Everyone knows how important it is to use a metronome as part of your daily practice routine. There are many sizes, shapes and models of metronomes available on the market ranging from $15-$170. I am sure everyone is familiar with the Roland’s Dr. Beat and Tama’s Rhythm Watch. Today, I am going to review 3 metronome applications for the iPhone/iPod Touch. Make sure you leave your recommendations, thoughts and comments below.

The three metronome applications I chose to review are:

1) Metronome – Free
2) Metronome iTick – Free
3) Tempo 2 – $1.99

Metronome

Metronome is designed to look like an old mechanical metronome. To start the metronome, you swipe your finger left or right and the arm swings back and forth.

Pros:
1) It launches very quickly.
2) It is easy to enter in the speed.
3) The sound of the metronome is good.

Cons:
1) The metronome turns off when your devise goes to sleep. If you want to keep it on, you need to change your sleep settings.
2) In the current version, there is a “timing adjustment” slider in the options. You can adjust the speed of the metronome slower or faster by 25%. In my opinion, you shouldn’t need a slider to adjust the accuracy of the metronome.
3) There is no tap function.

Metronome iTick

Metronome iTick has a similar functionality to the the iPhone alarm clock. In order to adjust the tempos, you swipe the wheel up or down to get the new tempo. You can also use the Italian music terms to set your tempo.

Pros:
1) It launches quickly.
2) The display has a flashing light that is easy to see.

Cons:
1) The sound of the metronome is not very good. There are options for different sounds, but they all sound mediocre. The downbeat click, in “Classic Sound 1” is a flam…
2) You can’t type in your tempo. You always have to swipe to change the tempo.
3) There is no tap function.

Tempo 2

Tempo 2 is the most advanced metronome available on the iPhone. It features set lists, 5 sound sets, tap tempo, drag editing to adjust tempo and subdivisions, and customizable layouts.

Pros:
1) You have the ability to store your metronome markings in set lists.
2) There is a tap function.
3) You can change the sounds of each individual beat by clicking on the individual beat.. This allows you to have different subdivisions based on which buttons are lit up.

Cons:
1) It takes longer to load than any of the other metronomes (approximately 5 seconds). This may not seem like a long time, but when you want to hear a tempo when you are starting a piece, it is too long.
2) It is a very complex metronome and is not for the novice “metronomist.”

Other Metronomes
1) Metronome – Free
This is the first metronome application that shows up in iTunes. It works as described, but the biggest problem with this metronome is that the sounds for the beats are reversed. Typically, the higher sound is for the downbeat and the lower sound is for the non-downbeat notes. This is not true in this application. If you use a metronome regularly (which you all should be), this is very annoying.

2) Metronome! – Free
It sounds horrible and the interface is not very good.

3) Beats – BPM, Metronome – $1.99
I have never used this metronome, but it has received favorable reviews in iTiunes and on the internet. It is marketed as an “advanced DJ metronome and a key-mixing aid.” The interface looks clean.

And the winner is: Tempo 2

Overall, I find myself using two metronomes in my daily routine of teaching and performing. I use Metronome when I need to get a quick tempo and I use Tempo 2 for everything else. In Tempo 2, I have programmed the tempi for the Anthony Cirone Snare Drum Book into one of the set lists. Once it is set-up, I can scroll through the set list and have the subdivision and tempo already set-up when I need to access it for a lesson. I am planning on doing that with all of my method books that I use in my lessons.

I am sure there are other metronomes on the iPhone. Please let us know what you are using and why you like or dislike it.

Originally posted on DrumChattr on September 16, 2010 by Dave Gerhart.

Dave Gerhart

Dave Gerhart

Dr. Dave Gerhart, Product Manager, Percussion for Yamaha Corporation of America and Lecturer of Percussion at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSU, Long Beach, is a nationally recognized performer, composer, and educator. Dr. Gerhart, originally from Fairfield, California, holds a D.M.A. from the University of Southern California, M.M. in Percussion Performance and Instrumental Conducting and a B.M. in Music Education from California State University, Long Beach.
Dave Gerhart

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