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Click Tracks
The use of click tracks for the group project gave me an idea
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Mouse
December 22, 2019 - 6:25 pm
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I participated in the Drummer Boy Group Project. This was my first time. I found the click track very useful.

Oddly enough, though, I have issues with a metronome. I was thinking, do you think that maybe recording my metronome at the tempo I need for a song, say Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Vocalise” I am doing in cello lessons, would work?

The tempo speed is written on the sheet music. If it is too fast, I could set it slower. But I could count out the measures as the metronome is bring recorded and record it for a few measures longer than I need.

My thinking is this:

1. One issue with the metronome is that I cannot hear it over my playing. I do not use an online metronome. Much easier to just set my electric one to what I need.

2. If I go by watching the light that flashes, I end out watching the light and not my sheet music.

3. Because I cannot hear it well, I end out trying to hear it and don’t pay attention to what I am supposed to be doing.

So my idea is for me to record my metronome on my phone and then play it back with my headset on, just like in the Drummer Boy project.

Viola Time! 

(Former Username - cid)

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GregW
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December 22, 2019 - 9:18 pm
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I have found that a phone speaker doesn't have enough volume for a metronome click or anything I'm trying to play along with for that matter.  I use a Bluetooth speaker.. a life jacket model I bought at wal-mart... that works well.  headphones work but I'll have to leave one side off so I can hear my instrument.  Thats a setup with a phone which is what I'm thinking you're talking about.  Another option other than a metronome is to search out drum track apps or tracks you can use that have a tempo adjustment feature.  Sometimes a drum is more interesting and you can keep the beat a little easier.

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Mouse
December 22, 2019 - 10:13 pm
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I used my iPad, iPhone 6 plus that has no SIM (use it for mail, photos -anything but a phone because it has issues), iPad Pro, and my actual iPhone with earphones for the Drummer Boy. i was playing them over and over and had to keep recharging 😂. But the earbuds, not Bluetooth, seemed to work well. I could hear the click tracks nicely. So  I was thinking I would set my metronome to a desired tempo and record that sound with my device and use that with the earbuds while practicing. Worked really nice with the group project. 

I really don’t want to spend time searching for different sounds to use. With the metronome, I know the tempo I want and can just set it (and forget it - beat you all to that one!). 

I think that tomorrow, before my daughter gets here, I will do a recording of the metronome at the tempo I need for the Vocalise piece for the amount of measures I need it for. I will also do a slightly slower setting to use to work on trouble spots individually that I need to work on at a slower tempo with.

Viola Time! 

(Former Username - cid)

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Irv
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December 22, 2019 - 10:16 pm
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@Mouse and others.  If you are using the electronic cello, you can input a metronome directly into the built in amp (line in).  If you use a cable with a volume control, you will be able to vary the sound of the metronome.  This can be very inexpensively done.

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Mouse
December 22, 2019 - 10:35 pm
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This is for anything I am playing. Just a simple solution to my metronome issues that I did not encounter with the click tracks, which were, essentially acting like a metronome. I didn’t have the issues with the click tracks, so I am just going to do a simple recording of my metronome and use it to help out. 

Plus, if I use my earbuds, I can record myself and will not hear my metronome, just like the click tracks. I could hear the click tracks plain as day with my iphone ear buds. I just mentioned it in case anyone has issues with a metronome. I didn’t have any issues using the earbuds and the click tracks, so I will make my own click tracks.

Viola Time! 

(Former Username - cid)

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Gordon Shumway
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December 23, 2019 - 5:47 am
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If you played by metronome, you might be out by a second or more towards the end of a piece of music, but I'm sure Pierre has software to match things up. I haven't listened to the click track yet. Instead of actual clicks, I'd rather listen to a recording of Pierre playing his part and play along to it. I don't have time now, as I'm off for Christmas in a while, so I wish you all the best of the season.

Andrew

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Ripton
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December 23, 2019 - 5:52 am
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I have the same issues. Timing is one of my worst problems. Hearing a click track or met is a challenge. I never thought about recording the met on my phone and using earbuds like I do with the click track. I'll give that a go. 

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Gordon Shumway
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December 23, 2019 - 6:46 am
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I can record backing tracks on my piano, but I hate playing along to them, whereas in a group, there's no problem. I wonder why. Groups feel more organic, but are they?

Andrew

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Mouse
December 23, 2019 - 7:58 am
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@Gordon Shumway Alf, there are a lot more people in a group, so iIS more ORGANIC.

Viola Time! 

(Former Username - cid)

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BillyG
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December 23, 2019 - 9:18 am
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I too find click-tracks (let alone electronic metronome) difficult to follow - I much prefer the visual cues (although, with the click still in my ear as well) from an animated score - takes a little bit of effort to arrange first time round - but handy since you can change the tempo easily in the music editor - 

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Ripton
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December 23, 2019 - 3:18 pm
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BillyG said
 I much prefer the visual cues (although, with the click still in my ear as well) from an animated score - 

  

I love those "follow the bouncing ball" videos @fiddlerman posts. How much can we bribe him to make click tracks like that?  I'll contribute.  

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BillyG
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December 23, 2019 - 3:28 pm
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Yes indeed- they work for me as well - but for me the ULTIMATE way of doing this is to have your own local version - perhaps where the tempo is initially out of reach for you - and you can then drop it from the intended, say a fast 12/8 at 120bpm down to 80bpm or whatever and work up from there to get to speed....  ( Going back to the thing about the XML files you / we commented on in another thread - that's what they (the musicXml files) give you - the ability to load them into some music editor and control the tempo you are working with, the "instrument sound" you prefer to hear and so on  ... etc etc etc - it's an open door to learning a part... )

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Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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GregW
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December 23, 2019 - 3:51 pm
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BillyG said
Yes indeed- they work for me as well - but for me the ULTIMATE way of doing this is to have your own local version - perhaps where the tempo is initially out of reach for you - and you can then drop it from the intended, say a fast 12/8 at 120bpm down to 80bpm or whatever and work up from there to get to speed....  ( Going back to the thing about the XML files you / we commented on in another thread - that's what they (the musicXml files) give you - the ability to load them into some music editor and control the tempo you are working with, the "instrument sound" you prefer to hear and so on  ... etc etc etc - it's an open door to learning a part... )

  

Click or drum tracks with a drone playing below that in volume is fun as well.  Also dropping out and bringing back in the click/drum randomly test your timing.  For instance have the click audible for say 8 bars drop it out for 2 then bring it back in.. for violin works better if you have a play along but this works great for rhythm guitar practice.  having a DAW..makes this a little easier but muse score should have something similar.

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BillyG
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December 23, 2019 - 4:30 pm
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Yeahhh @GregW - very good point.  The "automation" control tracks in a real DAW allow you to do that, and it's real good practice to be able to keep the beat/rhythm/tempo going till it kicks in again!  Sure, MS can do stuff like that but no way as flexibly as an automation track on a full DAW, that's for sure !

Certainly though, for "geographically distributed players" aiming to be strictly (as possible, obviously) "orchestrated" and in time - I can't see anything better than an unbroken, commonly (across all players) timed click+play-along ( plus, for me ) the animated score (the drum click is still used in-ear and is in the score along with whichever one of the 8 or 12 or whatever instrument parts are in the overall piece , but hidden, so you just follow (see and hear) only the current part you are playing, along, of course with the actual score for that single part while it is being highlighted at its current position). 

Personally - I prefer the visual cues from the animated score over the actual drum-click - of course I have the drum-click (and chosen instrument for the individual part) in ear BUT my concentration is highlighted on the moving cursor/highlight on the score showing me not only the timing to follow, but also the note to play.....  But that's just me !!!  We all have our own way!

These tools serve differing (slightly) purposes to my mind - neither approach is "better" - and indeed - I do use them both.  For the group project type of thing, I just find the animated score thing a more "consistent across all players" approach I guess, and is an easy thing to share with other contributors.  For learning a new tune to work with on guitar (or even fiddle in a group situation) I'll revert to a midi-style "piano-roll" editor (and although MuseScore has that, it's not what MS is really designed for and I find it quite "awkward" to use in that mode)

Interesting....

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Fiddlerman
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December 23, 2019 - 4:38 pm
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Ripton said

BillyG said

 I much prefer the visual cues (although, with the click still in my ear as well) from an animated score - 

  

I love those "follow the bouncing ball" videos @fiddlerman posts. How much can we bribe him to make click tracks like that?  I'll contribute.  

  

A guy from Sound Slice recently contacted me to make those videos. Perhaps that is a good solution.

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

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intrepidgirl
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December 27, 2019 - 1:29 am
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@Mouse I too find I cannot necessarily hear my metronome over my playing. I use my phone metronome app, and  crank the volume as high as possible. Alternatively I use a metronome on my computer beside me, which has a higher volume. I guess I could use my phone metronome app and earbuds, but earbuds are a bit annoying. Probably would not be so loud for my family though.

I would note to get the computer volume high enough that I am happily playing cello loudly but can still hear the beat, it is really loud.😊

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starise
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December 27, 2019 - 10:12 am
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Recording a metronome track on the phone or using an app certainly seems like a good way to go and should work just fine.

 I'm accustomed to the ear buds because I frequently use an in ear set up at my church were we have a metronome and a guide track in the backing tracks. I send the click and the guide out on one channel. Only the music goes out to the "house" system. The players have click/guide in one ear and music in the other ear. Tough to beat that for a group of musicians trying to stay together since we can't always hear one another.

I have a love/hate relationship with clicks because playing exactly to a beat sounds robotic. A necessary evil when learning new material sometimes. Adding some swing to music is what drummers often do. I find I'm sometimes intentionally playing between the clicks :). 

cid did I make a simple thing more complicated? I am feeling a feeling that makes me feel like maybe I did.

Just another suggestion...cid this is free BTW.... My stand alone Metronome has an ear jack in it for ear buds. Maybe you have one that has that? Would that help?

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Mouse
December 27, 2019 - 5:24 pm
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Y@starise  This has become a little complicated in a good way, but in sorting out the complications, I did some Googling. My first post was basically to share an idea I got from participating in the group project. That idea was to make my own click track by recording my electric metronome to make a click track long enough for a song, for me, Vocalise by Rachmaninoff on my cello. I cannot hear my metronome. Doing the group project we used our headsets to listen to Fiddlerman’s click track, so why not make my own? That was the basic idea of the post. It has been fun reading all these complicated ideas. What a hoot and a holler, because my simple idea had created all these complicated reply posts. 

My electric metronome is broken, apparently. I have had it for about 30 years, no exaggeration. When I was trying to set it, the sound cut in and out. From observing, probably a loose wire, which, if I wanted to bother, my husband could fix. So, I have come up with another idea, much better. I don’t really have a good place to plug it in while playing, so I took it into a room that was quiet. I plugged it in, and the sound went in and out if I moved it to just turn the dial to speed it up or slow it down.

I started Googling and found that Korg makes an in-ear metronome. I have a Korg TM-60. The sound of the metronome with my iPhone earbuds (not bluetooth) is rather harsh and that cannot be changed, there are no sound options. It is not loud enough to hear above my cello without the earphone use.

Here is a link to the Korg site with information about this In-Ear Metronome.

Kort In-Ear Metronome Korg Info

It is, supposedly, in stock at a store in Syracuse on Erie Blvd. We will be going to Syracuse some day this coming week to watch a movie, we will stop at that store after the movie. I would like to hear it to see if the sound is as harsh as the one on the TM-60. I also want to see how easy is to change the beats per measure, etc., how many adjustments there are, etc. I watched a YouTube, but it really didn’t show how you do it, and it did not put the sound up to the mic so you could hear the sound.

Now, before you all say to download an app. I hate most apps. I am tired of updating. I lived without apps for most of my life and did just fine. If I did not Facetime my granddaughters, my iPhone would be in the trash, 😇.

Plus, as much as I do not love the cell phone (serious love/hate relationship going on here), I do not want to tie it up by using it as a metronome. I have close family with med issues and I do not need a dead battery or be using it as a metronome if a call comes in.

Oh, yeah! Did I tell you that one? This is funny but a funny I do not want to repeat. I was listening to the click track for Drummer Boy. My husband went to visit our son, I was using the phone to listen to my click track. Everything was going nicely. Then I heard, “YOUR HUSBAND IS CALLING. HE WANTS TO TALK TO YOU. YOUR HUSBAND IS CALLING (then second verse, followed by a middle section.)” Oh my gosh, about blew me out of my chair! My phone landed on the floor. Luckily, I have a little throw rug on the wood to hold the cello in place. The phone landed on it. I was even more wacky than normal when talking to him. He had no idea what I had just been doing before answering the phone. It was so funny! I never heard the second verse or middle of that ringtone before because I answer quickly if the person calling has a ringtone that denotes (s)he is in my contacts. I had to explain what happened to my husband because I was a little befuddled. More befuddled than usual. 

I do not want a wakeup call like that again, so no app. Given that issue, recording my electric metronome was going to make it necessary to use the phone, anyway. The iPads really don’t fit easily on the table beside me. If the In-Ear Metronome works, problem solved.

I think someone said a metronome makes them sound mechanical. I really need to get used to counting beats and playing a steady beat. These are lesson songs. I simply need one at this time so I can concentrate more on my bowing and fingering and hear the beat count in the background. When I am more comfortable, it will be possible to just use a metronome to help with trouble spots. I can’t watch a metronome light flash or needle go back and forth, and pay attention to my bowing and fingering and look at my sheet music. I need to hear the steady beat in the background. The In-Ear metronome might be what I am looking for, 🤞

Viola Time! 

(Former Username - cid)

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Ripton
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December 27, 2019 - 6:34 pm
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OMW @Mouse. Your getting as long as @billyg. I may need to find my laptop if this keeps up. Reading on a phone I need to scroll like I'm spinning on jeapardy. Lol

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Mouse
December 27, 2019 - 7:35 pm
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@Ripton LOL I was trying to explain why I am not interested in an app because I am always an app., and cover all my bases. 

Wouldn’t that be a neat metronome (In-The Ear), if it works properly?

Viola Time! 

(Former Username - cid)

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