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Using a Metronome


Serious piano students know the value of using a metronome.  It may be tedious, but practicing slowly with a metronome provides a foundation for good execution, precision, and even depth of






expression at higher speeds and in performance.  Following are some of the most useful types of metronomes available for purchase.


Electronic Metronomes


Pianists looking for a simple, easy-to-carry, and clear metronome may want an electronic model.  These metronomes have an LCD screen that flashes the beat, as well as a decent-sounding beep/pulse.  A benefit of these models is that the beep usually stands out from the instrument and is easy to hear during practice.


As well, electronic metronomes allow for a variety of tempo settings, usually from about 40 to 200 beats per minute, and they can be easily set to quarters, eighths, triplets, and more subdivisions.


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Compact Quartz Metronomes


These metronomes generally have a knob that allows you to set the tempo, a click sound, and a flashing LED to mark the beat.  A main difference from the digital metronome is that the click sounds more “organic,” more like a block of wood or a cluck sound, than a beep.  This can “fit in” more with the music you are playing and provide a somewhat calmer tone.  The downside is that the click is not always as audible as the clear tone of the digital metronome.


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Full Size Mechanical Metronomes


Pianists who tend towards the more visual display and a "natural" sound may prefer a full-size mechanical metronome.  These generally have an upright bar that swings back and forth to the beat, and a wooden-like click sound.  These are the most traditional and provide a strong click beat.


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