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Digital metronomes are essential tools for improving your timekeeping on the drums. They click out a consistent tempo that helps you internalize the beat and develop a stronger sense of rhythm.
While you can use metronome software easily, having a physical metronome is more reliable, and it keeps you away from any distractions in the practice room.
Using a metronome is vital when practicing as it helps you develop your sense of timing. You can also use a metronome to understand how subdivisions work.
A typical metronome comes as a small plastic structure with a layout that has different buttons and knobs to perform various functions. Some are heavier and more durable, while others are small and intended for portability.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the best metronomes for drummers. I’ve compared features, build quality, portability, and cost to give you my top recommendations.
- In a Rush Round-Up
- How I Tested and Selected the Best Metronomes for Drummers
- Drummers Metronomes Reviews
- Drumming Metronome Buyer’s Guide
- Features to Look for in a Metronome for Drummers
- Benefits of Practicing With a Metronome
- Metronomes for Drummers FAQs
In a Rush Round-Up
How I Tested and Selected the Best Metronomes for Drummers
Selecting the right metronome for drummers is essential for maintaining precise timing and rhythm. Drawing from my experience and comprehensive testing, I’ve identified key criteria to assist you in making an informed choice.
Drummers require metronomes that can accommodate various time signatures and subdivisions, allowing for diverse practice sessions. I checked the metronome’s settings to ensure it offers the flexibility needed for different musical genres and playing styles.
Ease of use is another primary consideration. Drummers should be able to set up and control the metronome quickly and intuitively, whether in the practice room or on stage.
Durability and portability are also important, particularly for gigging drummers and teachers. I evaluated the metronome’s build quality and its ability to withstand regular use and transportation.
I’ve included options to satisfy different budgets, ensuring you’ll find the perfect metronome no matter how much you’ve got to spend.
Drummers Metronomes Reviews
The Boss DB-90 Talking Dr. Beat Metronome is an exceptional tool and is the best metronome for drummers who are looking to develop and train their timekeeping ability.
I’ve owned one of these metronomes since I first started playing the drums, and I still regularly use it when practicing. It’s one of those industry-standard tools that thousands of musicians have owned over the years.
This is an electronic metronome that has an incredible array of on-board features to help improve your timekeeping. It’s the best metronome system for understanding musical time and it’s also intuitive and fun to use.
The Boss DB-90 is enjoyable to use and relatively easy to get to grips with the basics, but a little more effort is needed to understand the advanced features of this device.
It is worth exploring the advanced features of this Boss metronome because it offers much more than other metronomes to help make practice sessions less mundane and more musical.
There’s a rhythm coach function that helps to build accuracy, endurable and playing speed. It has a selection of training modes, which you can use to monitor progress. On board is a large memory storage to save up to 50 different metronome settings and 30 different kinds of rhythm patterns.
This drum metronome has all the functions and tools a drummer might ever need, and each feature is fully programmable. Subdivisions, programmable time signatures, and voices are all easy to adjust, and the dedicated front-panel sliders and buttons on the device are very simple to use.
If you want to expand your rhythmic horizons and build your strong, unwavering sense of rhythm, then this is the best metronome for drummers on the market.
It does carry a hefty price tag but there is very little that this metronome can’t do. It is a valuable tool that can certainly help take your playing to the next level.
- 30 different kinds of drum patterns
- Fully adjustable subdivisions
- Best metronome for drummers
- Very high price point
- Overwhelming number of features!
The Korg MA-2 Digital Metronome is a highly portable and indispensable unit for rhythm training. This digital metronome is ultra intuitive and very easy to use, and it is the best metronome for drummers who want all the essential features at an unbeatable price.
The device has a wide tempo range and a generous number of beats and rhythmic patterns to program. It has easy-to-use buttons and a clear display to help you follow each beat in the bar.
The tempo range of the Korg MA-2 is 30-252 beats per minute and it has a useful tap tempo setting, which you can use to help determine a tempo. It has a wide selection of rhythms and time signatures to choose from to help you practice behind the drums.
The Korg MA-2 drum metronome is super lightweight and portable and it’s the perfect companion to fit inside your drumstick bag. It’s the best metronome to take between rehearsals and lessons and for daily use.
When using this metronome, I liked that it had a useful foldout stand that allowed me to prop the metronome up so I could read it while practicing.
Overall the Korg MA-2 is the best metronome for drummers who want an affordable yet highly functional metronome with a wide tempo range to help develop a strong sense of timekeeping.
It’s a serious must-have investment for any aspiring drummer looking to build a consistent beat behind the drums.
- Covers all the needs of rhythm training
- Best metronome for drummers on a budget
- Ultra lightweight and portable
- Short battery life
- Buttons are very small for big thumbs!
The Tama RW200 Rhythm Watch is an excellent drum metronome with a great variety of features to enhance your playing.
I thought that this metronome looked very complicated at first, but it was actually easy to get to grips with. I love how it allows you to configure your own time signatures and tempo settings.
The RW200 Rhythm Watch has a lot of practical features including the ability to save and store tempos, which is ideal for live performances. There are 30 pre-programmable tempo settings and 9 different beat clock settings to choose from.
The design of the RW200 is superb, and it is both highly durable and intuitive. It’s easy to load and save settings and to choose from different tempos and subdivisions. I also found that making quick tempo adjustments is a breeze with its large dial.
Being compact and functional, this is a great investment for any drummer looking to build a strong sense of rhythmic timekeeping. What I like a lot about this digital metronome is its on board memory, which is very useful for playing gigs and being able to switch between saved time signatures and tempos.
Overall this is a great piece of kit that’s offered at an excellent price with all things considered. It has lots of functionality and customization, and being able to make adjustments is very easy.
It also has a tap tempo function and two headphone outs so that you can use this as a tool for lessons for two drummers to use simultaneously.
- Great sound through speaker and headphones
- Dial makes it very easy to adjust tempo settings
- 1/4 - 1/8 - 1/16 triplets individually adjustable
- Lacks some compound time signatures (i.e 7/8)
- No human voice for metronome sound
The Boss DB-30 Metronome is a great device for any drummer seeking a portable metronome that’s jam-packed with functions. Despite being compact and lightweight, the unit has a surprisingly good build quality.
This metronome felt quite simple and responsive when I used it. It’s highly intuitive and it has a wide selection of beat and rhythm options to choose from.
It allows you to pick from 9 rhythm types and 24 beat variations, including various odd time signatures and clave patterns to challenge yourself with.
Boss designed the DB-30 drum metronome to be an affordable version of the DB-90, but to not have to compromise on the practical features. They’ve succeeded with the development of the DB-30 and I’m impressed with how easy it is to use.
I personally really liked the click sound and it was easy to see and hear the note values on this device.
There are however a few compromises on the DB-30 when compared to the DB-90. There are no individual volume controls for beat divisions or the bar line accents, plus the overall volume is very limited. Another main gripe is the DB-30 doesn’t have the useful scroll wheel that makes adjusting tempos effortless.
Overall this is a great digital metronome and its certainly one of the best metronomes for drummers with a host of practical features. It is super portable and easy to use, with a selection of beat variations that can aid your practice routine.
- User-friendly and intuitive to use
- Wide selection of beat and rhythm options
- Large LCD with smooth tempo meter
- No scrolling wheel
- Speaker lacks volume
- Consumes battery life quickly
Lastly we have the RW30 Rhythm Watch Metronome, and this is another fantastic timekeeping tool developed by Tama. This intuitive metronome is much like the RW200 – but a more affordable version. It’s simple to use and has a more lightweight and compact design that makes it easy to transport.
This metronome has all the essential rhythmic features and comes in a very easy to use package. The dials and buttons are large and simple to use, and the display is clear and intuitive. The unique tempo dial feels great to use compared to conventional buttons.
The Tama RW30 drum metronome has a generous selection of time signature options and rhythmic variations, which enables you to practice with a greater choice of patterns.
Along with its impressive number of beat options, another standout feature of this metronome is the loud in-built speaker that is audible even without headphones!
The RW30 is the best metronome for drummers who want to use a metronome for both live and practicing. I think its compact design makes it the perfect choice to take with you to shows, with an easy to read backlit display and large buttons.
Overall the RW30 is an excellent drum metronome that is lightweight, compact and offers excellent value for money. It has a wide tempo range and 9 beat variations, which makes it a suitable choice for most drummers, but it does lack the ability to program and save beats.
- Lightweight and compact design
- Excellent value for money
- Contains all the essential rhythm functions
- Lacks some advanced features
Drumming Metronome Buyer’s Guide
Investing in a reliable metronome is crucial if you want a valuable timekeeping tool that will last many years of practice.
You can expect to pay between $20 and $200 for a metronome, with the higher-priced ones having more elaborate features.
Smaller metronomes are better if you plan on using them for gigs or rehearsals. They’ll fit in your stick bag or backpack very easily, whereas large and bulky metronomes can be quite cumbersome.
However, large metronomes have more features to use, making them better options to have in your practice space.
Features to Look for in a Metronome for Drummers
Time Signature Options
All metronomes start by clicking the pulse in 4/4 time. Beat one will have a stronger sound, while the other beats in a bar have even sounds.
You should be able to change this so that all the beats have even sounds if you wish. Only the very inexpensive metronomes don’t have this option.
Higher-priced metronomes will have different time signature options along with various rhythmic patterns. They also give you the option of getting the click to play in different subdivisions.
This allows you to play complex grooves while having a solid backing to latch on to.
Having the ability to change the click sound is a neat function found in the best metronomes. If you use the metronome for live settings, it’s better to use a sharp sound that cuts through for you to hear it as opposed to a warm sound that blends.
One of the coolest metronome sounds that you’ll commonly find is a human voice counting out the beats for you. This sound often makes practicing a lot easier.
The higher the price of a metronome, the more sound options you’ll get. Budget metronomes typically only have a single sound.
Having the ability to store tempos is vital when you use a metronome at gigs. You’ll need to look for this feature if you want to use the metronome to start songs.
On metronomes with large function lists, you’ll be able to create a song list with set BPMs for each song. As you’re playing live, you can simply press next to get the tempo for your next song.
You’ll find this feature on all the metronomes with high prices. However, you can also find it on a few affordable metronomes that are intended for portability.
Many metronomes have coaching functions to help you in the practice room. If you want a metronome to help improve your drumming, you should get one that has a few of these.
One of the most used coaching functions is called a ghost click. This is when beats are randomly removed when the metronome is clicking, and it’s your job to keep in time until they come back.
You’ll find this function and many more on elaborate metronomes like the DB-90, but you won’t get them on any inexpensive options.
You won’t need these coaching functions if you simply want a metronome to keep time while drumming.
Benefits of Practicing With a Metronome
When it comes to practicing drums, using a metronome is essential to keeping time and developing your sense of rhythm. Drumming is all about timing and feel, and a metronome will help you to improve these.
- Metronomes train your timekeeping. When you’re playing with a metronome, you can focus on your timing and make sure that all your strokes are landing in sync with the beat. This will help you play tighter, cleaner, and more consistent rhythms.
- Metronomes help develop your groove. You’ll start to feel the pulse of the music and develop a better sense of how to groove with the band while behind the drum kit.
- Metronomes keep you honest. When you’re practicing by yourself, it’s easy to cheat and play ahead or behind the beat. But when you’re practicing with a metronome, there’s no way to cheat! This will force you to pay attention to your timing and play tighter rhythms overall.
- Metronomes help you build speed and coordination. By practicing with a metronome, you can gradually increase the tempo and challenge yourself to play faster and more complex rhythms.
Metronomes for Drummers FAQs
Do Drummers Use Metronomes for Live Gigs?
Many drummers use metronomes when playing live. Often a drummer will have a click in his ear from a physical metronome or metronome app to keep time, and the rest of the band will follow his direction when it comes to tempos.
In highly professional settings, the whole band will have a metronome clicking in their ears. This is especially important when the band is using live backing tracks to support the music that they’re playing.
Some bands and drummers don’t use metronomes as they enjoy the natural feeling of tempos being pushed and pulled. A great example of this is a jazz band. Songs have regular tempo changes, and using a metronome would make that difficult to pull off.
How Long Does a Digital Metronome Last?
Depending on the quality of it, a digital metronome should last several years. Some drummers are still using Dr. Beat metronomes that they purchased decades ago.
Just make sure to keep the metronome in a safe place where wear and tear can be kept to a minimum. The batteries of a digital metronome will just need to be changed regularly.
Why Are Metronomes Important to Use for Drummers?
The primary goal of a drummer is to keep a steady beat to support a band. Regularly practicing with a metronome is the best way to develop this skill.
Metronomes are also incredibly useful tools for learning new patterns. When you practice a pattern to a slow and steady click, you build muscle memory that will allow you to play that pattern easier when you speed it up.