1. #1

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    First-time poster here emerging after months of lurking. Really enjoy the inspiration and stimulation this forum provides, and thought this subject might be of interest to some other members.

    For the past 3.5 years I have been practicing with a haptic (vibrating) metronome from a company called Soundbrenner. I just upgraded to the watch version of their device, which is a big improvement, as it doesn't require a separate mobile phone app to activate it (few things more annoying than an electronic device that needs yet another electronic device to work).

    Anyway, as someone who has spent many hours using metronomes, drum machines, click tracks, or backing tracks to practice, record (and occasionally perform), I've noticed a distinct and positive difference between practicing with audio and haptic timekeeping devices.

    It seems to me that with audio timekeeping, players tend to rely on the audio signal to create the internal pulse for the song. Even with something as simple as an audio metronome, there is still an audible "pulse" that the player can fall back on (or "lean" on). The pulse, such as it is, remains regardless of whether the player plays their instrument or not.

    With the haptic metronome, on the other hand, there is no audio signal — only a vibration felt by the player. The player therefore becomes responsible for creating the audio pulse of the song. This is a tremendous positive difference.

    Another advantage is the "muscle memory" the haptic metronome imparts. In my experience, practicing with the haptic metronome quickly imparts a visceral "feel" for song-specific tempos.

    For example, the other day I picked up the guitar to practice Fly Me to the Moon, which I usually practice at 130 BPM. Instead of setting the watch metronome to 130 BPM, I just used the tap tempo function. When I was done playing, I peeked at the value showing in the metronome. I was amazed to see it read 129.66 BPM!

    Anyway, I am finding this device extremely helpful in developing a stronger internal pulse, especially with my current focus on solo playing. While the Soundbrenner product isn't perfect (I have plenty of nits to pick with it), overall I am quite happy with it.

    Peterson, the tuner maker, has a similar product, and the Apple watch has a comparable app. I have not tried either of these.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    I have tried the Soundbrenner but didn't find it useful. The vibration is not strong enough on the medium setting and distracting on the max setting as it went on for too long. A short single tap would have been better in my view. But that's just my opinion.

  4. #3

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    I agree, my main complaint is that the pulse is not powerful enough.

    The new high-end version has a sharper, crisper pulse, but if anything a bit weaker compared to the original model.

    Best use is for low-volume, acoustic practice. The company's promotion of it as a common timekeeping tool for use in live performance is unrealistic in my view.