When you see professional musicians or even amateur musicians performing in public, it’s always amazing to see how well they’re able to keep to the beat and maintain a steady rhythm throughout the duration of the piece. Whether it’s a solo or group performance, musicians’ ability to keep count is unparalleled. While it’s true that in bands, the musicians listen to the drummer or the bass to keep beat, it’s much more difficult to be able to tell how singers do it when they’re singing on their own. But what these musicians all have in common is how they practice–specifically with a metronome.
Metronomes are small digital devices or pendulums that keep time to specific tempos or beats per minute (BPM). When they’re used during practice sessions, a metronome will emit a consistent beeping or clicking noise so that you constantly have the right tempo in the back of your mind. As you get more and more proficient with the piece that you’re working on, you eventually learn to internalize this beat so that you’re able to perform without it. Metronomes are essential for all musicians, from beginners to professionals. But such a simple device can actually be tricky to purchase, especially when there are so many options out there. Regardless of whether you’re a guitar or bass player, drummer, or singer, there are some of our picks that ensure that you’ll be able to keep in time regardless of your practice setting. Read on to see our 2020 reviews of the best metronomes for guitar, drummers, bass, and singers!
Our Favorite Metronomes In 2020
Seiko is known for making quality watches so it’s no surprise that they’ve ventured into the realm of keeping time, but for musicians. This metronome is a great budget option for someone who is just looking for all the basic features that a metronome should offer. It has adjustable volume so that you can easily use this in a solo or a group setting, and a lighted tempo indicator so that you can see it from afar as well. If you’re practicing by yourself and want the option of an auditory click, just adjust the setting so that you can get the steady beat without needing to look at the metronome the entire time. The tempo ranges from 40-208bpm and can easily be set with the rotary dial. This is battery powered (it comes included) so you don’t need to worry about plugging it in or needing to be near an outlet–bring it with you wherever you want to go and practice. Like most quartz metronomes, it doesn’t have beat subdivisions, but otherwise it’s a great basic model to consider. One reviewer commented that “for the money, this is a great metronome. The build quality is very good. All of the dials and switches feel solid and work smoothly.”
This Korg TM50BK is a tuner and a metronome in one, which ensures that you have everything you need for practice in one handy little device. The sound back feature on this can detect the pitch of your audio input and match it to the reference tone within the tuner, and show you the pitch difference between your input and the reference tone. You’ll be able to tune more accurately and also train your sense of pitch since you can see exactly where you’re sharp or flat. The meter scale also indicates major and minor thirds so that you can work on your harmonies in a more methodical manner. The downside is that the volume on this one is somewhat lower, so if you’re playing in a group then you might want to consider utilizing the visual cues to compensate for the lower volume. Otherwise, as one reviewer noted, “there are quite a few pocket sized electronic tuner/metronomes out there for musical instruments, and many of them are not very distinguished in terms of utility, functionality and quality. This Korg model is the best one I have seen, and at an affordable price.”
This BOSS metronome is one of the best out there for musicians who are more advanced and want a metronome to be able to support all of the pieces that you’re practicing. This has four different beat tones–one is a voice and another is a realistic PCM drum pattern–so that you can listen and keep to the beat in a way that best suits your practice style. It has the ability to store up to 50 beats and has 10 reference tone slots so that you can easily toggle between tempos of the pieces that you’re currently working on. For guitarists and bassists, you can connect the DB-90 directly to your instruments and monitor your beats through the amp or even through connected headphones. One reviewer raved that “this Metronome is great for both the Music Teacher and a must for Musical Instrument Teacher. For the self taught Musician of any instrument please save your money and surrender to this great all-around Metronome. It will help you to learn: Music Time, Tempo and Note.”
This Peterson metronome is one of the most versatile ones out there because of its selection of features. Amateurs and professional musicians will be able to pick and choose what works best for them. It comes with a tuner built in so that you can use this as your one device for all your practicing sessions, as well as a clip so you can keep this handy on your music stand and within your line of sight. Best of all, it has audio, visual, or tactile delivery modes–that means you can see, hear, or feel through vibrations what the beat is. If you want to keep the beat during a gig or performance, you can even clip this to your belt and feel the beat without letting the audience know that you’re using an aid to help you. As one reviewer commented, “this is great for syncing with other band members. I like having the vibe to train my other musicians to follow me and not the metronome (only I can feel the beat). The sync works really nicely.”
- Audio, Visual or Tactile delivery modes
- 10 to 280 BPM tempo range with tap tempo feature
- Store up to 99 presets
- USB rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery
- Load and play MIDI tempo maps