Metronome poll

Call the tune - Talk about whatever!

Postby Kathy » Tue Feb 07, 2006 1:27 am

LOL! Larry, Thanks for the laugh. You remind me of my 2 friends, Barb and Judy, and I when we are playing for others. We decided that we should name ourselves the Fast and Nasty Girls. When we get to playing it usually ends up fast and nasty. LOL! I told the audience that Barb was fast and Judy was nasty and Judy said "then what are you?" and I said "I'm just along for the ride". The audience loved it and it sure broke the ice quickly. We have another program to do Friday night and I think I am going to put the metronome in my pocket and pull it out after a particulary fast one and turn it on and say "Ok, lets try that again". LOL! The look on their faces will be a great set up for a laugh. Since none of us are particulary very great players, we gotta have something to carry us through the program. Right? LOL! I do use mine ocassionally, but apparently not enough. Cheers, Kathy Smile
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Postby Guitar Jim » Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:01 pm

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Last edited by Guitar Jim on Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Sarah » Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:40 pm

Hi, I'm Sarah and I have a problem with speed. I start tunes too fast when I'm nervous, and I also tend to speed up incrementally over time -- again mostly when I'm nervous. That's why I've come to this meeting of Metronome-users Anonymous.Wink I voted ''use occasionally alone'' but there are times when I use it a lot, and times not at all. I find it very helpful when I'm practicing for contra dances. It helps me internalize proper dance speed. I've found that some tunes just feel faster to me than others (probably a function of how hard they are for me!Rolled Eye ), so it's good to have the objective standard of a metronome. After using it in practice, I develop a gut feeling for the right speed. I haven't noticed any problems of me speeding up or slowing down in different parts of the same dance tune, but it would prevent that too. It also helps me to practice playing nonstop for a long time without inching up the tempo. Mine is an electronic metronome, which has both sound and a flashing light. I actually bring it to dances with me. My natural tendency is to start playing too fast when I'm nervous. Before the start of the first few sets of the evening, while the caller is finishing up teaching the dance, I like to set the metronome on lights only and tap my foot with it to recalibrate my 'internal metronome.' Then I don't start at 124 when I mean to start at 116. Although I'm getting lots better with the nerves, I'm still pretty new to playing dances and I'm concerned about avoiding screw-ups.
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Postby GrrrGallier » Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:46 pm

I heard a story about Earl Scruggs and his method of keeping the tempo steady. His guitar player would sit on the porch and they would kick a song off. Then Earl would start walking around the outside of the house. When he came back around he judged whether they were both in the same place in the song. Now how they knew which one of them got off is another question.
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Postby kwl » Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:08 am

Gary, I think that story is in the introduction to Earl's banjo instruction book. I'll have to check to see if I'm correct.
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Postby Ron Terrell » Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:16 am

I voted never use one because I don't own one. I probably do need to practice with one. I think I will buy one next time I stop at the music store.
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Postby Carla Maxwell » Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:46 am

I voted that I often use a metronome when practicing by myself. When I'm playing in a "group" I watch Lee's foot!LOL!
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Postby GrrrGallier » Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:22 am

I think you are right !! I have that around here somewhere...from long long....long ago.
Originally posted by kwl Gary, I think that story is in the introduction to Earl's banjo instruction book. I'll have to check to see if I'm correct.
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Postby missy » Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:51 am

Originally posted by GrrrGallier Now how they knew which one of them got off is another question.
ah - Gary - that's easy, it's always the OTHER guy's fault! I know I always blame it on Tom - I bet you always blame it on Les or David, right????LOL!
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Postby Heidi » Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:48 pm

Although my usual metronome is my foot, I do find that my Sabine Zipbeat is a good tool. I sometimes use it to double check myself. Mostly I use it to push me to a faster tempo. When I'm first learning a song, I often count. Yes, kiddies, I count out-loud. How's that for annoying? Makes the metronome ''tock'' seem like a good thing doesn't it?
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Postby GrrrGallier » Thu Feb 09, 2006 5:32 pm

Originally posted by missy
Originally posted by GrrrGallier Now how they knew which one of them got off is another question.
ah - Gary - that's easy, it's always the OTHER guy's fault! I know I always blame it on Tom - I bet you always blame it on Les or David, right????LOL!
Uh...would YOU have the guts to blame any musical boo boo on someone as amazing as Dave ? Although Les does have a new tune we are recording that has a very strange rhythm to a chord change...and we laughed our butts off when Dave said...'you guys are weird'.
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Postby TJ » Thu Feb 09, 2006 5:52 pm

I always picture those who read these threads and who run across certain positions. To provide a balance for consideration, I have some quick comments on someone spontaneously having perfect time, or preferring the flow which comes from never having trained for tempo... I know that sometimes there are technically precise performers who lack something. There are also entertaining performers who aren't all that great technique-wise. However, if I had the chance to hear someone entertaining, but sloppy, or someone entertaining and excellent, I think I'd rather hear someone competent. I've heard the argument made that sincerity is more important than talent and technique, and I might partly agree with that, but I have heard lots of performerss who have both the sincerity AND some talent and technique, so I feel it's a bit of a cop-out to put such an emphasis on pure entertainment/sincerity, without any acknowledgement of how much good technique can add to that entertainment. I do believe in metronomes for learning how to keep a steady beat. I've worked with lots of folks who felt they had perfect time, and who were just awful. *laugh* Whenever a metronome was introduced, and they wandered all over the tempo, they always fell back on the argument that they didn't want to sound like a machine. However, they couldn't maintain a beat if their head was a drum and their hands were drumsticks, at least not spontaneously. I have heard lots of folks who went from playing in strict time to being able to play in a more flowing manner. However, I have NEVER heard someone spontaneously go from erratic tempos to being capable of playing in time without practice. If I know how to spell and have a good vocabulary, does that mean that I lose all spontaneity in my ability to write? Or does it mean that I then have the tools to say exactly what I want? Are poets better off knowing their language well, or with a stunted vocabulary? I'm not advocating robotic playing. I'm not even advocating metronomes for everyone. However, I *am* saying that it seems odd to advocate against learning skills that can make one better able to express oneself musically. Down with the ability to play with a tempo! And chord knowledge! And, and... and scales and modes! And practice! Why do all those things when I can just strum and play spontaneously! All those things just stifle creativity, right? Cheers!
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