The 4 Best Metronomes For Drummers – Reviews 2024

best metronome for drummers, drum beat metronome

Photo by Paco / CC BY

Imagine for a second that your favorite rock band is playing live on stage in front of you. What is it that you hear once you stop looking at the song as a whole, but rather a sum of its parts?

Every band member and every instrument have a task which they need to take care of on top of being creative and interacting with the audience. When it comes to drummers, it’s their job to keep the rest of the band on beat and within the correct tempo. That is not all that unusual considering that drums are percussion instruments.

Time is an important vector in music, so keeping every band member in the same tempo is essential to a good sound. This is why a lot of drummers like to use metronomes during their practice but also during live performances.

Having that click in your ear gives you a reference point that builds your natural sense of rhythm. There are many different metronomes on the market, but we have chosen what we consider to be great contestants for the best metronome for drummers. Criteria used was more or less centered around the performance and the ease of use.

BOSS DB-90 Metronome

Boss is the master of all digital accessories for any number of music instruments. The BOSS DB-90 Metronome is the gold standard at the moment when it comes to metronomes. This thing is the Ferrari among Hyundais. If you want absolutely the best there is right now, this is what you go for.

Features and Performance

Aside from offering a wide range of supported BPMs, you also get to choose a number of different clicks. Mind you, these aren’t those gimmicky clicks you find on cheap models that confuse you way more than help you. There are four different click patterns available, as well as human voice countdown.

On top of this, BOSS DB-90 (see full specs) offers a great integration of MIDI features such as beat programming and more. This is by far one of the more expensive digital metronomes you can get, but it’s worth the money since it’s, in our humble opinion, the best metronomes for drummers period.

Boss DB90 Metronome Dr. Beat

Boss DB-30C

Right after that beast, we have another Boss model. This time, it’s the DB-30C, and it represents a much simpler solution that is also a lot more affordable. This compact metronome is light, easy to use, and is definitely something you can keep in your gig bag.

Features and Performance

The enclosure Boss DB-30C comes in is pretty basic and is made of plastics. A large portion of the top panel is dominated by a simple LCD screen with an intuitive layout. Controls are exactly what you expect them to be, and you don’t have to worry about complexity when you need to adjust something on the go.

In terms of performance, Boss DB-30C (see full specs) brings a good, uncomplicated experience. You can use up to 17 beats per measure, and the metronome comes with pre-programmed beat patterns that are based on a number of different music styles.

Whether or not this is something you would want to use in a professional setting is up for debate; however, with a fairly good volume output and clinical precision, you could easily go through a gig using this metronome for click patterns.

Boss DB-30 Dr. Beat Metronome - Review / Test

Korg MA1RD

Korg stepped up the game a little with their metronomes, especially the entry-level ones. This Korg MA1RD comes at a price which makes it a bargain, yet it includes all the features you would want to see on a drummer’s metronome. Even though it’s not really made specifically for drumming, the Korg MA1RD is a great practice tool.

Features and Performance

The form fact of this metronome is pretty compact. It looks more like one of those affordable guitar tuners than anything else. This is great if you need something to stick in your gig bag and take with you on tours. Build quality is great, but you probably don’t want to drop this thing too many times.

The performance of the Korg MA1RD is somewhat limited but still very usable. Controls are intuitive and so is the small display on the front of the unit. You can monitor your number of beats, tempo ( which goes from 30 to 252 BPM), and many more things. There are multiple beats and patterns to choose from, and the tempo can be adjusted by type as well. For this kind of money, you probably won’t get anything much better than this.

DB-14 Introducing the Korg MA 1 Metronome

Seiko SQ200 Multi-Function Digital Metronome

This model from Seiko is equally portable as the Korg model above, both compact and lightweight enough to easily fit in your stick bag or drum case, but gives you an expanded range of features over your basic value tuner. While you will have to pay a bit more for these capabilities, it is one of the most convenient and affordable programmable tuners you can find.

Features and Performance

This metronome gives you as wide a range of tempos as any on the market, from as slow as 1bpm to as many as 300bpm. To go along with this, you also get 7 different subdivision options, and beat accenting from 1 to 9. In combination, you can use these to create very sophisticated and complex rhythmic patterns, perfect for drummers working on perfecting their subdivision accuracy or working in mixed meter or compound meter.

Once you find the right rhythmic combination, you can also save it to reference later. You can store up to three different combinations of tempo, accents, and subdivision, which can save you a lot of time in the practice room. Drummers will also love the easy one-hand operation and the large screen that can let you easily see the beat as well as hearing it.

Seiko SQ-200 Digital metronome

Conclusion – What Makes the Best Metronome for Drummers?

Developing that sense of timing takes a lot of skill and practice, despite what some people might think. Finding a drummer who can play a flat tempo for any period of time is much more valuable than having one who performs mad transitions.

When all is said and done, it must be pointed out that it is absolutely vital for any drummer metronome to feature a Headphones Out and be audible to the player over the drums. Without that, all the other features are rendered useless.

In all essence, finding a good metronome is essential to tempo awareness and experience. This goes for all instruments, not just drums. All of the metronomes we have shown you here are suitable for just about any application you have in mind and are definitely good for drummers. All of these offer good performance and meet our modest requirements. We fully believe these are the best metronomes for drummers in their respective price ranges. Good luck!

  • Micah Johnson started playing music in high school, when he taught himself the bass to join his friend’s band. He added guitar and drums during his twenties playing in local clubs, and along the way, he picked up unique, hands-on experience from hand drums to studio mixers. On Song Simian, he aims to share this knowledge from 20+ years playing and recording music. When not in gearhead mode, he enjoys photography and travel.

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