By Christy | The Practicing Pro
What do you love about your metronome? Is there anything you don't like?
Let me share with you all about metronomes, which is my favorite one, and why!
There are two types of metronomes.
Digital - electronic
Analog - that’s the one with a weight on the pendulum arm that you move up and down to change the speed. It’s the classic kind that we think of in our mind when you say the word metronome.
Digital or Analog
I personally like the digital ones the best!
The analog ones are pretty, they look nice in your practice space, and are fun to use. They also usually have a nice CLICK sound that you can feel in your chest. The problem with Analog metronomes for me though is that the click isn't even unless you place them on a surface that is perfectly flat! I have always lived in older houses and they tend to be a little crooked and uneven houses, especially in the winter! I also like practicing in interesting places for FUN!
So a digital metronome is definitely for me!
Increments to change the BPM
Another reason I like Digital ones better is that you can change the BPM in teeny tiny increments. With an analog one, the notches are usually spaced in bigger increments.
I also like the ones where you can choose different volumes. You can make them REALLY loud if you're in a group ensemble or not as loud for practicing a softer passage or exercises/scales etc.
Pleasant Sound of the TIC TIC
Sometimes the sound of a metronome can be piercing and make you feel agitated and grouchy! Has that ever happened to you before?
Unfortunately, when you buy a metronome it usually comes in a closed box and you can't listen to the sound until you get home and try it out!
It’s also frustrating when your metronome’s battery runs out! I suggest having some extra batteries in your “parts or miscellaneous" container in your practice space if you have that.
Including a tuning pitch
I used to use my metronome to tune my violin. It has an electronic A pitch. I don’t anymore since I got a small clip-on tuner that just lives on my violin now. I never lose it and if it’s noisy It still works. So my metronome lost that job!
Many digital metronomes make an accent for you every 3 beats or every 4 beats, whatever you choose. This is great to help you feel the strongest beat for example in the 3 / 4 of a minute. It can also help you count measures of rests when practicing orchestral music and not lose a beat by accident!
Many metronomes include a light that will show you the beats. I personally can’t follow these and don’t look at them. But, if you are a strong visual learner, you might find it helpful to have this visual component to work with.
Some metronomes have a computerized voice that will say the counts for you! This is especially helpful if you feel like you’re getting lost in your music and struggling with the counting. If you are using this feature I would also suggest doing much smaller parts and just a bit at a time until you figure it out.
I have not used this before but it sounds fun! Some metronomes have a button on them and you can tap the beat on it with your finger. It will let you know the tempo you gave it. This can help you find a fast-starting tempo for your practice or help you make an end goal tempo as well if you know from a recording what you want it to sound like in the end.
Which is my favorite one?
My favorite digital version is a Digital DIAL one. I don’t need the extra features! I like the dial and find it satisfying to physically “move the dial” a notch once I have mastered something at one BPM. I like that a few of the tempos are marked on the dial and I quickly google search any other tempo markings I might come across that I don’t already know. I like that you can use a headphone if you want to hear it right in your ear. I like the TIC TIC sound of mine and the batteries last a long time
My Favourite Metronome - Seiko Digital
This is a GREAT brand and my favorite analog one:
(link in USA)
Here is Ms. Anne's special Cat metronome
(link in USA)
There is also an owl!
There is also a penguin in USA only.
(link USA only)
Here is an adorable little bunny (USA only)
Here is a BLOG all about how a metronome is "your friend". It includes a free BPM chart to print and put in the front of your practice book and a list of 8 ways to use your metronome.
Give your metronome a name and take a picture with it! I would love it if you would send me your photo! It always makes me so happy to see how hard you're working!
Check out my Free PDF download Checklist for a Successful Music Practice for teachers and practicing parents.
Your easy checklist for successful home music practices from Christy, the practicing pro. Whether you are a new or seasoned practice parent or music teacher, this checklist will help you organize before, during, and after practices for effective and fun practices.
INVITATION from Christy Hodder:
Speaking of amazing practices, let me tell you all about the digital course, the Practicing Pro Academy. This is for the serious practicing parents and music teachers and is an at-your-own-pace, step-by-step, online course to bring you more effective, positive, and fun home music practices. Registrants receive a special package in the mail from me, and I am with you in person with Q&As to answer all your questions.
Learn more about PPA and join the waitlist HERE for the next Practicing Pro Academy course. It's only offered once a year so you don't want to miss it. The registration will only open for a few weeks and I'll let everyone on the waitlist know immediately so that you can grab one of the spots.
LIKE, FOLLOW, and SHARE on Instagram and/or Facebook to be inspired and join the positive practicing music community.
Facebook: Practicing Pro