15. September 2006 · Comments Off on Keeping Time · Categories: imported, Ramble

Hugh Sung blogs about metronomes and that reminds me to remind you that you can always go online for your metronome. It’s a handy little thing when I’m on a university campus and have forgotten to bring along one of my handy dandy little “bosses”. (I tell my students I call the metronome “the boss”. It’s an annoying little boss, but oh well.)

If I needed something new now I’d go for the Korg TM-40 which is both a metronome and a tuner. Both work simultaneously, which is handy for long tones, and of course only having to carry one device rather than two is mighty nice! But I don’t really need it … it’s only something I would like to have.

With students I often use my somewhat annoying but loud Sabine “Metro Tune” MT8000. (Stupid name, don’t you think?) It’s both a metronome and tuner, but you have to choose one or the other. I hate the display for intonation, and I find the way the little lights streak back and forth for the metronome quite annoying. But it’s loud. Loud is good for students.

For practice I usually use my little Quik Time QT3 metronome even though the company seems to think misspelling “quick” is cute or something and I cringe when I see the name. (Okay, I might not literally cringe, but I still think they could stop with the cuteness.) I also have an extremely small tuner that I can carry around easily and even wear around my neck—it’s like a large postage stamp size or so— but I tend to leave it at home because it goes on too easily; there’s nothing worse than hearing a little beep beep beep coming from somewhere inside my oboe bag during a performance or rehearsal!

And yes, I do use a metronome frequently. Some musicians are fairly anti-metronome, thinking it stifles musicality. I say play it perfectly with a metronome first. Then, if being expressive causes a little “taffy pulling” here and there, go for it. Don’t break the rules until you can keep them, is my motto.

Most of the time.

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