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#448361 - 02/25/09 09:05 PM Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
Mike088 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/09
Posts: 91
Loc: New Westminster, Canada
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

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#448362 - 02/25/09 09:12 PM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
wdot Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/07
Posts: 728
Loc: South Carolina, USA
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.

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#448363 - 02/25/09 09:15 PM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
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.

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#448364 - 02/25/09 09:21 PM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
FormerFF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 476
Loc: Roswell, GA, USA
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.

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#448365 - 02/25/09 09:34 PM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1399
Loc: Dallas, TX
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

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#448366 - 02/25/09 09:44 PM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
 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. [/b]
You have a point there.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#448367 - 02/25/09 09:46 PM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
chihuahua Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/09
Posts: 391
Loc: An Oligarchy
Is it my gut feeling - are electronic ones a little[/b] more precise than mechanical ones?

Nevertheless, I have been using the same old mechanical one for the last 2 decades \:D
_________________________
Nepotism: We promote family values here - almost as often as we promote family members.

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#448368 - 02/25/09 09:52 PM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3916
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
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

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#448369 - 02/25/09 09:53 PM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
Philip Yeoh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 73
Loc: Penang, Malaysia
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!
_________________________
www.philipyeoh.com/blog

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#448370 - 02/25/09 10:52 PM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
John Pels Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 1264
Loc: Tomball, Texas
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.

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#448371 - 02/25/09 11:56 PM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
allegro_concerto Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/08
Posts: 181
You can also download metronome from the internet and use this from your laptop/computer:

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

Its free.

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#448372 - 02/26/09 12:37 AM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
AdlerAugen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/30/07
Posts: 200
Loc: Hawaii
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.'
_________________________
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#448373 - 02/26/09 02:38 AM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
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.
_________________________
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member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

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#448374 - 02/26/09 03:27 AM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
Mike088 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/09
Posts: 91
Loc: New Westminster, Canada
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.

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#448375 - 02/26/09 04:00 AM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
anhmytran Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 34
Loc: Hartford, CT 06106
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.

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#448376 - 02/26/09 07:03 AM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital?
Philip Yeoh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 73
Loc: Penang, Malaysia


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 \:D
_________________________
www.philipyeoh.com/blog

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#1153985 - 02/27/09 02:57 PM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital? [Re: John Pels]
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
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
_________________________
Grotrian 225
S&S Hamburg-C
M&H "A" at home

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#1154195 - 02/27/09 07:55 PM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital? [Re: packa]
Canoxa Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/25/09
Posts: 16
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.


Edited by Canoxa (02/27/09 07:56 PM)

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#1154238 - 02/27/09 09:34 PM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital? [Re: Canoxa]
Arghhh Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 1174
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.

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#1154277 - 02/27/09 11:01 PM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital? [Re: Canoxa]
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1399
Loc: Dallas, TX
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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#1154323 - 02/28/09 01:02 AM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital? [Re: packa]
pno Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 1042
Loc: ♪oron♪o, on♪ario, canada...
I would say neither! You need a biological metronome!
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YAMAHA C2M PE

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#1154326 - 02/28/09 01:17 AM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital? [Re: pno]
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
I have to have a metronome. My cp33 in the house has its own internal metronome, and I have an electrical one(some euro made device probably 20-30 yrs old) in my garage studio on the keyboard out there. I have an acoustic one for decoration but it does work.
_________________________
"She loves to limbo, that much is clear. She's got the right dynamic for the New Frontier"
http://roadhouseallstars.com/

David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#1154368 - 02/28/09 02:43 AM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital? [Re: packa]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8027
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.


I have been using a Taktell for many years, and it seems pretty good. I wonder about its precision sometimes and think maybe I should get a digital, but I just don't want to add another battery operated thing in my life unless I really really have to. This may sound strange, but I actually enjoy winding the thing up.

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#1154487 - 02/28/09 09:43 AM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital? [Re: wr]
GregoryP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 87
Loc: Casa Grande, AZ
I bought a Yamaha ME150BK digital metronme in Singapore a couple of years ago and have been very happy with it, battery lasyed for 2 years before I had to replace it. Does everything you could possibly want to do.
_________________________
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting '...holy sh*t ....what a ride!'
George Carlin

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#1154493 - 02/28/09 09:57 AM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital? [Re: chihuahua]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1207
Loc: London UK
What stlye of music? Maybe not for classical, but in lighter styles a drum machine set to a suitable pattern can be much more inspiring.

Accuracy doesn't matter a jot. But regularity does. The requisite number of beer mats under one corner of an acoustic metronome usually sorts any problems out :-)

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#1154539 - 02/28/09 11:02 AM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital? [Re: Exalted Wombat]
terminaldegree Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2818
Loc: western Wisconsin
I used to love the acoustic type because of the sound and looks, but have transitioned to exclusively digital metronomes. Main reasons are portability and the ability to dial up tempi that are extremely slow-- I like to practice with one click per bar a lot of the time.
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Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
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#1154544 - 02/28/09 11:06 AM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital? [Re: terminaldegree]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21918
Loc: Oakland
I use an electronic metronome after the mechanical one took a dive off the piano, ruining it. The mechanical metronome never worked well. The first battery in the electronic lasted over a decade.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1154591 - 02/28/09 12:34 PM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital? [Re: John Pels]
Wilson Frazão Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 24
Loc: Portugal
Digital never fails...
_________________________
"Music is the most physically inspiring of all the arts." - Frank Zappa

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#1154661 - 02/28/09 01:54 PM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital? [Re: Exalted Wombat]
alannamarie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 15
Loc: Clarington, Ontario
I personally like my acoustic. The digital sounds bother me - they don't seem natural or musical to me. As well, I like the visual you get when the arm swings with the beat. & you don't have to spend a fortune to get a decent acoustic one!

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#1155650 - 03/02/09 12:52 AM Re: Metronomes. acoustic or digital? [Re: alannamarie]
Clestin le Possd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 28
Loc: Quebec
I have both, and I like them both. The digital one is easy to carry, and most of them have different subdivisions choices.
I also like the fact that you can either put earphones or plug them into an amp. (But I'm also a percussionist, so sometimes I just don't ear my metronome...)
The mechanical one has the visual, as has been pointed out.

My favorite is the Boss Dr.Beat DB-30. Small, easy to carry, lots of rhythms (even claves!), earphone plug.
Second choice would be any well-working mechanical.

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