There’s An App for That – Phone Tricks for Singers

phone

A phone is really a very handy little thing to have in every day life these days. It is capable of doing so many things. In fact it can really come in useful for a singer if used properly. Here are ten things I have on my phone that really really come in handy.

  1. A recording device – Both audio and visual playback are waiting at your fingertips. There is nothing more useful than watching yourself and seeing (and hearing) those things you normally wouldn’t. Play back and record again. As much as we all prefer not to listen to ourselves it really is one of the best ways to identify how to improve.
  2. The piano app – There are so many free piano apps. Download one. If you are a singer it’s so worth it. When you are sitting on the bus you can go over that tricky run note by note and get it in your head. Or you can hit the first note of the song and keep yourself in key when practising away from the piano.
  3. Instant backing tracks – Keep backing tracks on your phone in your music or iTunes folder. Make a playlist just for them that you can search through and listen to. That means you can also play them when you are driving and keep your rep in check.
  4. Warm Up Apps – There are some ok free ones but a couple you will have to pay for. I have one called Singer’s Studio which was about $10. Basically what it is is an app that records your input as you sing along to the scale and tells you how close you were to pitch. They often give you examples of different warm ups for different things to achieve too. Depending on the app you have you may even be able to save your progress and track your range.
  5. A metronome – Again there are so so so many to choose from. A lot of free piano apps also come with one included. If you need a speed check for yourself to keep in your head before you walk into an audition or when reading over a piece it’s definitely worth it. Also, you can have it playing while you rehearse to check how your tempo sits as you progress.
  6. A library of your music! – Now the first thing that pops into my head here is the musicnotes app. Of course this will only display your musicnotes bought songs unless you have paid to scan in an additional library of pdfs. Alternatively (or concurrently as I do) you can use something like dropbox or iCloud to store a library of your pdfs. This can be really handy if you need to print off something on the go but just remember (and it may seem I jest but I have seen it happen) do not [I repeat: DO NOT] ever hand your iPhone to a pianist for them to play from… even an iPad is not really an acceptable screen unless they specifically ask for it. And also be aware this will take up a lot of storage if you don’t keep the majority up in the cloud somewhere – and storage space can mean additional cost.
  7. Youtube – Search for new repertoire, listen to new works, watch your favourite artists and learn. There is so much content available to you and this is a great way to find it. Just remember to keep your research hat on or you can easily get distracted. If you have an iPhone and a lightning to HDMI cable you can plug into your tv and do some how-to lessons straight from youtube on the big screen.
  8. An ear trainer – there are many many apps to help you improve your musical theory base. But even if you can’t do that just try playing with the piano app. Tell yourself you are going to play a fourth. Play the first note to yourself and hum what you thinks comes next. Now play the fourth and see how close you were. If this seems a little to tricky for you try downloading an app made for you. Be wary some are a little expensive. I have one by AMEB with some locked components that require additional payment.
  9. Networking – one cannot talk about a smart phone and overlook the obvious connection to social media. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook can all be great marketing and networking tools – all of which you can take with you wherever you go and keep your journey updated. Just ensure they are not the ONLY thing you are using your phone for.
  10. A rehearsal scheduler – pop in reminders to tell you its time to go practise. Tell yourself to drink water. Schedule out your day and week so you have time to do all you need to do to prepare for events. You can do a lot with the normal calendar app but there are also wonderful apps like wunderlist that will help you keep track of your goals and tick them off as you go.

And there goes ten. If you have nay favourite apps or ideas that I’ve missed leave a comment below!!!

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