Best Metronomes for Drummers: 8 Options You Should Definitely Consider
Hello there! My name is Chad, and I have been drumming since I was eight for almost 20 years now. Today, I am going to review six of the best metronomes for drummers in the industry right now. I will inform you about these devices to ensure that by the end of this article, you’re in a position to identify the perfect metronome for your practice sessions and live gigs.
Why is a metronome essential for a drummer? As we all know, the drummer is an integral member of a musical group. See, inexperienced musical bands can quickly be identified by their poor timing. However, experienced ones can manage all the dynamics of their performance while maintaining a consistent pace. As such, by learning to drum to a metronome, a drummer can maintain the right rhythm throughout a performance. Also, apart from helping you to play clearly and learn parties, metronomes have essential rhythm options and a clear, loud sound to guide your drumming pace.
That said, these are the top metronomes for drummers I will review in-depth:
- BOSS DB-90
- Korg MA1BL
- Luvay Metronome
- KLIQ MetroPitch
- Tetra-Teknica EMT-800
- Tama RW200 Rhythm Watch
- NEUMA Metronome Tuner
- Soundbrenner Pulse
Best Drumming Metronomes
Below, you can find reviews on 6 of the best metronomes based on my experience. To help you to choose the right metronome for your practices and performances, I have described each of these products and listed their pros and cons. Let’s get started, shall we?
1. BOSS DB-90 Dr. Beat: Multifunctional Digital Drummer Metronome
- Demo Talking Metronome w/Tap
- Reference Tone function makes it easy to verify tuning by ear
It is one of the most versatile and multifunctional metronomes I’ve ever tested. And it is not surprising since Boss is a legendary manufacturer of musical equipment. True, you have to pay extra money for such a variety of functions and features. The cost of this metronome is slightly higher than that of analogs.
Overall, it is a fairly compact device (but not the smallest one); it measures 8x6x2 inches and weighs about 1 pound. Although this article is about metronomes for drummers, I can confidently say that this model would be useful for any musician. You can use the built-in microphone, connect your drum pad directly to it, or play through headphones. There’s even a MIDI input for when you need to sync up an external sequencer.
- Dimensions (L+W+H): 8 x 6 x 2 inches
- Weight: 1 pound
- Reference Pitch: A4=438 Hz-445 Hz (1 Hz steps)
- Reference Tone Range: C2-B6 (5 octaves, 12 semitones)
- Memory metronome: 50
- Memory reference tone: 10
- BOSS DB-90 Dr. Beat
I also like that there are useful functions for beginner drummers (and not only for them). For example, with Rhythm Coach, you can practice kicks and train your endurance. And Note Mixing lets you create your own rhythms and patterns. You can choose from four metronome sounds. By the way, it is one of the loudest models; the built-in speaker is much louder than the competition.
- User-friendly interface
- There is a practicing feature
- Large internal memory
- Reliable build
2. Korg MA1BL: Visual Counting Metronome
- Innovative "Beat Counting" display clearly shows: Number of Beats / Current Beat / Beats Remaining
- Tempo (30 to 252 BPM) can be set three ways: Full Steps / Pendulum Steps / Tap Tempo button
Most metronomes have a small display, on which musicians can see the picked settings. Korg has gone further and equipped its device with a visual assistant that makes it easier for a drummer to understand musical patterns. In my opinion, it is an excellent feature for beginners who just learn to feel the rhythm.
This metronome measures 3.3×5.2×1.2 inches and weighs just 2.4 ounces. It is one of the most lightweight models on my list. The device offers a wide tempo range from 30 to 252 BPM and eight rhythm types. Moreover, you can use it as a chromatic tuner; there is a special Sound Out mode for it. There are not as many inputs here as in more expensive models. You can only connect headphones to the device and adjust the sound volume.
- Dimensions (L+W+H): 8.38 x 13.21 x 3.05 cm
- Weight: 68.04 grams
- Tempo range: 30 to 252/min (BPM)
- Reference Tone Range: 12-tone equal temperament C4–B4
- Calibration: 410Hz–480Hz (1Hz steps)
- Korg MA1BL
I like that this model has automatic backups in case of emergencies. It memorizes beats, tempo, rhythm, a reference tone, etc. Since AAA batteries power the device, it will automatically turn off to save power if you do not use it for 20 minutes. Depending on the type of battery chosen, they can last for 70 hours (zinc-carbon) or even 290 hours (alkaline) of continuous play.
- Easy to set up
- Visualizes patterns
- Lightweight and compact
- Reasonable price
- Basic features only
3. Luvay Digital Metronome: Good Metronomes for Drummers Starting Out
This device is excellent for anyone who wants to time their drumming without much hassle. If you’re still considering becoming a full-time drummer, but require a metronome that you can practice with, the Luvay is an excellent choice. It is budget-friendly and offers an array of functionalities that put it in the same league as other well-reviewed drumming metronomes.
This metronome is quite portable with a weight of 1.12 ounces and dimensions of 3.7 by 2.6 by 1.1 inches. Thus, you can put it in your pocket and carry it to a gig or practice session. Also, it has a clip-on design that enables you to attach the device to your stand. The Luvay device is available in yellow, black, and white colors.
This metronome is battery-powered. It requires one CR2 battery, which, fortunately, is included in the packaging. This means that you can get started with your drumming right after unpacking the gadget from the shipping box.
It has an excellent user interface with well-sized buttons for powering the device on, adjusting the tempo, and playing the device. There’s also a blinking light to help you know whenever the device is being used. Moreover, it has an LCD and allows you to mute the volume if you want to. Another thing regarding the volume is that you’re also at liberty to put it at maximum, minimum, or medium. I tried out this functionality in my time and was pleased. I could easily set the sound such that it became comfortable.
If you’re worried about using the Luvay metronome, then relax. Inside the packaging, you’ll get a user manual to assist you in learning how to work with the metronome. I used the same myself to know more about the device, and firstly I didn’t know what some of the buttons on the gadget do, too.
- Multi-functional mini metronome, portable, clip-on design, easily fixed
- Stereo earphone jack is available (3.5mm); User manual included
- Dimensions (L+W+H): 3.46 x 2.48 x 0.98 inches
- Weight: 1.12 ounces
- Tempo range: 30-280
- Luvay Digital Metronome
That said, while using it, you can insert your earphones into the 3.5 mm earphone jack. And finally, I would like to mention that the device comes with a tap function that enables you to use any tempo you tap.
- Clear display
- A stereo earphone jack is available
- Has a blinking light to provide cues
- Tap-tempo function available
- Mute functionality available
- Annoying digital beep
- The odd time signature is not available
4. KLIQ MetroPitch: Best Digital Metronomes for Drummers Who Play Other Instruments as Well
The KLIQ MetroPitch is a powerful gadget that combines three tools. By getting this pocket-sized gadget, you get a tone generator, a tuner, and a metronome. It comes with a sizeable pouch that allows you to carry it to practice or your music events. Furthermore, it’s a versatile tuner that allows for quick and precise tuning on a broad range of A0-C8. Also, it offers different transposition settings, and different tuning modes, and allows for pitch calibration.
It’s a tap tempo device with a range of between 30 to 250 bpm. With it, you are certain that you’ll enhance your timing in different styles of music, given that it has multiple rhythm patterns and beats.
KLIQ MetroPitch is one of the easiest devices in the market to use. It comes with an intuitive JOG dial that allows you to key in your desired tempo fast. Also, it enables you to make pitch selections in the tone generator without much hassle. But even with that said, perhaps its stand-out feature is its 3-year manufacturer guarantee. As such, if the device stops functioning or it breaks, the manufacturer will replace it or refund your entire money without any issues.
With batteries, the device weighs 3.2 ounces. Regarding size, its dimensions are 4.3 by 0.6 by 2.4 inches, meaning it can fit into your hands, even if they are small. You’ll need 2 AAA batteries to power the device, but luckily, you’ll find these included in the packaging. Better yet, it has an A/C power adapter you can use whenever the batteries die. Now, even though my batteries did not run out, I took them out to test the A/C adapter. Thus, I can categorically confirm that you can connect it to a socket, and use the tool without running into any issues.
This device boasts an excellent backlit LCD for both the tuner as well as the metronome. When using this device, you will see visual oscillations on the screen and the rhythm in visible numeral values. As such, you can quickly view the tempo that you are playing to.
- 3-in-1 Device: The MetroPitch combines a Tuner, a Metronome, and a Tone Generator, all housed in a pocket-sized device. The included carrying pouch makes for easy transport to your next gig or practice.
- Versatile Tuner: The fast and accurate tuner boasts a wide range of A0-C8, various tuning modes, transposition settings, and pitch calibration. So whichever instrument you play, it's got you covered!
- Dimensions (L+W+H): 4.3 x 0.6 x 2.4 inches
- Weight: 3.17 ounces
- Tuning range: A0 (27.50 Hz) – C8 (4,186 Hz)
- Reference pitch: 410-480 Hz
- Tempo range: 30 – 250 BPM
- KLIQ MetroPitch
This device is sold in black, blue, and red colors. Other additional features you will access with the KLIQ MetroPitch are a memory backup, aux input with volume control; an elegant metal finish to enhance durability, a highly sensitive built-in microphone, and an integrated folding stand.
- Easily readable LCD with fantastic LED indicators
- Blinking lights that provide visual cues
- Has an earphone jack
- Volume control which allows for muting
- Has a ± 0.5% tempo accuracy
- No automatic power-off feature
- Ineffective indication of the device’s power level
5. Tetra-Teknica Essential Series EMT-800: Great Portable Metronome for All Drummers
The EMT-800 is a 3-in-1 device packed in a tone generator, tuner, and digital metronome. Being a small tool, both novice and professional drummers can fit it into their pockets and carry them to events as well as practice sessions. It has a metronome tempo range that falls between 30 to 260 beats per minute. It has an adjustable volume and can reach loud sounds when you set it. It has nine rhythms and zeroes to nine beats per measure.
It’s a standout metronome given that it has five tuning modes, in essence, guitar, violin, ukulele, bass, and chromatic (you can tune all instruments while using the chromatic mode). Its pickup range falls between A0 (27.5Hz) and C8 (4186Hz). Regarding the tuning range, it is between 430 to 450Hz. And at ±0.5 percent, this metronome delivers excellent tempo accuracy. That said, switching between the tools is quite straightforward. For instance, to activate the tone generator, press the sound button while in tuner mode.
This metronome is reasonably priced and quite pleasing to the eye. When in use, you’ll see white and green lighting on the background and three green/ red LED indicators that enable you to adjust your device quickly and accurately. When working with the tone generator mode, you can create any pitch you want without much hassle.
This device is also good at conserving energy. If you are in tuner mode and no sound is picked up within three minutes, it will shut down automatically to conserve power. Speaking of power, the metronome uses 2 AAA batteries that come in the gadget’s packaging. Other inclusions are one input cable with clamp and a warranty card- providing details regarding your 3-year guarantee.
- 3in1 digital metronome, tuner and tone generator with large LCD display
- Metronome tempo range 30-260 beats per minute; 0–9 beats per measure; 9 rhythms available; adjustable sound volume, can be very loud
- Dimensions (L+W+H): 4 x 0.7 x 2.5 inches
- Weight: 2.8 ounces
- Tuning range: 430-450Hz
- Tempo range: 30-260 bpm
- Tetra-Teknica Essential Series EMT-800
The dimensions of this metronome are 4 by 2.5 by 0.7 inches. It weighs about 2.8 ounces. These attributes made it quite easy for me to carry the device around in my pocket.
- Good tempo accuracy: ±0.5 percent
- Normal tempo range of 30 to 260 bpm
- 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Automatic power off when in tuner mode to conserve power
- Five tuning modes are available
- Has no battery level indicator
- Fragile cover on the battery compartment
6. Tama RW200 Rhythm Watch: The Best Metronomes for Live Drummers
If you’re in search of a metronome that is easy to grasp, and one that shows you your tempo and lets you track time as you play, then Tama’s metronome watch is your best bet. Tama’s RW200 is produced by Tama Drums, a Japanese company that makes musical instruments. It comes in black and has a much sleeker design and sturdier knobs than its earlier version (Tama RW105). This metronome also has a flat bottom. Therefore, you can place it almost anywhere, including mounting it on the drum stand if you want. You may find it a little large since it is mostly meant for studio or music room practice.
Tama RW200 comes with a ton of features you will find handy as a drummer. For one, it has a large and very easy-to-read digital backlit display. There are two LED lights on each side to help you count. The red one counts half and quarter notes while the green counts all notes in between.
Another key feature of this metronome is that it has two different sounds. You can switch up the beep and even change accents, time signatures, and so on, within the sound you choose. I find this feature unique as most metronomes on the market come with just one sound, which can become annoying when you are constantly listening to it for long hours.
It also has a large volume that comes in handy when you are playing live or in a music studio where other instruments are also playing. Other noteworthy features include:
- Supports 25 to 250 beats per minute
- Nine distinct beat divisions
- Durable keypad
- Large memory
- A quick tempo adjustment dial
The design is also quite straightforward. You won’t have a hard time reading it. At the front, you will see six well-labeled knobs spread across the device. The first control on the right is the master volume (controls the volume of the metronome), and then the beat dial (adjusts the volume of the beat selected). The other four are quarter notes, 8th notes, 16th notes, and lastly, triplet notes. To start making your beat, click the start/stop button at the bottom of the metronome and select and turn up one of the four buttons. Tama RW200 also allows you to mix different sounds by simply turning up two or more dials at a time. Other notable buttons on this device include store, sound, mode, store, and program. There’s also a large button that you can turn to change the tempo up or down.
- Dimensions (L+W+H): 5.12 x 5.91 x 1.57 inches
- Weight: 10.58 ounces
- Tempo range: 30-250 bpm
- Tama RW200 Rhythm Watch
Overall, this device is quite loud (which is just what a drummer needs) and has a large enough backlit and clear screen to help you see even in low light.
- Adequate display with backlighting
- Easy to adjust and save tempos
- Programs up to 30 songs
- Easy to move up and down your programs to personalize them
- The battery doesn’t last too long
- It doesn’t come with mounting hardware
7. Neuma Digital Metronome Tuner: Excellent Metronome for Multipurpose Use
Neuma Instruments brings you this amazing metronome and tuner that can be used with basically all instruments, including drums. For a 3-in-1 device that combines a metronome, tuner, and tone generator, I have to admit that Neuma Digital Metronome Tuner is surprisingly compact and affordable. Its size makes it so convenient to move around with.
On the outside, Neuma NMT-200 is black. It also has a wide LCD-colored display screen and buttons on the sides. On the left, you will find the power/play button, metronome/tuner, and rhythm/flat. To the right, you will see two buttons, one to adjust the tempo up and the other down. Other notable features include the input jack, earphone jack, volume controller, and speaker. You don’t have to worry about mounting or supporting this tuner as it comes with its own built-in stand at the back. This stand can be folded back into place when you don’t need to use it.
When using this device, you can switch between tuner mode, sound mode, and metronome mode. On metronome mode, the screen shows you the beat and the BPM. You get to control everything from the tempo/beat to notes and volume using the buttons on the device. There are lots of other features, including an LED indicator that is located just above the screen and an input cable with a clamp that you can attach to your instrument.
When using it as a tuner, you can detect if your tone is low, high, or accurate. When you achieve the correct sound, the tuner’s display screen flashes green. It comes with a 430 to 450 Hz tuning range and works well with guitars, violins, ukuleles, bass, harps, chromatics, and so on. There are eight rhythms available on this tuner.
The packaging comes with two AAA batteries and a user manual. So, you can get started right away. It took me some time to figure out how it works, but once I got the hang of it, it became so easy to use. And the company offers such a long window to claim a full refund or get a replacement if the metronome happens to stop working or breaks.
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- Dimensions (L+W+H): 4.37 x 3.74 x 1.54 inches
- Weight: 4.6 ounces
- Tempo range: 30-250 bpm
- Neuma Digital Metronome Tuner
I would recommend this metronome to everyone regardless of age or skills.
- Wide, easy-to-read LCD screen
- Compatible with a wide range of instruments
- Can be used for 30-250 BPM
- It comes with a three-year warranty
- Easy to carry it around
- Can take a little time to get used to (keep the manual at hand during the first few times)
8. Soundbrenner Pulse: Smart, Wearable Metronomes for Drummers
If you are into something new and trendy, you might want to try out this wearable metronome from Soundbrenner. With claims of being the first metronome that musicians can wear around the wrist, Soundbrenner Pulse is quite exciting and unique. This metronome looks more or less the same as a sleek smartwatch. However, it is a device that works by transmitting a specified tempo to the drummer through vibrations on the skin. Aside from the wrist, you can also wear it on your ankle or upper arm.
Gone are the days when you have to listen to clicks (which can at times be boring) to get your beat right. You can now stay in rhythm using this fantastic metronome. You can create a tempo by simply tapping the metronome with your fingers. The vibrations transmitted to your skin from this device are quite strong. And since its goal is to be as simple to use as possible, it lets you adjust the tempo by merely twisting the outer wheel. You can also use the twist motion to move between songs in your library.
Soundbrenner Pulse is not just for drummers but can also be used by the whole band. To achieve precision as a band, you can try out multi-player synchronization, which is where users connect a maximum of five Soundbrenner Pulse to a tablet or smartphone. Then, one rhythm can be transmitted to all five devices while playing.
- 【Vibrating Metronome】- Feel the beat with vibrations instead of annoying clicks. Vibrations are 7x more powerful than the average vibration of a smartphone; you will never miss another beat. Free up your ears to focus on the music.
- 【Customize Rhythm】Customize time signatures, subdivisions and accents. Set your rhythm with tap tempo. Simply tap three times and the tempo will follow.
- Dimensions (L+W+H): 4.13 x 3.43 x 7.48 inches
- Weight: 11 ounces
- Tempo range: 30-300 bpm
- Soundbrenner Pulse
You can access a lot more functionality by downloading the Metronome by Soundbrenner app for free on either an Android or iOS mobile phone. For me, Soundbrenner Pulse brings a new experience that is definitely worth a try.
- Can be controlled by a smart device such as a phone or tablet
- Drummers can make and save a set list of custom rhythms
- Delivers strong, distinct, and accurate vibrations
- Customizable LED colors and vibrations through the free Metronome by Soundbrenner mobile app
- Silent and easy to conceal
- A little hard to make a transition from hearing to vibrations at first
- You will need your phone or tablet to check BPM
Buyer’s Guide on Metronomes for Drummers
To help you choose the best tool, I’ve put together a small guide with useful information on this topic. Many professionals will attest that drumming to a metronome is an essential part of practicing and learning to play a musical instrument. In general, it is drummers set the tempo for all tracks, so they need a high-quality device.
Things to consider
When choosing a drummer’s metronome, consider the following criteria:
- Opportunity to play complex rhythmic patterns (for legs and arms). Advanced models allow you to create your own schemes, as well as save, loop, and play them for as long as necessary.
- Headphones output. Using it allows you to hear the metronome more clearly and avoid distracting other musicians.
- Loudness. You should be able to hear the clicks well through your hits and the overall music.
- Extensive functionality. With some devices, you can record presets, switch between them while playing, program a tempo change, and so on.
- Opportunity to connect footswitch and drum pads.
These are the most important things all drummers should pay attention to. There are also a few general characteristics to consider:
- Size. Although electronic metronomes are generally compact devices, there are heavy and bulky tools among them.
Tempo range. Modern models offer a range from 30 to 250-280 beats per minute.
- Display. Most instruments have an LCD display. Choose one on which it will be convenient for you to read all the information. Some devices even “visualize” the tempo you set for easier comprehension.
- Backlight. This feature is necessary for those who often play in poorly lit rooms (for example, at concerts).
- Mount. Some devices can be placed on a special stand or attached to a rack using clips. Choose the option that is most convenient for you so that the instrument is clearly visible, audible, and easy to use.
- Different sounds to choose from. It is more of a subjective factor, but it would be great if you could choose a metronome sound that didn’t get lost in the main track or seemed pleasant to you. In my experience, some sounds are really difficult to hear in the background of other instruments.
Digital metronome vs. app
As a professional musician, I prefer any tool as a standalone device. I agree that apps for smartphones or laptops do not take up a separate space in your bag and are always at hand. However, they discharge your phone quite a lot, and it can turn off at the most inopportune moment. There is also always a possibility that someone might call you. I would say that apps are more suitable for home practicings than performing at concerts.
Besides, speakers of smartphones can produce poor quality or too quiet sound. It will also be difficult for you to connect an additional device like a sequencer. And personally, I find it much more convenient to use digital metronomes because of their large buttons and user-friendly interfaces.
Differences between metronomes
Of course, even digital devices have their own characteristics. Generally, the more expensive a model is, the more versatile it appears, and it has many different settings and outputs for auxiliary instruments. However, not all drummers need such sophisticated metronomes. To practice the skill to feel the tempo and maintain it throughout the entire track, the simplest device with a couple of settings is enough.
If you are a professional musician and write songs yourself, then multifunctional tools that have tuners, a library of presets, and a large memory will be vital for you. In general, the choice of the right tool directly depends on your goals and scope of work.
FAQ About Metronomes for Drummers
In this section, I have answered some questions from my readers who are interested in drums metronome practicing.
How to play drums to a metronome?
There are many exercises for using a metronome to improve your drumming. You can play in sync with it and hit the instrument with every click. Ideally, sounds should be superimposed one on one. Try hitting with both hands first, then alternately with your left and right. You can also use your metronome as an auxiliary device to stick to your internal counting and not get lost.
Set the click to half the tempo you want to play (for example, pick 60 BPM if you play 120 BPM). In this way, you should use clicks as “checkpoints.” Play at different tempos to develop a sense of rhythm.
Do drummers play with metronomes live?
There is an opinion that it is undesirable to use a metronome during performances since it is a sign of unprofessionalism. Ideally, you should keep the rhythm so clear that you don’t need any extra help. In my opinion, such an opinion is not entirely correct, and there is nothing wrong with using metronomes and click tracks.
Thanks to them, drummers play clearly, and evenly, and the whole band sounds good. Some musical styles require rhythmic rigor and adherence to a given tempo. The main thing is that you do not focus all your attention on a metronome but play freely. By and large, you should choose the most convenient way for you.
Are drums easier to learn than other instruments?
Success in mastering a new musical instrument directly depends on your free time and desire. However, it is believed that the initial stage of learning drums is actually shorter. As a rule, after the first lessons, you will be able to extract simple, harmonious melodies from them. However, full development may take several years. In general, the term “drums” combines a huge variety of percussion instruments. You don’t have to jump straight into a fully equipped acoustic drum kit or buy expensive pads.
Verdict on Best Metronome Options to Choose From
The bottom line is, if you are a drummer, you really require a metronome. And these are my picks of the best digital metronomes for drummers available at the moment. Before you pick your metronome, first think about how you intend to use it and how much money you are willing to spend on it. If you are a beginner, for example, or if you are on a budget, Luvay would be an ideal choice. On the other hand, if you are versatile and can play different musical instruments as well, a good pick would be KLIQ MetroPitch.
Tetra-Teknica’s EMT-800 and Neuma’s Digital Metronome Tuner are great options for those looking for multi-functional metronomes. If you are interested in a more conservative design and something that has lots of volume and memory, Tama RW200 Rhythm Watch is ideal for you. Lastly, if you are in search of something a little different, that is quiet and that you and your bandmates can wear, you might like Soundbrenner Pulse.
So, what’s your favorite metronome so far? I would love to hear about your experience with different metronomes in the market (doesn’t have to be one from my list). Let’s continue this discussion below.