Review of The Best Music Lesson Apps – How To Improve Your Instrumental Learning

 

 

 

 

By
Jessica Josh
The days of the
private music teacher charging $50 or more an hour are long gone.
Now you can fall back on non-human tutors, i.e. your handy smartphone or
tablet, to learn music—for a fraction of the cost.
Hot on the heels of Björk releasing her music education
app on Android
, we bring you the top apps to help you learn
how to play instruments; tune up; dig musical theory, or simply sharpen your
ear:

 

Piano
For just $1.99, you
can do as the name of this app (left) says. Mahalo’s Learn Piano delivers a starter’s
piano curriculum via video, graphics and text (provided you have a keyboard, of
course). Expert pianist Peter Darling will be your resident guru.
This app serves as a
fully functional virtual grand piano, with spot-on sound effects like you are
playing the real thing. You can smoothly slide the screen to make contact with
all 88 keys. Key labels can be personalised; you can even get the app ‘professionally
tuned.’
This free app might
as well be called ‘Piano Hero’, with its online tournament for four pianists. Its
fancy gaming accoutrement aside, Piano Man basically functions as a piano
teacher, ideal for absolute beginners who can’t decipher sheet music.
The fact that Grammy-winning
producer Quincy Jones invested in developing this app, should be an indicator of its merits. Featuring video instruction from YouTube star David Sides, Playground
Sessions uses relatable chart-toppers rather than classical works to teach the
instrument. Every song is divided into manageable classroom sessions. If you’re
a beginner, you undergo a ‘boot camp’ for reading sheet music, among other
lessons.
Guitar

 


Guitar Lab (left) is one of
the most apt apps for learning how to play guitar. If you’re too busy for a
scheduled tutor, this app practically serves as an on-standby teacher. The app
delivers completely annotated guitar lessons straight to your tablet the next
time you are online. The catch? None. It’s all yours for free, with lessons
available to purchase and expand the app anytime.
Complete novices will
love Beginner Guitar by Guitar Jamz. Taught by the animated Marty Schwartz, Beginner
Guitar will be right beside you at the very beginning, when you have no names
for the strings, when you don’t even know how to tune your instrument. From
there on, Schwartz will conduct you through essential chords, and he will have
you plucking and strumming your first guitar song very soon.
Many students learn
guitar faster by having the songs annotated in tablature format. Songsterr does
piano learners a huge favour with its vast tablature database, containing
transcriptions of more than 80,000 songs. It can play back any of these songs
in Midi form; you can assess your rendition as it plays against the tabs. It
also saves songs for you to learn when you’re not online.
This iOS app is
basically all of the Howcast app’s video lessons in one place. With
mild-mannered tutor Ivan Max as your guide, learn all the fundamentals in your
own time, all the way through basic intermediate level. A nifty tracking
feature lets you monitor all the lessons that you have viewed.
Drums
How would you like to
practice drumming right on the screen of your iPhone? Use this app to go
through step-by-step drum lessons. Or learn how to read drumming notes with the
help of a ‘demonstration’ feature, which plays patterns properly for you. ‘Crib
sheets’ offers indispensable tips.
Metronome

 

 

Flaunting an
elegantly designed interface and intuitive commands, the strident and accurate
Metronome Plus is one of the more distinguished metronome apps out there. The
beautifully animated pendulum alone is something to behold. Plus, you can
easily customise meters, accents, subdivisions, etc.

2. Tempo

Used by thousands of
musicians and music educators, Tempo lets you store presets into multiple
setlists and email them. It also vaunts flashy LEDs; a tap tempo function; and
tricks like independent volume control. The advanced version allows more leeway
in terms of customisations.
Seasoned saxophonist
John Nastos is one of the people behind Metronomics Metronome. Professional
musicians like him will appreciate the app’s wide range of customisable
subdivisions and complex rhythms to practice. The app also has an ‘Inspector’
feature, i.e. real-time feedback via Midi or the mike.
Other
helpful music apps

 

Named in honour of
the legendary music conductor, Karajan teaches you how to identify chords,
intervals, pitch, scales, and tempo, and then test your knowledge with a
simulated guitar or piano. This app is a fantastic way to sharpen your aural
senses as well as practice your guitar and piano skills to pitch-perfection.
This is this era’s
riposte to analogue tuners. Just play a note or stroke a key and this app will
precisely tell you how out of tune it is. Otherwise, this app can double as a
pitch pipe. Gorillaz and The Killers are just two of this app’s famous users.
If you’re already on
the deep end as a musician, Theory Lessons will be of immense interest. Get 39
animated lessons, anywhere from ledger lines to Neapolitan chords, courtesy of
the maestros at musictheory.net.

About Jessica Josh:

Jessica
Josh is a blogger and freelance author.  Since ‘07 she has been creating
great content on wedding entertainment, guitar lessons,singing lessons and
reviewing websites like
Entertainment 88

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