What's your favorite metronome?

September 2, 2012 at 04:44 AM · Yeah, boring topic, I know, but I'm bored today.

Humor me.

Replies (37)

September 2, 2012 at 06:14 AM · I'd prefer one proficient in at least three languages.

September 2, 2012 at 06:19 AM · A good sense of humor is mandatory, of course.

September 2, 2012 at 06:21 AM · ...One that's punctual, dependable, pays the bills...

September 2, 2012 at 06:26 AM · Any gnome that can get me into the Met is tops for me.

September 2, 2012 at 07:06 AM · Met-ro-gnome, I get it!

September 2, 2012 at 07:19 AM · :)

I haven't found a fave yet - I use the electronic metronome built into my tuner (Korg TM40). Its OK but with two limitations: first its not loud enough and second, the beats only go up to 7 per bar. Thats a bit of a nuisance for when you need to practise a 4 beat adagio or largo at double time. However, the convenience can't be beat.

September 2, 2012 at 07:21 AM · I dont' really care for downbeats. Plainsong suits me just fine.

September 2, 2012 at 07:33 AM · Then I'd get a good olde fashioned triangular box one made of a nice french-polished warm wood ....

Actually, I think you just talked me into it..

September 2, 2012 at 07:59 AM · O-M-G they are soooo expensive! But they are my favorite, hands down. I used to drill until the winder ran out. That was the prescription: drill until the metronome stops.

September 2, 2012 at 08:27 AM · Maybe you could find one in an antique shop thats cheaper! And they would have authentic antiquing... :D

September 2, 2012 at 10:31 AM · We all know that antique metronomes are far superior to modern ones. And by antique, I mean exactly 100 years or older.

September 2, 2012 at 06:07 PM · So, no recommendations at all, people?

Simplicity is a must. He should speak clearly and be straightforward. I don't want to have to read a 50-page manual to understand him.

Also, for budget's sake, let's focus on the ones that would make a good cheap date. ~$25-30 range?

September 2, 2012 at 06:22 PM · You looking for mechanical or electric?

I use a korg , but I miss my old tak-tell. The korg (ma-30; ~$20 2 years ago) has great variety of beat patterns, adjusts by single beats from 40-208 bpm, and is loud enough to hear unless you play trombone (I think--can't prove that one).

(and I prefer upbeats--much more positive)

September 2, 2012 at 06:35 PM · Yeah, that's the same one our local music store used to stock for $35. I see you can get it as low as $17.99--pretty good deal. No wonder local store went out of business.

September 2, 2012 at 06:41 PM · I like it, too, 'cause it works even after being dropped, and the batteries are not THAT hard to locate in stores.

September 2, 2012 at 07:02 PM · I have been very happy with Korg TM-40 - it's cheap (~$21), the batteries last many months with daily use, and the unit is still going strong after 3+ years. It's also a chromatic tuner, and can sound drone note and beats at the same time. The only complaints I have are 1) not loud enough, which can be fixed easily with a pair of old amplified computer speakers, 2) the tempo doesn't go slower than 40 bpm, and 3) when using the tuner for droning and metronome at the same time, it doesn't allow “triplets”, “triplets without the center beat”, “quadruplets” or “quadruplets without the center beats”, which are available when the tuner is not in use. Considering the price though, I can't really complain.

If the parents/students use a smartphone, here are some apps to consider:

Five Best Metronome Apps

September 2, 2012 at 07:38 PM · Metronome Online is cheap, if you already have a computer with speakers. I often use it when my wife has borrowed my excellent rosewood pyramid.

September 2, 2012 at 08:06 PM · http://www.sharmusic.com/Shop-Shar/April-Inventory-Sales-Event/Accessories-on-Sale/Shar-Metro-Tuner.axd

I use this; it's (quite) loud and cheap and easy to use, and the batteries last a while; it's very fragile, however. It breaks after being dropped only once or twice.

September 2, 2012 at 09:20 PM · 1812, what a significant year! I'd prefer a metronome that can hold its own on the battleground. I think I've tried the Shar Metro tuner, and thought it felt just a little flimsy. But I suppose everyone will be using smartphone applications now, anyway... Am I the only one who refuses to get one? And am I the only one who still things the pyramid with the swinging pendulum and a tuning fork are still the best ever? If anyone knows of a cheap pendulum metronome, let me know.

September 2, 2012 at 09:54 PM · Through the years I've collected a few metronomes, most of them mechanical. However, the one that's seen the most use is a cheapie Wittner, which you can get for $20-30.


I like it because it's small, durable, very easy to use, and makes a pleasing sound. I have carried this metronome in my violin case for 10-15 years now and never had a problem with it.

September 2, 2012 at 10:03 PM · Now, that's a good-looking metronome! Well-built, likes children, easy on the budget, and spits out 440 without getting all complicated about it. My favorite option so far for the kiddos. Too bad he doesn't come with a six-figure income.

September 3, 2012 at 02:39 PM · That metronome online thing that Bart mentioned is great. That's what I use to practice with my daughter because I can play it through the stereo and make it very loud. She's just starting metronome work and losing the beat is frustrating to her, so having it be loud is important. I practice in a room that does not have a stereo so I run my electronic metronome through earphones.

September 3, 2012 at 06:12 PM · My favorite is the Dr. Beat, but that sort of blows away the budget. My 2nd favorite is my old wooden wind-up I've had forever.

September 3, 2012 at 09:47 PM · I have a Korg combination metronome/tuner, which is very good. If you have an iPhone, you can download a free app called Musician's Kit which gives you the same metro/tuner combo.

September 4, 2012 at 01:28 PM · I had the small Wittner years ago, and found it convenient. I've got a couple of clipon tuners with metronomes, but I don't find them loud enough. Actually, Radio Shack may still sell an IC chip that includes a circuit diagram for a metronome you can build yourself pretty cheaply, with plug for earphone or speaker, about as simple as it gets. Might be something to think about in Alaska if there are no stores around.

This discussion suggests to me a question. For a particular user, is the metronome an audio cue or a visual cue? Or is it some combination? I have no data to cite; but it seems to me that students, maybe particularly novices, will show an instinctive preference one way or the other, and respond accordingly.

This becomes important when we consider visual emphasis, where the old swinging arm metronome is surely the ideal; and it suggests the possibility of expermentation, say a light that goes up and down on a display instead of the arm.

And I wonder if teachers encounter this kind of difference in students; other comments very welcome.

September 6, 2012 at 01:00 AM · I have the app 'Tempo' set up on an iPad, ipod touch and Android phone. Best thing is it's always with you and has everything you need.

September 6, 2012 at 01:42 AM · David, in answer to your question, the swinging arm is a very effective aid in keeping my students on the beat. So is whacking them with a stick.

September 6, 2012 at 02:34 PM · When I was a kid, we had one of those old swinging-arm metronomes. It was pretty to look at, but unfortunately, it was warped, so unless you propped up one side of the base just the right amount, it beat unevenly, so it wasn't much use - unless maybe you wanted to practice syncopated rhythms :) (we did have an electronic metronome that actually worked)

September 6, 2012 at 03:14 PM · [quote]... And am I the only one who still things the pyramid with the swinging pendulum and a tuning fork are still the best ever?[/quote]

Definately not! I just bought myself one a couple of weeks ago. Much better than any of the electronic ones. I tend to 'tune' them out very easily...with the Wittner I don't. I can't say for certain what it is...but the mechanical metronome is a real presence...

September 6, 2012 at 06:00 PM · The cheapest Korg is a good choice for me. It is undestroyable and has a range of 40-200 bpm or something (and it gives you an a in different hz if you want). slower clicks are good for learning good timing. So a metronome with 30-200 would be good too. Other than that, maybe an App for a smartphone will do it?! I don't need a metronome, wich counts 4 against 3 or something. You should be able to figure that out by yourself. I have seen a really fancy one wich was nearly an beat-machine. ;)

September 8, 2012 at 10:25 PM · My favorites?

Simple, compact: Seiko M380. Fast crank to tempo. 'Nuff said.

Home practice: Korg MKD2. Really loud, lots of tempi, has a light, quick muting.

iPod/iPhone app: the Steinway metronome. Very classy wood grain.

By the Way::

It seems the metronome was invented in 1812

..and Tchaikovsky even wrote an overture about the event!!

September 8, 2012 at 10:43 PM · Didn't he blow it to pieces with gunfire too though? Cursed machine....

September 9, 2012 at 12:10 PM · No, that was a recent invention -- the Large Orchestra metronome, powered by black powder. Even though it was dismal failure, it still sounded more pleasing than metronomes used today by high school bands (TWIK, TWIK, TWIK, ...).

September 9, 2012 at 08:00 PM · FUN FACT: David Bowie popularized the metronome in his 1967 single, The Laughing Gnome. (refer to 1:40)

September 10, 2012 at 05:10 PM · Since starting, I've just been using:


Sometimes it freaks out and skips a tick, but usually it works just great for what I need and it's free and accessible pretty much anywhere (esp. since I have a smart phone.)

September 17, 2012 at 02:31 PM · Emily, from your requirements I think the Seiko SQ50V is a very good candidate. I use it myself and like it for its robustness and simplicity.

September 18, 2012 at 11:28 AM · Emily, I think that is a oxymoron..."favorite metronome" LOL

I found a vintage "FRANZ" on ebay (For about $15)I like it because it is loud enough for me to hear, and you can also use the light at the top to flash as it is beeping. I have tried a few and this one seems to work best for me.

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