The story of Warchal Metronome
Our CEO, Bohdan Warchal is a professional violinist and he struggled to find tools for musicians that would help them to fix some educating challenges. There are plenty of metronomes on the market, but they vary just in design, they do not offer any extra features. Such tools can just partially prepare musician for playing with others on stage.
That is why we have developed a mobile /iPad app for iOS for musicians prepare them for playing perfectly with others.
When playing in a group you need not only to be able to keep in time, but also to adjust to small changes or mistakes made by others. When on stage, players can have different perceptions of tempo. Sometimes a player might start to play a little faster than expected or 'run away' with the tempo if they are nervous. When different types of instruments play together there can be other factors influencing tempo such as breath or bowing. These can either delay or increase the tempo despite having had many rehearsals.
A good chamber player can react instantly to these changes in the same way as a good pilot can adjust to their plane being buffeted by wind when landing. Adapting to tiny tempo errors made by others isn't as easy as it might appear. A typical reaction when one player delays is for the others to slow down. But while the other players are slowing to adjust, the original player might be increasing their speed again to catch up. Because of this, the worst issues in the collective tempo can arise a few seconds after the initial change.
You can switch the Warchal metronome into Coach mode (in-app purchase) and this will simulate changes that might happen when playing with others on stage. It will teach you how to correctly adapt to them. If you are an experienced player you can simply use Coach mode to check your chamber music skills.
You can choose between three levels of difficulty and two levels of error frequency. Easier levels are suitable for beginner chamber music players and also for practising more difficult pieces. You will learn to detect errors instantly and adapt without changing tempo.
We suggest using Coach mode once you are able to play perfectly in tempo using the standard mode. By using the Coach mode regularly you will find it becomes easy to react quickly to changes made by others. Listening to others will become a natural part of your musical personality and you will be able to play on stage with others without anxiety.
Which pieces can be practised with Coach mode?
Any piece or pieces that you are expecting to play with others. For example a string quartet score. In order to develop these skills, any type of piece can be practised in Coach mode, even studies. With regard to musical styles, Coach mode can help you in pieces that are expected more or less to be played at a constant tempo. Pieces that require agogic changes or with frequent tempo changes are of course less suitable for practising with any type of metronome.
How should you start?
Simply start with the easier levels of error frequency and intensity, then progress to the harder levels. Of course, it makes sense not to start using Coach mode until you are able to play accurately with the metronome in standard mode.
How long should you practise using Coach mode?
If you feel that you are able to adapt properly to each change then we would suggest continuing in standard mode or without using the metronome.
Should colleagues also practice their score using Coach mode?
The more players in the group who are able to absorb and adjust to imperfections and changes in tempo, the more fluent the whole performance will be. However, even if you are the only player practising using Coach mode you will feel more secure within the group.