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Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
#448361 02/25/09 09:05 PM
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Is there general consensus amongst piano teachers as the best type of metronome for students studying piano?

When I was a student, I used the acoustic wooden triangular box type that clicked so beautifully. That has been one of my favourites still today- it also functions as a visual reference too.

Are these "acoustic" metronomes still today considered accurate enough and recommended by teachers?

Or is digital the only way to go for a perfect meter?

Which is the type of metronome most teachers recommend today?

Thank you for any opinions,

Mike

Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
#448362 02/25/09 09:12 PM
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I doubt anyone buys an acoustic metronome anymore unless they are just interested in history. They are expensive. They are certainly accurate enough, so long as you can see the little lines on the pendulum. But you do need to wind them. If they are on a surface that isn't completely level, well, then the beat won't be even.

If you're looking to buy, go digital.

Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
#448363 02/25/09 09:15 PM
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As much as I love the looks of a fine Wittner metronome, I'd say a digital metronome will be far more practical.


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
#448364 02/25/09 09:21 PM
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I have a Dr. Beat DB-30. In a few seconds I can dial up any rhythm and tempo that I'll ever need.


Piano self teaching on and off from 2002-2008. Took piano instruction from Nov 2008- Feb 2011. Took guitar instruction Feb 2011-Jul 2013. Can't play either. Living, breathing proof some people aren't cut out to make music.
Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
#448365 02/25/09 09:34 PM
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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.


Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718
Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
#448366 02/25/09 09:44 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by packa:
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.
You have a point there. thumb


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
#448367 02/25/09 09:46 PM
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Is it my gut feeling - are electronic ones a little more precise than mechanical ones?

Nevertheless, I have been using the same old mechanical one for the last 2 decades laugh


Nepotism: We promote family values here - almost as often as we promote family members.
Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
#448368 02/25/09 09:52 PM
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If I use a mechanical metronome I usually have to shim up one side or the other to get it to beat regularly. Many electronic ones, though, have a beat that's too "sharp," causing discomfort to my ears. Overall, I prefer electronic, if I can put up with the sound.


There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians
Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
#448369 02/25/09 09:53 PM
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I've been using a Korg KDM-1 digital metronome for as long as I can remember, and I love it. No more winding, just give it a 9V battery and it keeps an accurate beat even when it's set to a very slow pulse. The volume can be adjusted, there's an earphone jack if you want to pound the beat into your head (don't!) and there's a nice red flashing light. The only thing it doesn't have is an electronic bell and there's no provision for irregular beats.

But I heard that Korg's KDM-2 has everything including the kitchen sink!

Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
#448370 02/25/09 10:52 PM
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All of my students use a Matrix MR600. It is a decent workhorse and is reasonably efficient with batteries. It has a volume control and is priced at around $40 here and there on the net. I also use the pitch function when I am chipping my piano rebuilds up to pitch. I have metronomes that date back to around 1960. The mechanicals and older electronics are far from accurate in comparison, but let's face it how accurate does it need to be? It just needs to be a steady click. I use the Matrix daily.

Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
#448371 02/25/09 11:56 PM
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You can also download metronome from the internet and use this from your laptop/computer:

http://www.pinkandaint.com/weirdmet.shtml

Its free.

Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
#448372 02/26/09 12:37 AM
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As has been mentioned: the electronic metronome is more liable to be precise. Furthermore, if you're a piano major like me, who can afford the space in a bag to stick an acoustic metronome in? If I were able to always use the same piano without others using it as well, I'd be tempted to stick an acoustic metronome on it for the novelty, but other than that it seems to me like they're outdated antiques. That's not to say I dislike them.

Oh, as for visual reference many digital metronomes have lights on them that go on besides just the sound when it 'clicks.'


-Piano Instructor since 2008-
Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
#448373 02/26/09 02:38 AM
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I only have and use a mechanical one. I like the fact that it is acoustic like my piano.

The only thing that bothers me is that when the piano is being played, it tends to vibrate, thus creating a buzzing sound when not in use.
Therefore I'm always putting it in the other room adjacent to my music room when I'm not using it.


Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation
Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
#448374 02/26/09 03:27 AM
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Wow,
I am amazed at all the interesting responses to this post! I think I am now ready to write a book about metronomes!
This has been very helpful everyone. Thank you.

Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
#448375 02/26/09 04:00 AM
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I only use the metronome when I was a student and when I teach a new student. I do not recomend it to my students.

When I teach a new student, I wave my hand as the metronome, or I clap my hands widely as the metronome. In doing that, I show my student the visual of the beat, and I can vary the beat during their time. If the student can make the music after the session, I do not require her to practice her homework with the metronome. That is the affect that my students do not play Piano like a machine. They can make a music with any directors, or playing freely without any even beats.

That is the reason I recomend my student to purchase the wooden metronome that have a hand to wave for the beats.

Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
#448376 02/26/09 07:03 AM
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[Linked Image]

Thought PW readers might like to see the Korg KDM-2 digital metronome in all its glory. The product details and specs can be found here.

Now where did I put my credit card laugh

Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
John Pels #1153985 02/27/09 02:57 PM
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I'd say both are accurate enough for a musician's needs.

Digital ones may fit in your pocket and have a few extras, but to me there is nothing like having a wooden metronome on the piano. It makes a nice visual statement and exudes tradition and history.

It is the same with wristwatches; some people prefer digital watches, but others have a passion for the craftsmanship of a traditional timepiece. smile

Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
packa #1154195 02/27/09 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by packa
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.
You can subdivide the beat even more easily in digital metronomes, no?

Not to mention some, like Boss's TU80, also have a waving stick going on and on around the LCD.

Last edited by Canoxa; 02/27/09 07:56 PM.
Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
Canoxa #1154238 02/27/09 09:34 PM
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Who would have thought you could get two pages of responses on a metronome question? I just have to add my thoughts too now.

At home I have a mechanical metronome that has a feature that no digital metronome has - an automatic speed-up feature. The weight that slides up and down is a slightly too loose so when I put the metronome at 120 and play for a while, I'll stop it and find that its gone up to 130. Having to stop and wind the thing can be useful too to get a short break so you can stop, refocus, and then listen better to the beat.


Professional pianist and piano teacher.
Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
Canoxa #1154277 02/27/09 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Canoxa
You can subdivide the beat even more easily in digital metronomes, no?


Perhaps, but that really isn't how I use one. I tend to work with "bigger" slow beats rather than lots of ticking little micro-beats. In 4/4 work, I often set the metronome for 2 or even 1 beat per measure since I'm usually working on macro tempo issues. I don't use the metronome to work through detailed rhythm issues.


Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718
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