The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1

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    My amplifier has a metronome option that has always served me well, but a friend has an analogue one and I thought it was incredible, but when I saw the price I realized that it is a big investment for an enthusiastic musician like me. I looked for a digital version for mobile and came across this one:

    Metronome - Apps on Google Play

    I'm really enjoying it, but I still want to have an analog.
    Can anyone who has used both digital and analogue tell me if analogue is really better or just nostalgic? Is this option for android a good free option or are there better ones available?
    I apologize if my question is something I should already know from use, playing is a hobby for me as I have a lot to improve yet.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    Welcome Andy!

    Just my opinion, while I love the look of a pendulum metronome I doubt they are as accurate (or dependable) as a cheap digital metronome in the long haul. I would love to get a nice wooden pendulum Wittner, but the one that's built into the Yamaha piano I have works perfectly so... That said, if you want a pendulum metronome I say get it. Having one in your phone can be super handy so you may as well grab that too, like guitars you really can't have too many!

    Get whatever makes you practice more; be it a metronome, a foot rest, a nicer strap, literally whatever.

  4. #3

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    I should preface my comment to note that I'm a jazz student, not a pro, so my needs are relatively modest. Having said that, I recently downloaded the Soundbrenner metronome app onto my iphone and it seems to work quite well.

  5. #4

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    I have one of these, got it off ebay for $15. For me, it is much better than an app because I can get away from my phone. The phone is a distraction and you can easily spend hours "researching" the best metronome app instead of playing your guitar.

    Analog or digital metronome?-s-l500-jpg

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllanAllen
    I have one of these, got it off ebay for $15. For me, it is much better than an app because I can get away from my phone. The phone is a distraction and you can easily spend hours "researching" the best metronome app instead of playing your guitar.

    Analog or digital metronome?-s-l500-jpg
    I hear you and I understand why you would want the metronome separate from your phone. So, my first try was to buy a modestly priced metronome that appeared in most of the online reviews as a good choice. It did everything it was supposed to do and more than enough for my needs, except the sound of the electronic click was annoying and it didn't have a feature to change the tone so I returned it and downloaded the Soundbrenner app. So far so good, and since my phone connects to my amp via Bluetooth I have the metronome beats coming through the amp and if I'm practicing with a backing track I also play that through my amp via the iReal app also on my phone. The only thing I can't seem to get the apps to do is help my fingers find the notes that I want when I want them .

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ARGewirtz
    The only thing I can't seem to get the apps to do is help my fingers find the notes that I want when I want them .

  8. #7

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    I don't want to handle my phone while I'm practising so I have multiple metronomes. One stays in my bag, one stays on my music stand etc. so that I have easy access to them and no excuse to not use them, and little chance of getting distracted by a silent phone notification when I intend to grab one.

    The one I like most is called Seiko SQ60 but it does though have tap tempo. What I like about it is that it has a more "click" type of sound (it has two differnt sounds to choose from) rather than a "beep". It also has a wheel to dial in the tempo which I like.
    I also have two Korg digital metronomes which have a beep sound, but they have tap tempo and various "beats" (sixteen note or tuple patterns).
    One of them has also a built in tuner so that's the one I have in my bag, because it then doubles as a backup tuner.

    I do also own a mechanical Wittner metronome (to be nit-picky, pendulum metronomes are mechanical not analogue). They do indeed have this nice nostalgic vibe about them, but to be honest I think the seiko sq60 is more convenient since it is smaller. If you want one I don't see any good reason to recommend against getting one or putting it on your christmas wishlist or something (there is though an argument which can be made on the environmental impact of consumption).
    I think it is hard to make a claim that mechanical metronomes are better (or worse) at being metronome than digital metronomes or apps. They definitely sound nicer than "beep" metronomes, and are (i think) usually wound up so you don't need to replace batteries. But they need a level surface and are sensitive to mechanical vibrations (I doubt it is often a problem?), you can not control their sound volume and they lack (perhaps redundant and gimmicky?) features.

    I've tried an android app called Metronomerous. It has no ads or in app upsells, apart from the option (non invasive) to voluntarily donate.
    One nice feature it has is that you can set it to be silent for a set amount of bars (to practise keeping time yourself until it comes back in). It also different beat patterns and other features you'd expect.

  9. #8

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    I have a neat little pendulum metronome that's quite compact, works well, looks good on the table.

    I hardly ever use it.

    Drumgenius and it's built in metronome, Metrogenius. Those are the bee's knees.

  10. #9

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    - My BOSS RC10R looper has built in rhythms so very easy to dial up a 2,3,4 or maybe a 5/4 beat at whatever speed and easy to balance the sound against the guitar
    - I also use the Soundbrenner app if not plugged in and slumped on the sofa.
    - Sometimes I just set a beat going on my ancient keyboard.
    - I have a little battery powered Korg metronome -useful if not near an amp/phone but want something to look at on my music stand.

    so 4 different Metronomes - all digital and all useful
    Mechanical Metronomes are just ornaments

  11. #10

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  12. #11

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    I've been using a Seiko SQ44 for 30 years at least. Still going strong. Very basic nome. It has a very satisfying 'tock' like an acoustic pendulum. In fact I put duct tape on the sound-holes as it was a little loud for my liking. It's much smaller than the Wittner little guys. I have other things available on the computer, but the sound isn't as good.

    I've read that pendulums can be less accurate, but that's probably just be the BPM settings. What would working with a nome that didn't keep good time do to you? :-)

  13. #12

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    The thing to remember about pendulum metronomes is that they have to stand on a surface that is perfectly flat. So if you live in an old house, or put it on a table that tilts slightly to one side, the beats won't be even.

    Apps or digital metronomes have the advantage that you can change sounds, volume, and on some metronomes use advanced features, like randomly skipping beats, or programming patterns.

    For a super simple metronome app, I like Metronome+, for a full blown percussion app that sounds good and has good patterns (that can be modified) I like Drumjam.

  14. #13

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    I use metronome very rarely.
    I just got an app that has a nice 'click' tone, convinient and looks fine to me.
    Attached Images Attached Images Analog or digital metronome?-screenshot_20230316-091147_metronome-jpg 

  15. #14

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    The app Tempo is great for slow click work

    i like to set the metronome to go on 4 every other bar and so on, so old school metronomes don’t go slow enough

  16. #15

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    I use the wittner quartz metronome because it has a volume control and a pleasant sounding click. I also have the wittner pendulum metronome but the clicks are just too loud. I use a metronome like 80% of the time I’m practicing.

    Analog or digital metronome?-69f8e123-b0e6-43c6-93f8-b25eaeb925c9-jpg

    I agree about the advantages of some apps (slower tempos, percussionist instead of clicks). But I feel like I can get a ton out of just a basic metronome.

  17. #16

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    I still have the Seth Thomas pendulum metronome (the original "Maelzel" design) that my family bought in the 1940s when my sister started taking piano lessons - and it still works! The observation about needing a level surface is spot on. I kept the pianos level, but I've had to shim it with paper and a variety of objects when using it for other instruments away from my piano. Worse, wear in the mechanism (or damage to the pendulum or shaft) will also throw it off. Fortunately, mine's never been damaged. I've never lubricated it and it's still ticking, so the design must be sound. But it looks to me like damage to the internals is repairable only by replacing the worn, bent or broken part(s). Sitting to the left of the ST is the small, cheap plastic one that I bought because I didn't want to damage the ST by dragging it around. The short shaft makes fine adjustment harder than it is on the full size ones.

    And I downloaded the "7metronome" app to the cheapo Android tablet I use as backup to my big tablet on gigs. We almost always have a guest vocalist for the first hour of our weekly Thursday night show, and I prepare charts for their tunes so the band is playing the same changes, accents, dynamics etc. And I like to be able to count in every tune at the singer's preferred tempo. So I leave this set up on my stand next to the charts, for a silent metronome that's highly visible to me on the darkened stage but not at al to the audience. It makes a variety of sounds, has great visual indicators, and has been a big help to me - I love it.

    Analog or digital metronome?-metronomes_cropped-jpeg Analog or digital metronome?-seth_thomas_small-jpeg

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by sm80808
    This is not accurate.
    Been doing one myself and to get it accurate in a browser is... difficult.

    edit: I have the yamaha puck. green. never gonna sell it.

  19. #18

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    Analog or digital metronome?-img_1694-jpg

    I love my old Sabine Zipbeat because the click on 1 is different than the other beats. However, this thing is at least 30 years old (which I don't mind in itself) and slows down over time. Hate that.

    I bought a snazzier one, but the buttons are small and my fingers are large, so it's a pain to set at a specific tempo. It's in a drawer somewhere.

    No nostalgia here for a pendulum metronome (-though I do love that click; the Sabine's click is like that and that's a big part of its appeal.)

    I use EZDrummer for songwriting, so I don't need a metronome that plays different beats.

  20. #19
    Wittner Super Mini (pendulum) metronome I've had for thirty years at least.

    It sometimes goes in a jacket pocket along with a tuning fork if I get bored with the jukebox at some bar and don't mind nerding out occasionally, but sits on my desk or wherever, and is fine. I don't use metronomes for rigorous practice: IMHO, after forty years of playing music, my time is good, but I give spot checks here and there and make interpretive decisions away from an instrument sometimes.

    Sometimes I like to just "jam" with the metronome....not with an instrument in hand, but just experiment with some ideas in my head. Metronome can help keep me focused. I'd say it's a very valuable companion.
    Last edited by jackalGreen; 03-18-2023 at 01:57 PM.

  21. #20

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    I can't seem to find one that works,...stupid things always seem to drag.

  22. #21

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    I've been very happy with my cheap Android tablet solution. Between Pulse for iPhone and 7Metronome for Android (I use them both and they're equally excellent), all mobile devices are covered. Both of these are excellent metronome apps with selectable visual and audible beat indicators, and both are very easy to use. I save my old phones and tablets to use as ad hoc devices like remote controls and e-readers. I still have and use my iPhone 4S and my Samsung Fascinate for a few things.

    But I also found a few really cheap Android tablets over the years. I've gotten 2 for $20 each new at Best Buy sales. They're slow and have only a minimuim amount of RAM - but they work fine for fakebooks, pdfs, metronomes etc. And I got a 10" Kindle Fire HD on sale for $75 on Prime Day last year. You can easily set up a Kindle tablet to function as a plain vanilla Android, and they're very solid devices that last forever. You can probably get a small Kindle Fire when the next sale rolls around for under $50 if you don't care about color.

    A cheap tablet is a great tool on the bandstand. You can use it as a metronome, turn the flash into a flashlight, keep every fake book ever made on it, run iReal Pro, make notes, play break music, etc. It fits easily in a gig bag pocket (amp or guitar). I got a small holder for mine that clips or screw-mounts onto a mic stand, and it sits well on a music stand too. I can't imagine going without one.

  23. #22

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    The kind you wind.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Haze
    The kind you wind.
    We just heard from your drummer. He says the whole band thinks you’re a quaint relic.

    Analog or digital metronome?-3496f486-3965-46d2-97f7-a07d997a0c62-jpeg

  25. #24

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    I use TimeGuru on my Android phone. It allows you to randomly mute a percentage of the clicks. It is slightly programmable, but it's not user friendly for that.

    But, more recently, I bought Drum Genius ($12, I think) and I've been practicing to drum loops.

    I can speculate about the pros and cons of drum loops vs traditional metronome but I prefer the loops.

    I use Drum Genius on gigs when I want to make sure I count a tune off at the right tempo. An old fashioned wood metronome won't do for that.

  26. #25

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    I'm fairly certain digital metronomes won't do this (and yes this is tongue in cheek, I'm not asking for a physics lesson )

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