April 09, 2015
The Best Metronomes and Tuners
For musicians, metronomes and tuners are incredibly important tools. Metronomes are designed to help musicians keep musical time, regulating rhythm and beat to ensure that the music being produced sounds the way that it should. Similarly, tuners help musicians keep their instruments sounding right by indicating whether a pitch emitted by an instrument is lower, higher, or equal to what it should be. Often times, these are separate tools but there are metronome and tuner combinations available. Since every musician needs these tools to play, we’ve collected information on some of the best metronomes, tuners, and metronome/tuner combinations on the market to help you decide which one you should buy.
The Korg TM-50 is a tuner and metronome combination. You can use both of these functions simultaneously, making it the only tool you need for both pitch and rhythm training. The Korg TM-50 is popular lesson tool for brass bands, although other types of musicians favor it as well because it features extremely fast response to audio input from a range of instruments. The display on the Korg TM-50 uses a newly designed needle-style LCD which offers greater tuning accuracy from previous models. With a variety of added features, this tool is much more than simply a combination tuner and metronome combination, and at the low price of $29.99, it’s a real bargain for any musician.
Anyone who’s in the market for a high quality yet simple metronome should consider the Seiko SQ50-V Quartz Metronome. Its compact size makes it perfect to sit on an electric piano and its straightforward design makes it easy-to-use for anyone. It has an easy operation tempo dial, a volume control, and makes two click sounds such as those from percussion instruments. This metronome also has a red LED which you can select to provide a visual beat or combine with a click sound for easy beat-keeping. The Seiko SQ50-V Quartz Metronome only costs $31.99, making it a great deal.
If you’re not looking for a simple and straightforward metronome like the Seiko model, and prefer a metronome with more features, then you should consider the Boss DB-90 Dr. Beat Metronome. This metronome features Rhythm Coach functions with an onboard microphone, a reference-tone function for tuning, an instrument input, MIDI input, and many other handy tools. Using this metronome, you can instantly create a variety of beats by adjusting the levels of 5 different note values. The Boss DB-90 has 4 different click sounds, plus a human voice-counting sound that will help you know your place in the bar. This metronome is also equipped with realistic drum patterns to help you develop your accuracy and rhythmic feel more effectively. Rhythm Coach has 4 training modes that’ll help you develop your accuracy, speed, and endurance. Drummers can use this metronome through Roland V-Pads or by using the internal microphone, while guitarists and bassists can plug in directly. The Boss DB-90 has such a variety of great features; you can see why it’s been rated among the best metronomes on the market. It sells for 193.50, but at Music & Arts you can buy it for just $159.
Anyone in the market for a high quality but inexpensive tuner should consider the Korg CA-40. The Korg CA-40 Electronic Chromatic Tuner can tune a variety of instruments including wind, string, and keyboard instruments. For acoustic instruments, you can use the built-in high-sensitivity microphone to detect the pitch without the need for any additional accessories. Alternatively, this tuner works with the separately sold CM-100 contact microphone to send the instruments vibration directly to the tuner, which is useful for tuning in environments that contain a lot of ambient sounds. Similar to the Korg TM-50, this tuner has a large, clear LCD display which makes for great visibility. There are also red and green LEDs to indicate pitch deviations, so that tuning your instrument is as easy as possible. The Korg CA-40 costs $24.99.
Finally, for anyone who is looking for a reliable and affordable tuner and metronome combination, there is the Boss TU-80. The metronome has 7 rhythms and 10 beats, plus a useful animated LCD display. The TU-80 supports chromatic tuning, 7-string guitars, and 6-string basses. There is an Accu-Pitch function which will sound a tone when the pitch is correct, a Reference Tone Play function which makes it easy to verify tuning by ear, and it’s capable of tuning down to 5 flats. With an ultra-thin design, this metronome and tuner will fit into any guitar case, backpack, or even your pocket.
For even more options, check out our collection of Tuners & Metronomes.
Photo via Romel Eliseo, CC