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#1 Gordon Shumway

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 06:33

I've still got my Wittner pyramid from the 1970s. It was a cheap veneered version. I've been keeping my eye on a solid walnut version as a luxury. It's a nice bit of furniture for the top of the piano, although my piano is only electronic.

But I was wondering if mechanical metronomes are obsolete. It might be silly splashing out if everyone else in the world uses electronic or a Snark or a smartphone or a website. What are the pros and cons of mechanical and electronic? (solid wood Wittners are about £120 at the moment, if you are out of touch and don't know) (you can also get plastic mini mechanicals and so on)


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#2 Zixi

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 06:58

I've got plastic mechanical. So has my husband. I also have digital with voice. I would love a wooden one - not because it is better but because they are sooooooooooooooooooooo beautiful. I can't think anything that beautiful could be obsolete. Won't it be like clocks? I have many many many mechanical clocks and a few electronic ones. The mechanical ones are far more satisfying because they have personalities.  I have no idea what the pros and cons of electronic metronome versus mechanical are - both are extremely irritating because my sense of timing and theirs don't coincide though I've noticed they are improving - but I suspect I'd be less exasperated by a wooden one...


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#3 EllieD

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 07:26

  I have no idea what the pros and cons of electronic metronome versus mechanical are - both are extremely irritating because my sense of timing and theirs don't coincide though I've noticed they are improving …

 

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Obviously an electronic metronome is always going to be perfect, never need winding up, totally flexible (if you want to set it at 111, 112, 113, just press the buttons), while a real one won't have so many options for tempo and will need winding up sometimes ... but it will be accurate and very beautiful and it is a shame that the whole world is becoming electronic, so do buy one if you like them!


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#4 zwhe

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 07:45

I've never bought a mechanical one as there are too many little fingers here to be worth the cost, but they do look much nicer and are more difficult to loose (yes, I'm always forgetting where I put mine). Apps are great when the battery goes in your metronome, and also usually come with different settings such as rhythms, change of tempo after a set number of bars and drum beats which can be useful for some people. The biggest disadvantage of an app is you can't just switch it on and set the speed - it takes longer. I personally use just a cheap metronome when I'm learning something new, but I sometimes use the app when teaching. There are many free apps so you could try one as well as buy a nice 'real' one.


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#5 maggiemay

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 08:20

I bought an old mechanical one in a charity shop a couple of years ago (thanks - Air Ambulance shop!) and they were delighted that it was going to a proper music studio! I think it’s an old East German make, wooden case, fairly solid. .

(Eta yes ... on the bottom it states ‘made in German Democratic Republic’.

I find it far more useful than I did my previous electronic one. I think there’s something about the visual aspect that helps early understanding of what a metronome does. And yes, they do look nice. And the batteries don’t run out ....
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#6 fsharpminor

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 08:40

 I  have had a small plastic 'Taktell' mechanical for many years. It has served me well.  But it would be nice to have a quality wooden one on top of my piano. However I use it infrequently.  I play at what speed I think a piece should go. Some professionals tempi vary tremendously.  eg Mendelssohns Song without Words 'Duetto'


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#7 Arundodonuts

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 10:33

I have  a mechanical Wittner at home and an app on the iPhone for portable use. I prefer the Wittner.


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#8 Clovis

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 10:48

Only mechanicals can play Ligeti's Poeme Symphonique for 100 metronomes:


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#9 EllieD

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 07:07

That's wonderful, Clovis!! I love the fact that everyone's standing round looking all so serious before setting the metronomes off, and waiting patiently at the end for the last one to stop!! Brilliant!


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#10 Aquarelle

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 07:38

I have a Tacktell plastic mechanical metronome at school and it has survived many a drop on the floor. I am sure the visual aspect helps the children - particularly for rhythmic exercises without the piano. For class teaching it is useful - my little ones call it  "le tic tac."  Several of my pupils have bought the same model on my recommendation. It's good value for money. OK, it is not as elegant as a wooden one and if I had a proper studio and a grand piano I would doubtless upgrade my metronome too! (Dreams!)

 

I have bought 2 pocket sized electronic metronomes (8 euros if I remember correctly) to lend out to pupils but haven't yet got round to working out how to use them. I didn't get any instructions with them. Once I've cracked it they will be helpful for my boarding school pupils.


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#11 mel2

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 08:25

Was given a Tacktel plastic as a gift and it's fine, but a 'ping' option would be useful.

Somewhere at bottom of a music case I have a digital thingumybob that can do any rhythm you like (as long as it's regular) but it takes me ages to 'set' it.
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#12 Zixi

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 10:23


Somewhere at bottom of a music case I have a digital thingumybob that can do any rhythm you like (as long as it's regular) but it takes me ages to 'set' it.

 

Sympathies. My voice metronome has the same problem. It cycles through the various settings. That and modal systems always make me want to put the designer on the naughty step till they consult end users or at least try them out in real-life situations.

 

Anyway, I've realised that I shall put 'wooden metronome' on my list for Father Christmas... so thanks for the thread, Gordon!


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#13 Gordon Shumway

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 18:36

Brexit will hike the prices, so leaving it until Christmas may be silly.


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#14 mel2

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 21:14

Brexit will hike the prices, so leaving it until Christmas may be silly.


Good grief! Won't anyone want to sell us anything any more?

Better write to Boris....
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#15 EllieD

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 06:06

 

 

I have bought 2 pocket sized electronic metronomes (8 euros if I remember correctly) to lend out to pupils but haven't yet got round to working out how to use them. I didn't get any instructions with them. Once I've cracked it they will be helpful for my boarding school pupils.

 

There's a flaw in your approach. Kids of today are tuned in to all these electronic gadgets in ways us grown ups can't even imagine. Lend them to your pupils, provided they promise to show you how to use them, which will take them all of 20 seconds to work out.... smile.png


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