As a music student in this high technology oriented age, I can’t help but look for apps to help make my life just that little bit easier. I’ve tried out many apps over the past few years, some being totally useless and some that I use every day. So today I thought I would share my 9 most used music apps currently on my iPhone, plus a few music websites which are handy for music students. If you don’t happen to be a music student, or musician but have an interest in music, please keep reading as some of these apps might just help you too!
Sing! Karaoke by Smule
Sing! Karaoke is exactly what it sounds like, a singing app. You can sing your favorite hits with audio effects. Sing video duets with featured artists like Jessie J, Jason Derulo, and Linkin Park or join in a duet with another user. You can also share your covers with the 50M+ global audience and get fans! I like to use Sing! to practise the songs I do for performances or covers as there are heaps of backing tracks on there. You can choose to do audio or video recordings too. I love to join in on duets with other users to practise my harmonising and there is also a freestyle recording where you can recording your won songs. The downside is that you can’t download the backing tracks but a great place to find backing tracks for singers is at The Karaoke Channel. Sing! Karaoke is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Shazam is one of the music apps that is great for every music lover. Are you listening to a song on the radio or at a party and have no clue who it’s by or what the name of the song is? Well just touch the button to Shazam and you will find out in a few seconds the Name and Artist of the songs, plus where you can listen to it and how many other people have Shazamed the same song. Save your Shazams by making an account so you can find them wherever you are. Shazam is available on the Apple App Store, Windows phone and Google Play.
Tabs (Ultimate Guitar)
For the guitarists out there if you haven’t heard of Ultimate Guitar Tabs where have you been?! This app (and website) is my go to for finding the chords, tabs and lyrics to nearly every song I feel like playing. It also has helpful chords charts to show you how to play different chords as well as giving you the ability to transpose a song into a key you can sing and play in. I also use this for playing simple chords on the piano when we are having jam sessions at college and at the hostel.
Soundcloud is an audio platform that lets you listen to music and audio that you love and share sounds that you create. I use Soundcloud to listen to originals from musicians that I know as well as to release recordings of my own music. You can follow users and also check out the music that they are listening to. My favourite users are Leroy Sanchez, Little Brother, SunBurst Music , Sarah Vandenberg and Honey Ribar.
A metronome is a must have for all music students and musicians. Keeping in time for recordings, during performances and group settings is super important. I have to be honest, this is the best of metronomes but is simple and does the jobs. Plus I just have a general disliking for the sounds of metronomes, even though I know I need to use them! (Anyone else feel the same? Please tell me I’m not the only one!)
If you are guitarist, bassist, or play the ukulele or other string instruments, than keeping in tune is one of the most important things to look out for. There is nothing more awkward than forgetting to tune your guitar and only realising during the middle of a performance. GuitarTuna is by far my favourite guitar tuner app and its free! The line in the middle shows you where the correct tuning is and when you pluck each string it shows a wave line of how flat or sharp that string is. The app has automatic detection for what string you are playing and will light up green when each string is correctly tuned. Available on the Apple App Store
Having a piano app on you phone is really handy for all musicians whether you use it as a pitch pipe, to quickly figure out a chord progression or even to play a song. You don’t necessarily have to download this particular Piano app but I would highly recommend having a piano app on your phone or other devices.
Now this app here is one of my more exciting discoveries from this year’s search for music apps. Yousician is an app that will teach you to play guitar, piano, bass and ukulele. You can try it for free for a certain amount of lessons each week. It will start you off as a beginner or you can do a placement test if you already have some skill in an instrument. I have been using it to learn to play the guitar better. I like that it has an almost guitar hero function built-in so it can tell if you are playing the write notes and chords.
If you haven’t already got a Spotify free account I don’t know what your are doing with your music life! Spotify is my daily go to for music and I don’t know how I would do without it. I have a Premiun account set up with my Spark Phone Plan and even if I didn’t I would totally pay the $12.99 a month for apremium account. It is sohandy to be able to download music offline and not have to listen to adds. Some of my favourite features are the playlists, the Spotify Radio and the lyrics screen. I make separate playlists for each of my classes at college which help me to study and learn new music. For example I have a playlist for my History of Pop class, one each for learning songs for ensemble, worship band, choir and our charts class. It does suck that some big artists, such as Beyonce, Adele and Taylor, are no longer putting their new music on Spotify for streaming but I totally understand why they don’t use it.
Some other handy website are The Practise Room for singers which teaches you to sight-singing, and Music Theory.net which will help you with developing theory and aural skills.
So there you have it! Some handy apps and websites to help you music learning.
Do you have any other apps or website that you use?I’d love to hear about them below in the comments!