Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Modal Mastery: Metronome Addendum

One thing I neglected to mention so far is the type of metronome I use for this project. Back circa 1990 I got two of these diminutive Seiko DM20's and have used nothing else since.

After over fifteen years, I'm only on the second set of batteries!


What I like about the Seiko DM20:

1) The beat range goes up to a logical 250 BPM.

Many digital metronomes only go to 208 BPM, which is a holdover from the mechanical metronome days - it used to be that 208 BPM was as fast as a mechanical metronome could reliably go. Korg metronomes max out at 208 BPM, which is why I use Seiko. I am already at 210 BPM in the Modal Mastery series, for example, and I find it much easier to play at alternating strong/weak eighths than to keep track of strong/weak/weak/weak sixteenths. Once 250 BPM is reached you'll have to go to sixteenths, of course, but 208 BPM is just too soon, IMO. At 250 BPM, for instance, you just divide by two and return to 125 BPM and select the sixteenth subdivisions. I just think it makes more sense.

2) Subdivisions of eighths (which I'm currently using), eighth triplets, and sixteenths can be selected.

I don't need fancy, schmancy subdivisions of odd numbers, or of subdivisions with an element de-selected, I just need the basics, and this has all of the basics. 1, 2, 3, 4. 5. 6. and 7 can be selected without subdivisions, though, should you want to work with those. It's just that, at 250 BPM maximum velocity, you'll run into limitations if velocity is what you are working on.

3) They are super easy to use.

Because it does not have a bunch of arcane functions, the DM20 is intuitive to use right out of the box.

4) They are about the same size as a stack of four or five credit cards.

I just toss one into whatever gig bag or guitar case I'm using, and I always have one with me.

5) The batteries last for... for... for... ever... ever... ever...


The problem is, of course, these Seiko DM 20's haven't been made for many years. Not to worry: The same old metronome in a sassy new package (I FINALLY figured out how to embed an image in a hyperlink, so you can click on the image to go to Amazon):

Ta, daaaa! The DM series is now up to 70 (It was only 10 and 20 when they first came out). I just ordered one of these, so I'll update this later and let you know how it works.


Bad things can happen if you lose track of the time.


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