We've been talking rhythm in our classes this month, and I've been on about the value of a metronome. I (and are you surprised?) perhaps don't use them in the most usual ways, but I find them very helpful.
I no longer recommend the old pendulum type. They are notorious for becoming unregulated, and don't have the features that modern electronic ones do. So what am I recommending these days? read on:
For adults and teens:
I'm pretty much suggesting apps for your smartphone. The cost little or nothing, and you always have it with you. Easy to use, accurate, effective. There are zillions out there - if you don't instantly know how to use it, it is too complicated - go for a different one. But you do want to have a tap function. This feature lets you tap on the screen to set a tempo. Of course they have the usual dial to get the number you want as well.
For kids without phones or anyone who wants want to leave their distraction in a different room:
Here are three are made by Korg.
- TM-60 Combo Tuner Metronome is a great pick as it also has a tuner. For beginners getting themselves kitted up for their new music adventure, this is a perfect one. Good tuner, excellent metronome, has a tap function, and Korg's tend to last forever.
- For your child's birthday - MA-2 Limited Edition Pokemon Digital Metronome - Pikachu edition. under $30 and splendid.
- In-Ear Metronome Korg - I don't know know what to think of this - subtle, easy to hear they say. Never tried one. Not cheap but roughly $50. If anyone has tried one of these, I'd love to hear about it.
And last, but definitely not least
- Soundbrenner Core Steel Bluetooth Metronome/Tuner/Decibel Meter/Smart Watch - This is the over-the-top professional musician's companion. Tuner, metronome, wristwatch, decibel meter, talks to your phone and probably to you. Only problem is I don't know many musicians who can afford one. :( Still I'd be willing to test drive...
The talking metronome.
For years I've been waiting for this - like 50 years! and suddenly there was one. These are all smartphone based, and are pretty great. They count for you, in real words. A necessity for distance (Zoom) lessons at an intermediate or advanced level, and very useful for practicing when you don't have a teacher helping you by saying the beats. If you have an apple device the best is Speakbeats. If you have an android, there is not so much choice, but the Iona talking metronome is pretty great. (It also barks!)
I have never seen a standalone talking one, but cellphones seems to be ubiquitous. Have fun, keep ticking.