These days, there’s no shortage of resources available to musicians. From music stores to the internet, there are plenty of places musicians can go to discover, learn, and practice. With the advent of smartphones, there has also been a proliferation of apps which musicians can use to make the processes of learning, practicing, and even playing much easier. Regardless of whether you use Android or iOS these apps are designed to help you become a better musician. Here is a list of some of our favorites.
For anyone who owns an iPad, the sheet music app forScore is a must-have. Using forScore allows you to download and store all of your sheet music in one place. Apart from the space-saving benefits, forScore lets you annotate sheet music, create setlists, rearrange pages, add in your own bookmarks, and play along while it automatically changes the page for you. With a simple interface, you are able to focus only on the information that you need to play your best.
Android users who play violin, viola, violoncello, bass, guitar, piano, wind instruments, or sing will want to rush to the Google Play store and purchase gStrings as soon as possible. This chromatic tuner app measures sound pitch and intensity, and will allow you to tune any of the aforementioned instruments. There are a whole host of tuning apps available across platforms, although many just support guitar tuning. gStrings is $3.99 in the Google Play store, although there is a limited, free version available.
Tempo promises to be the most accurate metronome on Apple’s App Store, and is one of the best-selling music apps for Apple users. What makes Tempo special is that it offers 35 different time signatures, 6 rhythm patterns for simple meters and 3 for compound meters, and the ability to store presets so you can access them quickly when you’re practicing or jamming with your friends. If you’re looking for a good metronome, you should definitely give Tempo a try.
Android users who are looking for a quality metronome should consider Pro Metronome. The free version features 13 time-keeping styles and Real-Time Playback technology that’ makes Pro Metronome even more precise than a traditional mechanical metronome. If you decide to upgrade the app, you’ll be able to use a visual metronome, as well as flash and vibrate metronomes, in case your instrument is loud. For most musicians, though, the free version should suffice, making Pro Metronome an excellent choice for any musically-inclined Android user.
Anyone that is interested in using an app on their smartphone to learn to be a better musician should check out Tenuto. At the low cost of $3.99, Tenuto offers a selection of exercises that’ve been designed to help you enhance your understanding of music. From teaching you to recognize chords regardless of instrument to being able to identify intervals by ear, the exercises on this app will help to increase your musicality in general. Tenuto also includes five musical calculators for accidentals, intervals, chords, analysis symbols, and twelve-tone matrices to help you become a more advanced musician.
Songwriter’s Pad is available for both iOS and Android. It boasts that it’s the app of choice for Grammy Award winners and beginners alike. Designed to help songwriters eliminate writer’s block, Songwriter’s Pad will inspire you to be more creative with tools like an emotion-based word and phrase generator, rhyming dictionary, chord notations, and the ability to import beats, among other tools. You can also back up the songs you write on Songwriter’s Pad to the cloud to guarantee that you won’t lose your progress. If you occasionally find yourself suffering from writer’s block, Songwriter’s Pad may be just what you need to push past it.
Vocalists who want to improve their sight reading skills and own an iOS device would be well-advised to download Music Tutor. Available in both a free and a paid version, which removes pesky advertisements, Music Tutor will help anyone who is trying to learn to read music. The app offers tests with durations of 1, 5, or 10 minutes and then lets your review your mistakes and track your progress. As fun as it is instructive, you’ll enjoy honing your sight reading skills with Music Tutor.
If you have an iPhone or iPad, and are interested in learning how to play the drums from some of the world’s best known drummers, you should check out Drum Guru. Taught in short, easily digestible lessons that use high quality audio and video, you can broaden your drumming skills no matter what your current ability level is. With a wide range of features that will help you learn to play like the best, every drummer should give Drum Guru a shot.
Perhaps the most important app to own, if you’re an iOS user and a musician, is GarageBand. Known to be the most popular music creation app in the world, professionals and amateurs alike love GarageBand. An incredibly versatile app, GarageBand allows you to use digital versions of a wide range of different instruments or plug in your own to create your own music. Plug in your own guitar and use GarageBand’s different amps and effects to find the perfect sound. Additionally, you and up to three friends can play and record together on your iOS devices with the key and tempo automatically synced. If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to experiment, record, and share music, GarageBand is a necessary purchase.
As you can see, if you’re a musician with a smartphone, there are a ton of great, inexpensive and often free apps that you can use to learn, practice, and play music. No matter which instrument you play or what your current skill level is, there’s technology available to help you get better.
Now that you have some resources, why not start a band?