Get Your Groove on With these Top 10 Metronomes

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Introduction

For a musician, timing is very critical for any performance. The feel, tempo and rhythm forms the core of the music and getting that right is something all musicians gun for regardless of the instruments chosen to play. The drummer of a band is always expected to be the official timekeeper. Even though his role is primarily rhythm, groove and time keeping, no drummer can be perfect at timekeeping. Not only the drummer but all musicians should have a strong sense of time to blend in with the band’s performance. A metronome solves the dilemma of timekeeping while practicing or playing your piece of music and checking whether you are in sync with the tempo. For an advanced musical repertoire you need the best metronome to create your musical piece.

Metronomes make you a better player and help get your groove on by aiding in finding the right rhythm and tone to your music. New generation metronomes have many added features like human voice count which helps you track the beat and keeps you from the hassle of counting it yourself.  Finding the right metronome will depend on the instrument that you are using and the features that you want.

### We have compiled a list of best metronomes that we think will help you find the right beat and rhythm to your new musical piece.

Metronome

Beats per minute

Type

Price

BOSS DB-90 Metronome

30- 250

Digital

Korg MA1BL

30 -252

Digital

KLIQ MetroPitch

30-250

Digital

Tama rhythm watch rw200

35-250

Digital

Wittner 803M Metronome

40- 280

Mechanical

Korg  KDM-2

30 - 252

Digital

Seiko SQ50-V

40 - 208

Dial

Matrix MR-600

40 - 216

Dial

Korg TM-60

30 - 252

Digital

Soundbrenner Pulse

30 - 300

Digital

1. BOSS DB-90 Metronome

Compared to other metronomes in the market, the BOSS DB-90 Metronome is a state of the art practicing machine. It is a versatile one stop tool for your music practice and can take your timekeeping as far as it can go to benefit your practice session. You might find it slightly expensive; however, this is well worth the money as the machine packs a punch.

Beginning with the most basic features, you can power up the device using the start/stop button. There is also a footswitch to get the device rolling. The footswitch feature has made the product quite popular among guitarists because you can start/stop the device without your hands being pried away from the guitar.

Coming to the advanced features of the DB-90, it has 50 user-programmable memory locations for saving metronome setups and 10 locations to store reference tone setups. Loop function will let you play through the memory locations, with each repeating a customized setup a number of times.

Next to the loop function button there is a tempo button. The tempo range of the device is from 30 beats per minute through 250 beats per minute. The big yellow dial positioned at the front of the metronome controls the tempo. .

The DB-90 can not only support guitars but you can also plug in a plethora of musical instruments including drum triggers, keyboards, microphones etc. Its expansive memory slots and numerous features make it one of the most desired metronomes in the market.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • MIDI in port allows it to function as a Digital Audio Workstation

Cons

  • Difficult to identify the functions of the buttons

2.  Korg MA1BL

The Korg MA1BL is a visual beat counting metronome making it an excellent choice for your guitar practice sessions. The metronome is a tiny, inexpensive device which features a display panel with several buttons. Available in two different color schemes, the device is a great rhythm training aid for musicians.

The visual counter makes it easier to practice rhythm and phrasing. The beat display offers eight rhythm types and also offers nine beats. It has triangular icons which signify the specified beat. The triangular icon changes color from left to right to indicate the current beat. The device accompanies a beat/rhythm button along with an up and down button to alter the beat and rhythm.

Besides the versatile rhythm and beat feature, the MA1BL has a diverse tempo feature as well. You can set tempos ranging from 30 to 252 beats per minute and set them in three different modes. These include full steps, tap temp input and pendulum steps.

The metronome also functions as a chromatic tuner. It is equipped with a tuner button that lets you tune your guitar. You can employ the sound out mode while tuning which produces a reference pitch selectable over a full octave of C4 to B4.

Pros

  • Doubles as a chromatic tuner
  • Three different modes to set the tempo

Cons

  • Emits a beeping sound instead of a click

3. KLIQ MetroPitch

Ever feel like your metronome should be a metronome plus a tuner and a perfect pitch generator? Have a look at the KLIQ MetroPitch, a pocket sized three in one metronome sporting a variety of beat and rhythm patterns to improve your timing in different music styles.

The metronome supports bass, guitar, violin and ukulele and can suit any kind of acoustic instrument. You can choose between instruments by moving the jog dial positioned on the metronome. The display panel signifies the mode selected and also shows the tempo chosen with the help of the jog dial. There is a built in tap tempo with a broad range of 30-250 beats per minute.  

No matter what instrument you choose to play with the Metropitch will tune it without fail. The tuner gives accurate and clear readings of any pitch detected. The tone generator helps you tune your instrument while listening to a reference pitch.However, it is not suitable for a live performance.

Another important facet of the device is its 3 year manufacturer guarantee. If it breaks or stops working, KLIQ will give you a full refund.

Pros

  • Functions as a tuner and a tone generator
  • Can tune any instrument

Cons

  • Cannot be used on stage as a tuner

4. Tama RW200 Rhythm Watch

Tama RW200 Rhythm Watch is a drummer’s metronome and is skilled at handling tempo of your music at home as well as on stage. Compared to other metronomes it’s large in size and has rows of buttons making it an excellent timekeeping companion for your live performances. The volume of the device is also quite high so you can hear it while playing the drums.

The key feature of the metronome is that it possesses two different beep sounds to help you timekeeping without getting bored of one single beep sound throughout your practice session. These two different beep sounds have different tones which lets you change time signatures, accents, and more.

The time signature is signified on the digital display of the device. It also indicates the tempo you are playing at. The backlit display sports a simple design which is easy to read and follow. There are two LED lights located on either sides of the display which keep time. The red LED can count the quarter notes and the green all the notes in between.

There is a dial for quick tempo adjustments and to choose separate volumes for quarter notes, eighths and triplets. Also,  six small dials are spread across the middle of the machine. The dial positioned at the extreme right is the master volume. The one next to the master volume is the beat dial which helps to raise the volume of the beat chosen. There are a certain number of beats you can choose by pressing on the beat button placed next to the large jog dial.

To start a click track you have to first choose the style of click that you prefer. You can mix and match between four 4 different click sounds; quarter notes, eight notes, 16th notes, and triplet notes.

Even though, Rhythm Watch is priced slightly higher, it is a handy device for timekeeping. The click track is easy to set up and it can be easily heard over the instrument you are playing making it the perfect choice for drummers.

Pros

  • Four different clicks
  • Suitable for studio and onstage music productions

Cons

  • Expensive

5. Wittner 803M Metronome

Wittner metronomes have a long history. The company which began in 1895 in West Germany has since been manufacturing metronomes until present. Wittner metronomes have survived the test of time and are  still a favorite among many who desire for a timeless machine for their practice session.

The Wittner 803M metronome is a stylish mechanical metronome weighing eleven pounds. Sporting fine German craftsmanship, the metronome is housed in a walnut enclosure giving it the look of a high end metronome. To add an extra effect to the design, the walnut enclosure has a matte finish for gloss and protection.

The feature that sets the metronome apart is the fact that it is devoid of a bell. This is an advantage if you want to practice silently without waking your neighbors or your roommates. However, without a bell practicing with different time signatures would be difficult.

Besides the obvious looks of the device, it also sounds great too. The clicks are deep, rich, and resonant. They are loud in volume, sound more natural compared to other metronomes. The tempo of the machine ranges from 40 to 280 beats per minute, much wider than most mechanical metronomes in the market.

Pros

  • Loud clicks
  • 40 to 280 bpm

Cons

  • Practicing with different time signatures is tough

6. Korg KDM-2

Looking for metronome with the right sound that wouldn’t hurt your ears even after long hours of playing? The Korg KDM-2 is the right pick for you. This digital metronome has become popular among timekeepers for its perfect sound that will let you hear it loud and clear over the instrument that you are playing.

Unlike the electronic beeps that many metronomes use, the Korg KDM-2 has a wood block sound that is loud and pleasing to the ear. Besides, the device has three different pulse-code modulation [PCM] sounds, namely cowbell agogo and clave for the beat. Therefore, you can select the sound that suits the instrument you are playing.

The device offers 19 beat patterns. You can adjust the beats and have variations like son clave and rumba clave. It is also possible to set presets for clave and similar rhythms.

Coming to setting the tempo, you can set it in three ways. The full step mode allows you to adjust the tempo over a range of 30 to 252 BPM. Tap tempo will let you set the tempo by pressing the TAP button at the desired interval. And, the third mode, the pendulum step mode lets you set the tempo using preset tempo settings. KDM-2 allows you to change the change tempos in units of four beats at a time. It also lets you change tempos one beat at a time.

The noteworthy feature of Korg KDM-2 is the memory backup function that saves the specified tempo, beat, calibration, and reference pitch even when the device is off. The metronome’s long lasting battery life coupled with its numerous beat patterns makes it a great product.

Pros

  • Louder click
  • 19 beat patterns

Cons

  • The scroll wheel to change the tempo is difficult to turn

7. Seiko SQ50-V Metronome

Seiko SQ50-V Metronome is a basic metronome which allows one handed operation. It features a smooth contour and the glossy black finish gives it a classy look. Even though it’s plastic, the device is durable.

This easy to use metronome has two different tempo sounds and two different beat sounds. A large LED light indicates the tempo changes. The tempo ranges from 40 to 208 beats per minute and can be altered by a dial. The LED light also indicates beat changes. To make the beat keeping easier the device lets you combine the beats with the click sound.

The metronome possesses two click sounds. The first click setting resembles a wood block sound while the second setting is more like the click of a mechanical metronome.

The external features of the metronome are quite simple. It is equipped with an easy to adjust tempo dial, simple volume wheel, foldout wire stand and three-position rocker switch for powering up the device. The 9V battery can last you a year even with daily use. For those who are looking for an entry level dial metronome instead of an electronic metronome, Seiko SQ50-V is the right pick.

Pros

  • Allows one handed operation
  • Two different click sounds

Cons

  • Not suitable for musicians requiring a downbeat tone

8. Matrix MR-600

The Matrix MR-600 is an entry level dial metronome best suited for advancing students. The device is simple to operate and runs on a 9V battery which can last you for a long time. A three position switch placed above the dial helps power the device.

The key feature of the metronome is the adjustable beat feature which emphasizes the downbeat depending on the choice of your beat. The adjustable downbeat feature has made Matrix MR-600 popular among musicians. If you alter the beat of the metronome it is equipped to give out a different pitch .

The MR600 has operating modes: metronome or sound (chromatic pitch). There is an in-built chromatic pitch generator. You can adjust the pitch by moving the dial. There is a volume control button to adjust the volume of the device.

You would also love the classic sound of the metronome instead of the typical digital beep. The MR600 has an old-school simplicity with a variety of choices for downbeats and is a great beginner metronome.

Pros

  • Quick tempo selection
  • Classic sound

Cons

  • Preset rhythm numbers

9. Korg TM-60

Korg TM-60 hails from the best-selling TM tuner series from Korg. The metronome features a tuner and a metronome making it a perfect companion for your practice sessions.

The digital type display features a needle type meter that can accurately detect the pitch without any time lag. The TM 60 is equipped to detect pitches and note names for a variety of instruments including ukulele. The metronome sports a wide detection range of C1 to C8. You can also adjust the calibration to support various pitches.

The metronome covers you from 30 to 252 beats per minute, and features plenty of beat variations, including odd meters. This means that you will no longer have to play on the off beats while practicing a 7/4 rhythm over a 4/4 beat. The device allows you to choose from three types of tempo settings and 15 rhythm variations.

Coming to the features of the tuner, the metronome is fitted with two modes that help you tune your instrument easily. The Sound Out mode lets you listen to a reference tone from connected headphones or from an internal speaker to help you tune.

The second mode which is the Sound Back mode produces the reference tone that is closest to the pitch that you’re playing and indicates the input pitch on the meter. Since this feature lets you check the pitch with both eye and ear, it lets you tune more accurately, and also aids better ear training.  

Pros

  • Tuner cum metronome
  • Sound out mode and Sound back mode for precision tuning

Cons

  • The timekeeping sound is distracting

10. Soundbrenner Pulse

Soundbrenner Pulse is the first wearable metronome manufactured by Soundbrenner. What makes the watch like metronome a class apart from other metronomes is the fact that it uses strong vibrations along with visual and audible cues to provide tempo information to the wearer.

Vibrations are produced by Pulse’s motor is  seven times stronger than your average smartwatch. The vibration is strong and clear and has different levels of intensity which can be set according to your preference. Just like any other metronome there are visual cues and audible clicks serving as tempo feedback apart from vibrations.

You can begin the vibration in two ways; double tap your fingers at the middle of the metronome. It then starts at the default tempo of 120 beats per minute. You can adjust the tempo by turning the outer wheel or select the tempo you want by tapping the metronome. Three taps are enough to get your metronome vibrating. However, keep in mind that the longer the tap the more accurate the tempo of your instrument.  Each vibration causes a flash of white light which can be changed using the Soundbrenner app.

You can connect the metronome to the Soundbrenner app via bluetooth. The app helps customize the settings of the Pulse. Time signatures, accents, notes and many other features are up for tweaking. Using the app you can create and store click tracks to help your rehearsals. The app also has the ability to connect up to five devices to the same click. This means that your bandmates can all play along the same metronome click.

The main problem with the metronome is that there is no metronome display. The only way to set the metronome speed is via the app.

Pros

  • All features are customizable
  • DAW compatible
  • Sync up to five pulses at once

Cons

  • DAW compatibility limited to Mac OS
  • No metronome display

Buyer’s Guide

1. Types of metronomes
 Analog or Mechanical metronomes

 Mechanical metronomes are old school wind up metronomes which doesn’t require electricity. Most of these metronomes have a decent number of speeds and you can adjust the speed by simply moving the weight on the pendulum arm up and down.  

a. Digital metronomes

Digital metronomes are new kinds of metronomes which need a power source to function.  You can accent beats, have visual cues, select the sound of the click and customize many more features with a digital metronome. There are different kinds of digital metronomes namely; dial, clip on, pedal, credit card and in ear metronomes.

b. App-based metronomes  

App-based metronomes are the most convenient metronomes around and offer all the features a digital metronome can offer. Changing beats, choosing between various types of instruments, laser targeted tempo markings, in-ear listening; name it you have it. However, these apps consume a lot of battery, so make sure you bring your charger with you if you want to keep time for your whole practice session.

2. Sound

Old time mechanical metronomes emit a clicking sound as the pendulum moves. Digital metronomes generally emit a beep instead of a clicking sound. However, new generation digital metronomes give you the option to choose between various timekeeping sounds.

3. LCD screen

Digital metronomes are fitted with LCD screens so you can easily view the tempo and rhythm settings. Some metronomes also have a needle type feature to resemble a pendulum to accurately measure the pitch.

4. Backup memory

Some metronomes allow you to have preset settings so that your rehearsals and practice sessions get easier. You can have preset tempo settings, rhythm numbers, presets for beats and much more.

FAQs

1.  What is the standard metronome beat?  

Most metronomes play beats ranging from 35 to 250 beats per minute.

2. What is 4/4 on a metronome?

4/4 is a time signature which indicates how many beats are in a bar. Time signatures are found at the start of a musical piece after the clefs and the key signature. Time signatures consist of two numbers. The top number marks the number of beats in a measure and the bottom number signifies the value of the beat.

Usually there are 2, 4 or 6 beats per measure. Beats are half notes when the top number is 2 on the time signature and quarter notes when the bottom number is 4 on the time signature. Therefore, 4/4 is 4 quarter beats per measure, 3/4 is 3 quarter beats per measure and 2/2 is 2 half notes per measure.

3. What is the best metronome for piano?  

We advise pianists to stay away from mechanical metronomes. The tempo ranges are wide for these metronomes. Therefore, setting a specific tempo would be impossible. Boss DB-90 is the best bet when it comes to a metronome for pianos. Though it is a little big, the metronome is versatile. This lets you to have louder or softer accents, clicks, hi-hats and other samples at the specific balance you desire.

Boss DB-90’s special feature is the ability to loop certain patterns and combinations over and over. It also has human voice counting feature, therefore, you don’t have to count the beats yourself.  

4. Can I just use a free metronome app on my phone?

You can use a free metronome app on your phone for timekeeping while practicing. Metronome apps are convenient and easily available. Also, since your smartphone is with you always, you don’t have to remember to carry a separate metronome to your practice sessions.

5. How do I use a metronome?

       The first thing to do while figuring out how to use a metronome is to find the time signature. Most of the music sheet you find will have it included. The top number marks the number of beats in a measure and the bottom number signifies the value of the beat. The most common signatures are 4/4–also known as common time–2/4, and 3/4.

Second important thing is to set the tempo. Tempo is measured in Beats Per Minute [BPM].  Typical BPM for hip hop and chill out music is 85 to 120 and the BPM of rock and metal music usually lies between 100 to 160. If you are creating complex pieces with lots of quick notes and arrangements, it is advised to start off at a slower tempo like at 70 BPM.

Next thing would be to set the volume of the metronome. This is not as applicable for an analog metronome, but both digital and electronic metronomes give you the option to alter the volume of the clicks. If you are a beginner, it would be better if you keep it on the louder side. But both digital and electronic metronomes give you the option to change the volume of the clicks. As you get better on your pacing, you can start lowering the volume to depend on it less. Metronome can then be simply used as a background guide to have in case you mix up or make a mistake that affects your timing.

Conclusion

We chose the Boss DB 90 as there is nothing this metronome can’t handle. The DB-90 can not only support guitars but can also connect a wide variety of musical instruments including drum trigger, keyboards, microphones etc. The device lets you mix in the triplets at the volume you prefer and is considered to be better than the metronome apps . It also has advanced features compared to other metronomes and accompanies a large display which makes it easier to track time signature and BPM.

Choosing the right metronome will depend on your preference. Some might like to go old school and pick up an old fashioned mechanical metronome while others will go for a digital one which makes the creation of your musical piece easier.  The primary function of the metronome is keeping your tempo in check.

Added features in the digital metronomes such as the in-built tuner and human voice count feature are what make today’s digital metronomes popular. If you are a musician short on budget you can always download one of the free metronome apps available online.

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