Favorite Apps for Practicing
Given the amount of time I spend with some sort of gadget in my hands, it is time sum up some of my favorite apps that I use for guitar or music purposes. Gone are the days of carrying a tuner, a metronome, even sheet music! So here is a small list of my most frequently used music apps on my iPhone/iPad.
Cleartune. I was never really into using digital tuners. I usually just used the 440 A from my metronome and tuned my guitar by ear. I actually never owned a digital tuner. But when I got my first iPhone, I decided to get an app just in case. Now I end up using it more than I thought I would. This one isn’t free unfortunately, but it works really well. It has two options, you can use the sensor and tune to the dial, or you can make it sound any note and tune the guitar by ear. It works on both the iPhone and iPad.
Pro Metronome After downloading and trying a number of metronomes, I finally settled on this one and deleted all the other ones. I like everything about this metronome, the design, the dial, the different features. You can do pretty much anything with it that you need, from different beat patterns, to subdivisions, different tones for the sound… You can even determine the tempo of a certain piece or performance by tapping a “tap” button to the music, and the metronome determines the bpm. This metronome is free and there is a in-app purchase which opens up even more options. I did end up paying the $2.99 to unlock all of it’s features. It works on both the iPhone and iPad. I use it all the time.
forScore I have to admit, the only reason I even got an iPad was because I saw Martha Masters play in concert while reading music but never having to turn pages. At first I was very confused, she was playing a Bach fugue that I knew was thirteen pages long and never once did she reach to turn a page… Then I learned that she was using an ipad for the music and pedals connected via bluetooth to turn pages. GENIUS! That was my reasoning to get an iPad! Now since then, I’ve used the iPad more often to feed my cows on Farmville than I have to read music off of it (mostly because I play from memory). However, it is an absolutely indispensable app if you play with music in an ensemble or gig situation. Or even if you like to have your music library handy when away from home. I have most of my pieces scanned into PDF’s and in the forScore app, just in case I need the music when I’m practicing while traveling. Since I always travel with my ipad, I always have all the music I need.
I used to use this app called JustPractice for organizing my practice sessions, I even wrote a little blog post on my website about how much I liked it. However, when preparing material for this article, I realised that the JustPractice app is no longer available in the App Store. So I’ll mention my second favorite app Music Journal Pro. I don’t usually get too fancy with writing down everything I’m practicing. I play by ear, prioritise by what needs the most work. But sometimes the quantity of repertoire gets a little overwhelming and it helps to organize the pieces I need to learn, how much to practice them, how often etc… For those cases I use one of these apps. They let you enter and keep track of all the repertoire that is currently in your practice queue.
The above four apps are the ones I use pretty much every time I practice depending on the situation.
Here is a list of all the other apps I have on my iPad/iPhone to help me with various musical tasks.
Notion – for notating music
Finale SongBook – to open Finale files.
30/30 – To organize my working time.
Daily Routine – To organize my day overall.
What are some of your favorite apps? Feel free to share them below 🙂
Find out more about Gohar on her website: www.GoharVardanyan.com