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Metronome
#2217981 01/21/14 03:28 AM
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So, I practice a particular few lines so I can play them fine. Then I switch on the metronome to get the timing bang on and suddenly I can't play them!

Does anybody have any practical advice- such as "give up piano"?


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
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Re: Metronome
PhilipInChina #2218000 01/21/14 04:21 AM
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do you feel you need a metronome?

it is just a learning process the more you do it the easier it will become


Following Trying to follow the Ling Ling 40 hour method

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Re: Metronome
PhilipInChina #2218001 01/21/14 04:22 AM
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I bet you say that to all the girls.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Metronome
PhilipInChina #2218004 01/21/14 04:25 AM
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The metronome is merely an aid to get the exact speed (in terms of bpm). Counting is always the step before using the metronome to get it even.

Re: Metronome
PhilipInChina #2218018 01/21/14 05:29 AM
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Before trying to play those lines that are failing you (absolving you of all responsibility!) can you play - or just simply tap on a table - along with the click of the metronome set to around 80bpm...one tap per beat.

Now at the same tempo try and do two evenly spaced taps (or notes on the piano) for every click of the metronome.

If that works out, set it to 60bpm and try and do three taps per beat.

It's not an acid test by any means but if you can't do the above, you will need to go back to a more fundamental exercise which for the moment I haven't tried to dream up!

If you let us know what music/passage your trying to play, and the tempo, perhaps some specific exercise can be invented...

Re: Metronome
PhilipInChina #2218044 01/21/14 07:37 AM
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Metronome is like a first audience and a particularly demanding one. Listen to her well and she will help you develop and internal beat. Don't know if this is your first musical instrument but counting correctly is challenging for adult learners so be patient with yourself.


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Re: Metronome
PhilipInChina #2218096 01/21/14 10:05 AM
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The metronome is boring and it doesn't give you any syncopation. There's other more fun and practical ways to practice your timing. Play with a backing track or with a group which includes a drummer.

Re: Metronome
PhilipInChina #2218100 01/21/14 10:17 AM
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About counting. My teacher forbids me to use a metronome (for the lessons, of course I can do whatever I want since I live in a free country wink ) and lets me tap rythms out of the book Guida Teorico-Pratica Vol 1/2 of Pozzolli (bars with notes but without indication of tone). It helps you develop a feel for rythm and I must say, though it is sometimes hard, it really works for me. Especially when you have combinations of 8th and 16th notes in a 3/4 or 6/8 time signature.

Example: 16 8 16 - 16 16 16 16 - 8 16 16.
Once you get the hang of these kind of things and you can do it right without having to count out loud using a metronome might get interesting to slowly increase your tempo.

Re: Metronome
PhilipInChina #2218109 01/21/14 10:50 AM
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The metronome is like the mirror on the wall, it does not lie. If you are ugly, it will tell you! The metronome didn't mess up your playing, your playing was already troubled, the metronome just pointed it out. (Said with a smile)

If using the metronome caused you additional problems it could also mean even though you could "play" the passage, it was actually just luck that got you through it. For the first time you introduced a distractor, in this case the metronome, you came apart. This just means you didn't really have the passage as learned as you thought. Just go back and work some more.

Re: Metronome
PhilipInChina #2218133 01/21/14 11:25 AM
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I wouldn't get discouraged about this. I personally hate the metronome.

As for advice, when I first began piano (15+ years ago, so trying to recall memory here), I would literally write in the beginning couple of bars how to count the beat, e.g., 1e&a, 2e&a, 3e&a, 4e&a. Then I would say it aloud as I played the passage. After the first couple of bars, I found that the beat was essentially internalized, and then focused on difficult measures that arose.

I am not sure your level so this may be misguided. Not sure, but good luck.

Re: Metronome
PhilipInChina #2218175 01/21/14 12:26 PM
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Slow it down. Also make sure your metronome is in good condition if mechanical.




Re: Metronome
PhilipInChina #2218209 01/21/14 01:30 PM
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I think of the metronome as a stress test (as well as a rhythmic aid). If it makes my playing fall apart, then that piece wasn't "together" in the first place.

It's kind of like red dot syndrome. Or playing when there are workmen in you house. Anything to shake yourself up a bit and see if you "break".


Please step aside. You're standing in your own way.
Re: Metronome
PhilipInChina #2218400 01/21/14 06:19 PM
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You just need to practice more. Adding the metronome is like doing math... while juggling. It's a good thing to be able to do.


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Re: Metronome
PhilipInChina #2218572 01/22/14 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
Does anybody have any practical advice- such as "give up piano"?


Yeah. Don't give up piano. wink

Re: Metronome
PhilipInChina #2218670 01/22/14 09:35 AM
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If the signature is accurate, and you are really at the level of working on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, don't worry so much about the metronome. There is so much else to learn. The metronome will find its place.

I didn't like the metronome. However, so many others told me how much it helped them, so I kept coming back to it. Now, I can tolerate it, and even though my rhythm remains spotty, I can see that it is helping at the margins. Before, it was like you, it just seemed to mess me up. Doing scales at a slow 60 bpm is a way to get used to metronome work. Mind you, some say scale work isn't a good use of time, until after six months or a year or two years on piano.

I wouldn't give up. Advice? As always, enjoy the journey. If the metronome isn't helpful at the moment, shelve it, and come back to it in a month or two or three. For almost all of us, piano is a long journey. The analogy of climbing Mt. Everest has been used. While only a few want to put in the work, money, training to summit, those peaks are out there.

Re: Metronome
Bobpickle #2218698 01/22/14 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Bobpickle
Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
Does anybody have any practical advice- such as "give up piano"?


Yeah. Don't give up piano. wink

+1

And, just for the record, don't give up the metronome, either. As others have pointed out, it's a valuable tool. (Not that I'm very good with it, either. But I keep trying because it will eventually help my iffy playing!)

smile

Last edited by piano_deb; 01/22/14 11:04 AM.

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Re: Metronome
PhilipInChina #2218784 01/22/14 01:07 PM
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I find the metronome to be a useful tool to point out measures where I am weak and also to track my progress.

1. I tend to slightly slow down unconsciously on weak spots. The met won't let you get away with that so you quickly identify the measures you need to work on. When I can play the piece through with no mistakes using the met then I notch the met up a bit until I find another weak spot.

If you think you have the piece well in hand without the met but mess up when using the met, then you are also probably slowing down on your weak spots and therefore getting out of step with the met (no, the met doesn’t perversely speed up on the difficult passages, although it does seem that way) .

2. I write down my speed as I progress learning the piece, usually at the end of each phrase. I cross out and update the speed note as I get faster. It’s encouraging to see the numbers increasing to show that I am actually making progress even when it seems I am not.


Ed (Out in the West Texas town of El Paso)
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Re: Metronome
PhilipInChina #2218801 01/22/14 01:30 PM
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Excellent points, Edtek. I'll just add that we can also unconsciously speed up on the parts that we know and play well. Same results.

Philip, a technique that may help you during practice is to play as slowly as needed to play the piece (section, measure) correctly. This isn't always easy to do, and it just about never sounds musical, but it can be very effective in helping to both work through and learn the hard parts *and* in keeping correct time/rhythm. (It's certainly advice I need to follow more often myself. blush )


Deborah
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Re: Metronome
PhilipInChina #2218811 01/22/14 01:49 PM
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You might find this helpful: Set the metronome faster... to match 16ths. Use the off ticks to relax and find your notes. This will give you spacing and evenness. Then gradually increase the tempo. Eventually set it to eighth notes, etc.


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Re: Metronome
PhilipInChina #2219289 01/23/14 07:25 AM
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My metronome died...after 20 years of faithful service the little electronic heart just went. Waiting for a replacement and finding I can play in rhythm but I like to know the tempo precisely since that is an aspiration (get pieces up to tempo).
RIP metronome.


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