Best Metronome For Beginners

Analog vs Digital Metronome

Your Guide to the Best Metronome for Beginners

Two important skills that a piano player has to learn first are to recognize notes and find the correct keys. Other abilities may take more time to learn, like familiarizing yourself with the appropriate posture and technique, but with proper guidance and tutorials, it will be easier.

There is an important skill that beginners often overlook that they should learn and practice because it can help them in the long run – it’s learning how to keep the time and pace of the piano. Good thing there is a tool that can help piano beginners called a metronome.

Check out this article for a simple guide on how to choose the best metronome for beginners.

What is a metronome?

Analog Metronome

Photo by Florian G from Pexels

A piano metronome is a device used to keep a beat at a certain timing. It was first introduced in the 19th century to help musicians play songs with the appropriate time signature and correct pace. Today, metronomes are either analog or electronic/digital. The most popular and considered the best metronome for piano players is a digital metronome.

Why should a beginner piano player purchase a metronome?

You can improve on some fundamental piano skills when you have a metronome, thereby elevating your level of playing.

Using a metronome helps improve your musical abilities by keeping you focused on your rhythm. While a pianist needs to know all the parts of a song, it is equally necessary to know when and how fast or slow you should play them. One of the most common mistakes of beginner pianists is they tend to focus too much on the first part without paying attention to the second, with a metronome, you will be forced to pay close attention to time.

A metronome is also a good way to slow down a rather complicated piece so it is easier to learn it. Being able to change the pace of the beats lets you play a song either slow or faster as needed so you can familiarize yourself better.

Lastly, using a metronome gives you the chance to practice tempos outside of your comfort zone. Notice how most music today comes in a standard 4/4 signature? By being able to perform freestyling or playing the pieces on different, even less common signatures, you enhance your piano-playing skills and techniques.

What to Look for in the Best Metronome for Piano Student

Price

You’ll find several applications that you can download for free to check before purchasing one. You can test if they are worth the price you’d be paying.

Aesthetic

This may be an insignificant detail, but pianists think that if you intend to use a metronome for a long time, you should get one that is pleasing to look at. One of the reasons why experienced pianists prefer the best mechanical metronome for piano beginners is because they have a good aesthetic, especially if they are placed on top of the piano.

Portability

If you travel a lot with your portable keyboard, then investing in a cheaper electronic metronome would prove to be more convenient.

Analog or Digital?

Analog or Mechanical Metronome

Photo courtesy of Tempi

The classic metronome is the analog design or mechanical. It features a pendulum that swings back and forth. It is a simple tool that doesn’t need a battery or electricity. Analog designs come in different shapes and sizes. However, analog metronomes don’t have any extra functionality and they only work on a flat surface. You are stuck with their clicking sound but they can be difficult to hear in certain areas. They don’t have accented beats or real visual cues.

Digital or Electric Metronome

Photo courtesy of Ueteto

On the other hand, digital metronomes have more features compared to analog metronomes. They offer extra functions and settings. You can use headphones, hence it is easier to hear them while playing. They also come with volume settings, beat accents, and sound options. A digital metronome is usually part of a multi-functional device, like a pedal or a tuner. They are relatively smaller in design and more portable. Digital metronomes have drawbacks, too. For one, they need batteries to function. Some pianists complain that there are certain types and models of digital metronomes that are quite difficult to use, and there are instances when it takes too long to change the tempo.

What about an App?

This is certainly worth some consideration. An app is easily accessible these days and gets the job done. After all, an app can be acquired fast and cheap.
However, I would like to caution especially parents to consider the following potential set backs using an app:

  • A child may not be allowed to have or use a smartphone
  • A smartphone does many, many, many more things than imitating a metronome! Distractions are preprogrammed!

If you are looking for the best metronome for piano beginners, it is always a good idea to learn more about your options.

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