I discovered Weird Metronome the other day. Its creators claim that it's "the smallest, most versatile metronome software available." After using it for a few days, I almost agree. It's certainly the smallest metronome software I've ever used, and it has some cool little features I couldn't get out of other tools.

I've been using YMetronome for years. It's hard to find, but some Googling will turn it up somewhere. It's been crapping out on me, more of a Windows problem than a YMetronome problem, so I started looking for a replacement. I figured I'd been using YMetronome for close to 10 years, and its developers haven't been updating it, so there must be something better out there by now. After a quick search, some browsing of screenshots and reviews, and software trials, I was surprised that the winner, Weird Metronome, has been around for forever as well.

Weird Metronome

There is one feature unique to each of these programs that I love. Unfortunate that I can't find both features in the same tool yet. Maybe I'll do it myself one day. The YMetronome feature I loved was automatically changing the tempo. If I wanted to practice a lick for 10 minutes, gradually building from 60bpm to 90bpm, I could do that easily within the program, never taking my hands off the guitar. Impossible in Weird Metronome.

On the flip side, I could never get YMetronome to play uneven groups of beats. It had menus for different time signatures and loops, but I wanted to work on different levels of swing eighth notes. Specifically, I wanted to hear and practice a swing feel that divided the beat into 3:2 instead of 2:1 (the latter is a strict triplet swing), and I couldn't do that. Enter Weird Metronome. It's easy as pie. The "Custom" metronome option allows you to specify an arbitrary sequence of different MIDI sounds. So solving my problem simply requires a click, two beats of silence, a click, one beat of silence, and I've got my 3:2 swing feel. This must be the source of the "Weird" in its name, cause you can create some crazy little loops.