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#2025187 - 02/01/13 10:11 AM Keeping The Piano In Time ???
musicmad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/09
Posts: 181
Loc: London England
Hi

With regard to tempo how does one use a metronome when playing solo piano ? Example there are sections in a piano piece where the music will be in timing with the beat for several bars or more then will immediately slow down to perform gentle slow passages and then return to the beat. How does one keep in time with the metronome when playing these slower passages.

Or do you simply NOT use a metronome?
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#2025221 - 02/01/13 10:53 AM Re: Keeping The Piano In Time ??? [Re: musicmad]
Dave Horne Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5602
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Metronomes are great in keeping you honest with the time ... and you'll benefit from its use if you have the clicks represent beats two and four in 4\4; you're now forced to supply the stronger beats - it's not as easy as you think.

Regarding tempo changes - it's going to be difficult for a metronome to follow you, right?
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#2025311 - 02/01/13 01:09 PM Re: Keeping The Piano In Time ??? [Re: musicmad]
WhoDwaldi Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/08
Posts: 1636
Loc: SE USA
I think I understand what you are asking.

If there is to be a temporary and not-to-drastic tempo change (i. e. a "ritardando" for a measure or two, then an "a tempo") I'd practice with the metronome plowing thru without doing the tempo changes, then turn the thing off and play like I want to (observe the marking).

For longer segments of drastic change, each tempo must be worked out and the metronome reset for practice. Then turn the thing off and play like you want to.

What's tricky is some composers such as Mozart have passages of rapid note values that make the parts in slower note values sound too slow when played in strict tempo to the metronome, and visa versa (rapid passages sound pushed when passages in slower note values do not drag). Elasticity of tempo is needed for such situations (turn the thing off and play like you want). smile


Edited by WhoDwaldi (02/01/13 01:20 PM)

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#2025317 - 02/01/13 01:22 PM Re: Keeping The Piano In Time ??? [Re: musicmad]
BruceD Offline

Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19815
Loc: Victoria, BC
The short answer is that you can't play pieces with tempo changes or variations attributable to your use of rubato in phrases with a metronome.

I would advise against using a metronome for playing an entire piece. It can be used for working on individual sections to make sure that the basic tempo remains solid. It can also be used to verify tempos between sections where the texture of the work changes - but where there is no indication of tempo change - to make sure that the relative tempo of each section is the same.

Regards,
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#2025333 - 02/01/13 01:51 PM Re: Keeping The Piano In Time ??? [Re: BruceD]
MathGuy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 232
Loc: California
To me, it's not a big deal to just ignore the metronome temporarily (for a rubato phrase, a fermata, or anything else that interrupts or alters the flow) and then sync up with it again. When you're ready to carry on, you usually have to wait a fraction of a second for the next tick of the metronome, but I've never found that to be a problem.

Of course, if the actual baseline tempo changes, that's another story.

(200 posts! Look out, Mark_C!)


Edited by MathGuy (02/01/13 01:54 PM)
Edit Reason: Noticed my milestone.

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#2025358 - 02/01/13 02:54 PM Re: Keeping The Piano In Time ??? [Re: MathGuy]
musicmad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/09
Posts: 181
Loc: London England
Originally Posted By: MathGuy
To me, it's not a big deal to just ignore the metronome temporarily and then sync up with it again when you're ready to carry on.


Good point, thats exactly what I've been doing, but the metronome clicks can get a bit annoying when playing slow passages out of sync, but i get your point.
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#2025446 - 02/01/13 04:44 PM Re: Keeping The Piano In Time ??? [Re: Dave Horne]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6538
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
Metronomes are great in keeping you honest with the time ... and you'll benefit from its use if you have the clicks represent beats two and four in 4\4; you're now forced to supply the stronger beats - it's not as easy as you think.


And the heart of rock and roll is still beating.

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#2025448 - 02/01/13 04:48 PM Re: Keeping The Piano In Time ??? [Re: musicmad]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6449
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I only use the metronome before I start to play.
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Music is my best friend.
“Haters don't really hate you. They hate themselves because you are a reflection of what they wish to be.” ― Yaira N


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#2025488 - 02/01/13 05:46 PM Re: Keeping The Piano In Time ??? [Re: MathGuy]
currawong Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 6146
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: MathGuy
(200 posts! Look out, Mark_C!)
ha
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#2025504 - 02/01/13 06:03 PM Re: Keeping The Piano In Time ??? [Re: Damon]
Dave Horne Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5602
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
Metronomes are great in keeping you honest with the time ... and you'll benefit from its use if you have the clicks represent beats two and four in 4\4; you're now forced to supply the stronger beats - it's not as easy as you think.


And the heart of rock and roll is still beating.


It works for all kinds of music. Having one and three supplied by the metronome really doesn't help your time. When _you_ are internally forced to supply one and three (and the metronome supplies the weaker beats in 4\4) you'll realize just how difficult this can be ... initially. smile
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