The Humble Metronome

“That ticking is driving me insane Jason, TICK, TICK, TICK, TICK. Stop the ticking!” an ex-girlfriend of mine shouted down the stairs.

I have made some bad purchases.

I have made some good purchases.

This ticking sensation was the latter. Wonderful purchase. Hell - lifechanging purchase. It served two purposes. Firstly, it innately improved my musicianship and secondly, and rather thankfully, it in-part ended a calamitous relationship.

I’m referring to the humble metronome. The downtrodden of musical gadgetry.

"What do they do?" I hear you exclaim.

They tick or ‘beat’ precisely in time. You set the number of beats in a minute.

"I can play in time, I don’t need a metronome!" The number of times I have heard this whilst teaching over the last 10+ years. I do let them down gently, you’ll be pleased to know as even professional players benefit from using a metronome on a regular basis.

Some of the benefits include...

Developing your sense and feeling of time

Increasing the accuracy of your rhythm

Helping to make more sense out of longer phrases

Helps you to interpret music more convincingly

• Increasing ‘steadiness’ whilst practicing. When you step away, the speed, or tempo, is more consistant

• Can be used to build-up speed, or tempo, in music

• Can be used to improve technique through instrumental exercises

Are there different types?

LOTS, dependent on what you need of course. I would recommend a mechanical metronome for home (I have a Wittner 808) and a digital one if you're travelling.

Mechanical Metronomes

Donner DPM-1

Wittner Taktell Piccolino

If you have a little more budget…

Wittner 808 Metronome (this is the one I own)

Digital Metronomes


Korg SY-1M in ear

There are of course, lots of paid and free metronome apps. I'll be covering these in a later post!

You might not end up with ticking but bleeping to drive your significant others insane. It might just be the best purchase you make along your musical journey.