Building a good, consistent rhythm with a metronome is very easy, provided you have a metronome that is loud enough to be audible over the sound of your musical instrument. While there are many digital metronomes out there, you must verify that they have a durable build quality and can provide a loud sound output. Also, a mechanical metronome might be a more suitable option for some musicians, due to its easy-to-use battery-less design. Based on these factors, our team has come up with a list of some optimum cheap metronomes of 2021 for their excellent build quality, easy-to-use design, attractive appearance, and exceptional accuracy!
If you're a beginner and don't know what a metronome is - it's a device that beats or produces a ticking sound that helps you maintain the desired pace throughout your song and if you're playing with a band, it keeps every musician playing in sync with the others! It isn't really possible for anybody to record a track without a click track (metronome) playing in the background - it's that important. So, without taking this conversation sideways, let's get started with the top clicking gadgets out there!
Comparing the Cheap Metronomes of 2021 for Best Quality
Buyer's Guide: Finding Your Finest Cheap Metronome
A metronome is one gear that every musician can use no matter the instrument being played. The first half of this article hooked you up with the finest metronomes available out there. This second half will fill you in on everything you need to know before buying one. Let's help you find one that perfectly fits your needs!
Why is a Metronome Necessary?
Every musician, whether aspiring or professional, needs a metronome in their toolbox and here are a few reasons why:
A metronome keeps your rhythm and speed steady i.e. prevents a musician from speeding up or slowing down on a beat. It can help build a solid sense of rhythm and feel a consistent beat. Also, a metronome is also the best way to find out how fast the music should be played!
Ease in learning
Learning fast pieces of music can be quite complicated especially if the musician is a beginner however, a metronome can help slow down the music by setting the tempo to a lower speed and gradually increase which makes practising the music easy and exciting!
Better playing technique
Musicians performing fast or complex pieces need to practice days on end to understand its beat, rhythm, speed and play it well. A metronome cuts down the time spent and allows musicians to perfect their technique by building a better base on their music.
Musicians speeding up on their music or playing with poor technique are prone to a poor sense of rhythm and even developing tension in their body especially the wrists. However, by taking up the metronome's assistance, they can understand their pieces of music better and reduce tension.
Most metronomes have data on the progress you have made which helps musicians to track how far they have reached and essentially be motivated to practice and remain consistent in the process.
How Many Types of Metronomes are Available?
There are tonnes of metronomes available in the market today but they are essentially divided into three main constructive styles. Remember that not every metronome is fit for every musician! Read up on the different types of metronomes below and find out which is the ideal one for you!
Mechanical wind-up metronomes
The classic design, a mechanical wind-up metronome is a simple accessory constructed with a screw which is used to wind the metronome up manually and several notches on its pendulum arm which help designate specific beat-per-minute (BPM) values. These metronomes function without batteries and provide accurate readings on a level surface.
Electronic (Digital) metronomes
A modern take on the classic metronome, an electronic metronome has additional functions such as allowing the musician to set the beat to the preferred volume and change the click sound. Most have a headphone jack, are compact in size, have LED light for visual cues, backlit screens, and excellent durability!
A popular choice among many musicians, software or app metronomes functions mostly the same as the digital metronomes without the need for the device. Though they are more complicated to use and need a functional computer to be tethered to, such metronomes can be customized to the musician's preference!
How to Choose the Right Metronome for Yourself?
Now that you have an idea of what a metronome is, its advantages, and all the different types available, you are all set to hit the market and find the ideal pick for you! Let's discuss all that you need to consider when choosing a metronome.
The tempo range is measured in beats-per-minute and a metronome usually has a range of click speeds between 30bpm and 250bpm. Mechanical metronomes have preset values and the pendulum arm manages them while digital metronomes have preset and customizable tempo ranges available. A good tempo range allows musicians to practice their best performance.
An ideal metronome can detect the downbeat of each bar by the different tick sounds and handle various time signatures i.e. indicate the required number of sub-beats. Mechanical metronomes are constructed with a physical bell while digital metronomes indicate the beat variations through louder ticks and different pitched sounds.
A good metronome employs the use of tap tempo which allows musicians to tap a button and set the metronome's tempo which is then interpreted to the nearest beats-per-minute value by the speed of the musician's taps and helps tune the music accordingly. It is an essential consideration for musicians.
Many musicians stay away from the metronome because of the tick sounds it makes. Some metronomes may be noisy and some are more pitch-friendly. Make sure the metronome you choose has a ticking sound that is unpitched, suits the environment you play in, and can be heard over the instrument being played.
Cheap Metronome FAQ
Q: Can beginners use a metronome?
A: Yes! A metronome is a useful accessory for musicians of all levels. In fact, having a metronome to assist you from the beginning will help you understand the beat better, play at a steady rhythm, speed up gradually and pick up pace when the music needs it.
Q: Are all metronomes the same?
A: Metronomes have one purpose and that is to help the musician have consistent speed while playing music using a tick or a beep sound. They come in different styles (digital and mechanical) and sizes allowing musicians to pick one that best fits their environment, the instrument being played, and their pace.
Q: How much should a metronome cost?
A: Metronomes come in a variety of price ranges with the cheapest being $10. These will not offer many click sounds or last very long but do work well for emergencies. Metronomes are quite budget-friendly and even those that offer a raft of functions can cost only as high as $50.
Q: Is a metronome distracting?
A: It depends on the kind of metronome you pick. Most modern metronomes employ at least two click sounds, offer unpitched ticks which do not interfere with the pitch of the instrument and have options for beeps to indicate the speed. Such metronomes are not distracting, some are even used to meditate!
Derek is a professional musician who specializes in percussion and works with the independent WGI group Cap City Percussion. With a Bachelors of Music from Capital University, specializing in Music Industry studies, he consistently finds himself playing and teaching percussion to anyone who has the will to learn. Derek is also a former member of DCI groups Legends (2014-15) and Colts (2016-18); he is also the percussion technician and instructor of the drum line at Olentangy High School. You may find him playing a gig throughout the greater Columbus, Ohio area.