Muscle Memory – If you’re an instrumentalist, it’s imperative that you utilize a metronome every time you practice. While this may feel redundant or somewhat unnecessary, your muscle memory picks up on subtle details including timing. As a general rule, practice the way you would perform to ensure true mastery of a piece.
Metronome Buyers Guide
Top Pick: Wittner 836 Taktell Piccolo
It is kind of difficult to choose the best one when some of the metronomes are digital and some wind-up, but we couldn’t help but go for the classic version! There is just something special about winding the metronome up with the key and setting the pendulum off.
We are all so stressed with all the technology so we sometimes need to use mechanical things instead! It is also more environmental friendly since you don’t have to use a nasty battery. This particular metronome is very easy to use and has clear tempo indications.
The design is great, and the key is stored in a hole on the front of the metronome so you don’t lose it. This is our Top Pick because it could suit any musician, no matter what level, and it would also suit pretty much any budget since it is pretty affordable.
You can’t go wrong with Wittner 836 Taktell Piccolo, it does the job well and looks awesome!
Premium Choice: BOSS DB-90 Talking Dr. Beat
There was really no competition for our Premium Choice, the BOSS DB-90 beats (no pun intended) all the other metronomes when it comes to luxury and cool features. With three different clicks and human voice count it’s a really good piece of equipment, but that’s not all. You can plug in your instrument if you want to hear everything in your headphones, allowing you to hear well and also not disturbing your poor neighbors or family.
Another nice feature is that it has drum machine beats that just makes it more fun to practice when you have grown tired of the old ticking. This makes practicing a lot more fun and inspiring as opposed to being very aware that you are playing the same thing over and over again by yourself. You can even create your own beat if you want to!
This metronome has everything you can think of and you will probably never need to buy another one. If you are going for outstanding quality, and are ok with spending a little extra, this is the model to go for. They say that you get what you pay for and in this case that is absolutely true! Sometimes you should just settle for the best!
Great Value: Seiko SQ50-V Quartz
Everybody loves a good bargain, and with that reasoning, everybody loves Seiko SQ50-V Quartz. This little gem is affordable, small and sturdy and if you just want a metronome to help you keep the proper pace you don’t need to look any further.
Even if it’s really cheap it still has two different clicks and a reference tone. You can plug in your headphones and the LED lights blink brightly. The metronome is easy to use and would be perfect if you want to keep it in your guitar case for example.
This is the best option for musicians who maybe doesn’t use it every single day but still wants to be able to practice to a beat once in a while. Simply a good budget option that does what you want it to do. Go for this one if you are new to the tick-tock and want to know if it’s something for you!
What is a Metronome?
You might wonder: what on earth is a metronome? Why is it something you need to have in order to become a better musician? It might seem complicated, but we assure you, it is nothing difficult! It is actually a quite old innovation, patented 1816 by the German Johann Nepomuk Mälzel.
They have been well used the past couple of hundred years and Stravinsky, for example, wrote all the metronome markings and the Italian words. So even if it seems like a pretty new thing when you look at the digital ones, they are really not that modern and weird. The whole point of them is pretty straight-forward.
For the history on metronomes, you may wish to read the case study.
A metronome is a device that simply put ticks a beat. It is useful when practicing so that you don’t speed up or slow down subconsciously and can also be used to speed a piece, scale or arpeggio up and force you to go faster. It is also good to find out how fast a piece of music should be played.
If your sheet music for example says ‘120 BPM’ (BPM stands for Beat per Minute) you can easily look up how fast that is using your metronome. Likewise if your music has Italian words like ‘Adagio’, ‘Andante’ or ‘Allegro’, it can give you an exact indication of how fast that actually is.
A metronome is an essential tool for any serious musician, but can also be useful for amateur musicians and beginners. It is a good way of measuring your progress, since you can really see how much faster you are able to play. It is also the best for practicing sight-reading, and it helps if you for example are clapping rhythms, learning music theory and so on.
How to use a Metronome?
So now you know what a metronome is, but how do you use it? Many people feel hesitant about buying something they don’t really know that much about, but that isn’t something you need to worry about when it comes to this piece of equipment.
The answer to this question depends on what kind of metronome you have. There are digital metronomes that you simply push buttons on to select your tempo setting, and then there are yet other metronomes that has a dial that you just turn, like an old telephone. The original, classic metronome is mechanical and you wind it up with a key and then tap the pendulum to start it moving.
Some metronomes have a tuning tone and some even have a built-in tuner as well. Read the information provided by your manufacturer to find out how to use your specific model. But don’t worry, this is most often a very easy device to use and the main thing is that you get a click with a pulse you can play along to! How to use metronomes is not the problem, the problem is playing correctly with it. Metronomes can, however, improve cognition over time, as this study suggests.
What is the top Metronome for Guitar?
The best metronomes for guitar on our list is firstly Artisan Clip On simply because it does clip on and is therefore easy to use no matter if you have a music stand, table or the like at hand. The fact that it’s also a tuner is definitely a plus as well.
However the absolute best is our Premium Choice, BOSS DB-90 Talking Dr. Beat, that has more fun rhythms to practice to, especially if you play a lot of modern music.
How to use a Metronome for Guitar?
There is really no big difference between guitarists and other musicians when it comes to using a metronome. The main thing is that the metronome ticks. One thing that could be slightly different is that some metronomes allow you to plug in your guitar and listen in the headphones along with the click, and some have a clip on that is convenient to use especially on guitars, but that’s about it.
What is the Greatest Metronome for Drummers?
Korg KDM-2 Digital is the best alternative for drummers, who need to hear their metronomes properly both with or without headphones since it’s pretty loud in itself with an extremely good speaker designed to carry sound well. Drummers tend to use metronomes a lot so the fact that it has a backup memory that allows you to start where you finished is great. Metronomes can really aid a drummers performance, read the study to find out more.
Again, BOSS DB-90 Talking Dr. Beat is a superb choice if you feel like treating yourself, there is simply no metronomes on the market that is better than it!
For a study on the synchronisation of metronomes click here.