Soundbrenner Pulse Metronome
In a previous post, Yixi mentioned the Soundbrenner Pulse metronome. Could those of you who use this accessory share their experience? What works, what doesn't? I am considering it, but without a smart phone (yes, I don't have a smart phone, or a cellular for that matter! Bet you never taught that was possible ;-), wondering what I can do with it, and if it is worth it.
So, no one is using this metronome?
What is a metronome?
Who doesn't know.
Roger, I have been using it on and off. What's cool about it is the silence effect and it does feel like one's own pulse, especially initially. The problem for me is that the pulses are weak and my brain tends to ignore the sensation after a while. So now I went back to the loud metronome.
I tried a pulse metronome on loan from my teacher. It had a small capsule on a belt clip that creates a short pulse of vibration to the intended tempo. I found it functionally similar to a conventional metronome, but I liked that it eliminated the superimposed acoustic beat on the music I was playing. My take on it was it was novel, and "maybe useful", but not a game changer for my current methods of practice. It might be a useful step toward developing one's internal time base without the traditional tick-tick of the metro in the ear.
What I am wondering most is if it is useful in developing a subconscious sense of pulse. As Yixi said, does one's brain ignores it after a while, or does it still assists (even though one might not feel it anymore) in enabling that subconscious sense of pulse? My sense of pulse sucks!
I tune my heart beat between 60 to 140 beats per minute and use that as my "metronome".
Roger, I'm skeptical about the pulse assistance of such device. For what I know, we all have natural pulse (heartbeat, walking, etc.). When people tells you that you don't have pulse, I don't think they can prove that you just don't have it. What has been pointed out to you is that you haven't paid enough attention to it because there are too many other stuff we have to pay attention to when we are learning something.
John, my cardiac arrythmia probably doesn't help my sense of pulse! Even after 27 years in the military, I couldn't march to a steady 120 paces per min to the beat of a drum! Anecdotally, that was a bit of a challenge for me when I once was in command of a 100 men guard of honour for the opening of the Canadian BC legislature! Yixi, I wouldn't bet on your theory about natural pulse :-), but tx for the feedback, this device is relatively expensive, hence my hesitations.
Roger- I have been working on this issue as well, since my counting is not as good as it could be. One technique that has helped me is to synchronize my breathing to the musical pulse, with a very subtle series of pauses within each breath, essentially a “portato” of say four stops in an inhale, then the same in exhale, etc. nobody should see it - just feel it. The piece in which this particularly helped for me was Bach’s Air on the G string (played in D) with a tempo of about 65. The opening F is 9 counts long, so it must be counted to keep track, and many of the rhythms in the piece easily fall apart without an accurate time base. This might not work for everyone, or be useful at a fast tempo, but I thought I’d share it.
Tx Charles this is a good tip, I ought to keep that in mind. My counting isn't bad... when I solely focus on that, the minute I start playing it seems that my counting begins to follow my fingers rather than the other way around. Actually counting while playing really screw things up in general so I tend to avoid mentally spelling out numbers, my brain can't keep up (what's not helping is that I'm counting in English... which isn't my first language, I really shouldn't do that don't ask why). Tried marking time with my foot/toes instead, but the same thing happen. I really ought to develop a "guts" rhythm that is unconscious rather; some are lucky and seem that have an innate sense of rhythm.
Roger, it wasn't my theory about natural pulse. I read somewhere that many great musicians (Mendelssohn, Wagner, Brahms, just to name a few) are deadly against using metronome because of its rigidity. Jazz musicians also tell us to that we should tap to our own pulse to make music and play in time. Here is the questions they often ask: Can you walk in steady pace? Can you chop food in steady pace? If you can, then you have a sense of pulse.
I understand what you mean about dissociating the internal “metro” from the music. As Yixi suggested, try some really straightforward pieces to count, maybe some Baroque passages in 4/4.
I'm just kidding about tuning my heart's beating. That would actually be quite some talent to have.
My mom used to just leave a metronome on for hours at a time while I did homework. So my internal pulse is pretty good.
Kidding aside, I sometimes wonder if our heart beat affects one's overall sense of rhythm. I tried a computer-based drum practice application, and I don't think I've ever been able to maintain more than 3 beats in a row at the exact same tempo!
Erik, I grew up with old fashioned clocks with loud ticking 24/7. That must explains my internal pulse is clock-like and why my walking rhythm is around 120bpm. My food chopping speed is at 180 to 240, depending on who is watching. LOL.
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