Free Metronome Alternative

I have found the metronome to be one of the most useful chop building tools.  Without it I find myself trying to play a new lick or scale pattern too fast, too soon.  The metronome forces me to keep it at a speed that I can play without flaws while allowing me to slowly and systematically get it up to speed.  The only problem is I get sick of the monotone clicking after several minutes and my mind starts to wander.  One way around this is to use a drum machine to add some variety.  I have VST drum software that I can use with my DAW, but sometimes I just want to practice without firing up the studio and programming drums.  Fortunately I have found my solution.

It’s a free online flash drum machine by Thomas Eriksson.  Now I can quickly lay down a steady rhythm from any computer, anywhere in my house.  It includes:

  • Several Kicks, Snares, and Hi Hats plus cowbell, sticks, conga, bongo, and clap
  • Selectable number of beats making odd time signatures a breeze
  • Adjustable note velocities
  • Each drum has an adjustable level
  • Shuffle feel
  • Echo effect

This free tool has really helped keep practicing more interesting and has ultimately increased the time I spend on a single concept before burnout.   The best part is it’s easy to use and I can use it wherever I take my laptop.

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