Earlier this week I was sent a new iPhone App, ‘Metronome Plus’ to review. My students and I have spent the past few days trialing this metronome and have discovered many excellent features.Firstly, the interface is clean and clear, and changing the tempo is quick and easy. You can flick through speeds quickly using a dial that you slide your finger across, or if you would rather set an exact tempo there are plus and minus buttons. The minimalist design and large buttons on the home screen make this app easy to use in the teaching studio.
A drop down screen allows you to choose from a variety of meters and subdivisions of the beat (crotchets, quavers, semiquavers and triplets). It is also possible to switch between divisions of the beat while the metronome is in use. One of my students was experiencing difficulty switching between quavers and triplet quavers in a piece. Using the app, she was able to hear the relationship between the two different subdivisions of the beat.
You can also choose to have accents sounding on any beat of the bar, and it is also possible to place accents on multiple beats of the bar. There are a variety of sounds to choose from and one of the best features of this app is that the sounds are loud enough to be heard while playing. This has been a downfall of many other metronome apps that I have used.
For beginner students, the features of Metronome Plus are more than sufficient. For teachers and more advanced students, there are a few features that I believe would enhance this product greatly. Firstly, I always find a ‘tap tempo’ feature useful when teaching. It is a helpful way to determine the speed at which a student is playing, without interrupting them with a beeping metronome. Also, I would like a metronome that caters for asymmetrical time signatures (for example, 7/8). Within these time signatures I would also appreciate the ability to select accents on quaver beats in the bar (presently you can only place accents in crotchet beats in simple time and dotted crotchet beats in compound time).
Like any good app, Metronome Plus is intuitive and requires no instructions before use. I asked my students ranging in age from 7 – 16 years to use the app in their lesson, and they all agreed that the functionality is excellent. Overall, I think that Metronome Plus is a great choice for beginner students and I would hope that as the creators gather feedback, we would see new features being added to future versions.
For more information about Metronome Plus visit: