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#1222618 - 06/25/09 01:35 PM Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice?
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
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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#1222620 - 06/25/09 01:38 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: Little_Blue_Engine]
Vonette Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 57
Loc: Eastern WA
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!


Edited by Vonette (06/25/09 01:40 PM)

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#1222624 - 06/25/09 01:46 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: Vonette]
Roxy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 478
Loc: Whittier, Calif
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.

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#1222626 - 06/25/09 01:50 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: Vonette]
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
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

My only domestic quality is that I live in a house.

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#1222640 - 06/25/09 02:09 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: ProdigalPianist]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
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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#1222647 - 06/25/09 02:21 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: Little_Blue_Engine]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
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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#1222652 - 06/25/09 02:30 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: Little_Blue_Engine]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20742
Loc: Oakland
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.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1222694 - 06/25/09 04:01 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: BDB]
Vonette Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 57
Loc: Eastern WA
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.

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#1222699 - 06/25/09 04:09 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: Vonette]
Deerwood Dad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 478
Loc: Minneapolis
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-Quart...6423887-0302203

Good luck.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A (2006); Yamaha P140

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#1222716 - 06/25/09 04:37 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: Deerwood Dad]
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1693
Loc: Massachusetts
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.

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#1222744 - 06/25/09 05:42 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: Roy123]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
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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#1222745 - 06/25/09 05:56 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: Roy123]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
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
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

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#1222886 - 06/25/09 10:57 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: Seeker]
John Pels Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 1253
Loc: Tomball, Texas
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.

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#1222915 - 06/26/09 02:06 AM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: John Pels]
Mr. McFugue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/18/03
Posts: 103
Loc: Tempe, AZ
You might be interested in the Body Beat at www.petersontuners.com

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#1222922 - 06/26/09 02:28 AM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: Mr. McFugue]
Vonette Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 57
Loc: Eastern WA
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.

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#1223056 - 06/26/09 11:08 AM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: Vonette]
SophieM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/08
Posts: 353
Loc: New York City
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!

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#1223073 - 06/26/09 11:41 AM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: SophieM]
J_N Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/09
Posts: 59
Loc: Newcastle, UK
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.”

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#1223105 - 06/26/09 12:19 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: SophieM]
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1693
Loc: Massachusetts
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.


Edited by Roy123 (06/26/09 12:20 PM)

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#1223115 - 06/26/09 12:32 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: Roy123]
SophieM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/08
Posts: 353
Loc: New York City
Thanks, Roy123. Will you post the model number for the one you have?

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#1223212 - 06/26/09 04:26 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: Little_Blue_Engine]
EightyEightFingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/30/09
Posts: 25
Loc: Ontario, Canada
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.
_________________________
My anniversary falls on trash day, too!



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#1224032 - 06/28/09 01:52 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: Little_Blue_Engine]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1074
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Little_Blue_Engine
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 have a bigger one that has a human voice option. It would probably drive a lot of people nuts, but for some pieces, hearing the numbers read outloud helps.

Then I have the Korg digital one with a foldover case because it has a nice little visual feature on it. Problem is the external speaker broke soon after purchase, but it still works on headphones.

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#1224036 - 06/28/09 01:57 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: Nikalette]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20742
Loc: Oakland
Quote:
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.

Pendulum metronomes tend to "limp", swinging to one side faster than the other due to friction, uneven placement or other irregularities. This is quite noticeable.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1224063 - 06/28/09 02:55 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: SophieM]
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1693
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: SophieM
Thanks, Roy123. Will you post the model number for the one you have?

I have a Boss DB90. It has more bells and whistles than I need, but I happened to find one at a great price. I suspect one of their cheaper models would have what you want.

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#1224218 - 06/28/09 10:15 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: Roy123]
Davinci Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/08/08
Posts: 131
Little Blue Engine hope you don’t mind I’m hopping on your post, I’m also getting my 1st metronome.

I’m also concerned that digital metronome may sound piercing. I didn’t seem to read about anyone describing how their metronome sound. Can anyone describe a bit on the brand that’s mentioned? Maybe I’m not making sense here but I’m kinda picky on what I hear though.

I do like the idea of the pendulum but I don’t like the pyramid shape. I need one that I can bring around and very durable(because I drop my stuff often). How’s Wittner in terms of quality and sound? Or any other that’s best value for money?

Does one buy a metronome like buying a piano too?

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#1224219 - 06/28/09 10:17 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: EightyEightFingers]
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
Matrix MR 600 - This model is quartz and you can adjust it while it is clicking so you can play with times to push yourself or back off as needed. It has a volume control which I find very important as I need it louder at my teachers house than at mine. I run it at 2/4 time quite a bit when working on 4/4 as it splits the piece up. A model like this is easy to take with for lessons and it was saving me time instead of working with my teacher's.

As John states above, great little machine, I have dropped it more than once and it keeps working great. I love it, best thing since sliced bread.

Availabe on line for peanuts.
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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#1224241 - 06/28/09 11:13 PM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: Stevester]
al_spinner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/21/05
Posts: 129
Loc: San Francisco
I second the Wittner recommendation if you would like to buy a traditional/wind-up kind. I bought one a couple of years ago and am pleased with the build quality. I like that it does not need batteries, and how I am able to see the swing of the arm on each beat. If you do get one though, be careful with it! I know some pianists who have dropped theirs repeatedly on the ground out of carelessness and it definitely affected the steadiness of the mechanism.

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#1224390 - 06/29/09 10:27 AM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: Davinci]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
Originally Posted By: Davinci
Little Blue Engine hope you don’t mind I’m hopping on your post, I’m also getting my 1st metronome.


The more the merrier!
_________________________
I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


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#1224398 - 06/29/09 10:42 AM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: BDB]
EightyEightFingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/30/09
Posts: 25
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: BDB
Quote:
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.

Pendulum metronomes tend to "limp", swinging to one side faster than the other due to friction, uneven placement or other irregularities. This is quite noticeable.


Maybe I've just been lucky but I've never run into this (I think saying a pendulum metronome requires a level surface is a bit like saying an electronic one requires batteries... but I understand your point.) If you're practicing on a piano that's irregularly shaped, or placed on a sloping floor or a hillside, this could be a factor.

I agree with you these issues exist but I'm still skeptical anyone could listen to a performance and discern whether the pianist practiced with a pendulum metronome rather than a super-accurate electronic version.

Your mileage may vary.
_________________________
My anniversary falls on trash day, too!



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#1224403 - 06/29/09 11:01 AM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: BDB]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: BDB
Quote:
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.

Pendulum metronomes tend to "limp", swinging to one side faster than the other due to friction, uneven placement or other irregularities. This is quite noticeable.


There was a study I read about where a laboratory tested pendulum metronomes with a radar detector, and they found that the beat was slightly irregular.

Whether or not that will affect your playing, I think it will. I am of the opinion that if using a tempo-teaching device, be it a metronome or a drum machine (I use both), I want the most accurate one available.

The reason is that no matter what I learn from, my playing will probably be less accurate that that. If I learn from a standard of 100% perfection, (assuming a digital metronome is that) then my results will be less than that. If I learn from a pendulum that is irregular, then my playing will even less.

Put it this way...if digital metronomes were the only ones available, and you had a choice between one that was 100% accurate, and one that was not, would you really choose the inaccurate one?
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1224411 - 06/29/09 11:14 AM Re: Shopping for my 1st metronome...advice? [Re: rocket88]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
sure.. aesthetics matter.

a properly working Wittner is certainly accurate enough for the human ear, even a fine musician's

it is important btw to develop one's inner metronome. (try guessing the metronome setting on any tempo).

(I don't use my Wittner - i have it way up on a shelf so the kids won't touch it. It works perfectly and my mom bought it used in about 1968).

I find my digital quite handy tho it doesn't look all that great cluttering up my piano.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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