7 Best Metronomes For Drummers 2024

Music Industry How To is supported by readers. When you buy via a link on our site, we’ll possibly earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

Metronomes are essential tools that every drummer should have. Practicing patterns and grooves at different speeds is vital in improving your drumming abilities.

While it’s easy to use a metronome app on your phone, having a phone with you during practice sessions can lead to many distractions. So, physical metronomes are still amazing tools to own.

Here are some of the best physical metronomes for drummers to use.

Tama RW200 Rhythm Watch Drummer’s Metronome – Best Overall

Tama RW200 Rhythm Watch Drummer’s Metronome

The Tama RW200 Rhythm Watch Drummer’s Metronome (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of the best metronomes for drummers, mostly due to it being designed by a famous drum brand.

Unlike other metronomes, this one was designed specifically with drummers in mind, so you’ll find several valuable features on it that you can use when playing and practicing the drums.

The large stop and start button, along with the oversized tempo wheel, makes this metronome very easy to use if you don’t want to dive deeply into any of the features. It also has a tap tempo button at the top if you need to find the tempo of a song that you hear.

I love how the screen clearly shows the subdivision that it’s tapping, allowing you to follow that visually if you’re struggling to hear the beeping.

There are several subdivision knobs that allow you to control the volume of different subdivisions. While the main pulse is clicking, you can bring in eighth notes, sixteenth notes, and eighth-note triplets.

Having the ability to control those volumes is a nifty feature, as you can slowly fade them out as you get used to practicing along with them.

Unfortunately, this metronome only has two voices to select. One has a high-pitched tone, while the other has a low-pitched one. They’re both easily hearable, though. You just may not like them if you don’t like the cutting beeping tones.

You get great control over different time signature options. You can seamlessly change the numbers on both sides of a time signature to achieve various ones.

Finally, you can create a stored set list with up to 30 songs. Most live bands don’t play more than that in a set, so this metronome will work perfectly for drummers needing a cue for tempos when gigging.

Overall, it’s an amazing option to consider and one of the best possible choices for drummers needing an in-depth metronome tool.

Sounds: 2

Power source: Batteries

Tempo: 35 – 250 BPM

Boss DB-90 Dr. Beat Metronome – Premium Option

Boss DB-90 Dr. Beat Metronome

The Boss DB-90 Dr. Beat Metronome (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) has been the most popular metronome in the world for decades. It still sits at the top of the list, as no physical metronome has been able to beat it in terms of quality and features.

One of the first things to mention that put this above all others for drummers is the fact that you can plug a Roland V-Drums pad into it. It will then recognize all the notes you play on that pad, and you can use the rhythm training features to work on your timing and accuracy.

If you don’t want to use a V-Drums pad, it can also recognize what you’re playing on any surface with its built-in microphone. The rhythm training features will work the same way, but they won’t be as accurate as having a drum pad plugged in.

You can store up to 50 tempos, giving you more than enough space to create highly in-depth set lists. The fact that this metronome has a line input also means that you can connect it to a PA system. Someone will be able to run a click to the drummer’s monitors, and that can be used to keep the band in time for an entire show.

The metronome has four voice options. One of them includes a human voice, which is an amazing way of working on your timing when practicing. Hearing the numbers being counted out often keeps you in time better than hearing a pulsing click does.

The two downsides of this metronome are that it’s expensive and difficult to use. A lot of drummers take months or years to work out all the kinks, but there are some fantastic tutorials on YouTube to watch that will help you unlock the DB-90’s full potential.

Sounds: 4 voices

Power source: Batteries

Tempo: Unlimited

Korg MA-2 Metronome – Best Budget Option

Korg MA-2 Metronome

The Korg MA-2 Metronome (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is a great option to consider if you’re just looking for something small to practice with. It’s a light and small metronome that doesn’t have many features, yet it’s very inexpensive.

The benefit of its simplistic design is that it’s very easy to use. You can sit with it for a few minutes and you’ll figure out all the kinks quite quickly. Larger metronomes have a much steeper learning curve with all their unique features.

It has a tap tempo feature, which is something I didn’t expect from a metronome at this price. It works fairly smoothly, so you can quickly figure out tempos for songs that you want to work on.

One of the unique features it offers is a timer mode. This function counts down so that you can practice certain things for a short period and then move on. It’s amazing for drummers to work on muscle memory exercises.

You can play a pattern at one speed for a minute and then move on to a higher speed for the next minute. You repeat that process until you get to a higher speed goal.

When buying this metronome, you have the option of getting a red or blue one. There’s no difference between the two other than the color, but it’s great to have a creative option that suits different types of drummers.

I found that the best part of this metronome is that the size allows you to easily fit it on a music stand. If you’re reading sheet music, it will sit at the bottom of the page without ever getting in the way.

The downside is that the beeping noise is quite harsh. If you don’t like high-pitched metronome sounds, you won’t enjoy this metronome.

Sounds: 1 voice

Power source: Batteries

Tempo: 30 – 252 BPM

Soundbrenner Pulse Vibrating Metronome

Soundbrenner Pulse Vibrating Metronome

The Soundbrenner Pulse Vibrating Metronome (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is the most unique metronome that I’m suggesting for this list. These Soundbrenner metronomes are meant to be worn, and they vibrate the pulse instead of beeping it out.

It was a bit of an experimental design when they first came out, but countless musicians have ended up loving the concept.

The idea behind it is that it helps you feel the tempo rather than hear it, and that helps build your internal timing. While these metronomes are great for all musicians, I think they’re particularly good for drummers.

Drumming is very physical, and having a physical metronome perfectly suits the instrument. The vibrations it produces are a lot stronger than the faint vibrations from smartphones, so it makes sure that you’re feeling the pulse.

It takes a bit of getting used to at first, but it becomes almost impossible to play offbeat once you’ve gotten accustomed to it.

You get basic controls on the device. You tap it and turn the dial to control the tempo. It’s seriously easy to use, and I love how minimalistic it is. However, you can also download an app on your phone to sync to it, and that gives you far more control with an intuitive interface.

When playing the drums, you can attach this to your wrist or your leg. You can also buy an extra attachment so that you can do both.

It recharges via USB, so you don’t have to worry about batteries.

This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly offers a compelling experience that metronome apps can’t give you.

Sounds: No sounds

Power source: USB rechargeable battery

Tempo: 30 – 300 BPM

Korg KDM-3 Digital Metronome

Korg KDM-3 Digital Metronome

The Korg KDM-3 Digital Metronome (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) comes in a digital form, but its body resembles the shape of the old acoustic metronomes that everyone used to use. It’s a creative callback, and this design is one that older drummers would love.

The thing that stands out with this metronome is that you get eight different voice options. That’s more than any other offering on this list, so it’s an epic choice for drummers wanting variety.

It also has a surprisingly powerful onboard speaker. Some drummers will be able to hear it over their drumming, but you’ll be more comfortable plugging in a set of headphones.

The metronome has about 19 different beat and rhythm options, giving you a serious amount of control over what pulses you want to hear. That makes it a perfect tool for practicing complicated time signatures and rhythms.

While it offers a good variety of features, I appreciate how straightforward the interface is. Unlike the Boss DB-90, you won’t have to sit for hours to figure out how to work it. It naturally doesn’t have as many features, though.

The other downside is that some drummers may not like the shape. Metronomes were shaped like this as they sat on top of pianos. It may be difficult to find a spot for this around your drum kit, as it won’t fit on a music stand too easily.

Sounds: 8 voices

Power source: Batteries

Tempo: 30 – 252 BPM

Boss DB-30 Dr. Beat Metronome

Boss DB-30 Dr. Beat Metronome

The Boss DB-30 Dr. Beat Metronome (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is a simplified version of the majorly popular DB-90. It’s designed with the same technology, so it works just as well. It just doesn’t have as many features.

That makes it a compelling option for drummers looking for simplicity. If the DB-90 seems a bit overwhelming, you may love this metronome a lot more.

It can handle time signatures up to 17 beats in a bar. That basically covers all the time signatures that most drummers play, making this metronome extremely capable.

It only has one voice, but it’s a strong, high-quality one that isn’t too harsh on the ears. However, it’s still powerful enough to pierce through a mixture of drums and cymbals.

One thing I appreciate about this smaller metronome is that it has a clip on the back. That clip allows you to attach it to an array of different surfaces. It’s light enough to clip to the top pages of your music book, making it a handy practice tool.

You can also clip it to your drums if you can find a good space.

The obvious downside of this is that it doesn’t offer near as much as the DB-90. It’s a clear downgrade, but it’s one that I know many drummers would prefer to get. It’s also a lot more affordable.

Sounds: 1 voice

Power source: Batteries

Tempo: 30 – 250 BPM

Tama RW30 Rhythm Watch Mini

Tama RW30 Rhythm Watch Mini

The Tama RW30 Rhythm Watch Mini (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is another tiny metronome with a very low price tag. It’s a derivative form of the RW200, only offering a single voice and tempo function. 

The thing I love about this metronome is that it’s highly reliable. It only has one job, and it does it brilliantly. Like the Boss DB-30, it’s just a small metronome for drummers that aren’t looking for many features.

It’s slightly more expensive than the Korg MA-2, but I much prefer the metronome tone. I’d suggest getting this over the MA-2 if you’re happy to pay the extra amount.

This one also has a clip on the back that allows you to latch it onto various things.

Overall, it’s one of the easiest metronomes to use on this list. It doesn’t offer anything fancy, but it’s reliable and gets the job done.

Sounds: 1 voice

Power source: Batteries

Tempo: 35 – 250 BPM

What To Look For In a Metronome

Tones

Most metronomes offer a variety of tonal options for their clicking sounds. It’s a great feature to have, as some tones just don’t gel with certain drummers.

For example, I always opt to use a high-pitched tone so that it pierces through all the other sounds that I’m playing. That allows me to hear it at all times.

Other drummers prefer wooden click sounds due to them sounding a bit more natural and easier on the ears.

Some metronomes even offer voices that audibly count the time signature that you’re playing on it. That helps a lot when practicing certain things on the drums.

You’ll also get metronomes with only one tone. Those are very limited, but they’re typically a lot more affordable.

Setlist Features

A setlist feature allows you to store multiple different tempos so that you can move from one to the next with a single button press. This is a vital feature to have if you plan on using the metronome for live gigs.

You can lock in the tempo for every song that your band is playing, and then you can use the metronome to give you the time before counting off.

If the metronome doesn’t have a setlist feature, it means you’ll manually need to dial in the tempo before every song. Any gigging drummer will know that there’s never enough time to do that.

So, if you want to get a metronome for gigs, make sure it has this feature.

Time Signature Options

As drummers, we often delve into the world of changing time signatures. Most music is in 4/4 time, so that’s the standard time signature that all metronomes can click out.

If you’re someone who wants to play a multitude of time signatures, you need to get a metronome that allows that.

Most metronomes can also do 3/4 time, but not all of them can do complex time signatures, such as 7/8 or 13/16. You’ll need to find a specific metronome for that.

You can get around it by changing the value of the beats in your head and keeping all the tones the same so that it doesn’t accent beat one. However, it’s often easier to just use a metronome with time signature changing capabilities.

Size

Size is a minor thing to consider compared to checking out internal features, but it’s still important for many drummers. You essentially get small and medium metronomes. No metronomes are larger than a hand, though.

You’ll need to get a small metronome if you want something that fits in your pocket or the pouch of your drumstick bag.

Medium-sized metronomes won’t fit in those places, so you’ll need to keep them in a backpack. They’re also a lot heavier, so carrying them around can be cumbersome.

Larger metronomes typically have more features, though, so I’d suggest getting a bigger one if you’re just planning to keep it at home.

Coach Function

Some metronomes have coaching functions that aid your sense of timing. A few of them have built-in microphones that will pick your strokes up and tell if your notes are on time or not.

Others will have ghost clicks that fade the metronome out for a bit. The idea behind this is that you need to keep the time internally before the click comes back. If you went out of time while playing a pattern, you’d know that you need to work on your timing abilities.

A lot of these coaching functions can also be found on electronic drum modules. So, you don’t need to worry about them too much if you have an electronic drum kit.

Price

Metronomes are very affordable compared to other drumming-related products. However, there is still a big price gap between simplistic ones and in-depth ones.

Expect to pay a few hundred dollars for a metronome that offers dozens of features. If you’re looking for one that only has a few features, you’ll pay far less than $100.

The affordability of metronomes makes it easy to get a few of them. I used to keep one in my stick bag and one in my practice room when I was playing a lot of gigs at a stage. It worked out very well.

Best Metronome Brands

There aren’t too many brands still making physical metronomes compared to decades ago, mostly due to technology and software taking over. However, here are a few brands that still make amazing metronome products.s

Boss

Boss has always been the biggest brand in the metronome world. This brand created the Dr. Beat metronome, which is arguably the most popular metronome to exist.

There have been a few iterations of the product created over the years, and all of them have been packed with incredible features.

Tama

Tama is a drum kit brand, so their metronomes cater specifically to drummers. This makes them attractive options for drummers looking to keep a metronome in their stick bag.

They’re all simplistic in their designs, so they’re very easy to use.

Soundbrenner

Soundbrenner is a brand that makes highly unique metronome products. With physical metronomes slowly going out of fashion, they’ve created ones that pulse to allow musicians to feel instead of hear.

The brand is very innovative, and anyone will have a great time looking through their product options.

Korg

Korg is an electronic instrument brand that has been around for decades. The sound quality you get on Korg metronomes is fantastic.

Korg metronome also tend to work brilliantly, making them reliable options.

Top Metronomes For Drummers, Final Thoughts

A physical metronome is often more reliable than a phone when using it to run a click at live gigs. The ones that allow you to create setlists are especially helpful.

Keeping a metronome in your stick bag will always be an excellent idea, so all the metronomes mentioned above are fantastic choices to consider.

Look through all of them to see what they offer, and the pick then one that appeals to you the most.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *