my head, but I definitely see the value of it.

 

Mike

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DanielB
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June 26, 2014 - 9:46 am
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I use a metronome pretty much every day, Oliver.  And usually also some other "unforgiving" things like a drum machine or backing tracks.  Otherwise, yeah, there is a tendency to creep up the tempo while going through a piece.

You might notice that while you can find plenty of folks that at least claim they have "perfect pitch", you'll rarely if ever hear anyone claiming they have "perfect tempo".   LOL   

In my personal experience, tempo and timing take a fair bit of one's practice time to get or stay good at.  Someone who can't stay on the beat will sound *worse*, even if their intonation is great, than someone who can play tight on the rhythm but whose intonation is occasionally a little off.  Errors of timing are more obvious to the audience/listener, I think. 

I sure don't love the metronome, but I definitely use it.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Oliver
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June 26, 2014 - 10:06 am
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The truth is that I recognize the value of the metronome.  What really bothers me is the distraction. 

And I'm reaching the point where tempo is almost everything, such as barn music.  Without great tempo, Blue Grass could hardly exist.

I suspect that great tempo/rhythm is a natural talent of which I only have not enough.  In any case, metronoming is rewarding I think.

(I only have to remember the son of a church officiant who took up the drums and was the star of Drummer Boy.  Can you imagine that drum piece played without a single beat being correct?  However, it was entertaining !!!!

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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coolpinkone
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June 26, 2014 - 11:23 am
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Working with a Metronome is on my list of things that I failed to learn.  I bought one and have not played with it one time in a year.  I guess honestly I am not sure how to do it correctly.  Or enough to make a difference. 

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Oliver
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June 26, 2014 - 11:46 am
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We have nothing to fear but fear itself or, simple procrastination works too.  Now you know why I called this post "Hard core violin" . "Metronome" is  a dirty word to some !  :) :)

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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coolpinkone
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June 26, 2014 - 12:18 pm
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Metronome is a dirty word to some.  ha ha yes.. probably so.

I am going to get that puppy out and work.. I swear. :)

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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RosinedUp
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coolpinkone said
I guess honestly I am not sure how to do it correctly.  Or enough to make a difference. 

Just turn the thing on and start tapping along with it. 

You could accent every other beat to practice 2/4, every third for 3/4, or every fourth for 4/4.

The first time I used one, I was kind of shocked at how much my timing was off.  I got a big gain from using it just a little.

What do you have to lose by trying it?  To improve, you have to try new stuff.  It's not rational to assume it won't help or to be afraid to try it.

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coolpinkone
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June 26, 2014 - 1:20 pm
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@RosinedUp  good points.  I am not afraid... I guess I have been lazy or procrastinating.

I recall we talked about this.. turn it on and tap.  At one time  I was using my digital one on my phone and tapping with some of the songs  while at work. I do recall that. 

I just haven't tried it while playing.  So I will be jumping in soon.  I will let you know how it goes. 

:)

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Oliver
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June 26, 2014 - 2:15 pm
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Cool

Just in case you would welcome more motivation, the metronome is a great way to get used to the distraction of playing with another instrument in perhaps a duet, etc.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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coolpinkone
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Oliver.. thank you. I have a huge problem with distraction in playing with another. I even have trouble with distraction when playing with the click track.  So thanks.. this is Good News!!!!! 

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Barry
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June 26, 2014 - 4:37 pm
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love the metronome, use it mostly on scales (both Piano & Violin) and simple pieces to get note durations correct. Though I must confess, and not bragging, Ive got pretty good built in rhythm

There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart

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Fiddlerman
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June 27, 2014 - 3:20 pm
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Metronomes are good for obtaining steady tempos and learning to play rhythmically correct. It's great to use a metronome to a certain degree but then leave it for a more musical performance.
That being said, even performances should be somewhat metronomic. Whether you know it or not, others feel your tempo and beat their feet when they hear music. I even like to play rhythmically when I play Bach. Rumor has it that people used to dance to Bach sonata's and Partitas. :)

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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StoneDog
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I use the metronome for scales and different bowing workouts > I LOVE the metronome > it is NUTS and has total control of the session. One can not defeat the metronome. I never use it when just trying to play tunes. I do use drum kits when doing tunes > its a big help keeping me in sync > otherwise I end up on another planet.

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Oliver
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June 27, 2014 - 4:42 pm
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That sounds good.

All that is left is that the metronome can (sometimes) be synched with the composers

instructions for tempo ( i.e. MM notation). 

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Kiara
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I do sometimes use a metronome, for bits in a song I am having trouble with the tempo etc. I don't think they are always necessary, but definitely don't rule them out completely, they are good to have around if you need it.

Good luck trying it out :)

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Fiddlestix
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I've never used a metronome and probably never will. My metronome is the tapping of my foot to the beat. I have one that is on the E-tuner I bought and never use and probably don't even know how to use one properly.

Like some say, they confuse me.    facepalm

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Oliver
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Confusion is the latent purpose  :)

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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pky
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Oliver said
I really hate the metronome.   That is only because it distracts me from the rhythm that I want to invent.  After all, I am the artist!   ("METRONOME" includes software versions)

Some people use metronomes as a practice aid and they are good at it. 

My metronome says that I have a tendency to rush the music which makes me wonder if it is working right?

Oliver said
The truth is that I recognize the value of the metronome.  What really bothers me is the distraction. 

And I'm reaching the point where tempo is almost everything, such as barn music.  Without great tempo, Blue Grass could hardly exist.

I suspect that great tempo/rhythm is a natural talent of which I only have not enough.  In any case, metronoming is rewarding I think.

(I only have to remember the son of a church officiant who took up the drums and was the star of Drummer Boy.  Can you imagine that drum piece played without a single beat being correct?  However, it was entertaining !!!!

I'm on the same boat. Metronome never help me get my beats right. I read an article that says rhythm is an issue for lefties. I am a corrected lefty, so is my daughter (in fact, I believed she is an ambidexture, but one of her preschool teachers corrected her which I couldn't believe that she did it without even talked to me!) Although she is a little better than me since she has help and learn to use metronome at a younger age than I am.

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PopFiddle
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July 2, 2014 - 1:09 pm
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If you are struggling with a difficult piece and think you've got it down, a metronome may show some weaknesses you need to work on.  There is a tendency to slow down around difficult passages and a metronome will prevent you from doing that.

And also, if you want to perform with others, you have to get used to the idea of keeping pace with an independent rhythm.  This can be difficult and practicing with a metronome can help with that.

The problem with a metronome is that the rhythm is static.  Even playing a small group where there is not a conductor, the players change rhythm naturally as a group expression of the music and you have to keep pace.  A metronome can't teach you to do that.

Listen to the violin solo at the end of the great "Baba O'Riley".  Metronomes need not apply.

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