Beginner Violin Tips

The Best Violin Tuner Metronome for Beginners

Our Favorite Beginner Violin Tuner Metronome:

Korg TM-40

Most metronomes have the same basic features, so the primary differentiating factors are:

  • Ease of use
  • Extra features
  • Price

We have found the Korg TM-40 to be a fantastic violin tuner metronome for beginners, and will carry you well into your musical life. Why? It’s super easy to use, very reasonably priced (nearly 50% off at Amazon right now as of this writing), and has every feature you’ll need both to keep your rhythm steady and your beginner violin in tune. Check out its specs and reviews here.

This device is actually two things: a metronome and a violin tuner.

Violin Tuner

What’s one of the greatest violin tuner features for beginner violin? Pitch detection. This means that there is a microphone in the device that actually listens to you play a string on your violin and tells you what note it is tuned to. That way you know precisely whether that string is tuned too sharp (high) or flat (low) and how much you will need to adjust it to make it right.

As you get more advanced, you may find that this method is slower than violin tuning by ear. So you can also have the violin tuner produce a pitch through its speaker (set it to “A”) and you can tune your A string by ear, then use harmonics or double stops to tune the rest of the violin strings (a method we’ll discuss in our article on violin tuning, coming soon).

Violin Metronome

Along with the standard features of being able to set tempo and time signature, this metronome has a few extra goodies that a lot of metronomes in this price range don’t have.

One is the Tap Tempo button, where the metronome guesses a tempo based on how rapidly you repeatedly press the button.

Another is the ability to subdivide in a variety of ways and to include swing rhythms, in the event that you are practicing jazz or Irish hornpipe rhythms.


2 Responses to “The Best Violin Tuner Metronome for Beginners”

  1. Mike Says:

    Be sure to browse to the criticism section.

    Also see:

  2. Leopold Says:

    Hi Mike,

    Thank you for raising an important issue, specifically, when and whether it is appropriate to practice violin with a metronome.

    I took a look at the criticism section at the link you sent, and it seems like the concern about metronomes is primarily that too much practice with a metronome could cause a musician to focus so closely on the exactness of the rhythm that they play rigidly, without feeling or expression. Which, of course, would be an undesirable outcome.

    This raises an important point, which is that violin lessons and practice should focus on more than just staying perfectly with the beat. We consider the metronome to be a great tool, but it is also merely that: a tool. We would never want to suggest that a violin student should use a metronome every time, or the whole time, when they practice.

    There is another quote on that wikipedia page (from the NPR Classical Music Companion) that says: “Most music teachers consider the metronome indispensable, and most professional musicians, in fact, continue to practice with a metronome throughout their careers.”

    That quote is very much consistent with our experience. But why is the metronome so widely used?

    Here’s where we’ve seen the metronome provide the most value for practicing violin:

    It is not unusual for a particular passage in a piece of music to be more difficult than the rest of the piece. And when a violin student arrives at that passage, it is not unusual for them to slow down without realizing it.

    A metronome can be valuable in this situation because it helps the violinist to ensure that variances in their tempo are truly a result of stylistic choices, and not due to difficulty playing the passage. Once the violinist is technically capable of playing the passage at full speed, practice with a metronome becomes less critical, having helped to make stylistic choices more conscious and intentional.

    Another way a metronome can be helpful for complete beginners who bring no prior context to a piece of music is that it can help them to get a feel for common tempo markings (e.g. andante, allegro, etc.) in general, and tempos of specific pieces in particular, until they have internalized an approximate sense of what those tempos feel like. At which point the metronome becomes less necessary for this purpose.

    Also, for complete beginners, metronomes can be very helpful for distinguishing different note durations and building a basic sense of rhythm. One way to do this is by listening to the metronome while sustaining basic note durations (e.g. whole notes vs. half notes vs. quarter notes).

    Thank you for raising this point, as we don’t want to give the impression that strict adherence to a metronome every single time is the ideal way to practice. And there are certainly many valid schools of thought about how, when, and whether metronomes should be used.



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