Articles

  • Drums

    Metronome – Inputting different time signature/beat combinations

    We have had a few queries on how to set up different time signature/beat combinations in Metronome Beats so I thought I would give a quick explanation of how it works.

  • The golden hour, twilight, and the position of the sun

    Most of us find it useful to know when sunrise and sunset will occur on any given day. However, knowing the timing of other solar events can also help with deciding when to undertake many activities. For example, photographers often talk of the “golden hour” when lighting conditions are better for taking photos. Keen astronomers look for the end of “astronomical twilight” so that they know they have a better chance of observing clearly the night sky. We have developed our Sun Position app to provide information on the following times of day:

  • Scales Practice – Major and Minor Scales

    I decided to develop our Scales Practice app after coming back to playing the cello following a break of 10 years. I struggled a bit with remembering any of the different scales I had previously learnt! At the same time I also wrote myself a quick “cheat sheet” covering the different types of scales, their key signatures, and their relationship with each other. This is summarised below – I hope you find it useful to!

  • Using a metronome to improve your golf

    An important element of good golf is keeping the tempo or rhythm of your swing consistent. You will have an ideal tempo to your putting and your swing, however keeping it the same can be challenging! Many golfers use metronomes such as Metronome Beats to help with this element of their swing.

  • Magnetometers, accelerometers, and the calibration procedure for your Android device

    What is an accelerometer or a magnetometer? Many Android apps rely on the accuracy of sensors within your device to work properly. Below I have set out what these sensors are, with a focus on how they are used to produce an accurate compass bearing. I have also included some advice on how to calibrate your device to ensure that you get the best readings from these sensors.

  • Transposing for different instruments

    When is a C not a C?  When you are playing a transposing instrument!

  • Setting sun

    Photography and the position of the sun

    The position of the sun, time of day, and the timing of sunrise and sunset is important for both landscape and general photography. It determines the direction of sunlight, direction and size of shadows, availability and color of natural light.

  • Exercises for practising your music scales

    As aspiring musicians we know that we should practice our scales regularly. But practicing scales can be boring at times, as well as difficult. How can we check our intonation when practising at home? How do we know that we’ve got that scale right? What exercises should we be doing to improve our technique?

  • Metronome Exercises

    Our main reason for developing our app Metronome Beats was to help musicians improve their music playing (although we have now found several other uses including for golf,  exercise, and dancing practice!). This post covers the benefits to musicians of using a metronome, and gives some examples of practice exercises which you can do.

  • Using basic trigonometry to measure distance

    Within our Quick Measure App we use basic trigonometry to calculate distance. You input the height of your device, point your phone at the base of an object and then the app gives you the distance to that object. Below I explain how this calculation is done within the app.

  • Navigating using the path of the sun

    Having a basic understanding of the position of the sun in relation to the earth and how this changes throughout the year means that you will always have a  navigation tool to hand (assuming you can see the sun!).

  • Running with a metronome

    More and more people are running with a metronome to help improve their technique. Below I set out how runners are using our Metronome Beats app to help them improve their running form and shorten their stride.

  • What are the notes on a sheet of music?

    This post covers one of the basics of reading music – the name and pitch (how high or low they are) of notes on a sheet of music. To hear how these different notes sound you can use the Scales Practice app for Android. The app allows you to choose scales with different starting notes, see how these notes appear on a music stave, and then play them so you can hear how they sound.

  • Buying a new house? See how the position of the sun might affect it

    Are you looking to buy a house or build a new one? When choosing a home it is important to know where the sun will be at different times of the day and year, and when different parts of the house or garden will be light or shaded. You will typically only be visiting a property for a small number of viewings before you commit. How do you know where the sun might be at different times and on different days?

  • Playing guitar

    Music Intonation Exercises

    In music terms, intonation refers to pitch accuracy – whether a note is played/sung ‘in tune’. When you tune your instrument at the beginning of a practice session, you are adjusting the pitch of a particular note (for example an open string) until it matches a particular reference tone. Whilst you are playing, you are constantly checking and potentially adjusting to ensure that the notes you play are in tune. Having good intonation is an essential part of playing a musical instrument well.

  • Using a Metronome for exercise workouts

    Are you following an exercise workout which requires the use of slow/timed repetitions? Do you struggle with maintaining an even tempo as you contract and relax your muscles or forget how many repetitions you have done? A metronome such as Metronome Beats can help you with this timing, leaving your mind free to concentrate on doing your exercises properly.

  • The compass is not working on my Android phone

    We often get queries from Android users who have tried opening a compass app on their phone and it just freezes, or says “can not access magnetic field data.” This is a common problem. Below are some tips on why this could be happening and how you might be able to get the compass to work.

  • The Sensors in Your Android Device

    This article gives an overview of the sensors supported by the Android operating system, what they are used for, and how you can find out whether your device has them.