Even if you wouldn’t consider yourself the most tech-savvy musician, there’s no denying that smartphones and tablets are becoming increasingly popular in the field. If you have one of these devices, there’s a pretty good chance that you have at least one or two apps that you use for musical purposes. If not, you’re missing out on an awesome tool for yourself.
The most obvious apps for musicians to download would be a metronome or a pitch pipe. These are great choices, and I do have recommendations for these. However, there are so many more free apps that you may not have thought of to help you with your music and business alike.
If you want one, all encompassing app as a musician, piaScore might be it. This sheet music app allows you to download your music, file it together, write notes, type in translations, and basically serve the electronic alternative for your sheet music. Furthermore, it has a metronome built in, along with a YouTube search function, which allows you to search video recordings that match the title of your song. Pretty cool, right?
If piaScore equals your new binder, then Tiny Scanner equals your new copy machine. Using your camera, this app allows you to take snapshots of your music, crop the page accordingly (so no more weird black edges!), and then make the page black and white for a cleaner look. Then you can open it directly into piaScore, or upload it to your Google Drive.
So sure, you can use Google Drive on your computer. However, with your piaScore/Tiny Scanner combination, you’ll really want to have the Google Drive app as well. Not only is it a great way to keep your music stored in case you ever leave it somewhere while travelling, it’s a nice way to get music on and off your tablet.
And yes, piaScore has a metronome built into it, but I personally prefer to have a separate app for this on my phone for several reasons. First, it’s less cluttered. Second, and more importantly, this particular metronome allows for more advanced options. These include setting a time signature for your beat, or tapping the tempo yourself in case you don’t have a specific tempo marking.
Every good musician should have some sort of pitch pipe or tuning option, and I prefer to use Virtuoso as mine. Sure, it’s technically a keyboard, but that way I can play out simple melodies as well. Plus, I can change the octave of the note(s) so that I can get exactly the pitch I want.
I'm loving these apps for #musicians! Plus, they're free! Click To Tweet
In the midst of organizing all of this music, it’s helpful to have an app that reminds me to organize my schedule as well. Wunderlist is a great, multi-device app to create multiple task lists and to-do lists with customizable notes and attachments. Plus, if you’re working with an ensemble or want to create a group task list for any reason, you can share your lists with other users.
For all of the languages that musicians work with, a good translation app is key. WordReference.com, my favorite translation site, has an app that allows you to translate texts on the go. With multiple languages, easy switching between the languages, and a wealth of information, this is easily one of the best language dictionary apps around.
There’s nothing more “fun” than variable income. Keeping track of where our money comes from in one month, budgeting that money, and tracking our spending can be exhausting. Fortunately, Mint is here to help. A multi-platform, all-in-one finances app, Mint allows you to put all of your financial accounts in one location. This includes bank accounts, credit cards, and loans. It also allows you to set a budget for yourself, and create a savings plan. And again, this is all for free.
Speaking of financial tracking, it’s important to keep track of your receipts come tax season. Helpful for keeping track of all of your transactions, OneReceipt allows you to upload and categorize all of your paper receipts. Furthermore, you can sync the app with your email account so it can automatically upload online receipts as you make purchases.
So really, all musicians would be served to have social media apps on their devices for networking and other business purposes. I decided to add Periscope in particular because it is still relatively new and therefore not well known. It also has the potential to be a very powerful app for musicians in particular. For more on how, read my post on why Periscope is great for musicians.
There are so many apps out there, it can be difficult to sort through them all. In fact, I purposely did not number this list so that I can easily update it as more apps are released. With that said, what are your favorite apps as a musician? Why do you like certain apps over other ones with similar functions? Let us know!