Metronomes and Metronome Features for Drum Practice

A metronome is a vital practice instrument for any musician, and especially for a drummer, whose main function is to keep a steady rhythm. What you’ll learn next is what to look for a metronome that’s specifically good for drummers.

Metronomes can range from about $10 to $200. I don’t recommend buying the $10 ones, tough. You should also avoid those mechanical, pendulum based metronomes, even if they look sophisticated. They are not that common anymore. A digital metronome is the way to go.

For drummers, a headphone output is very useful, and most digital metronomes do have them. What’s also highly desired is a metronome with a speaker that can produce a powerful sound. You’ll need it if you’re practicing with an acoustic set and earplugs. Alternatively, use the metronome’s headphone plug to wear small ear-bud type headphones under sound proof headphones.

It is also useful if your metronome can subdivide a beat into triplets, eighths, and sixteenth notes. A metronome should also be able to produce a different sound on the first beat of the measure, and have a visual indicator for the beat. The latter comes very handy in instances when it’s difficult to hear the metronome.

Here are some digital metronomes you should consider:

  • Korg MA30 – This little metronome gives you all the basics for about $30. It accents the first beat with a different tone, has volume control, a headphone jack, beat subdivision into thirds (including missing middle beat option), eights, and sixteenths, and has an LCD beat indicator. Although, this metronome’s speaker is not loud enough to be comfortably used in practice with an acoustic drum set. But it’s fine for use with a practice pad, and can be used with headphones.
  • Boss Dr. Beat DB12 – The Dr. Beat metronomes are aimed at the professional musician. They are good for drummers because they are able to produce loud sounds, and have plenty of beat variations. This particular metronome is an inexpensive and compact Dr. Beat model.
  • Boss Dr. Beat DB88 – This model is the top of the line among metronomes, and has plenty of “bells and whistles”. It can even count with a speaking voice.

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