Singular Sound’s original BeatBuddy offered guitarists a drum machine in the form of a pedal, and it now has a little brother that’s just as fun and even more compact. Like the original, the BeatBuddy Mini ($149 street) is a foot-controlled personal drummer, but it costs only half the price. The BeatBuddy Mini is totally user friendly, even if you have limited drum machine experience. It isn’t completely handsfree—you have to manually scroll to select genre, song, and tempo—but once those items have been selected, controlling fills, transitions, and starts and stops can all be done by foot. You can also attach the optional Beat- Buddy footswitch ($49 street) to tap tempos or add accents and drum breaks. (Genre, Song, and Tempo selection can also be done via footswitch.)
My first test with the BeatBuddy Mini was done in the teaching studio, and it was instantly a refreshing alternative to the monotony of a metronome. Students who struggled to perform syncopated rhythms with a click suddenly discovered a more natural feel when playing along with drum patterns from the BeatBuddy Mini. It also provided some real-world practice for students of all levels as they played along with various grooves and time signatures, and I could surprise them by transitioning into a bridge or adding fills without taking my hands off the guitar. With 100 songs in 24 genres (and with every time signature included), the Beat- Buddy Mini certainly spices up scale and arpeggio exercises, while also being useful for inspiring creativity when improvising on a song idea. All in all, it’s definitely worth checking into if you’re keen on improving your rhythm, timing, and groove.
Kudos Easy to use. Wide variety of styles. Fun and inspiring.