By Jane Sandwood
According to a recent survey done by Gallup, 54% of households in America have someone who plays a musical instrument. Learning to play is not only a very fulfilling hobby; it can enrich your life as you find a new way of expressing yourself through music. The traditional way of learning an instrument is to have lessons with an experienced teacher. There are many iOS apps, however, that can enhance your learning, helping you to improve your technique, hone your practice and discover new music to play.
For the beginner guitarist or bassist, Fender Play is an ideal app, especially if you have an interest in rock music. You don’t need to be able to read music: Fender Play introduces you to basic notation and tablature in an accessible way. The pre-recorded videos are easy to follow, showing you the chord shapes and finger patterns up close. When you have mastered the basics, it’s a good idea to sign up for a musical masterclass with a professional musician. You could even learn the fundamentals of rock guitar with Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, really building on your skills in a fun and interactive way. Regular online lessons will help you improve your technique quickly.
Acapella is a great app not only for creating your own music, but also collaborating with others. The pro version is great for recording multiple tracks: you can record up to nine different instruments, and up to ten minutes of music. Acapella is, of course, particularly good for recording vocals and harmony parts. It is the ideal app to help improve your tuning if you are a singer, and work on close harmonies if you are unable to attend choir practice in person.
If you have an iPad or iPad mini, then Simply Piano is a great app for learning to play a keyboard instrument if you don’t actually have one. If you are on an iPad or iPhone, you can also play along with your piano or keyboard. The app includes many courses that are tailored to different playing levels and styles of music. There is also a library of songs that you can learn at your own pace.
The GarageBand App
GaragebBand has been around for a long time now, but there is a reason it’s still one of the best music apps around. It offers an intuitive solution to make music wherever you are, and it is updated with new content and sounds regularly. You can also plug in a keyboard, guitar or bass to add your own sounds to the music. The drum loops on GarageBand are particularly good, sampled from live drummers.
Flat: Music Score And Tab Editor
If you want to practice and improve notating music, then Flat is a good, straightforward app to help you improve your skills. Flat is cloud-based, making it extremely easy to share your tab or scores with other musicians, and to collaborate together. The editor is easy to use and will make it obvious if you are missing beats on your score, or have too many beats to fit into a bar. You can also use Flat to help you understand the rudiments of music theory.
For beginner and intermediate musicians, the Yousician app can help you to play piano, guitar, bass and ukulele, and also offers singing tuition. It offers a range of easy-to-follow lessons with a personal learning path. The basic version of the app allows you to learn for 20 minutes a day, or there is a premium version to help you with more in-depth techniques.
If you want to learn a new instrument or improve your musical skills, there are some great iOS apps to help you. With a little practice every day, you will soon find that you are becoming a better musician.
The accompanying image is courtesy of Unsplash