Consistency with Click Tracks

Whether it be marching band or winter percussion, we inevitably encounter tempo changes.  Most of the time we resort to turning of the metronome and restarting it at the new tempo.  But  what happens when we come to an accelerando or deccelerando?  Learn how to breed consistency and eliminate the stress of teaching someone to run the Dr. Beat in the following article.

Whether it be marching band or winter percussion, we inevitably encounter tempo changes.  Most people tend to resort to the tried and trued method of teaching someone to program and operate the Dr. Beat, resulting in the usual frustrations.  For the most part, a simple stopping of the metronome, reseting it to the next tempo, then restarting on the downbeat of the new tempo will suffice.  However, the factor of human error has to be considered, since there is no guarantee that the person operating the metronome will always start the metronome exactly on the downbeat. This problem of starting and restopping the metronome, albeit a common one, is merely the tip of the iceberg.

A more important issue to address is gradual changes in tempo presented the form of accelerandi and decelerandi. When using a regular metronome, the metronome is stopped then we have to try our best to pace the gradual change of tempo, hopefully ending in the right place at the end. This is comparable to giving a person a starting place and a destination with no directions of how to get there. If the necessary tools are available, why would we do this to our students? Well, the tools are available and they are in the form of a click track and a portable media player of sorts (e.g. MP3 player, CD player, MiniDisc, etc.).

Here are some samples of click tracks we have provided for some of our clients. Click the titles of the tracks listed below to play. The music might take a second to load. Make sure you have the most recent version of the Adobe Flash Player installed.

Bryan Harmsen

Bryan is the owner of Visaudio Designs. He is a wind and percussion music arranger whose arrangements and compositions have helped many ensembles earn numerous gold medals on their local circuits as well as finalist positions, the 2011 PSO Silver Medalist, 2013 PIA Gold Medalist, 2014 PIO Silver Medalist, and 2015 PIO and PSO Silver Medalists at WGI World Championships.

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