I am part of many flute related Facebook groups, and I always see people looking for recommendations on what gear to buy, where to shop, etc. So I decided to create a little series here on the blog with my recommendations. Today’s entry is music apps.
Hopefully this series will be helpful to anyone shopping for a flute, a case, cleaning materials, music, or other accessories. I wanted to start with music apps, because a lot of them are free or cheap, and you can download them today.
This post will have two parts: apps for your phone and apps for your computer. Now, I do use an iPhone and Mac, so some of the apps may only be on those platforms, but there will probably be a Windows or Android alternative.
This is a free app for Apple, but similar apps exist for Android.
MusiciansKit is a tuner, metronome, and audio recorder all in one. If you are like me and you don’t have a ton of space on your phone, an all in one app is perfect for you.
Instead of having to maintain space for three different apps, you have all you need in a single app.
The tuner part also has a tuning fork, which you can change to the pitch you need. You can use A=440, 442, etc. or you can have the tuning fork play any other note.
The metronome also has some advanced features you won’t find on a physical metronome. You can change the beats per measure, thereby creating an emphasized downbeat. You can also add in subdivisions.
While most phones already have some sort of voice recorder app, it is nice to have one specifically for your music recordings. I don’t use the recorder function as much as I should, but it is an easy way to record yourself in a practice session or for a lesson or competition.
You will probably want better recording equipment later on, but an app is a great way to get started.
I listen to a lot of recordings on YouTube. When I don’t have my computer, I use the YouTube app to find a video or audio clip of the piece I’m working on. You can find a lot of different recordings on YouTube.
One of the things I like about YouTube over, say, Spotify or Pandora, is that you can watch the videos that people post. As important as it is to listen to great players, listening will only help you so much.
Watching video of great players can give you more insight into how to get a better sound or build your stamina for performances.
If you find a musician you really like, you can even subscribe to their channel. That way, you can see more of their recordings and videos.
If you have ever wanted to compose or arrange music, this is the app for you. It is available for both iPhone and iPad, though they are technically different apps.
The iPad app costs $14.99, and the iPhone app costs $4.99, though you can get the iPhone app for free with proof of purchase of the iPad app.
SymphonyPro is a music notation app, and there are multiple ways you can use it. You can use the onscreen piano keyboard, onscreen guitar fretboard, or manual entry. If you have an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil, you can write the notes like on paper.
If you prefer using a desktop music notation program, consider MuseScore. This program is available for both Windows and Mac. Other popular music notation programs, like Finale and Sibelius, cost hundreds of dollars, but MuseScore is free.
MuseScore is open source, which explains the price tag, but it definitely does not lack any features. You can write solos or large group works. You can add dynamics, accidentals, and articulation markings.
If you are just getting started with notation, or you’re on a budget, MuseScore is a great way to go. And because it is open source, there is a huge online community where you can go for help.
Your download even comes with a one page guide for the basics of MuseScore.
Have you used any music apps? What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments!