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Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
#1222618 06/25/09 01:35 PM
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I'm looking to get my 1st metronome. I always assumed they just clicked the time, but I see that some of them also chime in addition to the clicking??? I'm wondering how big a difference this makes in using it. Is the chime feature really an advantage or just an extra that's not a big deal? Or am I just not understanding the descriptions I've looked at so far? I'm looking to get the traditional looking wooden case wind-up/pendulum kind. Thanks.


I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.
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Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
Little_Blue_Engine #1222620 06/25/09 01:38 PM
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I think it's a matter of personal preference. My first metronome had the chime, and I used it and found it helpful when working with difficult rhythms because it confirmed the count that I was trying to keep in my head. My current metronome does not have the chime, but since I mostly use it to confirm tempo and practice scales nowadays, I don't miss it.

I like the wind-up wooden ones too. Mine is a Wittner. They are pricey, but I got a great deal on a used one on ebay. Maybe you can, too!

Last edited by Vonette; 06/25/09 01:40 PM.
Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
Vonette #1222624 06/25/09 01:46 PM
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The only kind of metranome that I reccommend is a Wittner made in West Germany. You should never have to get another if you don't overwind it as some people are prone to do. Seth Thomas used to be the ones made in the U.S. by a clock maker and they were wonderful and somewhat affordable however they sold out to a Chinese company and the insides are made with plastic parts. They break down and you have to ship them back to the company, (paying for it yourself of course)3 to 5 monthes later you get it back for almost the cost of a new one. Just not worth the hassle. You want a metranome with an arm because just like a conductor in an orchestra you can see the movement from the corner of your eye and you ability to stay with it is easier and your playing is not so choppy because you can musically anticipate it because of the motion not just the sound. If you like to sub-divide the beats and feel less beats per measure and or have trouble doing that the bell is nice but not necessary. Happy shopping.

Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
Vonette #1222626 06/25/09 01:50 PM
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I wish someone made one that combined the look of the old wooden ones with the internal mechanism of the digital ones.

My ancient beat-up plastic one (it looks like the old wooden ones but it's plastic cause my parents couldn't afford a wooden one 30 years ago) is shot...the beat is way uneven, etc.

My modern one is small and works great and is great to throw in a bag to take to practice rooms or wherever (and is also a digital tuner)...but it just doesn't look as 'right' as a wooden metronome...


Adult Amateur Pianist

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Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
ProdigalPianist #1222640 06/25/09 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ProdigalPianist


My modern one is small and works great and is great to throw in a bag to take to practice rooms or wherever (and is also a digital tuner)...but it just doesn't look as 'right' as a wooden metronome...


That's a concern for me because this is going to be sitting on top a 100+yr-old piano.


I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.
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Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
Little_Blue_Engine #1222647 06/25/09 02:21 PM
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Also, how long does a metronome last if it was good quality and taken care of? It would be nice to get a new one, but if I go for used I can get one much sooner since what I think I want seems to run around $100 new.

And if I went for used would a Seth Thomas marked as made in USA not have plastic parts? I'm assuming the Chinese company moved production to China, right?



I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.
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Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
Little_Blue_Engine #1222652 06/25/09 02:30 PM
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The windup ones do not last nor work as well as the digital ones. The digital ones are so small that their appearance is not an issue. I have a Wittner Taktell electronic which is basic, but has served my purposes well for over 15 years.


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Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
BDB #1222694 06/25/09 04:01 PM
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A good brand of wind-up metronone that is not abused can last for a long time. My first metronome (made by Yamaha I think?) belonged to my sister before me for several years. Then, I used it for a couple of decades more until my own kids (when they were toddlers) got hold of it and destroyed it. I also had a digital that I used in college because it was easier to carry around to practice rooms. That one got lost sometime after I graduated. Digitals are much easier to lose because of their small size. If you want to be as precise as a computer when you are playing, then the digitals are more accurate. Most people are happy with the accuracy of a good pendulum model, and you don't have to worry about buying batteries.

Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
Vonette #1222699 06/25/09 04:09 PM
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Little Blue Engine:

I purchased this model, and it works just great. It's about the size of a deck of cards and is portable. I've used it over two years without having to change batteries yet. No regrets.

http://www.amazon.com/Seiko-SQ50-V-...L8/ref=pd_cp_e_3_img/186-6423887-0302203

Good luck.


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Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
Deerwood Dad #1222716 06/25/09 04:37 PM
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Boss makes some very good electronic metronomes. I have one of their more complex models that is capable of producing all kinds of rhythmic patterns. Personally, I would stay away from wind up units--the electronic ones are more and forever accurate, more capable, usually smaller and lighter, and usually cheaper.

Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
Roy123 #1222744 06/25/09 05:42 PM
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I found a metronome app in the itunes store. Thought that might be a good, quick, cheap option but it only works for ipod touch & iphone. frown


I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.
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Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
Roy123 #1222745 06/25/09 05:56 PM
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I have the Yamaha QT metronome. It looks kind of like a flying saucer. It will not hurt your piano. You can take it with you if you play gigs or rehearse anyplace but your own house or studio. Best of all, it's got a nice LOUD click with an adjustable volume control. And being controlled by a quartz crystal, it's more accurate than any wind-up mechanical metronome, and it doesn't have any moving parts (other than the electrons in the oscillator and the speaker cone moving out to produce the clicks).

http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/ContentDetail/accessorydetail.html?CNTID=48713&CTID=560584


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
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Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
Seeker #1222886 06/25/09 10:57 PM
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The best value out there and recommended to all of my students is the Matrix MR 600. The cost online is around $40. It has a rotating dial to select the tempo and one more important feature... a volume control. They are usually available locally for around $50. They last seemingly forever. I have quite a collection of metronomes. There is little accuracy in wind-ups and frankly I got tired of the winding. I also have a few electrics dating back to the early 60's. It outperforms them all.

Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
John Pels #1222915 06/26/09 02:06 AM
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You might be interested in the Body Beat at www.petersontuners.com

Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
Mr. McFugue #1222922 06/26/09 02:28 AM
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Wow, so many people trying to talk you into a digital/electronic metronome even though you prefer the pendulum metronome! Well, I agree with you that a fine wooden-cased pendulum will look very nice on your 100-year-old piano. I also agree with the person who found it helpful to anticipate the beat by seeing the swing of the pendulum -- you just don't get that with a digital.

I am a visual person (the type that has to have a map to look at rather than written out directions), and I feel there is an aesthetic (even artistic) quality to the pendulums that is simply missing in the others. I also far prefer a watch or clock with hands to a digital model. (My husband has a fancy digital watch that links up to a satellite to keep it accurate to the second. I'm content to adjust my face watch now and then if it gets a minute off -- and that really doesn't happen more than once a year anyway!) Digital clocks and digital metronomes meet a need (for portability and affordable accuracy), but my house would never feel like home without some lovely face clocks and my pendulum metronome sitting atop my piano.

Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
Vonette #1223056 06/26/09 11:08 AM
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Are there electric metronoms that do not sound piercing?

Though I love the sound of my good old Wittner and like the fact that I don't need to buy a battery for it, it does not seem particularly accurate. Thanks!

Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
SophieM #1223073 06/26/09 11:41 AM
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if you have a computer near by, you can use online metronomes... should be as accurate as digital ones... and I've also found an application for mobile phones (http://www.metronomeonline.com/)

and I personally don't like the chime... it's used to tell you when the first beat is, but I think it's unnecessary and switch it off...

and last but not least, take the metronome you like... you don't have to be 100 % accurate, you're a human being, not a machine... and I think a good mechanical metronome is as useful as an electronic smile and if you like it, you'll probably like practicing with it more wink


“The piano has been drinking, not me.”
Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
SophieM #1223105 06/26/09 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by SophieM
Are there electric metronoms that do not sound piercing?


Yes--my Boss, as an example, has a volume control and has a selection of different sounds the metronome can make, one of which sounds very much like the old wind up metronomes.

Last edited by Roy123; 06/26/09 12:20 PM.
Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
Roy123 #1223115 06/26/09 12:32 PM
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Thanks, Roy123. Will you post the model number for the one you have?

Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
Little_Blue_Engine #1223212 06/26/09 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Little_Blue_Engine
Is the chime feature really an advantage or just an extra that's not a big deal?

To answer your question, I have the version with the bell (Wittner #816) and find it very useful when first learning a new work as the chime indicates the downbeat. Playing with a standard metronome, if I accidentally drop a beat from a measure I don't always realize it right away. You can adjust the number of beats between "chimes" or turn the bell off completely and use it like a standard metronome.

In terms of mechanical vs. electronic, in my experience the two biggest advantages of an electronic device are: 1) it can deliver more complicated rhythms than a mechanical device and 2) some feature a flashing light so you can use them silently.

On the other hand, you just can't beat (excuse the pun) the visual cue of the swinging pendulum as you play along with a mechanical device.

The mechanical metronome I used during my first piano lesson as a child was a family heirloom of undetermined age. Now my sister has it and uses it to teach piano lessons. The notches are worn flat from use but it marks time as well as ever.

I'm sure a quartz crystal is more accurate than a wind-up mechanism but I'm skeptical the difference is relevant or even discernable in non-laboratory conditions.

I wouldn't rule out buying an additional electronic metronome some day for portability and silent operation, but I think you'll be perfectly happy with a Wittner for a long, long time.




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