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I have to have a metronome. My cp33 in the house has its own internal metronome, and I have an electrical one(some euro made device probably 20-30 yrs old) in my garage studio on the keyboard out there. I have an acoustic one for decoration but it does work.
"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown." David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas
I have and use both, but prefer the mechanical model. I like the waving stick that I can catch from the corner of my eye as it tells me not just the beat, but where I am within the beat (sort of like the conductor's baton). The Taktell plastic mechanical metronomes are not particularly expensive (compared to the fancy models in wooden cases) but are perfectly suitable.
I have been using a Taktell for many years, and it seems pretty good. I wonder about its precision sometimes and think maybe I should get a digital, but I just don't want to add another battery operated thing in my life unless I really really have to. This may sound strange, but I actually enjoy winding the thing up.
I bought a Yamaha ME150BK digital metronme in Singapore a couple of years ago and have been very happy with it, battery lasyed for 2 years before I had to replace it. Does everything you could possibly want to do.
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting '...holy sh*t ....what a ride!' George Carlin
I used to love the acoustic type because of the sound and looks, but have transitioned to exclusively digital metronomes. Main reasons are portability and the ability to dial up tempi that are extremely slow-- I like to practice with one click per bar a lot of the time.
I personally like my acoustic. The digital sounds bother me - they don't seem natural or musical to me. As well, I like the visual you get when the arm swings with the beat. & you don't have to spend a fortune to get a decent acoustic one!
I have both, and I like them both. The digital one is easy to carry, and most of them have different subdivisions choices. I also like the fact that you can either put earphones or plug them into an amp. (But I'm also a percussionist, so sometimes I just don't ear my metronome...) The mechanical one has the visual, as has been pointed out.
My favorite is the Boss Dr.Beat DB-30. Small, easy to carry, lots of rhythms (even claves!), earphone plug. Second choice would be any well-working mechanical.
Quoteth Whippen Boy "It is the same with wristwatches; some people prefer digital watches, but others have a passion for the craftsmanship of a traditional timepiece."
My Dad was a leading horologist for most of his life. He was also a mechanical engineer. There were always high quality time pieces in the family. He nonetheless got in the habit of wearing a fake Rolex and I used to kid him unmercilessly about it. I remember his response "John, don't lose sight of the true purpose of a watch. This $10.00 watch will likely tell better time over a longer period of time than most of the Patek Philippe, Movado and genuine Rolexes I have fixed or owned."
As to the wind-up metronomes, harbor no delusions of craftsmanship or overt quality. These are barebones basic movements with no jewels anywhere to reduce friction whatsoever. Without regular cleaning and lubrication they will inevitably slow down and if dropped, many times will beat unevenly.
My advice at this point mirrors my Dad's. Don't lose sight of the purpose of a metronome. I too do not like some of the overtly loud electronics. That is why I recommended a model with a volume control.
The Wittner Taktell Piccolo metronomes strike me as being the "Volkswagen Beetle" of metronomes. If memory serves, they were the first really-portable, pendulum metronome. Their loud, but mellow, tick is easier on my ears than some others. (Remember the plug-in Franz metronomes that were loud enough to raise the dead?)
Quartz metronomes are OK as long as they have a dial instead of up-down buttons for the tempo. I hate punching the number in an LCD window up and down!
... and the ability to dial up tempi that are extremely slow-- I like to practice with one click per bar a lot of the time.
Just how slow can they go? I also like to sometimes set for the bar, but my acoustic metronome threatens to stop at anything under MM 45.
My digital won't set lower than 40 so it's no better than my Taktell in that regard. I'll bet there are others that will allow even lower settings, but I think I would find that pretty useless. I also like to sometimes set the metronome for the bar, but only when I'm practicing at a tempo that makes it possible to set the metronome at 40 or above. Slower than that the clicks are so isolated and sparse that I don't I get much sense of tempo at all.
OK, I finally gave in and decided to purchase the Korg KDM-2 digital metronome, which I've already mentioned in an earlier post in this thread. I did some enquiries and found out that I could get it here in Malaysia for RM140 (about $35 USD) which to me, is a steal. Besides, I sold off my Korg KDM-1 (a good predecessor of the KDM-2) to a student.
Right out of the box, the KDM-2 is very nice-looking, with a black matte finish, it feels chunkier than the KDM-1, and uses 4 AAA batteries. It's very user-friendly and I like the fact that it still has my KDM-1 "tock" sound, besides 3 other PCM sounds. The tempo range is from 30 to 252 beats per minute, so that's more than enough for me. And unlike the KDM-1, I can have an electronic bell sounding out the first beat-great!
I'll end here before it turns into a full-blown review. Needless to say, I love my KDM-2!
It's software for your Windows PC, laptop, or netbook - but there's no phone app, sorry, and no version for Mac or Linux.
The visuals help you to keep in time with the metronome - many players play with a metronome only approximately in time with the beats - and you get a lot more out of your metronome practice if you play exactly in time with every beat. Then you can try playing ahead, behind the beat etc.
You can also set it to go silent every so many measures, to improve your ability to keep to a steady tempo without the metronome. Many other features and can play just about any rhythm you can think of including polyrhythms, mixed meters etc.
For a younger student, the digital metronomes offer more ways of goofing around (the tuning settings on mine allow you to make some super-weird noises). This may seem like an idiotic point but for my kid it's brought the thing down to earth a little bit. If I let him horse around with it for a little while then he doesn't seem to be quite so onerous to work with. We've also used it to play some pretty decent practical jokes on my wife.
Justin ------- Bach English Suite #5 Scarlatti Sonata K141 . L422 Mozart Sonata K333 Schubert Impromptu opus 90 D899 Schubert Moment Musicaux opus 94 D780
who even needs a digital one anymore? just download a metronome app. you probably look (and feel) a little more professional with a dedicated digital metronome of course. i usually just use the one on my phone.
speaking of which, there should be a cool ipad app where it displays a swinging pendulum. hmm...
I personally prefer mechanical metronomes, or at least digital ones that "tick" instead of beep. The beep has a pitch and that bothers me to no end. I also can't stand the different pitch beep some digitals give for the downbeat. I always have to set it to 0/4 or some such time signature. Mechanical is easy on the ears. I bought a cheaper used plastic one and love it. Maybe someday I'll get a nice wood one.