It is never too late to start practicing with a metronome. If you are like me, your piano teacher was constantly reminding you to practice with a metronome, even if it is hard. Timing is so important and the earlier you start working on it, the better off you will be.
Unfortunately for all those looking for excuses to practice without a metronome, I have found a dozen of the best online metronomes, so that you will never have to practice without one.
These metronomes are all online, web-based programs. All the metronomes are designed to work on your laptop or desktop computer, most of them will work on your mobile device as well.
These are listed in order from worst to best online metronome, so the best metronome is listed last.
Online-Stopwatch Online Metronome
The metronome hosted by Online-Stopwatch is one of the first search results you’ll find on Google, but I’m not sure how or why this is. Compared to other metronomes I’ve reviewed this one does not compete.
While the metronome itself works well, the design is poor. There are many ads on the page, including confusing ads right below the metronome that look like they might be part of the metronome.
The metronome itself works fine, but the tempo markings are traditional. This means that you can’t just select any tempo you want, only the ones they have marked, from 40 – 208 in intervals of around three BPM. This seems like an unnecessary limitation for a digital metronome.
The metronome does have six sounds to choose from, which is good, but some of them are strange sounding. I prefer a good, standard sound that cuts through a mix.
Overall, I would skip this one, despite it being popular and highly ranked on Google.
JamPlay Online Metronome
Given all the ads I see for JamPlay, I would have expected a better metronome. JamPlay makes a usable, but not great, online metronome. Warning: this metronome uses a flash player, which will be unusable by December 2020.
This metronome allows you to set the number of beats per bar and the BPM. Below those features, you can adjust the volume. To the left, you can click on a beat to accent it. I did like this feature – it makes sense to just click on a beat and have it accented.
I found the flash player to be unattractive and buggy, but it did work eventually. If you are already using JamPlay, it might be worth it to stay on the same website. If not, I would keep reading to find our best online metronome.
BestMetronome Online Metronome
The BestMetronome online metronome is simple, a little bit ugly, but highly accessible. The metronome was designed to be easy on your computer and your Wi-Fi, so that you can use it all situations. It also works well on mobile and has an Android compatible version as well.
Because the metronome was designed to be simple and accessible, they sacrificed some design. It is black and white and laid out in a bit of a jumble, but it does work.
As on most metronomes, you can adjust the BPM and tap in your own custom tempo, but unlike most metronomes, it does not seem to have an option for a time signature. This seems like a major oversight to me that could be easily fixed. Having the ability to stress certain beats and keep a time signature steady is standard on modern metronomes.
If you are on mobile, you can give this metronome a try, because that seems to be where it works best. If you are on a desktop, I would give one of the better rated metronomes a try.
The Online Metronome
The Online Metronome hosts an online metronome that is simply and functional. Visually, the metronome is attractive and functionally, it works. It does not have any bells and whistles, but that is okay in this case.
This metronome has the BPM listed in a large, clear font. You adjust it with the buttons beside the BPM. The sound is pleasant and unobtrusive, which is good because there is only one option.
The only feature this metronome has is subdivisions. You can assign one click per beat, or have the metronome subdivide eighth or sixteenth notes. That’s it!
Below the metronome, there are instructions on using the metronome – not that you’ll need them – and some information on how to practice with a metronome, count common rhythms and understand time signatures.
Overall, this metronome works. Plain and simple. I like it.
iMusicSchool Online Metronome
The iMusicSchool online metronome is a standard option as far as metronomes go. The layout is clean and modern, with metronome right in the middle. The BPM is clear and in large type, and you can go up or down in BMP by tapping the plus and minus buttons.
The metronome has a couple great features – you can stress the first beat to mark the beginning of bars, you can change the time signature, you can change the metronome from quarter notes, to eighths, sixteenths, triplets, or dotted triplets, and you can set the metronome to a timer, so that it turns off at a given time.
At the bottom of the page, the metronome has a list of all the metronome markings and their corresponding terms in musical language. Everything from Largo to Vivace to Prestissimo is listed along with the BPMs that go along with them.
The website is part of an online music school, so there are some ads, but overall, they do not intrude on the metronome, and it is totally functional.
8notes Online Metronome
The 8notes online metronome is simple and functional. My only complaint about the metronome is the visual design, which looks somewhat amateur. Beyond that, it has some great features.
The metronome itself is easy to use. There is a slider to adjust tempo, and you can choose the time signature easily. It is also easy to use the tap tempo feature on this metronome. Just tap your four beats on your spacebar, and the metronome will start automatically at the speed you tapped.
The site also features five drum beats you can use in lieu of the traditional metronome beeping sound. Simple, Rock, Jazz, Latin, and Funk beats are all available for your practicing needs. Practicing to drumbeats can be a fun way to switch up your routine.
The metronome is front and center with only one banner ad on the site. It seems to work well on mobile as well. 8notes is a good option!
FluteTunes Online Metronome
The FluteTunes online metronome is an old-school looking metronome that works well. I found the visual design to be lackluster, but the functionality to be perfect. The site that it is hosted on is an online flute lesson site.
The metronome itself is easily adjustable. You can either type in the BPM, adjust it with buttons, or click the tap tempo button to set the tempo yourself. You can easily adjust “beats per measure” (or the time signature) by dragging a slider. You can set it between 1 and 12 beats per measure, which is more than many online metronomes allow.
Other than that, the metronome allows you to stress the first beat of every bar and adjust the volume, and that’s it. It’s simple and works well.
Below the metronome there is some info on what a metronome is, how time signatures work, and some tips on how to use a metronome to practice difficult passages or drills. This information was all accurate and helpful if a little bit dry.
StudyBass Online Metronome
This online metronome is run by StudyBass – a website dedicated to online bass lessons. It is a little bit different from other metronomes we have covered, but it works well. This website is also completely mobile-friendly, which is a great feature.
The metronome is a circle. Click “Run” to start and “Stop” to stop. It has four buttons on the outside of the metronome where you can quickly change the BPM up or down by 2 BPM or up or down by 10 BPM, which is a good practice tool for running through exercises.
The cool thing about this metronome is that it is programmable. If you are trying to steadily increase your speed on an exercise, you can set the metronome to run for a set amount of time, and then increase by a set increment at the end of that time.
As far as practicing goes, this metronome is useful and well-suited to serious players. That said, I found it to be a little bit buggy (the auto-advance feature tends to skip two intervals ahead instead of one) and a little bit laggy. Once the lag had caught up to itself, the metronome worked fine.
There are no ads on the site and the layout is easy to understand, as are the instructions at the bottom of the page.
Musicca Online Metronome
The Musicca online metronome is a great option for an online metronome. We actually covered this site in our guide about the best virtual pianos available online. It holds up as a good option for the metronome as well.
It is a simple layout with the metronome front and center. You can drag the slider or click the plus and minus buttons to increase or decrease the BPM. The metronome clicks and counts for you as you would expect, but it is the extra features that make this metronome worthwhile.
I love that it has a tap tempo right up front, which is a handy way to figure out the tempo of a song and quickly practice. As you might expect, you can change the time signature.
I also love the “Play 1 bar and mute 1 bar” feature. This is such a great way to practice. You get to play along for a bar, and then when the metronome goes away for a bar, you must stay steady. It’s an easy way to get into a great exercise.
Virtual Sheet Music Online Metronome
The free metronome on Virtual Sheet Music is simple, attractive, and works well. I like that this metronome is designed like a traditional metronome. Beyond the design, the extra features are well thought out and executed.
First, this metronome has two modes – strict and loose. The “strict” mode has only tempo markings that you would find on a real, physical metronome. These range from 40 BPM to 208 BPM. This is great, but you can also use “loose” mode, which allows you to define any tempo from 1 BPM to 400 BPM.
It has a “Flash Mode” switch, which allows you to change the display of the beat. By default, the metronome flashes the play button, but you can switch it to “screen mode” which will flash the entire screen of the website. This is great if you are using the metronome on “mute”.
There are four sounds to choose from – a traditional metronome sound that suits the design, a percussion sound, and an electronic sound. Below the sounds there is a tap tempo button, where you can set a custom tempo.
Overall, this is one of the best online metronomes we’ve reviewed. The design and layout are excellent and the instructions below the metronome are detailed.
Best Online Metronome, Final Thoughts
Any of these metronomes will work, but there are some standouts. The design and features included in the Virtual Sheet Music metronome were our favorite, but we also liked the programmable metronome offered by StudyBass. The Musicca metronome has the “1 bar on 1 bar off” feature which is useful.
The truth is, so long as you are using a metronome, you are ahead of the game. Most professional musicians were married to a metronome for several years – developing their sense of time and rhythm.
As frustrating as playing to a metronome can be, it is worth it. You’ll hear the difference in a matter of days. Check out these online metronomes and hit the practice shed now.