Which metronome is best for your ability and budget?
There are plenty of metronomes on the market and picking the right one for you can be difficult. Before you spend a ton of money on one with all the bells and whistles, consider the features you’ll actually need.
Beginning music usually has simple time signatures (4/4, 3/4, 6/8). The rhythms will be less complicated and you likely won’t be playing terribly fast or terribly slow. So, save yourself the bells and whistles and just get something affordable and reliable.
Another consideration is that beginning players are typically younger… and if we’re being honest young students have a tendency to break or lose things. They also need something that is very easy and intuitive to operate.
Our choice for the best beginner metronome is the Seiko SQ50-V. This metronome is large and made of heavy plastic. There is a large dial in the middle that you turn to change the tempo and a volume wheel to adjust the volume. You have two options for click sound and there is a large LED light that helps provide a visual cue of the tempo.
If you’re looking for a cheap metronome with plenty of features, check out the Luvay Digital Metronome. Despite being just $9.99, this metronome has plenty of features:
That said, this is one of the cheapest metronomes on the market, so the construction feels cheap and you only get the one click sound… which many reviewers complain about as too loud or annoying.
The Korg MA1BL has several unique features, one of which is the visual counting system; each beat is represented by a triangle and they change color to show which beat in the measure you’re currently on. Many other metronomes will have all beats other than the first sound the same, so having this visual cue is helpful for newer students to know which beat they are on.
We were surprised to see some features on such an affordable metronome, such as:
This might be an afterthought, but we also love the fact that it works with AAA batteries. Out of battery options, these are reasonably affordable and easier to take with you inside of an instrument case
If you’re looking for a great all-in-one metronome/tuner combo, then you’ll love the Korg TM50BK. It has all the features we’ve mentioned with the previous two metronomes, plus:
It’s hard to go wrong with any metronome that is made by Boss. Despite its size, the Boss DB-30C packs tons of features (though no tuner) and can handle complicated time signatures and rhythms.
The DB-60 is new to the market, but it has already earned impressive reviews. On the surface, it looks like a more modern version of the DB-30C, and technically it is, but Boss also added a timer feature. If you use a practice journal (and you should), this feature is great for tracking your session.
If you’re a serious or professional musician, this metronome is well worth the investment. In fact, if you’ve ever taken a music lesson, odds are good you’ve seen the Boss DB-90 on your teacher’s music stand.
As you would imagine from the price, this metronome is one of the best you can get. It has all the features of the other metronomes listed here plus:
It’s also incredibly accurate both in tempo and generating tones.
If you play a loud instrument, then you know that it can be pretty easy to drown out your metronome. If you can’t hear it, then it’s not really helping. Soundbrenner introduced a wearable metronome. You can adjust the tempo by turning the ring or access more advanced features through their app. One aspect I think is especially interesting is it’s syncing ability. As many as 5 Soundbrenner metronomes can be synced together, making rehearsing chamber music much easier. Now, there are some mixed reviews and people complain that there have been hiccups in its timekeeping accuracy. That said, it’s an innovative idea that might be useful in the right situations.