A while ago, I wrote a blog post casino online on iPhone Metronomes which reviewed three metronomes. Over the past year, there has been minor updates to these metronomes, but Tempo Advance, formerly Tempo 2, still is my favorite metronome. It is very flexible, has an intuitive interface and is an incredible value at $2.99, https://www.3win99.com/my/en-us/.
Until recently, Tempo Advanced had replaced my Tama Rhythm Watch. But there is one more metronome that I think you definitely need to check out. It is called Metron. Metron is not a new metronome. It has been on the iPhone since 2010. According to their website, Metron “was developed by a classically trained musician to aid in the practice of runs, excerpts and complete compositions. In addition to the usual single and multiple beat ticks of digital metronomes, it offers a high precision engine and a bar based sequencer that offers detailed control over rhythm patterns, tempo settings and time signatures (including complex and compound signatures). Metron also incorporates a pitch pipe that can be calibrated to your choice of cent or Hertz level.” All of this is true. The sequencer is very powerful and is a great tool for someone that would like to program time signature changes while learning a piece.
But, the feature that makes this the “killer app” is the Variance function. With this function you can have the metronome speed up or down over a predetermined amount of time (beat, bar or sequence). So why is this the killer function? Have you ever worked on a phrase of music over and over again and sped up the metronome over time? Of course you have! With the variance function, the app will do it automatically so you can focus on the phrase and not have to stop every time you want to speed up the metronome. For instance, I am working on a 8 bar phrase in Marc Mellit’s Tight Sweater, movement 4. (If you have ever played this piece, you will know what I am talking about). I have set-up a sequence to start at 80 BPM and speed up 3 BPM ever sequence. This allows me to stay focused on the task and not have to stop every time I want to speed up the metronome. This may seem like a minor issue (or as Merlin Mann would call it, a “First World Problem”), but I say if the technology is available, use it. I warm up with this section every day and I have noticed a big improvement in the tempo of this section. This would also be good for rudiment practicing.
Now the downside of the metronome app. The interface is not as user friendly as Tempo Advance. It takes a little time to program in a sequence or phrase. But once you have it programmed, you can back it up on your Mac for future use. I have found that over the past two weeks I have been using the variance function during every practice session and I look forward to exploring the possibilities of this function when I have more time. At $2.99, this is a great addition to the music tools I use on my iPad.
What is your metronome of choice on the iPhone/iPad? How do you use the Variance function on Metron? Please leave feedback below or continue the discussion in the Chattr Section.