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Metronome usage
#2851864 05/24/19 04:49 PM
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My rhythm is so bad that I've started trying to use a metronome, but it drives me nuts. Not sure whether I should set it to tic/toc mode, or just tics, and whether (assuming 4/4 time) to set it at 4 beats per measure, or 8 (if there is an eighth note) or even 16 if there is a 16th note. Likewise is it of value to have the first beat emphasized?

On the other hand, should I just stop using it?

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Re: Metronome usage
RVDowning #2851868 05/24/19 05:07 PM
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Dr Lee Evans writes in his new acclaimed book of Jazz Piano Scales and Exercises: An Engaging way to practice scale patterns and etudes while learning jazz:

"To better understand syncopated rhythms, it is helpful to count aloud while practicing".

The reviewer (a teacher) in The Piano Magazine (Clavier Companion) (Spring 2019 issue) wrote: 'Every teacher will like to hear that!'

'Nuff said.

(I've been banging on about counting aloud - for classical as well as whatever genre you want to learn - for ages............)


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Re: Metronome usage
RVDowning #2851871 05/24/19 05:15 PM
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If you know your rhythm is bad, you are going to have to face it and work on improving it.

That will be painful for you because we all dislike doing things we are not very good at because we experience failure for a good portion of the time.

Never-the-less, without improvement in rhythm It is doubtful you can advance beyond very simplistic music.

I would start with very simple pieces and put a metronome on it in any of the manners you suggested and work on understanding how to coordinate the metronome with your playing.

A teacher sitting next to you might be necessary for this because you may not realize your mistakes and may be practicing incorrectly much of the time.

Good Luck to you


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Re: Metronome usage
RVDowning #2851882 05/24/19 05:59 PM
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Metronomes suck, but they have always helped my with rhythm problems.
The way I've always done it is to start with more ticks and then reduce them.
So, maybe start with 8 per bar (for 4/4) and when that is steady, go down to 4, 2 and even 1.
It can become a bit of a game.

Re: Metronome usage
RVDowning #2851883 05/24/19 05:59 PM
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Oooh how I don’t like working with the metronome...or rather the ‘noise’. In my lesson, today, we spoke about it. My teacher had it ‘drummed’ into him, literally, when he was young. He says many of his young students don’t like using it either.

As adult students, we are more ‘resistant’ to accommodate it. That said, it does help. And I am hoping to try the new Soundbrenner metronome watch in a few months, and hope this method will work better for me.


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Re: Metronome usage
RVDowning #2851900 05/24/19 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by RVDowning
My rhythm is so bad that I've started trying to use a metronome, but it drives me nuts. Not sure whether I should set it to tic/toc mode, or just tics, and whether (assuming 4/4 time) to set it at 4 beats per measure, or 8 (if there is an eighth note) or even 16 if there is a 16th note. Likewise is it of value to have the first beat emphasized?

On the other hand, should I just stop using it?


If your rhythm is so bad I hope you have done a lot of counting/clapping work before hand, away from the piano.

The metronome is a great tool and is so very flexible so it is up to you which settings you use. Therefore I would never consider not using it, but you do have to gain the experience where you can use it.

I don't think there are any hard and fast rules. Personally I can easily get lost when playing along with the metronome so I like to have the first beat to be different from the rest to keep me honest. When I have had difficulty with pieces that have a lot of 8th or 16th notes, I will turn off the pronounced first note, slow the metronome way down and just play one beat per 8th/16th note. I am not so sure it helps my rhythm but will highlight weak areas. When I can play the piece more accurately I will go back to 4/4, 3/4, etc, etc settings.

Last edited by earlofmar; 05/24/19 07:17 PM.

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Re: Metronome usage
bennevis #2851983 05/25/19 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Dr Lee Evans writes in his new acclaimed book of Jazz Piano Scales and Exercises: An Engaging way to practice scale patterns and etudes while learning jazz: To better understand syncopated rhythms, it is helpful to count aloud while practicing".


.)

Unsuccessful advice ; it is like opening the door by hanging a 10 pounds weight on the arm. Which is easier for the second bar : count the sixteenths "one-and-and-and, two-and-and-and, three-and-and-and, four-and-and-and"; or pronounce written syllable combinations exactly corresponding to each rhythm pattern?

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Re: Metronome usage
RVDowning #2851986 05/25/19 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by RVDowning
My rhythm is so bad that I've started trying to use a metronome, but it drives me nuts. Not sure whether I should set it to tic/toc mode, or just tics, and whether (assuming 4/4 time) to set it at 4 beats per measure, or 8 (if there is an eighth note) or even 16 if there is a 16th note. Likewise is it of value to have the first beat emphasized?

On the other hand, should I just stop using it?


I agree with everyone else that you need to learn it, and you have to find your own way, what works the best for you: tic/toc mode or just tics. I have mine on just tics, and I also have a voice metronome that I use when I am afraid I might skip a beat.
But when I need to play a tricky rhythm that I cannot understand, I like to copy the notes to musescore. Then I let musescore play it, first very slow, and I play along with musescore, so I get a feeling for what is meant. Then I alternate between musescore and playing with the metronome, until I don't need musescore anymore.


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Re: Metronome usage
RVDowning #2851989 05/25/19 06:00 AM
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The great piano teacher , H. Neuhaus, advised to improve the rhythm of performance by simultaneously rhythmically pronounce the names of the notes. In other words, you should be able to pronounce the rhythm of melody BEFORE playing the keys! This is the meaning of the rhythmic languages ​​of the Indian Konocol , which has existed for 3,500 years, and jazz scat singing.

Re: Metronome usage
RVDowning #2851993 05/25/19 06:35 AM
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The metronome is a great friend and tricky rhythms get learned much faster with help. Mine is a digital so I guess it goes tic tic tic with the red light showing on the beat. Bach and Mozart are appreciative that I use it to get the beat right. My teacher, no surprise, is a human metronome herself and has the beat ingrained in her. She says it was from years of marching band. Marching is another way to feel the beat away from the instrument.


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Re: Metronome usage
RVDowning #2852044 05/25/19 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by RVDowning
My rhythm is so bad that I've started trying to use a metronome, but it drives me nuts. Not sure whether I should set it to tic/toc mode, or just tics, and whether (assuming 4/4 time) to set it at 4 beats per measure, or 8 (if there is an eighth note) or even 16 if there is a 16th note. Likewise is it of value to have the first beat emphasized?

On the other hand, should I just stop using it?


Don't stop using it. I used to hate using the metronome but after soldiering through it for a short but intense period, I've become a true believer. It helps smooth everything out, instills a strong sense of rhythm that many of us pianists are lacking, and gives me a much greater ability to control my tempo. I'm not sure that I would have ever learned to play slowly without a metronome which is an essential skill (even and especially for learning to play fast!).

Tic/toc mode is generally not worth the extra effort in my experience and I rarely use it. You mainly need the pulse, not the measure boundaries. By just using the pulse you have fewer parameters you need to worry about setting and you don't have to worry about starting to play at the right time. Waiting almost a full measure for the next tic can be maddening when playing slowly.

You have the choice of whether to set the pulse to the quarter note, eighth note, etc. and it depends on what you're doing. I just do what ever feels most natural as long I'm cognizant of what note length my metronome pulse is. If I'm playing a Bach piece with mainly eighth notes in the left hand and mainly sixteenth notes in the right hand, its going to be much easier at first to set the pulse to the eighth note rather than the quarter note, since I only need to deal with a 2:1 ratio. Although, at some point you'll want to learn play with a 4:1 ratio (e.g. sixteenth notes to a quarter note pulse). I have not gone beyond that myself yet.

Re: Metronome usage
Nahum #2852072 05/25/19 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by bennevis
Dr Lee Evans writes in his new acclaimed book of Jazz Piano Scales and Exercises: An Engaging way to practice scale patterns and etudes while learning jazz: To better understand syncopated rhythms, it is helpful to count aloud while practicing".


.)

Unsuccessful advice ; it is like opening the door by hanging a 10 pounds weight on the arm. Which is easier for the second bar : count the sixteenths "one-and-and-and, two-and-and-and, three-and-and-and, four-and-and-and"; or pronounce written syllable combinations exactly corresponding to each rhythm pattern?

[Linked Image]


Actually, the way I do it is to use the "ty" syllable from words like "twenty" and "thirty."

So, onety andty twoty andty threety andty forty andty, giving 16 syllables per measure for the case of 16th notes in 4/4 time. (I still don't do it well, though.)

Re: Metronome usage
WiseBuff #2852076 05/25/19 11:51 AM
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For the metronome I use the one built into Mobile Sheets Pro. It has lots of different options regarding the sounds, accents, audio or visible indicators, etc.

Re: Metronome usage
RVDowning #2852108 05/25/19 01:27 PM
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I make extensive use of the built-in metronome on my Yamaha P-515.


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Re: Metronome usage
Cheshire Chris #2852116 05/25/19 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris
I make extensive use of the built-in metronome on my Yamaha P-515.


Me too, I just wish the sound it made was more appealing. Does it have any other voices? I’m kind of connoisseur of metronomes. I have a Boss DB-90 mounted to my music stand for classical guitar practice. It has four voices, one is human, and it has cool little sliders for the subdivisions. I use it every day.


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Re: Metronome usage
RVDowning #2852125 05/25/19 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by RVDowning
Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by bennevis
Dr Lee Evans writes in his new acclaimed book of Jazz Piano Scales and Exercises: An Engaging way to practice scale patterns and etudes while learning jazz: To better understand syncopated rhythms, it is helpful to count aloud while practicing".


.)

Unsuccessful advice ; it is like opening the door by hanging a 10 pounds weight on the arm. Which is easier for the second bar : count the sixteenths "one-and-and-and, two-and-and-and, three-and-and-and, four-and-and-and"; or pronounce written syllable combinations exactly corresponding to each rhythm pattern?

[Linked Image]


Actually, the way I do it is to use the "ty" syllable from words like "twenty" and "thirty."

So, onety andty twoty andty threety andty forty andty, giving 16 syllables per measure for the case of 16th notes in 4/4 time. (I still don't do it well, though.)


That's all very well, using nonsense syllables to help establish a rhythm, but unless your counting of numbers or of nonsense syllables is absolutely even, what guarantee do you have that your are maintaining that rhythm, that you are not slowing down or speeding up as you try to coordinate your playing with your counting?

I've heard some struggling pianists count out measures so unevenly that the results are anything but what should be aimed at.

Regards,


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Re: Metronome usage
Nahum #2852144 05/25/19 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by bennevis
Dr Lee Evans writes in his new acclaimed book of Jazz Piano Scales and Exercises: An Engaging way to practice scale patterns and etudes while learning jazz: To better understand syncopated rhythms, it is helpful to count aloud while practicing".


.)

Unsuccessful advice ; it is like opening the door by hanging a 10 pounds weight on the arm. Which is easier for the second bar : count the sixteenths "one-and-and-and, two-and-and-and, three-and-and-and, four-and-and-and"; or pronounce written syllable combinations exactly corresponding to each rhythm pattern?

[Linked Image]

I've never counted 16ths as 'one-and-and-and but rather 'one-ee-and-ah' (written as 1e+a). I prefer this to syllables or words because you always know what beat you're on.


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Re: Metronome usage
RVDowning #2852154 05/25/19 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
nonsense syllables

Before giving definitions expressing academic neglect and arrogance , I recommend to get acquainted with the materials:
http://lisayoungmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/masters/masters.pdf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvU-hTyFUG0&list=FL6fqDmZ4pyKBMwRtE4VUMvw&index=7&t=0s

The tradition of 3500 years. Do you think they are fools?


http://www.takadimi.net/documents/Takadimi%20short%20guide%20for%20Web.pdf

http://www.michmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/THE-SCAT-SINGING-DIALECT-2015.pdf

Originally Posted by BruceD


That's all very well, using nonsense syllables to help establish a rhythm, but unless your counting of numbers or of nonsense syllables is absolutely even, what guarantee do you have that your are maintaining that rhythm, that you are not slowing down or speeding up as you try to coordinate your playing with your counting?

If you know the concept of the prosody of speech , that you would need to know that its tempo and rhythm are influenced by emotions and rhythmic characteristics of the native language. The student can play as he does not rhythmically, but his normal speech will be decisively rhythmic. This is a very ancient idea: to transfer to the prosody the leading rhythmic part of the music performance , and only then combine with playing the instrument. In the Indian tradition, the stage of konnakol continues for 1.5 - 2 years. . Classical Indian musical education requires the study of the konnakol from all students on any instruments. European rhythmic education is far behind!
As a teacher, for many years I don't use with students the method of counting as a background for the rhythm of performance.



Last edited by Nahum; 05/25/19 03:39 PM.
Re: Metronome usage
Nahum #2852170 05/25/19 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Nahum

Unsuccessful advice ; it is like opening the door by hanging a 10 pounds weight on the arm. Which is easier for the second bar : count the sixteenths "one-and-and-and, two-and-and-and, three-and-and-and, four-and-and-and"; or pronounce written syllable combinations exactly corresponding to each rhythm pattern?

There are more than those two choices. You don't have to say "one-and-and-and" because you can subdivide any way that works. You also don't have to choose one way or the other. You can shuttle between several ways - whatever works. Those kas and tas put me into impossible confusion, because I cannot remember meaningless things. however, I might invent my own syllables that have meaning to me. etc.

The original advice is not "unsuccessful" unless it turns out to not give success. We also don't know in which way it might be applied.

Re: Metronome usage
RVDowning #2852173 05/25/19 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring

There are more than those two choices. You don't have to say "one-and-and-and" because you can subdivide any way that works. You also don't have to choose one way or the other. You can shuttle between several ways - whatever works. Those kas and tas put me into impossible confusion, because I cannot remember meaningless things. however, I might invent my own syllables that have meaning to me. etc.
Well, this is the best option.

Quote
The original advice is not "unsuccessful" unless it turns out to not give success. We also don't know in which way it might be applied.
The answer is very simple: Africans and Indians do not use a counting - they don't need it! They play rhythm of the language, so they are rhythm champions.

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