Klarinet Archive - Posting 000718.txt from 1997/12
From: Neil Leupold <nleupold@-----.edu>
Subj: Re: metronomes
Date: Sun, 14 Dec 1997 03:07:48 -0500
The only disadvantage for some people of using the Seiko DM-20 is
the sound of its distinctly electronic "ping". It is particularly
piercing in a way which might be intolerable for some. It took me
a short time to get used to it. The overwhelming advantage of the
DM-20 is, naturally, its size. I have yet to see a smaller metronome
with so many features. But then, sometimes this level of portability
isn't entirely desirable, for this makes it easier to lose. Overall,
it's a great little piece of technology. I went ahead and bought one
for each of my clarinet cases so that I don't have to worry about
whether I have a metronome each time I practice a different instru-
ment (Bb/A vs. Eb vs. Bass).
Two metronomes I would absolutely avoid are the Matrix and the Quiktime.
Both of these metronomes are cheaply made. The sound of the Matrix click
is feeble compared to other similar sized conventional electronic metro-
nomes. This is bad if you're trying to hear it above your own playing.
The Quiktime has a couple of especially annoying features. First of
all, the dial for selecting click speed is very slow. It resembles
a circular spin dial, but does not actually rotate. Instead, it just
has an "up" and "down" button for scrolling digitally to a higher or
lower setting. Even worse than the slow speed selector is the power
switch, which also doubles as a selector for silent mode and for sounding
the A@-----. Extremely annoying about this configuration is that it
is very easy to overshoot when changing from silent mode to regular mode
and accidentally turn the metronome "off". When you turn it back on again,
you must find your tempo setting all over again -- slowly -- because the
metronome resets itself to 100 beats per minute every time you shut it off.
In general, I would also avoid the spring-operated wind-up metronomes,
especially the small German "Taktell" metronome, despite its novelty
in size as a wind-up unit. The spring will eventually wear out and
become inconsistent. Worse, however, is the fragility of the unit.
A couple of drops, and you've wasted your money. Generally, I beat
the hell out of my metronomes over time (pun fully intended), dropping
them, stepping on them, etc. The moving parts of this mechanical unit
make it a bad choice, even for pianists.
Basically, any of the other traditional electronic "box" metronomes
are good purchases. Seiko's models are always a safe bet. Franz,
makers of the famous black electric clicking box (this is not an
electronic unit, but a plug-in box with a notoriously loud and accurate
"thwack" that pianists have fallen in love with) now makes a conventional
electronic metronome as well. You'll find good prices on a variety of
acceptable models in any of the major mail order catalogues.
Best of luck,
Southern Methodist University
Meadows School of the Arts