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This article was originally published in issue #13
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Looking for a simple, cheap, reliable metronome? Own an iOS device? Tom Quayle has a suggestion..
A metronome is an essential tool for the practising guitar player and with the ever-increasing iOS user base there are tons of metronome apps out there for use on your iPhone, iPad or iPod. Designed by guitar teaching guru and Youtube phenomenon, Justin Sandercoe, the 'Time Trainer' app is a high quality metronome and rhythm-training program that gives the user some interesting tools that make it sit above most of the others. The first thing that you may not notice immediately, but is vitally important, is that Time Trainer is a very accurate metronome. There are some apps out there that can be up to a beat or more out after only a minute or so of use and whilst you may not notice whilst using them at first they are doing nothing to improve your time feel if they aren't accurate. Justin states that his app is accurate to hundredths of a second and I certainly had no problems using it.
Offering all of the usual tools such as accent control, tempo tap and multiple metronome sounds, the app also offers functions to help you develop your timing away from the metronome. Bar breaks, random beat drops and a speed upper function are all designed to develop your time feel and ability to stay in time without the metronome - in other words, in the real world! Bar breaks mutes the metronome on specific bars as set by the app's parameters giving you the opportunity to see if you can stay in time until the metronome comes back in. Beat drop causes certain beats to be muted allowing you to develop your inner metronome, trying to stay in time whilst hearing only certain beats. Both of these options can be customised to produce increasingly challenging tests of your internal time and make a superb practice tool for all guitar players.
The final option is the Speed Upper function and gives you a start tempo, end tempo and duration control. The metronome will begin at the start tempo and gradually increase over the given duration to the end tempo allowing you to practice a particular phrase or technical exercise at ever increasing difficulty levels.
Time Trainer is a great app at a very good price with an easy to use interface that looks great. The training functions are a superb added bonus and really make this an easy to recommend practice too.