Acoustic Metronome

From Classical to Bluegrass – Across the board it’s a great idea to practice with a metronome.

Of the basic elements of music, i.e. Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm, rhythm is arguably the most fundamental and most ingrained. We have an amazing inner-awareness of each second that passes. Ever wake up just seconds before the alarm goes off?  Or get back to the microwave just as it is counting down to zero?! Yet it is a common issue to stay in time!  We like to rush parts we know, and slow down the parts we don’t.

Forty years ago I was given a very nice metronome as a gift from a good friend and banjo player. He said it didn’t work. I still have it! I never use it though – not because it doesn’t work, it just drives me crazy!  I found one I like much better, and will share it with you right here.

Each “track” is a live recording of an actual drum beat performed by a professional drummer. They vary in length and recorded here at various useful tempos. Compared to a traditional tic-toc metronome, this drum may sound a bit unusual, however…  the “groove” on each track comes with its own dynamics, and emphasis in the correct place.  This makes it easy to cop the groove (those subtle dynamics) as well as the tempo!


This beat is even as apposed to swinging, and is a great groove for reels, hoedowns and bluegrass type material in 4/4 (common) time. Tempos here range from 60 to 130 beats per minute (BPM).   70 BPM being a slower, yet fast enough tempo that a fiddle tune will have life. 130 BPM is clipping right along, and any finesse is in great danger.


 BG/F 70

 BG/F 80

 BG/F 90

 BG/F 100

 BG/F 110

 BG/F 120

 BG/F 130


This beat is for Waltzes and any piece in 3/4 time. Tempos range from 80 to 110 beats per minute (BPM). 80 BPM being a very slow tempo Waltz, where at 110 we’re at the faster side of Waltz tempo.


 W 80

 W 90

 W 100

 W 110

SWING -Hornpipes

This beat is for any song or hornpipe with a swing or “shuffle” feel. Tempos range from 60 – very slow ballad, to 140 beats per minute – very up, hot swing tempo.


 SW 60

 SW 70

 SW 80

 SW 90

 SW 100

 SW 110

 SW 120

 SW 130

 SW 140

SWING – Jigs

This beat is tempo adjusted to accommodate Jigs. From very slow (JG 1) to a usual tempo for jigs (JG 5) This is also a swing rhythm, so the two can be interchanged.

 JG 1

JG 2

JG 3

JG 4

JG 5