Musician’s Gadget Of The Day: Beatbuddy Is A Programmable Guitar Pedal Drum Machine

Jamming on a guitar by yourself is fun and all. But doing it without the benefit of a steady beat doesn't exactly hone your timing and sense of rhythm -- two things you definitely need to work on, according to the random neckbeards wearing band shirts who came up to you at last week's gig. And since we all know random neckbeards wearing band shirts in obscure gigs are the true fans of real music, you must heed the call. While you can always use a computer or a drum machine to provide a backing beat, we have a feeling the Beatbuddy is going to fit guitar players much better.

Unlike most drum machines, it comes in pedal form, allowing you to control the beat as conveniently as your favorite stomp boxes. No more taking your hands off the guitar to push a couple buttons at every change -- just stomp on the darn thing to start, stop or switch to the next song part. Easy.

The Beatbuddy is sized like a regular effects pedal (3.7 x 6.2 x 2.5 inches) and can be hooked up along with the rest of your effects chain. It comes with a footswitch control, knobs (volume, drum set, and tempo), five buttons (tap and 4-pad navigation), and a 1.8-inch color LCD. The display will show all the relevant info (name, genre, time signature, and more) for the current beat, so you can see exactly what beat you're pulling up. Each one comes preloaded with 10 drum sets and 200 complete songs divided into multiple parts so you can change up progressions as needed. There's also an SD card slot for expansion files, as well as a companion PC software where you can load new beats and alter songs.

Slated to ship April, the BeatBuddy is a fully-funded project currently running on Indiegogo. Pledges to reserve a unit starts at $199.

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