Making Music: Use Your Smartphone to Learn to Play
By: Charles Carpenter of Healing Sounds
Research shows that learning to play a musical instrument can strengthen mental capacities, improve memory function, boost comprehension and math skills, and better your coordination. Of course, dedicated music practice can also teach discipline, responsibility, and perseverance. Not to mention that learning to play a musical instrument is a whole lot of fun, too. Unfortunately, music lessons for your kids (or yourself) can be expensive and often don’t fit into your schedule. By using smartphone apps, anyone can learn to play an instrument anytime and anywhere for a fraction of the cost of in-person lessons.
Before downloading the latest instrument learning apps, make sure your smartphone is up to the task. You need a phone with a powerful processor, crystal-clear display, and high-quality audio and video capabilities. The latest phones meet all the necessary specs, and some even have unique features that can help you learn to play music. For example, Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have the useful Now Playing function, which can automatically identify songs playing nearby, so you can easily add the music to your repertoire.
Once you’ve reviewed your phone needs, check out these free and low-cost apps that can help you learn to play an instrument.
Tunable is a low-cost musical app that is available for both iPhones and Android phones. This tuner app helps you tune your instrument, and also can help you stay in tune and on pitch while you are playing your instrument or singing. But this useful app isn't just a chromatic tuner, it's also a tone/chord generator, metronome, and recorder that helps you learn to play steadily, on beat, and in tune wherever you might be.
The Yousician app is a fun choice for beginners who want to learn to play a musical instrument. This app listens to you play your guitar, piano, bass, or other instrument, then offers immediate feedback about your timing and accuracy. With this app, you also get very easy-to-follow video tutorials, as well as lessons and challenges tailored to your level that make learning enjoyable for children as well as adults. If you are just getting started with a musical instrument, the free Yousician app is a good place to start. You can also upgrade to the premium version for more features.
What's the fastest way to find high-quality sheet music? The Musicnotes app. This app allows you to tap into the world's largest and most trusted source of sheet music wherever you happen to be. It's compatible with iOS, so you can use it on your iPhone or iPad, as well as Android, Mac, and Windows. This app is an easy way to turn any device into a practice and performance tool with a massive amount of music storage.
YouTube can also be very useful when it comes to playing music. If you want to learn to play guitar, then the JustinGuitar channel is the answer. Also, check out the website and corresponding apps for hundreds of different lessons at every level. For drum lessons where you can play songs from day one, turn to the Drumeo channel. They also have a weekly podcast on all things percussion. If you want to dive deeper into the music industry, tune into the Michael New channel, where his videos discuss music theory.
Playing a musical instrument can be fun and beneficial for kids as well as adults of all ages. Even if you don’t have the time or funds for traditional, in-person music lessons, with a capable smartphone, the right apps, and helpful video tutorials, you can be playing a variety of music in no time.
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