Month: January 2016

Top 10 Apps for Music Students on iPhone / iPad

If you were lucky enough to receive a new iPad or iPhone for Christmas you might be looking to find out what the ‘Top 10 Apps are for Music Students’.  Perhaps, (like me) you already own a device and you’ve received the ultimate stocking filler, an iTunes gift voucher?

Here are my top 10 apps for music students on an iPhone / iPad

  1.  Jazz Session Band – the ultimate ‘Band in a box’.  Real instruments played by some of the best jazz musicians in the U.K. (Dave O’Higgins, Geoff Gascoyne, Tom Cawley).  I use this App a great deal in my own practice and also when teaching jazz improvisation.
  2. iGigBook – put all your music in one place on your iPad.  I have over twenty real books, plus all the music I use for various different bands arranged on different playlists.  I use this app on almost every gig I play and saves me transporting, and loosing endless sheets of paper!
  3. Notion – when you consider that Sibelius software is over £600, this app is incredible value for money.  Add in Apple Pencil support on the iPad Pro and you have an app that is a real ‘game – changer’ for musicians and composers.
  4. Hip Licks for Saxophone – Greg Fishman is one of the world’s leading jazz educators and I’ve used Greg’s materials in my teaching for over ten years.   This Hip Licks App works great when teaching small groups and even better when put onto a large screen TV, (via ‘airplay’ on an Apple TV).   There are so many innovative ways to use this App that you can use it every day and still find something new to work on.
  5. Tempo – the best metronome for iOS, by a long way.
  6. Musicnotes – this app sync’s your purchases from the Music Note’s website. More handy for pianists than saxophonists, like iGigBook it saves me carrying and loosing lots of sheet music!
  7. Evernote – not really a music app, but an app I use everyday is so many ways.  I use Evernote to record all my teaching notes, (and share the notebooks with students.) Plan set lists for gigs, send arrangements to other musicians, plan recording sessions and so much more – get it and then you will wonder how you ever lived without it!
  8. Cleartune – I’m not a fan of tuners as they encourage you to use your eyes for something that you should be using your ears for.  However, this app is very helpful for training your ears and to improve your intonation, just don’t rely on it to play in tune, OK?
  9. iRealPro – similar to the Jazz Session Band apps, but with thousands of standards on the forums.  You can also add your own arrangements and transpose the chords into any key. Comes into its own on gigs with singers, and is VERY easy to share with other band members.
  10. Apple Music – I’m not a fan of Spotify, (they really do pay musicians VERY low rates.) The chance to listen to the WHOLE iTunes collection is incredible, (give my latest album, #JazzTrio a listen if you can!) Oh and you get your first three months, FREE