Over the last few weeks, I’ve been making improvements to the ‘manual metronome’ described in How To Build A Time Machine. As you can see, it now looks quite different:
Dorian had the inspired idea to paint the wood with chalkboard paint. He likes to decorate it, while I can easily draw attention to different beats and rhythms.
There are now twelve clickers instead of eight, allowing for more complex rhythms. After trying several materials and mechanisms, we decided on short lengths of metal tubing, held in place by eye bolts.
Each clicker can be twisted so as to hit or avoid the metal strip attached to the wheel (I used a feeler gauge).
The downbeat is now at the bottom of the wheel and we used a plastic tube to give it a different and distinct sound from the others.
Finally, I removed the tire to give more overall volume and added a Brodie knob (as found on fork-lifts etc) to make turning and spinning the wheel easier.
Below is a little video of Dorian having fun with the Time Machine. Sometimes he likes to spin the wheel and run or dance (I love how he slows down as the wheel slows); sometimes he likes to hold the wheel and turn it, creating a steadier tempo. His choice of which clickers to use is somewhat random at the moment, but I’m sure this will become a valuable tool for learning and experiencing rhythm in the future.