Music is an art form. As a musician, you will learn to play your chosen instrument or instruments. But you may also decide to learn how to read and interpret music, maybe even writing your own melodies.
Metronomes can be a key feature of practicing and perfecting your skill. They can also help figure out technical aspects of music making, including tempo and time signatures.
You can set a metronome to make its noise to your desired speed, and it can help you concentrate on getting the notes in the right places at the right time. You can set a metronome to slow, medium, or fast pace.
This is a good accessory for practicing particularly tricky time signatures or technical bars with lots of twiddly notes.
We’re going to look at the top ten metronome apps that you can take with you everywhere.
Pro Metronome offers Pro options upgrades. With the simple version of the app, you can access metronome, beat division, recording, and training aspects.
With the pro version, you can add visual aids and vibrate modes so that you can feel the vibration if you are playing in a loud environment.
- Customizable: You can select your own style with Pro Metronome. All the colors, sounds, and beats are completely changeable to suit your personal style and flair. This is also really easy to do.
- Hard to navigate: It can sometimes be difficult to navigate an app that has so many different features. Sometimes, you may prefer something more back to basics, such as a simple metronome.
This app is for children. It has interactive musical games, theory based learning, and a handy and fit for purpose metronome. It is designed with younger audiences in mind and is completely geared toward that purpose.
There is a simple way to adjust the tempo. Whichever way the young person wants to practice, they just have to select the setting according to what’s on their screen, and off they go. It is easy to follow and easy to use.
- Pro Engagement: This app is geared toward a younger audience. It is fun and brightly colored and even features cartoon characters to keep younger minds engaged with music practice.
- Practice Skills: This app aims to enable a healthy and sustainable practice environment. It does this through tailored engagement tactics.
Volume controls are a necessary feature on any metronome app. You can simply use the volume controls on your smartphone to adjust the metronome sound. You can also, alongside this, make use of visual displays such as camera flash to keep you on track.
The metronome function is of course the main attraction. It has been fine tuned to perfection. You opt for as much or as little complication and detail as you wish. It can be subdivided and set to any tempo as required.
- Uncomplicated: The app is a simple metronome with a few extra perks thrown in. You can choose your own aesthetic and dip in and out of the more complex features as and when it suits you. You may never need them, as the simple metronome works without any trims.
- Collaborative: You can use Metronome Plus to create set lists and share these across a wider ensemble. This is amazing for group practice sessions and keeping everyone on the same page. You can also use the subdivision feature to enable different people practicing different parts.
- Better for Teams: Metronome Plus can be used collaboratively, as we’ve seen in the Pros list. Though this is a great feature, it can be overcomplicated for an individual wanting to practice, there are better apps for this.
This is a feature not found in many metronome apps. The polyrhythm feature allows you to play two different beats at the same time in the same phrase. This is handy for multi-person practices, for example, an orchestra or a band ensemble.
A tracker is a top tier feature in the world of metronome apps. It is an asset to your practice to be able to record your playing sessions and refer back to them in the future.
It can highlight your areas of improvement and encourage you in your recorded successes.
- Save Settings: Is there anything more annoying than losing your progress? Probably not. Thankfully, with Tempo Advance, this is not a concern. You can save any of your custom made settings with a simple save feature. So you can return to what you were working on whenever you need to.
- Tutorials: Tutorials are a feature on this app that is often overlooked by all the other great features. However, tutorials are always useful. You can think of them as a user manual of sorts, explaining anything you may feel unsure of and giving you technical advice for your practice sessions.
- Advanced: Tempo Advance does what it says on the label. It is an advanced app for experienced musicians. It is not a simple metronome to help you keep the beat. It goes above and beyond those expectations. This app is not really geared towards beginners.
The Dr. Bettotte metronome is displayed how you choose. You can select color, design, and function. You can also pick the time signature and create your own with ease.
One of the best features, without a doubt about Dr. Bettotte, is the detailed way in which you can manipulate the beat division. You can subdivide and subdivide until your heart’s content.
You can save your progress on the app and use it to teach yourself and self-enable. There are so many technical features to discover, you will never be short of something new to explore.
You can begin from any level you wish, starting slow and building up to master those presto pieces. You can save any settings and work on them as many times as you like, without having to input the same thing every time.
- Detailed Controls: BPM, and length of the beat are just two of the details that you can control with this metronome app. You get the traditional metronome experience while being able to control every little aspect.
- Visually Helpful: Dr. Bettotte is visually endearing towards a bigger learning experience. You can select the contrast settings and app colors. You can even allow access to the smartphone torch to work alongside the ticking beat of the metronome.
- Expensive: Unlike other metronome apps on the list, Dr. Bettotte isn’t free. You will have a monthly cost for this app which will include all of the features and perks.
There are at least 20 different metronome sounds at your fingertips. You can choose whichever works best for your choice of instrument.
Some sounds will be more discernible than others with different instrumental timbres.
Works With Your Smartphone
You can select to allow the app to interact with your already existing smartphone features, such as the torch and Bluetooth.
The torch will flash along as a visual aid to stimulate your eyes as well as your ears while keeping in time with the beat.
Bluetooth can be connected to a sound pedal or Bluetooth speaker.
This is a handy feature that we see in quite a few metronome apps. Soundbrenner allows you to save your progress and interactively track your abilities.
- Additional Purchase: This app is free. It works perfectly fine on your phone without any external help. However, it does work better with the additional purchase of the Soundbrenner smartwatch.
The smartwatch enhances the experience by adding vibrations to the overall metronome experience.
Just as the name suggests, this app is a real metronome. You can choose how you want the metronome to be displayed, and set the tempo to a good selection of different time signatures. That’s all there is to it, something uncomplicated and built for purpose.
- Straight to the point: The metronome is the whole purpose of this app. It is the one to decide if you want a straightforward, no frills’ metronome experience that you can take with you on your musical journey.
- Uncomplicated: The reason this app made the list is because of its lack of complexity. It is a metronome app, and that’s what it does. There are no other features to cloud or complicate things, you set your desired tempo and off you go.
- Scarce on Features: This app is a simple metronome. There are no additional features. Though it is free and fit for purpose, you may want something a bit more versatile the more you play.
As you would expect, the metronome feature is the main event with Metronome Beats. The metronome can be set as slow as 1, up to tempo speeds of 900!
You can even keep the metronome going while you switch between apps. This means you can have a digital score open at the same time.
Metronome Beats also has a drum machine feature. This is a virtual drum set that you can use to practice your drumming technical skills and also make your own beats and tempos. You can record whatever you do and play it back for later use.
Speed training is a part of becoming a musician. First, you must learn the notes, then you must play at speed to the correct time signature. This app allows you to practice the score at different speeds, building up to as fast as you want to play.
If you don’t want the noise of the metronome, for example, if it is a distraction while trying to concentrate on the melody, Metronome Beats has an answer.
You can switch on visual clues that show up on your screen to mark the beat and when to play, instead of the traditional metronome tick tock noise.
- Versatile: This app may have a smaller number of features, but those features are detailed and versatile. You can even choose from musical tempo markings, which will not only help you understand the terms in a greater way but also help you associate your playing with each type of tempo.
- User Friendly: This app is designed with musicians in mind. From being able to keep the metronome playing in the background to easy tempo adjustment, the features are built to be as user friendly as possible.
- Limited Features: This app has plenty to offer. However, compared to other metronome apps, it doesn’t have the same number of different features to play around with.
The main draw of the app is the metronome function. It works just as a metronome should, by keeping the beat with a noise.
It can do any time signature you wish, to match any musical score. You can even create your own time signatures and play around with them.
Alongside the standard metronome features, Tonal Energy also offers a tuner as a part of the app features. It can tone match any note, sharp or flat or otherwise, and help you tune your instrument to perfection.
The feature that generates tones is a handy one. It can help you note match and find your pitch on the go, wherever you need it.
You can track your progress and share it however you like with this metronome app. You can record your practice sessions, and see which tempos you have used.
The data is stored on the app and presented in handy charts and analysis modes. You can then reflect on this data and share it with your peers if you wish.
- Suits all abilities: This app is tailored for beginners all the way through to expert musicians. No matter what stage you are in, perhaps it is the first ever day you’ve picked up your instrument. There are clear to use features to suit every level.
- Works with all instruments: Tonal Energy can be used for practicing with any instrument. It can be used with any time signature and musical score, regardless of the instrument.
- Overwhelming: Tonal Energy has a lot of different features. This could potentially be overwhelming for someone just starting out in their craft. There are simpler metronome apps out there that offer a more linear experience.
40 Different Samples
There are 40 different pre-programmed samples of beat and tempo to play around with. You really can dive deeply into the world of subdivision and practice rhythm until your heart is content.
It is always handy to have a timer while practicing. This app includes a timer as a standard feature to help you along in your study of music and learning to play technically.
Tutorials are always a handy thing to have, especially while trying to master a new skill or perfect a pre-existing one. There are videos and tips to help your progress and aid you in learning or building on your technical and musical skill sets.
- Options aplenty: Metronomics really covers all bases. You can play around with any number of different beats and time signatures. Everything is pre-programmed and can be used however and wherever you please.
- Self-teaching: With this app, you can teach yourself new tricks and record your progress. That’s great for improving your overall abilities.
- Complex: This app, though filled with many different options, is a bit overwhelming for new musicians starting out.
Metronome App Guide
A metronome can help you master the music by helping you with the tempo. Tempo is essentially how fast or slow a piece of music should be played, as dictated by the composer of the piece.
There are lots of technical terms for dictating tempo used in musical scores. They are also used to convey the overall mood of the piece. The most common are:
- Grave: Very, very slowly. Serious and steady.
- Lento: Slowly, and carefully.
- Adagio: Slowly.
- Andante: Slowly, and sauntering. As though you were walking aimlessly.
- Allegretto: Upbeat and quick.
- Allegro: Happily, and fast.
- Presto: Very quickly, excitedly.
- Prestissimo: Extremely quickly. As fast as your hands allow!
Fun fact: These terms are Italian. This is because, at the time that they were coined, Italian composers were very popular and prominent on the classical music scene.
They can also help you with the time signature. Time signatures dictate how many beats are played in each bar of music. A musical score is divided into bars and phrases.
Each bar or phrase has a certain number of beats and notes. These notes are all different lengths and add up to create a complete musical phrase.
Explanation Time: Time Signatures
A time signature is displayed like a fraction, with two numbers atop of the other.
The bottom number represents the value of a single beat. The top number is the number of note values in a single beat.
A simple way to explain this is to use the most common time signature: 4/4.
4/4 means there are 4 beats in a bar, lasting 4 beats each. So any notes, no matter their length (one beat, half a beat, two beats long), must add up to four in one bar.
A metronome can help you keep track of the beats by being set to the time signature of the music and ticking along as you play. This will help you count the beats as you go along and keep your brain in sync with the time signature.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is A Metronome Essential To My Playing?
A metronome is a very useful accessory to your music practice. It can help you fine tune your abilities to learn tricky phrases. It can also help you learn how to play correctly following the different time signatures.
Is A Metronome App The Same As The Real Thing?
A metronome app is a perfect substitute for a physical metronome. Any of the apps on our list can do anything a real metronome can do. Plus, they have the handy added bonus of being in your bag or pocket whenever the need may arise!
When it comes to metronome apps, there are some great options to choose from.
You can practice keeping time and perfecting your pieces with a click of a button. They all have a lot to offer and ultimately perform just as well as any physical metronome.
Furthermore, these apps all have additional features right there at the touch of a button. Things like tuners, tone matching, sound generators, and in-built recording technology can all give you a boost in your music practice.