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All Metronome Types/Polymeters like 3/8 : 2/4 (Beat Preserving)

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Bounce Metronome

Latin American - Rhythms in music notation - main window...

This tip is shown when you hover the mouse over the title bar or the background of the main window. Hover mouse over individual controls for their help.

You may need to use the RESET THIS button first if you have come here from one of the other metronomes.


You can enter any rhythm in music notation. The list includes some examples of Latin American rhythms.

You can adjust the timing of individual beats in Template:W which may help with some of the subtle nuances of Latin American rhythms.

You can also adjust the volume of any beat similarly. And can change the instrument for individual beats with a right click on the beat.


1. Select a rhythm from the drop list of Example Rhythms (Alt + X)

2, Play your rhythm, adjust tempo etc as usual.


NOTE - no support yet for triplets or other n-tuplets or grace notes - those are on the wish list for the future - see [ Wishes for the drum metronome]

To make your own rhythms, edit the rhythm (keyboard shortcut Alt + Y).

You can just use the buttons to insert notes - or copy / paste notes to make your rhythm. It's in the Bach musicological font which lets you work with rhythms in the same way as normal text.

Anything before an exclamation mark ! is part of the description of the rhythm and doesn't change the way the rhythm is played.

For blind users - or if you want a simpler text notation which you can copy / paste and save as plain text etc, then change to the abc notation in Dance rhythms - or any other rhythms with skipped beats (Ctrl + 228).

Or you can use the O notation.

With the O notation, you can use = - O o . " ' for the different sizes of beat in order, from = for the semi-breve down to ' for the hemi-demi- semiquaver. Or use a b c d e f g for the different sizes of beat (probably easier for blind users).

Place * before the beat for a rest e.g. *O or *d for a crotchet rest, *o or *e for a quaver rest etc. You can use * on its own as short for *O or *d.

Use | for bar beats. The bar beats will be played in a separate part.

You can set a rhythm for several parts at once as well - try some of the example rhythms to see how this works.

Then you can adjust the instruments for each part, the stereo pan position and so on - for a quick start scroll down to Change Parts


To set the tempo to the tempo of your taps, tap with the BACKSPACE key. To stop or start the metronome press the RETURN key.


The bounces start and stop automatically with the sound. Click the button: STOP Bounce or START Bounce to stop and start the bouncing balls on their own - e.g. to stop the bounces with the sound still running, or start the bounces without sound for a silent metronome.

To choose which device on your computer to use to play the notes, use Choose OUT DEVICES and PARTS to play for each device (Ctrl + 41) in the Play drop menu.


To see the bouncing balls in a larger window use 2D Bounce (Ctrl + 219). You can get to this quickly with the magnifying glass icon at top right of the bouncing balls display in the main window - or choose Bounce >> 2D Bounce - larger window from the Bounce drop menu.

For the 3D animations with bouncing ball, drum stick or conductor's baton style visuals use 3D Bounce (Ctrl + 224)

To resize the tempo dial and bouncing balls separately you can split the main window into several different windows. To do this, go to SPLIT MAIN WINDOW in the Options drop menu. To get back to a single main window go to ALL IN ONE WINDOW in the same drop menu.

Try out the many ways to display the bouncing balls in the drop lists in the bouncing balls windows.

To adjust colours go to Colours (Ctrl + 7) in the Visuals drop menu.

For PRO features such as swing, polyrhythms etc, choose another metronome from the drop list at the top of the main window.


To set the tempo to the tempo of your taps, tap with the BACKSPACE key. To stop or start the metronome press the RETURN key. This works almost anywhere in Bounce Metronome. It gives an easy and quick way to adjust the tempo or stop and start the metronome at any time, e.g. while practicing with a musical instrument (since the BACKSPACE and RETURN keys are large and easy to find on the keyboard).

The BACKSPACE key is normally used to erase text. But you seldom need to use it in Bounce Metronome Pro and can use the Delete Key as an alternative in the few situations where it is needed. To use BACKSPACE as a tempo tap even when editing text, go to Tempo Dial - Preferences (Ctrl + 223) and select "enable BACKSPACE tempo tap even when you edit text in Bounce Metronome". (Keyboard shortcut CONTROL + BACKSPACE to switch the backspace tempo tap on or off even for text fields).

You can also silence or enable individual parts with the number keys. Just press 1 to silence or enable part 1, 2 to silence or enable part 2 and so on. Obviously this interferes with normal use of the number keys so it is normally disabled whenever you work with text fields in Bounce Metronome.

To switch this feature on even when you use text fields, use SHIFT + SPACE. Then when finished, use SHIFT + SPACE again to switch this feature off.

There are many other keyboard shortcuts which you'll find as you use Bounce Metronome.


You can change the timing for any beat, skip beats, change the instrument to play or show / hide the bouncing balls for any of the parts.


To change the timing or volume of any beat, go to Beats volumes and times (Ctrl + 76).


Or to adjust directly in the bouncing balls display, e.g. in the main window, switch on ADJUST BEAT TIMES in Bounce Options (Ctrl + 220).

Then, in the bouncing balls display you need to see the individual beats as BLOCKS at the bottom of the bouncing balls display. If they are hidden, show them with a click on the grey half circle to the left of the display.

Then LEFT CLICK and drag on the BLOCKS on the line between the beat and the next beat to adjust its timing.

To skip an individual beat, LEFT CLICK on its diamond in the bouncing ball display. It will change to a grayed out ellipse to indicate that the beat is skipped. To adjust accent RIGHT CLICK on the beat.


Your rhythm is made up of several parts. Usually there is one part to play the bar beat, then other parts play the main beat, and any subdivisions.

To see a list of all the parts and adjust the instruments, volumes, and individual bouncing ball colours, go to Show All Parts (Ctrl + 9). To adjust the stereo pan position of any instrument go to Stereo Pan (Ctrl + 50)


You need to show the controls to adjust the parts - so if necessary click on the grey ellipse to the left.

Then use the diamonds, circles and rectangles to the left of the individual parts to hide any of the bouncing balls, change the instrument for a part, or silence any of the parts.

Use the triangles to the right to change the number of beats for any part, or increase or decrease the number of parts.

To find out what any of these controls does, just hover the mouse over it to bring up its tool tip.

You can use the controls in 3D Bounce (Ctrl + 224) similarly.


To see these options, go to Show All Parts (Ctrl + 9) and switch on Add melodic instruments, tunes & harmonic metronome,

You will then see options to make a new fractal tune in Show All Parts (Ctrl + 9). You can also make a rhythm based on the harmonic series using Harmonics Metronome (Ctrl + 229).

The non melodic instruments in Non Melodic Percussion (Ctrl + 21) either don't have a clear pitch, or always play at the same pitch. So to play melody lines or to try out the harmonic metronome you need the melodic instruments, which get added to the Instr. drop menu. You can use Instruments (Ctrl + 8) - the standard midi instruments on your soundcard or synth. Or you can use Wave Shape Player Menu (Ctrl + 196) - new instruments designed for Bounce metronome.

You may also like to try the melodic instruments for normal rhythms in place of the non melodic percussion instruments. If you want to keep the rhythm and the selection of instruments but switch off the harmonic metronomes and the fractal tunes, use the Reset to no tune button in Show All Parts (Ctrl + 9).

To raise or lower the pitch of the fractal tune, rhythm or harmonic metronome use Pitch of 1/1 of Scale (Ctrl + 10).

Hide graphics (button)

Hide Graphics - use this button if you are blind or prefer keyboard to mouse

Metronome Type (drop list)

Choose YOUR BOUNCE METRONOME type from the drop list depending on your interests...

The main window will change depending on which metronome you choose from the drop list, and then you can check the help for the main window for that metronome (hover mouse over main window title bar and see the F1 help for the main window for the metronome).

Here is a quick summary of what each one does:


Free version of Bounce Metronome. Has 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, 9/8, 12/8 and up to 4 subdivisions.


Basic metronome for any time signature (including any odd time signature), and any number of subdivisions.

Also has the gradually changing tempo feature (though with fewer options for it than the Pro metronome).


All the features of the PRO metronome acessible within one window. If you want to focus on one particular feature then try one of the more specialised metronomes.


Use this to practise swing or to use lilt for a more lively rhythm.


For drum rhythms such as paradiddle, and dance rhythms mixing quarter notes, eighth notes and so on. You can select from a drop list of rhythms or enter a new rhythm.


Use this to practise polyrhythms (cross rhythms) such as 2 beats to a measure with 3 simultaneously, or 3 with 4, 3 with 5 etc.


to practise additive rhythms such as 2 + 3 (i.e. 5/4 divided into two beats followed by 3 beats) or 3 + 2 + 3 etc.


Here you can make a cycle of rhythms and polyrhythms one after another. Useful for long additive rhythms with many rhythms one after another - or a cycle that combines ordinary rhythms with polyrhythms.


Fractional rhythms here are ones with either a fractional (e.g. 2.2) or irrational (e.g. golden ratio or PI) number of beats to the measure. The beats drift in and out of phase with the measure line.


Use this to tap out a rhythm and then play the bouncing balls metronome to follow the rhythm of your taps.


Here the idea is that each number of beats per measure is assigned a pitch, so e.g. 7 beats to the measure corresponds to the seventh harmonic, 5 beats to the measure corresponds to the fifth and so on.

The results sound harmoniously together as they use pitches from the harmonic series.

This idea is related to the Lambdoma arrangement of pitches, and to Theremin's Rhythmicon. Originally suggested by Barbara Hero and may be of interest for music therapy.


Play a cycle of rhythms or polyrhythms one after another with the pitches following the harmonic series.


Here the idea is that you can use fractional or irrational rhythms e.g. involving the golden ratio or PI and combine that with the idea of using pitches corresponding to the number of beats to the measure.

So PI / 4 will be played using two pitches at a ratio of PI to 4 to each other.

The golden ratio rhythms are particularly interesting here because the golden ratio rhythm is in a sense the most polyrhythmic possible rhythm (ratio of beats most hard to approximate using a rational number). Similarly the golden ratio pitch interval is the most inharmonic possible pitch interval. It's a pleasant interval actually on most instruments - some inharmonic pitch intervals are very pleasant sounding (the ones that are often hard on the ear are e.g. detuned fifths, close to a very pure interval such as a fifth, octave or fourth,but obviously not hitting it).

So this combination gives the most polyrhythmic possible rhythm combined with the most inharmonic possible interval.


Lets you play a version of Theremin's Rhythmicon using the number keys on your PC keyboard and the first six keys of the first row of letter keys e.g. q w e r t y as the keys of your instrument.

Theremin's Rhythmicon is an instrument with sixteen keys. Each key silences or plays a rhythm with a different number of notes to the measure, starting from 1 for the first key, 2 for second key all the way down to 16 for the last key. Each key also plays a different note of the harmonic series.



Play the rhythms using fractal tunes. This is just a taste of what can be done in this way. It may give some idea of what your rhythm will sound like melodically. It also introduces you to the fractal tunes you can make with Fractal Tune Smithy.

Note - at present Bounce Metronome Pro is at version 3.2. but FTS is still at 3.0. Bounce Metronome Pro has many capabilities not in FTS such as the skipped beats for instance. So most of the tunes you make here can't be played in Tune Smithy itself until the release of version 3.0 hopefully some time in summer or autumn 2009.


Show a ball bouncing on the lyrics as for the Song Car Tunes in early movies.

This metronome is left out of the drop list of metronomes for blind users at present. Perhaps there is something one could do here without the bouncing ball graphics - i.e. to display the words of the lyric in time to the rhythm, perhaps arranged so that the screen reader reads out each word just before it is sung - but I'm not sure at present how useful it would be or how exactly one would do it.

All the other metronomes are accessible to blind users.

/ Show volume as a number (button) (Alt + /)

Change between the volume as text box, or as a graphic...

Click to change from volume as a text box to volume as graphic, and back again.

Example Rhythms (drop list) (Alt + X)

Some example rhythms to show how the notation works...

The drop list just gives a few examples of different types of rhythm to get you started.

Here are some links if you want to find out more about the examples included in the list.

For drum rudiments, many sites, just search google or youtube for "drum rudiments" - here is the wikipedia page:

Interesting discussion here about paradiddles: What is the point of a paradiddle

Standard bell pattern of African and Afro-cuban rhythms:

About the clave rhythm:

The seven wheels of Bembé are by Gary Harding:

"Cuban and Brazilian Hand Drumming", Gary Harding, Alemão Press 1994, Seattle, Washington, page 48

To find out more about them and how you use them, visit Gary Harding's own website here: The Seven Wheels of Bembé <>

I came across them originally through this page on the rhythm website:


The rhythm notation used here just has the note values, with no way to show dynamics or timing variation.

However you can adjust the timing and volume after you make the rhythm. To do that you probably want to make sure that "auto remake" is switched off - because the volumes and timings will get reset if you edit the rhythm even if you don't change anything.

You can vary the volume and e.g. make ghost notes by adjusting the volume for the part in Beats volumes and times (Ctrl + 76).

Also you can set different instruments for each beat with the option to right click on the right bottom corner of a beat in the bouncing balls display to set the instrument for just that beat.

Also you can also adjust the subtle timing of individual beats by hand in Beats volumes and times (Ctrl + 76).

Example Rhythms (Alt + X)

Edit the rhythm here - when you have finished, click "Make rhythm now" - or you can switch on "auto remake". See help for this tooltip for details about the notations you can use...

After you edit the rhythm, you need to use the "Make Rhythm Now" button to make your new rhythm. Note that whenever the rhythm is remade the volumes and times are reset.

If you want the rhythm to update automatically whenever you edit it, them make sure you have Auto Remake selected


Options are:

Musical notes in the Bach musicological font (default for most users)

O notation - a simple notation devised for Tune Smithy

Simplified version of abc notation. (default for the screenreader friendly version)

For details of the three notations you can use, see below.

You can also use the musical notes and rests buttons to enter notes. Your note gets inserted at the current text editing position in the rhythm (usually shown with a flashing "caret").


For accents use

^ Louder accent (Marcatto)

> Quieter accent

The ^ option for accents is ignored in abc notation since it is used for sharps.


The tuplet notation works a bit differently from abc notation tuplets although the notation is similar. The Tune Smithy notation is perhaps a bit easier to use for fragmentary and nested tuplets.

Put brackets around the notes you want to do as tuplets. So you need both open and close brackets (the standard abc notation only uses open brackets with an extra parameter to say how many of the following notes you want to do as tuplets).

See the tuplet rhythm examples in the drop list for examples of how it works.

E.g., in abc notation, in Tune Smithy you do it as:

(3 a a a)

for a triplet

You can bracket as many or as few notes as you like, so

(3 a a) means you play a triplet, three notes in the space of two, but only play the first two notes of the triplet. Probably later on in the measure you have (3a) to complete the tuplet - this lets you break the tuplets up into fragments.

You can also do (3 a a a a a a) to play six notes as triplets, so that will be played in the time of four notes (every three notes played in the time of two).

You can use e.g. (5:2 a a a a a ) to play 5 in the time for 2 notes. where this can be generalized to the likes of (5:3 a a a a a ) for 5 in the time for 3 etc. Again these can be fragmentary.

You can also nest tuplets.


If you are using the Drum and Dance main window, then you can find many more options in Dance rhythms - or any other rhythms with skipped beats (Ctrl + 228))

For instance you can change the notation, have many more buttons to enter notes, and a larger area for entering the text/

You might find the notes too small (or too large)- if so, you can show the text for the rhythm larger or smaller in size using Ctrl + the scroll wheel on a scroll mouse to zoom in or out.


Use | for measure beats. This adds an extra part to the rhythm to play the measure beats.

You can set a rhythm for several parts at once as well like this:

Cascara with Son Clave !

Part 1 O o o *o o *o o | O O o o *o o

Part 2 * O O * | O *o o * O

You can place a description at the head of the rhythm, followed by ! Anything before an exclamation mark ! is treated as part of the description.


If you want to set a pulse, then you can do that using the word Pulse followed by the pulse in the current notation. E.g. in O notation, use Pulse Oo for a dotted quarter note pulse.


This Pulse is used for the "Pulse for this part" in Beats volumes and times (Ctrl + 76). This changes the way the accents get applied for swing and lilt.


If you set the pulse before any parts in the rhythm, it gets used for all the parts. If you set it within a part, it gets used for that part only.


Normally the rhythms in all the parts are synchronised - so that they all use the same size of note for a quarter note (for instance) even if some have more beats than others. The shorter parts are padded out with extra notes to make all the parts the same length.


You can change this setting in Dance rhythms - or any other rhythms with skipped beats (Ctrl + 228), in the drop list where it says "Pad out with extra notes" choose the option to play as a polyrhythm or polymeter. With a polyrhythym, the various parts are played faster or slower as necessary to make sure they all take exactly the same amount of time. With the polymeters option then all the parts play their notes with the same size of quarter note, but not padded out with extra notes, each part just starts again from the start of its rhythm when it reaches the end, as a polymeter.


Another approach is to add "PolyrhythmAnyway" to the text of the rhythm. Has same effect but does it just for the current rhythm. Try the Triplet Pattern Rhythms in 1/8 up to 16/8 preset in the drop list for an example,

This can be useful if you normally want to keep the parts synchronised for most rhythms and find it easier to make a rhythm polyrhythmic by editing it to add "PolyrhythmAnyway" to the rhythm .

You can similarly add "PolymeterAnyway" if you want to do it as a polymeter.


Easiest way to learn it is to just use the buttons to insert notes.

You can also edit it in the normal way and copy and paste notes from one part of the rhythm to another. In the More version of Dance rhythms - or any other rhythms with skipped beats (Ctrl + 228) you can find a couple of text boxes with the notes, and rests which you can use for copy and paste as well.

Beamed notes can be a bit tricky in Bach notation - because you need to use different symbols depending on the notes position and which other notes it connects to.

Easiest way to use it is to use the Auto Beam on edit - or to use the option to beam the highlighted notes together in the More version of Dance rhythms - or any other rhythms with skipped beats (Ctrl + 228)

You can read how it works here:

- look under "Font definition"


You need to set the smallest note size in Dance rhythms - or any other rhythms with skipped beats (Ctrl + 228). Then use a for that note size, and a2 for double it, a4 for four times its size, and so on. So e.g. if you set the smallest note to sixteeenth notes, then a2 is an eighth note, a4 is a quarter note and so on.

Use - for ties. For rests use z so e.g. z2 would be an eighth note rest if you have smallest size set to sixteenth notes.

There are other abc rhythm options as well - but they are NOT YET PROGRAMMED - such as >, < and repeat symbols.

For the musical pitches, use lower case letters for the octave from middle c upwards, and upper case letters for the octave below middle c. Use commas to lower by an octave and apostrophes to raise by an octave. So a four octave C major scale in abc is

C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C D E F G A B c d e f g a b c' d' e' f' g' a' b'

For additional octaves add extra apostrophes or commas, e.g. C,, is C two octaves below middle c.


Prefix with ^ for a sharp and _ for a flat. E.g. _b is b flat and ^c is c sharp.

Eventually I'll add in other abc features.

To find out more about abc notation, see:


This is a notation I invented for the drum metronome, now included mainly for backwards compatibility. It is also the notation used for the rhythms in the drop list - which get auto converted to your current notation when you select from the drop list.

Notation - From largest to smallest beat:

= (equals) whole note

- (minus) half note

O (uppercase O) quarter note

o (lowercase o) eighth note

. (period) sixteenth note

" (double quote) thirty-second note

' (apostrophe) sixty-fourth note

Alternatively you can use the letters in the alphabet:

a whole note

b half note

c quarter note

d eighth note

e sixteenth note

f thirty-second note

g sixty-fourth note

Place * before the beat for a tied note e.g. *O or *d for a quarter note tied to previousnote, *o or *e for a eighth note tie etc.. You can use * on its own as short for *O or *d.

So for instance

O *o is the same as Oo

Place % before the beat for a rest (silent note) e.g. %O or %d for a quarter note skip, %o or %e for a eighth note skipetc. You can use % on its own as short for %O or %d.

Sixteenth note

insert sixteenth note

Dotted Eighth note

insert dotted eighth note

Eighth note

insert eighth note

Dotted Quarter note

insert dotted quarter note

Quarter note

insert quarter note


insert tie

Make rhythm now (button) (Alt + M)

Makes it into a rhythm you can watch in the bouncing balls displays, and listen to.

You can switch on Auto Remake to update this automatically every time you edit the rhythm

Dance rhythms - or any other rhythms with skipped beats (Ctrl + 228)

Set a rhythm using music notation - with examples including ...

For drum rhythms such as paradiddle, and dance rhythms mixing crotchets, quavers and so on. You can select from a drop list of rhythms or enter a new rhythm.

Auto Remake (check box)

switch ON to automatically update the rhythm whenever you edit it. When switched OFF you must use MAKE RHYTHM NOW to update the rhythm when you are ready.

If you switch this off, it lets you keep the old rhythm until you have have finished editing the new one.

So you may prefer it that way.

Also the automatic updates of the rhythm can slow down the editing depending on your computer speed (and how fast you type).

When switched off then the bouncing balls display show the old rhythm, and when you play it, you hear the old rhythm. They update only when you press the Make Rhythm Now button (or select a rhythm from the drop list).

Lilt or swing (check box) (Alt + W)

For a more natural feel or practice Jazz rhythms, Scottish folk music etc...

I'll start by going through some typical ways to use this feature for a quick start. Scroll down if new to swing or lilt to find out more about them - see further down this page - also later in this page you can find out more about how the swing is implemeneted in Bounce metronome.



You can use this to practise swing rhythms such as for Jazz. To do that you set up a rhythm with two subdivisions of each beat - and then as you adjust the swing, the first beat in each pair of subdivisions gets longer and the second beat shorter.


Or you can use this to add a gentle lilt to the rhythm as a whole. You can use it like this with a rhythm without subdivisions such as 4/4. Just switch this on but set the slider to a small amount towards the left of the range. This will make the beats in the bar slightly uneven and more natural sounding which you may find helps with practice.


If you use this option with compound time rhythms like 6/8 then the triplets get swung. In a triplet swing then the first beat is long, second beat is shorter third beat is between the first two in duration. It's similar rhythm to a triple stroke buzz roll on a drum - the triplet beats get shorter and shorter - then there's a slight pause before start of the next triplet just like the (very slight) pause you get as the drummer lifts the drum stick between buzz rolls - not really a pause - just a gap that is a bit longer than the gap between the last two strokes of the buzz roll.


You can also use this option with rhythms with more than 3 subdivisions of each beat. Each one will be played like a buzz roll on a drum of the same number of beats. Again you can use this with a hard swing for an n-tuplet version of the scottich swung triplet or for a buzz roll effect - or with a gentle lilt just to make the n-tuplets a bit uneven in an interesting way. If you want a buzz roll effect with 4 or more subdivisions, make sure you switch off the "Shuffle - Auto pulse as 2 subdivisions if possible" option in Swing, Auto Accents and Time Signature Change - Preferences (Ctrl + 232)


Normally you swing just one of the parts, most often the part with most subdivisions. But when musicians play, the beats themselves are also uneven slightly, as well as the subdivisions. To set up a rhythm like that then you can switch off "Swing part with most beats only" - also switch off "Swing all the same" both in Swing, Auto Accents and Time Signature Change - Preferences (Ctrl + 232).

Then you can set the swing or lilt independently for each part. You might set the subdivisions to a hard swing for instance, and the individual beats to a gentle lilt.

You can also adjust the timing of any individual beats by hand in Template:W - what you might do is set up the rhythm first using swing and lilt for all the parts - then listen to it and then micro-adjust the individual beats to your preference to get the rhythm you like.

The way of doing lilt here for more than two subdivisions is only one way of doing it..


Swung notes are a feature of many types of music. Notes are played alternately longer and shorter than usual though normally notated all the same length. See the wikipedia article on Swung Note.

Types of music that use swung notes include jazz, Celtic music, some dance and country music, and early music particularly France from the middle of the 16th century to late 18th century.

the early music use (notes inégal) see

and the Dolmetsch site on notes inégal

For the precursors much earlier in the Ars Antiqua rhythmic modes:


In nearly all types of music the beats in a bar are uneven in a subtle way. You notice this especially if you compare it with computer generated music with the notes all exactly the same length. Varying the beat with a gentle lilt makes the music much more natural sounding and it is likely to be easier to play along with.

So, if you find it easier to play along with other musicians than a metronome, it may well be because you are used to playing with a lilt and can't adjust your playing to the strict clock like beat of a metronome. This gentle lilt in your playing is something good, to foster. So when you do metronome practice, it is good if you can adjust the metronome to play a lilt :-) (unless you need to play a clock-like strict beat for some reason for a particular piece say).

To do this in Bounce Metronome Pro, just use the gentler settings for swing, such as Gentle lilt. You may also want to unselect "Swing parts with most beats only". This lets you apply a bit of lilt to all the parts in the rhythm, e.g. do the four beats of 4/4 with a lilt to them - a gradual change of timing through the bar. You probably only want a small amount of lilt for this. Then you could use a larger amount of swing if you want to swing quavers subdivisions of each beat.


With swung notes, you can feel that the beats are uneven in a more noticeable way than a gentle lilt. The second beat in a pair is normally faster than the first.

The amount of swing can vary. So for instance you can have a light swing with the beats in a ratio of 3:2 or a hard swing of 3:1 or a medium swing of 2:1. Or the swing can be in between those amounts, it's not a fixed thing that it has to be 2:1 for instance.

A medium swing has the same timing as a triplet crotchet followed by a triplet quaver (UK crotchet followed by quaver). However it isn't really a triplet rhythm - the second note you would expect in a triplet is missing. It is usually notated as a pair of quavers - understood to be played with a "swing feel".

You can set any of these amounts of swing in Bounce Metronome Pro by adjusting the slider.


The medium swing is also called a triplet swing because of the triplet timing. But it isn't really in compound time because of the missing second note. It is a beat with two subdivisions with an uneven rhythm. So, it is really, more accurately, a swung duplet with a triplet timing.


Sometimes though you get true swung triplets - I mean triplets of three notes played with a swung feel to them, as in jigs in Scottish Folk Music. So in those, you have three different note lengths there rather than just the two note lengths of ordinary swing. The usual two numbers such as 2:1 for a medium swing aren't enough to specify the amount of swing of a swung triplet.

To find out more about the swing rhythm for jigs in Celtic music see Jigs: Trickier than you probably think

There are different ways to play the swung triplets of a jig. For a discussion thread see:

Indeed there are many more ways you could play a triplet, with three notes - you could choose any note to be the shortest, then any other note to be the longest, giving six possibilities (L M S, L S M, M L S, S L M, S M L, M S L), and that's not taking account of all the subtle variations in timing within each of those options.

However, one natural and straightforward way is inspired by the way a drum stick behaves if you drop it lightly on the drum. It plays several subdivisions one after another each faster than the previous one, followed by a slightly longer beat to raise the drum stick for the next beat. You get the same rhythm if you drop a bouncing ball from a height. So that's the L S M option. That is exactly how it's played in the various styles of jig rhythm - whether that's a coincidence or not I don't know.

So that's how it's done in Bounce Metronome Pro. So you play the first beat a bit slower than usual, and the next beat a bit faster. That's followed by a medium length beat to raise the drum stick before the next series of bounces. So - just like the way you play the rhythm in a Celtic Jig.

Another subtlety about Jigs is that they are often played with the second triplet in the 6/8 slightly faster than the first so with a very slightly uneven step. Hardly noticeable, but if you listen carefully you hear it.

Also the bars vary in timing too with a lilt - again if you lisen carefully, the first bar may be normal speed, second bar a little faster, third back to normal, fourth a bit slower than the first, the tempo varying very slightly in waves like that. That's common in many styles of music but perhaps a little more noticeable in Celtic music.


When you have four or more subdivisions, then Bounce Metronome Pro does it in the same way, each beat is played faster than the previous one, like the bounces of a bouncing ball or drum stick. So in a four subdivisions swing, the first note is slower than normal, then the next one is a little faster, the third note is the fastest of all, then followed by a slower note again for the lift of the drum stick before the next main beat.

Of course there are many other types of rhythm or "grooves" with uneven timings. Or you may want to vary the swing in subtle ways in the bar.

If that's what you need, you can also set the timings of the beats individually or tap out a rhythm for the bar yourself.

Beats volumes and times (Ctrl + 76)

Adjust the amount of the lilt or swing, or adjust individual beats...

Lets you adjust individual beats by hand. That's the only feature available here for Bounce Metronome LITE. The swing and lilt options are available for the other metronomes.

For a more natural feel or practice Jazz rhythms, Scottish folk music etc...

Reset This (drop list)

Choose: steady tempo - simple tempo changes - or advanced tempo changes including gradually changing tempo...

The simple tempo changes are configures in Automatic Tempo and Rhythm Changes (Ctrl + 245) and the advanced tempo changes in Gradually Changing Tempo etc (Ctrl + 42) or if you want to change the rhythms as well, in Automatic Tempo and Rhythm Changes with Accelerating Tempo, Accents, etc. (Ctrl + 264)

Gradually Changing Tempo etc (Ctrl + 42)

Changing or Accelerating Tempo - Configure the gradually changing tempo...

To use this feature first you have to switch on "Gradually Changing Tempo".

You can set it to vary gradually over a time period in minutes and seconds, or over a number of bars. To use bars, switch on "Show Measures"

go SILENT briefly (check box)


Metronome PLAYS, then goes SILENT.

You continue to play through the silences. Are you in time when it returns?

Configured in PLAY then SILENT for Measures (Ctrl + 260)

This exercise is great for encouraging your ability to keep a steady tempo and to help with precision of timing. Can help you learn to develop your innner sense of rhythm, and to play at a steady tempo without a metronome.

It is harder to do than it seems :)

For help with this see the

If you want an even more challenging exercise, see Mac's Dminishing Click in Automatic Tempo and Rhythm Changes (Ctrl + 245). Or for a less challenging exercise, the Decreasing click - preset with the clicks fading out but never quite vanishing, for four bars at a time.

Configured in PLAY then SILENT for Measures (Ctrl + 260)

You enter the numbers of bars to play and to be silent for in PLAY then SILENT for Measures (Ctrl + 260). You can also hide the bouncing balls independently of the sound.

For rhythms with several parts, such as polyrhythms - then optionally, you can set it to go silent at different times in each part - so that sometimes one rhythm plays, sometimes the other, sometimes both, and sometimes neither.


Continue to play when the sound stops. When the sound comes back again see how close you are to the metronome click.

The bouncing balls help as an extra cue - so you can try it with the bouncing balls continuing through the silence, or switched off as well.


When you practise with the metronome it helps to play exactly in time with the beat, so you "bury the click". This helps with timing precision. (You can also try playing ahead or behind the beat).

Are you so exactly in time that you "bury the beat" right away on the first click after the silence?

Try longer and longer silences and see if you are still in the pocket at the end.


For more about it, and more exercises like this, try Mac Santiago's book "Beyond the Metronome"

See also

Bounce videos

Auto Stereo (check box)

With Stereo Pan, you hear notes played spread out in space. Switch this on if you want to set the stereo pan automatically. Configured in Stereo Pan (Ctrl + 50)...

You can auto pan by part, by position in seed, by position in scale, and various other options.

Auto pan is configured in Stereo Pan (Ctrl + 50).

You can also set the stereo pan positions for each part manually as well, again in Stereo Pan (Ctrl + 50).

Stereo Pan (Ctrl + 50)

Set stereo pan positions for each part for a more immersive experience...

You can use this to place individual instruments in different locations to get a more immersive experience. To take one example, in the traditional seating arrangement for a string quartet the first violin is to far left. Then from left to right you have the second violin, viola, and 'cello in that order with 'cello at far right.

Bounce Options (Ctrl + 220)

Bounce Options include:


also configure MOUSE BUTTONS for the bouncing balls e.g. to adjust beat times, or to set accent volume levels for the right click to accent beats

Many other options

Is set to CHECKED in the Bounce drop menu if the bounce synchronization delay is switched on

Bar beat ball (check box)

Display a bouncing ball for bar beat parts (parts with one beat to the measure)

3D Bounce (Ctrl + 224)

Show in 3D as drum sticks, conductor's batons, or bouncing balls...

For options for the 3D visuals, see 3D Bounce - 3D Visuals (Ctrl + 226)

Auto Accents (check box) (Alt + C)

Varies volumes of the OFF BEAT NOTES automatically. For triplets or n-tuplets, makes them gradually quieter, in the way a drumstick bounces if you let it fall loosely...

When lilted in pairs then the second beat is quieter than the first in each pair. When lilted in triplets or more than three notes, each beat is quieter than the previous one exactly in the way it happens with a bouncing ball or drumstick (exponential decay). You can also set it to accent the last beat slightly in triplets or n-tuplets, as players sometimes do. Or you can set it to accent alternate notes. This depends on your settings in Swing, Auto Accents and Time Signature Change - Preferences (Ctrl + 232)

To get syncopation and Jazz type accents, i.e. with the off beat notes accented, set the amount of the auto accents larger than 100.


The automatic choice to lilt in pairs, triplets, or more notes depends on the reinforced beats.

For instance in the 6/8 preset the third beat is reinforced, as it is played in both of the first two parts. So this rhythm is lilted or swung as two triplets.

In 3/4 with each crotchet split into quavers, the second and fourth beats of the six beat part are reinforced. So this time, the six beats (of part 2) are lilted or swung in pairs.

In both of those examples the number of beats to the bar is the same, six beats for part 1.

You can override this by setting the metrical pulse yourself in Beats volumes and times (Ctrl + 76)

You can set any number as the metrical pulse and indeed, one can get interesting rhythms by using a pulse that doesn't match the rhythm, e.g. a metrical pulse of 4 in 6/8 or whatever.

Accent (button)

click to switch on NORMAL ACCENTS - ON THE BEATS

You can then click a second time for Jazz accents...

This button will be labelled Accent when the volume is set to normal accents, or Jazz if set to Jazz accents.

You can then press the button to switch between the two at any time. If set to normal accents, changes volume to 300 for Jazz accents. If set to Jazz accents, sets this to 50.

How this works is configured in {{w232]]

If you already have the desired type of accent you can use SHIFT + click on the button to set it to the preset value without switching the type of accent (saves need to click twice to get back to desired type of accent).

You need the volume to be over 100% for Jazz type accents between the main beats of the rhythm.

You need it to be below 100% for normal accents - emphasize first beat in each subdivision.


Enter Tempo in Beats per Minute (like heart rates)- including decimal values or fractional BPM - or optionally as time for note in seconds...

Vary this to play the rhythm faster or slower.

You can use decimals, or ratios like 53/2 or any formula e.g. 3*21 or whatever.

If you want to enter the time for the note instead there's an option to do this in Tempo Dial - Preferences (Ctrl + 223)


You can also adjust the number here with click and drag. Click on the number and then with the mouse button held down, drag the mouse cursor up out of the text box to increase the number. Drag downwards to decrease the number. If there's a decimal point then you can adjust the numbers either side of the point in the same way, and you can also use Ctrl, Shift or Alt + click / drag to adjust by larger amounts. If it's a formula e.g. 3*21 you can use Ctrl +click to adjust the two numbers independently.

The keyboard shortcut to adjust the number in the same way is Page up or Page down.


This normally shows the tempo as beats per minute (BPM) - like heart rates. So for instance 60 is 60 beats a minute, i.e. one beat per second. For more about BPM see the tool tip help for the tempo dial Tempo Dial (Ctrl + 222).

You can show the tempo for any part in the rhythm.

You can see the tempi for all the parts in the rhythm in the bouncing all display in the main Bounce metronome window and in 2D Bounce (Ctrl + 219), also as a text field in the More version of Tempo Dial - Preferences (Ctrl + 223).

You can see the tempo as a tempo dial in the main window or in 2D Bounce (Ctrl + 219).


Many of the rhythms use several tempi at once. All the tempi are listed at the top of the bouncing ball display.

Example: with the preset 6/8 rhythm, you will see three tempi, for the bar beats, the two beats to a bar (for the centre beat) - and the six beats to a bar.

You can select the part to show on the tempo dial in Tempo Dial - Preferences (Ctrl + 223). Or left or right click on the part number at top left of the dial as a quick way to skip to the next or previous part, also the tempo part is synchronised with the selected part in Beats volumes and times (Ctrl + 76) or Beats As Text (Ctrl + 77).

When you set the tempo for any of the parts, the tempi for all the other parts will be updated to match. E.g. if you set the quaver tempo to 120 BPM for a 6/7 rhythm, the tempo for the dotted crotchets automatically updates to 40 BPM (a third of the tempo because the individual notes are three times longer).


Shows balls bouncing in time with the rhythm, and various controls you can use to adjust the rhythm...


LEFT CLICK ON THE GRAY SEMICIRCLES to Show / hide the blocks and the parts adjustments.

LEFT or RIGHT CLICK on BLOCKS to ADJUST INDIVIDUAL BEATS, e.g. to skip beats, accent beats, or change volumes. Hover the mouse over a beat for more information.

You can also LEFT CLICK on the main display to restart the bar. This only works if the balls are bouncing silently. When the sound is playing the bouncing balls always synchronise with the sound.

You see this tip when you hover the mouse over the bouncing balls themselves. hover the mouse over the title bar of 2D Bounce (Ctrl + 219) for background information.


The gray semi-circles to left and right can be used to show the beats for each part as blocks below the bouncing balls - and to show controls you can use to adjust the individual parts in the rhythm.

Each row of shaded blocks shows one of the parts. For instance 6/8 has three parts. One of the parts plays the six beats to a bar (as quavers). Another part plays two beats to the bar, so that you can hear the middle beat clearly. Another part plays the bar beat.

Each row is the same colour hue as its bouncing ball, though lighter in shade. In each row, the blocks show the individual beats in the rhythm, and the size of each block shows the duration of the beat. The blocks are all done with the first beat of the bar to the left, and last beat to the right (and shown reversed when the balls bounce from right to left).

If you have the display set up so that all the balls bounce together then the balls for each part bounce on the divisions between the beats. However you may have the balls bouncing in opposite directions for polyrhythms like 3 with 4 / 4. If you have a setup like that and also beats varying in size, then the balls may not bounce on the divisions between beats for all the parts.


You can LEFT CLICK on a beat to SKIP it, or to adjust the timing of individual beats. You can RIGHT CLICK to ACCENT it, and MIDDLE CLICK or SHIFT + CLICK to adjust the volumes. For more details hover the mouse over the blocks.


You can RIGHT CLICK on any of the parts, to tap out an entire new rhythm. The last click ends the bar so for instance to tap out a bar with four beats, tap four times for your rhythm, then add a fifth tap for the start of the next bar.

Right click on the part you want to adjust the rhythm for - as the rhythm is used for the currently highlighted part.

Another way to tap out an entire rhythm is to use the SPACE BAR on your keyboard. Again, right click on the desired part first to choose the part to set the rhythm for.

Then use Ctrl + SPACE to switch on the SPACE BAR RHYTHM TAPS. Then tap out the rhythm. Use CTRL + SPACE to switch the taps off again when finished


To play your rhythm at the speed you tapped it, set the beats tempo in the main window to 60 beats per minute. Set it faster than that, or slower. if you want it speeded up or slowed down.


You can ue the diamonds, circles and rectangles to the left of the bouncing ball display to hide any of the bouncing balls, change the instrument for a part, or silence any of the parts.

You can use the triangles to the right to vary the number of beats in each part or the number of parts.

To find out what one of those controls does - just hover the mouse over it.


These rhythms show up as separate bars along the bottom of the window, one after another, with only one of them highlighted.

With these rhythms, you can click to select one of the bars of the rhythm - this lets you change between the sections of the script manually.

These rhythms are made automatically by Bounce metronome by creating a script for Tune Script (Ctrl + 171). Because the rhythm is scripted, you can't adjust the beat timings by hand for these rhythms, at least not permanently. If you do adjust the individual beats (for instance using Beats volumes and times (Ctrl + 76)) then the next time that bar is played the script will just set the beats back to the way they were before.

However you can play these rhythms with swing.

You can also make your own scripted rhythms with skipped beats or using any of the other features of Bounce metronome using Tune Script (Ctrl + 171) - explore auto script in that window.

For instance, one way to do it, if you switch on auto script and then play the rhythm slowly until the script highlight reaches the bar you want to adjust, you can then adjust the beats using Beats volumes and times (Ctrl + 76) as normal and your changes will be added into the script at that point.


Click to set Tempo or tap with BACKSPACE.

Or use ARROW KEYS to alter speed of rhythm...

Conducting Patterns

Choose the conducting patterns to use - the first option follows the standard conducting paterns from Brock McElheran's book...

The left to right option is useful especially for the polymeters and the polyrhythms with polyrhythmic bar beats - it's similar to the bounce left to right but the balls don't need to bounce in synchrony with each other.

The up beat up option is for fun and not a standard pattern - conductors do raise the baton high on the up beat - but normally the up beat starts at the moment when you begin the upward movement - not at the end of the upward motion of the baton (the end of the upward motion is a less precise moment of time, because the baton slows down and so is moving slowly at that point). See below for details.

The custom option let's you configure your own patterns - which you can do in Conducting Patterns (Ctrl + 247)


The bounce patterns used here are the ones recommended by Brock McElheran - see:

McElheran, Brock. "Conducting Technique for Beginners and Professionals ", 1989, New York and Oxford, OUP

In all conducting patterns, you raise the baton high after the start of the last beat of the bar. This is called the up-beat. Then it is dropped vertically to emphasize the first beat of the bar, called the down beat. So you raise the baton high BEFORE the first (or down) beat.

This helps you to see where you are in the bar and to anticipate the first beat before it happens.


This style of conducting uses an "invisible horizontal plane" as recommended by Brock McElheran. He recommends it because it makes it easier for performers to anticipate the moment of the beat (particularly if seated to one side of the conductor).

So with this style of conducting, you play the note at the moment when the baton bounces off the "invisible horizontal plane", and all the beats are conducted bouncing off the same horizontal plane.


As for the particular pattern - e.g. 3 4 1 2 for 4/4, different conductors may use slightly different bounce patterns.

An alternative for 4/4 is 3 1 4 2 i.e. the conductor's baton bounces over the position of the down beat twice, from 2 to 3 and then back again from 3 to 4. You can set your own custom patterns in Conducting Patterns (Ctrl + 247).

Also an alternative to the horizontal plane is to have the bounces at different heights. So for instance, in 9/8 the first three beats might be on one level, then the other groups of beats are conducted at successively higher levels instead of all on the same horizontal plane.

I haven't implemented this as a feature in Bounce metronome yet. It could be done if there was enough interest.

Another idea which perhaps I might do some day is to add an option to record the actual conducting movements of a conductor and play those back in Bounce metronome. See


The last option Up Beat Up is just for fun. Normally conductors do raise the baton for the up beat, it's true. But normally the "ictus" - the moment the up beat starts - is considered to be the moment when the baton starts to go up rather than the moment when it reaches the top.

See e.g.

for the position of the ictus in e.g. 3/4

But for this "Up Beat Up" option - just for fun - the up beat STARTS when the baton reaches the UP position.

It is almost impossible to show a distinct moment of time visually at the end of the upward movement of the baton if you conduct by hand because the hand naturally slows down as it goes up.

To show an "ictus" at the top of the up-beat you would have to make a bouncing flick downwards instead of upwards, which is an unnatural thing to do (it's the opposite to the way gravity works).

It is just here for fun :-)

Also because some people think this is how you conduct, so by including it as an example and explaining that that's not how it isn't done, helps to make that clear.

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