James A. Showalter wrote: ↑
Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:26 am
So I'm still trying to get a grip on tempo. The metronome is the standard and I tried it for Au Clair de la Lune which should be played at 168 bpm. If I listen to the beats of a metronome at that rate it just creates chaos in my mind. So I started working on piece below it in the D01 lessons that is also in 4/4-time, Il Est Minuit, which is a bit more simple and should be played at 152 bpm. To minimize the beat driven chaos I halved the rate to 76 bpm which would equate to a metronome beat for each half-note. It seemed more manageable to me. Now I'm thinking that I'll continue working the piece and set the metronome for 36 bpm which would equate to a beat for each whole note or equivalently to the length of one measure. Does anybody know if there is a standard for using a metronome and if partial referencing is something that is regularly done? Am I confused as to what is the applicable beat value assigned to a piece (i.e. I assume a piece played at 152 bpm has a single beat for each 1/4-note in 4/4-time)?
Hi James. I’ll try to address these metronome issues. I use an app on my phone called Metronome (I see now it is no longer available for the current OS but there are others). The app allows you to change the emphasis of the beats which is helpful (like a stronger beat on first and second beats for example) . It also has a feature where you can turn off the click and see the beat as a pulsing light. This might be helpful if the incessant click is getting to you.
Yes you can set the metronome to half to click on half notes or just one beat per measure. Typically, but not always, the tempo indicator is one beat per quarter note, shown as 130 = (picture of a quarter note).
For those of you who are thrown off by the clicking, try playing your metronome before you begin the piece and get the beat in your head or tap your foot to the correct time, then turn it off (or put it on flash only) as you begin to play. You can then take a peek at the flash to stay in tempo.
As you know, The metronome not only shows the recommended tempo but also prevents the tendency to speed up or slow down in inappropriate places. This tool is important to developing and internalizing the right tempo. When the rhythms get more complex it will be very important to be comfortable with the metronome and counting beats.
Another gear suggestion is the Planet Waves NS clip on tuner. 13 bucks at StringsByMail. It is tiny, clips on your headstock, and has a simple flashing metronome in addition to a basic tuner. And cheap. You can read reviews on the forum.
By the way if you have not discovered StringsByMail check them out.
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