When I first began taking piano lessons, my instructor would always have me practice everything to a metronome. I am very thankful for this because as I got older and became more passionate about piano, I realized how important of a lesson this was for me. A metronome for piano use is extremely important for a pianist who is just starting out, as well as for a pianist who has been playing their whole life.
The purpose of the metronome is to instill rhythm and help musicians develop technical skills. My overall opinion is that you will become a better musician if you one because it instills rhythm into your brain early.
Best Metronome In 2019 – A Quick Glance
The metronome was created by Johann Maezel by 1816 and it has been used ever since by some of the most renowned musicians in the world. The importance of is often overlooked by beginner’s, but most renowned pianists swear by them.
If you are looking for a new digital piano, I suggest checking my guide to digital pianos in 2019. These are my favorite picks.
What Is The Benefit Of Playing Piano To A Metronome?
There is something that comes with learning with one that is irreplaceable and that something is time. If you are studying classical piano, your instructor will most definitely want you to use one. They are going to play a vital role in becoming a great pianist.
The benefit of playing the piano to a click is simply timing. The purpose of using this device is to instill timing into your brain while learning a piano piece and or while playing in general.
If you have any desire to play music in a band you will surely want to learn to play to a click so that when you go into the studio your producer will like recording you rather than dread having to record your part.
Many musicians in bands nowadays don’t learn to play the piano to a click and this becomes very apparent when it’s time for them to record. Also, if you are looking to play in a band, it is important that pianists and drummers are on the same page rhythmically and perform tight together.
If you have a child who is just starting to play, you should read my post where I talk about kids pianos in great detail. There are some great tips for parents in there and I suggest you check it out!
When watching live bands or performance pianists, the main thing a musician looks for is their ability to perform the song effortlessly and to play it perfectly in time.
Musicians tend to practice difficult parts with their left hands or a complex right-hand melody by playing it slower to a click and slowly increasing the tempo until they have it perfect.
What To Look For
Price: There are a lot of free apps that you can download and use to check and see if you like them before you move forward and purchase one.
Aesthetic: This sounds silly, but if you’re going to be using this for years, pick one that you like to look at. One of the reasons we recommend the mechanical series is because they just look super cool and vintage, especially when placed on top of a piano.
Portability: If you’re looking to be traveling and playing on a keyboard frequently you might want to invest in a cheaper electronic product that will be more portable for you. These might not be as loud as you need them to be, but if you’re playing a keyboard you can just turn down the keyboard.
Mechanical Vs Electronic
Mechanical has the classic pendulum swing. These control the tempo by using an adjustable weight on the end of an inverted pendulum. Some pianists swear by these and I am also a musician who prefers these over electric.
A mechanical metronome is not going to require batteries and this is a benefit because you don’t have to purchase batteries.
Electronic metronomes are powered by batteries. These are generally cheaper in price for a quality one as opposed to a mechanical one. These have the ability to produce a click louder than mechanical ones can.
They start at a cheap price, but if you’re looking for something to use as you continue your progress, we recommend getting one that produces noise. These aren’t going to be crazy expensive either.
Are you new to the piano? Check out my favorite piano apps for beginners in 2019 here.
My Favorite Picks
WITTNER 813M System Maelzel with Bell
- WITTNER Metronome System Maelzel
- Mat Silk
- With Bell
- Color: Walnut-Colored
- Made in Germany
When you think of metronomes, Wittner is the first brand that comes to mind. This is our pick for the best mechanical product on the market. This is made from actual wood and that is what makes it the most expensive one, but it also looks incredible. This product does also have a bell that is located inside of it that creates noise.
- The most advanced metronome available. Trigger input to access unique Rhythm Coach exercises
- MIDI in for syncing to external sequencer temposPCM sounds with "drum machine" style patterns
- 50 memories.Human-voice count
Many instructors will recommend this as the best product on the market period. This is a statement we can’t really disagree with. It comes with a headphone jack and also a built-in stand so you can set it on top of your piano.
A unique feature is the voice feature that will count rhythms to you as you are trying to practice them.
- WITTNER Metronome taktell SUPER-MINI
- Mahogany colored Wooden Case
- Hinged front cover
- Tempo range is from 40 beats per minute to 208 beats
- Made in Germany
The Wittner 903030 Taktell Super-Mini is the most convenient analog product there is and also one of the best. This is the highest quality tool you can purchase and it is extremely light. I like this for people in need of something super portable.
The Tempi is a solid pick for musicians who want a classic product that will last the test of time but will also be on the cheaper end. It is really popular as it is high quality and looks cool.
This comes in four different colors and is one of my favorite looking products on the market.
A key feature with the Tempi is that with one wind, it can go twenty straight minutes allowing for maximum practice time. I like to mention that these look really cool, and they also last a really long time.
The one that I own actually works great after all these years.
The Seiko SQ50-V is a very loud electronic piano metronome that is popular amongst pianists.
Many pianists recommend this because it is a cheaper option to a mechanical product and some instructors say it does the same thing as a mechanical one only it’s cheaper.
A key feature is it has a mono headphone jack in case you are trying to be quiet while practicing a piece. You can use this input to plug a pair of headphones in so only you can hear it.
This is electronic and is going to be extremely cheap, however efficient for musicians. It comes with a headphone jack and headphones as well.
Soundbrenner Pulse Vibrating
The Soundbrenner Pulse is the first of its kind since you wear it around your wrist like a watch.
I recently did a complete review of this product because I was blown away by the technology.
I’m surprised companies haven’t done this before now. I hope to see more companies go this route over time.
We really like this product and think it’s going to change the game. You can read our full review for the Soundbrenner Pulse here.
The Korg KDM-3 is a great look at at a natural wood looking product. This is meant to have the classic pendulum or mechanical look, yet it is still fully digital.
I was intrigued by this so I actually ended up buying it and I still use it.
It is really an easy tool to use and is loaded with features that a lot of other products just simply aren’t.
The tap tempo feature is something that is neat about this as you simply tap to get to your desired tempo.
You can read my full review of the Korg KDM-3 here. I decided to get more in-depth as I own it.
Do Guitar Players Need To Use A Metronome?
No, you don’t need to really for any instrument. However, almost all musicians will recommend that you start by playing with a click. It is very easy to tell musicians apart from those who never used a one because their timing will typically be sloppy.
The first thing musicians look for when watching other musicians is how tight they are with their timing and how good their overall mechanics are when it comes to using their instrument to its fullest.
Can I Just Use A Free Metronome App On My Cellphone?
Yes, you definitely can. I have found that there’s something that feels good when I use a nice one that I can physically adjust the settings on. You can typically do a lot more with an actual one as well, rather than just using a cell phone. Also, I hate overloading my phone with apps in general and draining the battery when I don’t have to.
Reading Music While Playing To A Metronome
If you are planning on using a metronome then you will probably want to know how to read music. Whenever I was working on new classical pieces, I always used one. Reading music is important for pianists and you will want to know all about the treble clef and the bass clef. Check my in-depth guide on the treble clef at the link above as I think you will find it useful.
How To Use A Metronome
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s really not. When I was a beginner I didn’t really know how to use one. You may decide that you enjoy playing to a click that doesn’t make noise and is visual, whereas you may end up liking the click.
You will take your device and set it to whatever tempo the song is that you’re trying to play to. What I like to do is learn songs and parts of songs at a slower tempo. You can get this down and then slowly build your speed. This is a great technique as I know a lot of professors teach this way.
The reason I like doing it this way is so I can tighten everything up and have good technique before going full-speed.
I think playing to a metronome is crucial for all musicians. The main thing you can do as a musician is to learn to play in time. There’s no better tool for learning to play tight and in time to a beat. Start early in your journey and try to use it when practicing any pieces or doing any scale drills.
I hope these picks helped you figure out which is best for you. If you have any questions or think I left any out that helped you, let me know in the comment section below!