Metronomes are probably some of the most popular music tools most players and singers have to deal with on a daily basis. Metronomes are mechanical, electronic or electromechanical devices that emit constant audio and visual signals in order to mark equal periods of time. A metronome can provide various tempos, the standard ones ranging from 40 bpm to 208 bpm.
But, with plenty of items on the market, how can you make sure you made the right choice? No matter if you’re looking for a good metronome for pianos or the best metronome for drums, here are some aspects you should take into account.
Size and shape
Metronomes come in various sizes, shapes, colors, and designs, so you need to choose the right one for your purposes. When it comes to size, you have two different options – you either opt for the pyramidal ones that are usually heavier and stay on your desk or choose portability in return for a smaller-sized item.
If you carry your music equipment with you all the time, I might suggest you opt for smaller and portable devices. These can easily fit in your purse or instrument case and you can carry them with you anywhere you go.
On the other hand, if your equipment mainly sits in a rehearsal room, you could opt for a desk metronome that you won’t have to carry around when you’re not rehearsing. These decorative metronomes are usually made of luxurious materials including top-quality wood and are also used for showing-off purposes.
If you’re more of a tech guy, you can also opt for a simple app on your smartphone or tablet. All you have to do is download an app (usually free) and choose the type of tempo you’re interested in. These apps are extremely useful for those who prefer traveling light.
Audible or visible beats
Choosing a metronome based on this feature mainly depends on your personal preferences. Some musicians claim they can concentrate better when they only hear the sound of the metronome while others, on the contrary, will end up feeling more relaxed if they see the item instead of hearing it.
When it comes to audible metronomes, you also need to take into account the volume at which you’ll be playing or singing. You need a device that will still be heard when playing your drums or guitar loudly. So, I suggest you choose a metronome with a volume-control feature or even one with an integrated headphone jack.
Lastly, if you’re opting for the audible metronome, you might want to find one that makes a natural sound to your ears. This will help you relax easier and focus on your playing without being interrupted by a high sound made by your device.