The Story Of An Unlikely Dream
To Become A Musician
The Story Of An Unlikely Dream
To Become A Musician
10 More iPhone Apps for Musicians
As part one has been well received I thought I would add some more for you lovely musicians to enjoy. Most of these are really helpful, some are just fun!
Here is part one if you want to try out those!
10) Sound Key
This is a silly bit of fun but I love it for light relief and as with anything I see a way to use it in my search for melody and rhythm. A true musician sees music in everything!! It's simple click the bubbles on or off to change up the melody and rhythm, harmonise by selecting multiple bubbles in the same row. Then reset and play again, change up the tempo and just have fun. Down side is there are just two sound groups which makes is a real shame because this has potential! A little thought and development and this could be turned into a musicians friend for creating melody ideas.
9) Modal Buddy
Not much use for many musicians but if you're a guitar nut like me and you really want to dig in then this is a good app for learning about modes and how to use them. It teaches you about modes, offers a quick quiz and then there are a few simple backing tracks to test your skills over. It's certainly not a one stop does it all learning tool but it's a good way to start.
8) Lick Master
Does what it says on the tin! Has a collection of licks that you can learn in different styles and breaks them into sections so you can listen to it has a whole or just the part you're working on. It lets you listen at half speed and includes a metronome which you can switch on or off. It is limited in the number of licks you get, you can tweet to unlock a mystery pack and you can buy more in the store. At $7.99 (currently) for 25 it seems a little expensive but they are well done.
This ones needs to be taken with a big pinch of salt because while it's helpful it's gets a LOT wrong. But the idea is you load any song from your music library and it will pick out the chords for you & tell you the tempo. The accuracy varies a lot but if you use your own ear with it you can often figure out where it's gone wrong and adjust but as part of a learning tool for ear training and early transposition it can be very handy. It's probably far far easier to just look it up on Songster or Ultimate Guitar but sometimes a song just isn't anywhere - I have so many I want to play that aren't and this is a good starting point.
A great way to look up the lyrics to all your favourite songs and see what they really were warbling on about! I find it's a great inspiration source for me and I use it and one way of learning more about how to write strong lyrics. It's fun too and if you are arguing with a friend over what was really said in that particular song then now you can find out instantly. Updated all the time with new music but can be a bit poor on more unusual or older bands.
5) Rhymer's Block
As you write out your song it automatically comes up with a list of words that rhyme and unlike some others I've tried most are actually pretty good. I certainly wouldn't use it exclusively but it can be very handy. It's will show you colour coding for all rhyming words in your final poem/song and allows you to easily export them. It has the Block, which is where you can see work by other artists and add your own but you do need an account. Having that social interaction connected to your "ideas pad" is a great idea and you can invite friends from facebook etc although they probably won't love you for it!
This is a entry level theory app and it's by far the one I found easiest, even explaining things far better than my teachers. It goes in sections and teaches you step by step from Intervals, Basic Chords, Scales, 7th & 6th Chords & a very brief introduction to modes. It hasn't been updated for some time but the information is as valid as it ever was and will be.
3) Session Band
Not cheap this one but it's very cool for creating backing tracks and has several apps that you can get in bundles including acoustic guitar, drums, bass & ukulele. The acoustic one for example has professionally recorded strummed chords that you can change in length and make major minor, 7th or sus. You can change the rhythm once you have your progression to see what that sounds like, change the duration of each chord, add new ones in, loop and export for your very own backing track and you're free to use them in any recording you do. There are limitations, it can be a bit cumbersome and it's pricey so it doesn't rate higher but it's very cool.
2) Pro Metronome
My number one metronome of choice, intuitive to use, allows you to have different tones on subbeats or none at all. Has a tap function so you can put in the beat you want, Allows you to easily change the time signature and the subdivisions including a variety of triplet feels and polyrhythms. Has multiple tones (most aren't annoying too), you can adjust which beats light up and how. It has a rhythm trainer, tuner and all sorts of tweaks. The best bit is you can save the presets so you have your most popular settings to hand. Great if you want it ready for practicing a set list.
1) Blues Licks (Justin Guitar)
I think anything Justin does is great, I'm a big fan of the website, YouTube channel and all his apps. This app links to 13 videos of his blues lessons from the website so you have them in one simple easy to find location. It also includes videos (once you've downloaded them) to 56 blues licks It's so convenient having it all right there to work through I think it's well worth paying for especially if you're like me and get easily distracted!
Click here for a little app help part 2
I've already mentioned the ReadRhythm app but thought I would do a full post about some of the ones I use regularly and love. I mean who doesn't love a great app! I have a iPhone so all these will be for iPhone, I have no idea if they are available on android but a few are available online.
I'll put these all in the recourse section and add to it with any more that I recommend. But for now here are my top 10.
I'll be harping on about theory soon enough - I'm a big fan! This is a great app to get you started. Recommended by one of my teachers it's got everything you need to get a really good start.
9). Drum Beats+
A cool drum app that allows you to practice your timing or solos over. Speed adjusts well so for bigger changes I recommend this app over next one. Beats aren't as good though.
Real drumming, perfectly looped in a huge number of styles. Use it to compose over, solo over, to imitate the rhythms etc. There are lots of good drum apps this is my favourite to date.
There are better metronomes but this one has a sequencer which means you can programme in a couple of bars you're struggling with and hear precisely what the timing should sound like then practice along to it. Great if you struggle with breaking up four beats and for early learning stages but make sure you still use your other favourite metronome normally as this is a tool not a solution to timing difficulties.
6) iReal Pro
Your own personal backing band with chord charts, change key, tempo, style and choose from hundreds of tracks. It's brilliant, I love how much this helps with my soloing and learning new chords.
A practice record app that allows multiple categories, instruments, even users. You can archive old tasks only to revive them later. Set your target, time etc on each of your practice subjects. It will tell you how long you've practiced on each item and much more. If you're good at monitoring yourself this will help tonnes.
We've already talked about this in my timing post. It's a great tool that can be used in a multitude of ways to help with your timing. It's versatile and easy to use.
3). Anytune Pro
Slow down any song in your library, loop a section, speed it up, change key and so much more. A must must have for any musician.
A tabbed library of songs which play to show you how they should sound. Very cool app with online access included.
1). Ultimate Guitar (tabs)
Similar to Songsterr but with a few things l love, more versions of most songs. Often if I don't get on with one version another will do the job. Lots more songs, if you're like me and your taste deviates outside the norm Songsterr can come up short but Ultimate Guitar usually comes through for me. Has tabs for drums and bass too - can't live without this one and it's super easy to use. Only negative is when you pay for app you don't get online access to pro tabs too.
Learning Time Log
How long I've been learning as at at the end of Dec 2020.
What's This About?
One fateful day I decided to get guitar lessons. 5 years later I'm learning four instruments and trying to become a musician and songwriter. I've set a five year goal (Aug 2021) to create a very special song for my 25th wedding anniversary and this is a record of my crazy journey, weird thoughts, strange doodles and unapologetic music obsession! Enjoy!