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Two items any player should have on-hand at all times are a tuner and a metronome. Yes, there are apps that can fill these spots, but having a physical device ensures you’re practicing, and not getting interrupted by your Instagram feed. The Korg TM-60 rocks it old-school style, with some modern updates.
It’s smaller than a smartphone, but has a large backlit display screen that’s ultra-easy to read. On the tuner side of things, it has a microphone for tuning applications where the 1/4” input jack won’t work, like a violin, or an acoustic guitar that doesn’t have a pickup.▼ Article continues below ▼
The tuner covers from C1-C8, meaning pretty much any instrument that makes a note humans can hear can be used with it, and can be set to calibrate against another instrument (nice bonus). The metronome covers you from 30-252 BPM, and has plenty of beat variations, including odd meters, meaning no more having to play on the “off beats” when practicing a 7/4 rhythm over a 4/4 beat! The LCD display also features a nice visual cue of a classic metronome’s pendulum.
Regardless of whether you already have a tuner on a pedalboard, having one of these at the ready for spur-of-the-moment creative sparks is a no-brainer. Overall, it’s something that should be in everyone’s gig bag or tucked in your bedside drawer. Being in tune should be a given. Timing is everything to a musician, and ever wonder how those math-rock prodigy players got so good? Practice. With a metronome.