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Apps for Musicians

There are so many apps out there these days (around 701 a day on the Apple Store in 2017) that it is a challenge to sort out the good from the really really good.

This short list is of the apps I use every practice and have found the best value for money.

Tunable

My go-to app for tuning and metronome. The tuner gives a visual representation of your pitch which makes it awesome for vibrato work and is highly accurate and responsive to 1/100 of a cent). You can also generate sustained pitches in equal and just tuning (as well as 20 other temperaments I haven’t heard of!), with the ability to create chords as well. 

The metronome function has a good visual element with a clear colour change on each beat and a range of 1 to 300 bpm, with a range of beats per bar and subdivisions up to 8 per beat. The tone is like a high woodblock and is especially clear through speakers or headphones.

There is also a recording function which is great for easy sampling, comparison across the weeks or completing assignments for your teacher. They can be easily shared via email, soundcloud and dropbox.

Drum Genius

Tired of playing your scales with a metronome. Try setting up an authentic drum backing with loops from over 400 professional drummers. Styles covered include Jazz, Rock, Pop, Funk, Latin, World, Odd Times and more! 

You can adjust the tempo and it is great for practicing scales in a variety of grooves as well as improvising without the harmonies from the rhythm section. The first 3 loops are free and then it’s just a small fee to download more.

iReal Pro

The ‘must have’ app for anyone working on their jazz playing, it simulates a live rhythm section playing the changes for your favourite standards. With 1000s of songs available for free download, you can customise the style, tempo, key and even write your own changes. 

It’s an expensive app to purchase, but worth its weight in gold when an unfamiliar chart is called at a gig and you can just load it up! One of Time Magazine’s 50 Best Inventions of 2010.

If you have an app you couldn’t practice without – let me know via the contact page.