Sunday, October 26, 2014

Practice Resources: Mobile Apps

Here are a few of the mobile apps I use regularly for practicing.

Sheet music & Method Books

forScoreThe best music reader for iPad.

GoodReader 4In addition to ForScore, a separate app for method books, theses, written essays, etc. is a good way to organize the various content you need. GoodReader 4 makes it especially easy and intuitive to use PDF files on an iPad.

Tuners & Metronomes

MetronomicsThis is the most powerful metronome app on iOS by far. The possibilities are endless. It would take too much time to explain in detail here but let's just say that if you've ever been frustrated by a metronome's lack of flexibility, this app's for you

TunableA great visual chromatic tuner (and metronome) that has a multitude of options for temperaments, transposition, sensitivity, etc. The unique display makes it very easy to see whether you're in tune or not.

DrumgeniusIf I feel like playing with a more human sounding metronome, this is the app I use. You can choose which sound samples you like best and purchase them individually or buy packs. The UI is VERY dated but the samples sound great.

Practice+A metronome, tuner, recorder all in one. Although each of these tools are less advanced than the individual apps above, having them all in one app with a beautiful UI at a reasonable price is something to seriously consider. 

Practice Aids

iReal ProThis app needs no introduction. It's like having all the Real Books (minus the melodies as iRealPro can only display chords) and corresponding play-alongs in your pocket. The midi accompaniments are cheesy and lifeless but if you purchase the "Jazz Pack" add-on, there's a practice style that's barebone and more suitable for practicing.

Anytune Pro +The best app to slow down music. Gets updated consistently and sounds the best of them all. The UI is a little dated and it's rather expensive, but not only does it sound great even at the slowest speed settings but you can add "Marks" and organize what you're practicing on with a very powerful set of folders and menus.

Daily RoutineThis is a great app to organize your practice sessions. The way it works is you enter a set of items, organize them in routines which you can schedule all at once with many options regarding repetition and customization. It makes the process of scheduling practice sessions much easier.

Recordium ProAlthough the developers have taken a step backwards with the recent update, Recordium is one of my most essential practice companions. Record your practice sessions then highlight and annotate certain passages or edit audio right on your device. iCloud backup makes all tracks and edits mirrored on any device with the app installed. Mass-exporting tracks (as a way to easily share and backup) is a feature unfortunately missing and I still haven't find a way to read the annotations other than in the app. Still worth it. Looking forward to the next few updates to see if they'll implement changes asked by their customers.


Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer Either to practice accuracy or simply challenging rhythmic notations, this app has no competition. It's one of these apps that is also being regularly updated, with a developer listening to its users feedback. Highly recommended. 



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