Thanks to technology, there is no better time to be (or become) a musician. Whether you’ve been playing the guitar for years, or are just learning to how to hold a violin, the internet has an endless amount of information to help you improve upon your skills. And now with smartphones, tablets, and Ipads, you have access to these resources wherever you go. Add a few apps on to these gadgets, and you can have (just about) any tool you want at your finger tips…literally.
Though apps are great, the sheer amount of them can be overwhelming. Because there is an app for everything, it can get a little confusing when you’re looking for the right one – especially for musicians. Depending on your instrument, skill level, training, and a million other factors, picking the right app can be time consuming. To help you save some time, we’ve complied a list of our 10 favorites to help you narrow your search. From beginner to advanced, one or more of the apps below will be a perfect fit for you.
ClearTune -Chromatic Tuner
(iPhone, Android, iPad) ($3.99)
Using the mic on your cellphone, this app works as a chromatic instrument tuner and pitch pipe. Though it works best for acoustic guitars, it can also be used for just about any instrument that can sustain a tone. And for all of you bowed instrument players out there, (i.e violin, viola, cello ect.) this is the best $3.99 you will ever spend. Thanks a built in temperament, this app will help you get an accurate and consistent pitch for your instrument.
A 4 octave, 12 instrument, adjustable piano keyboard, Xpiano is great for trying out ideas, messing around, ear training, and more. But the feature that sets this apart for other piano apps is it’s ability to hold notes like a real piano. Unlike most apps, Xpiano keys are NOT set on a predetermined time. Because of this feature, users of Xpiano are able to hold a not for as long (or a little) as they want. It also allows you to record ideas and offers a few other cool features as well
(iPhone, Android, iPad) ($3.99)
Deemed “A proper replacement for your deadbeat drummer” by Rolling Stone, this app is is rated highly for musicians in need of a drum beat. Programmed with over 100 beats, the app can work for just about every style you can think of. With drum loops ranging from 1 to 4 bars, the app is great for jam sessions, skill building, and songwriting.
(iPhone, Android, iPad) ($.99)
Named one of the “best iPhone and iPad apps for musicians” by AppPicker, this app is a learning tool to help users improve equalizing (EQ) skills. With a 10 band equalizer, the app helps musicians and sound engineers train their ear for sound frequency. Set with a playlist, users can use the “learn” button to manually adjust the equalizers to help them become familiar with frequency sounds. When you’re ready to test your skills, the “begin” button provides exercises and tests . Able to pick however many (or few) frequencies to test with, users can learn based on their own pace and skill level.
(iPhone, Android, iPad) (Free)
If you are looking for a free app that allows you to create, edit, print and listen to tablature and sheet music for guitar, this is a good app for you. Offering both tablature and standard notation, it is a great tool for those who are just learning guitar and/or anyone who wants to become more familiar with sheet music. Slow down the tempo or alter the tuning to make this app work for you! Plus, with the free music downloads you can even use this app without any internet connection
Tempo – Metronome with Setlists
(iPhone, Android, iPad) ($2.99)
This is the bestselling metronome app for a reason. With tempos ranging from 10 to 800, this app allows you to create subdivisions, accent patterns, save setlists and more. Having the most accuracy of all the metronome apps, it offers 35 different time signatures including compound and complex meters. While all different musicians and composers rave about this app, drummers are by far its biggest fan.
(iPhone, Ipad) ($13.99)
If you know a little (or a lot) about a soundboard, this is a great app for you. With a virtual analogue synthesizer , sample trigger pads, comprehensive sequencer,, sample editor, mixer, and multiple effects, this app is a great tool for anyone who is serious about music. NanoStudio has so many features that you can’t help but learn something new every time you use it. It also syncs up with Soundcloud making it even more convenient. If your’re a little weary about spending $13.99 on this app, you can download a free sample to try it out first.
Music Tutor Sight Read Lite
Designed for music students, the Music Tutor Sight Read Lite app helps users learn to read and write music on treble clef. The app is great for someone who is just learning an instrument, or seasoned musicians who want to learn to read sheet music. What makes this app great how simple and user friendly it is! Notes appear on the staff and you tap the corresponding keyboard (labeled with the note) for the note you think it is. Once you’ve mastered this app, paid upgrades are available to help you continue to build your skills.
Vocal Warm Up
(iPhone and iPad) ($4.99)
A great app for vocal warm ups, work outs, and cool downs. Adjust the vocal range (for both bass and soprano) and tempo to make the exercises work for you. Plus, all the exercises have a few tips and tricks which can change help you get the most out of your practice. Once you get use to the app, create a custom playlists for yourself.
Songsterr Guitar Tabs & Chords
(iPhone, Android, Ipad) (Free – $4.99)
With access to 500,000 tabs and chords for guitar, bass,and drums, it’s not surprising that the Wall Street Journal picked this as one of the “Best Apps for Learning to Play Music”. Although the free version only allows for 15 second previews of songs, most report that the 5 dollars a months to upgrade is worth it. The app allows you to play along at half speed, slow on individual tabs, and use the playback feature to help you learn difficult parts. With the loop option, you can even play back specific measures again and again until you get it down!