The internet and smartphones have changed everything from the way we socialize, to ordering food and buying cars. With all these changes, you can bet that the music industry has seen some groundbreaking improvements as well.
For musicians, this is excellent news!
Below are some of the best apps and online resources that can help you improve your skills as a musician.
Getting Started: Finding the Right Equipment
It stands to reason that to improve your musical finesse, you want to be sure you have the right equipment. You won’t master the piano while playing on a dusty Casio that you dug up from your parents’ basement.
Before you start your journey, make sure you have the right equipment for your instrument.
You might also consider heading to the local music shop to see if the staff (who often are musicians themselves) can point you in the right direction.
Of course, not everyone can afford an expensive instrument such as the baby grand piano, but the expense doesn’t mean the instrument is out of reach.
Call the heads of the music department at your local high school or university to see if you can make use of their resources.
Some might require you to enroll in a tutoring course e.g at Coursera, but that can’t hurt either.
With the right equipment, you’re ready to begin.
Apps for Reading Sheet Music
From time immemorial, music has always been documented on paper. There exist hundreds of years’ worth of music written on scores, which allows us to relive and listen to the great composers, including Bach and Mozart.
There is nothing as amazing as hearing a top-tier orchestra play music how the original writers intended you to listen to their work.
Most musicians will concede that studying sheet music is integral to improving their skills. But the issue for most musicians is not reading sheet music. It’s the big towering stacks of paper.
With the apps for reading sheet music, you can say goodbye to skyscrapers of paper.
The best apps for smartphones and tablets let you acquire hundreds of scores while keeping it all neatly filed away on your mobile device.
These apps often work in conjunction with cloud storage services like Dropbox, so you don’t even have to worry about using up too much memory on your device. With PDFs of sheet music, you can share scores, tag files, add notes, and even create set-lists.
Apps and Streaming Channels for Playing Music
Somewhat contrary to the previous point, for some musicians, the best way to improve isn’t by reading notations—the real magic happens when playing.
YouTube is probably the most popular for its music tutorials.
YouTube has thousands of excellent performances of all genres ranging from Medieval to Contemporary, and in modern times, classic to rap.
Depending on your needs, you can search for YouTube tutorials for playing guitar, piano, harpsichord, etc., or you can search for tutorials of particular songs on your chosen instrument.
Besides YouTube, there are countless apps and websites that teach you not only how to play an instrument but how to play your favorite compositions and tracks.
Some popular music education sites are:
Piano Nanny – for pianists of all skill levels
Musician’s Way – an app that helps you organize and stay on a schedule, just like a real tutor
Justin Guitar – Justin Sandercoe’s website and YouTube channel have helped thousands of guitarists
Violin Lab – for violinists of any skill level
Remember, when you listen to new sounds, you add to your library of music. It also gives you a chance to discover new musical genres that you might love.
Music Studying Theory –
While most people are excited about rocking drums and impressing crowds during performances, it’s vital to learn some theory.
Learning theory can help you master the skill of playing your instrument.
You don’t need to obtain a degree in musicology, but with a little knowledge, you can turn into an all-round professional fit for a music career.
Learning theory helps you understand the history and development of music. It also develops your ability to read notation, note values, and count odd time signatures.
Your instincts become sharper when you learn to recognize the theory that guides mastery of your instrument.
Some top online resources for theory include:
MusicTheory.net – learning musical terms, notes, and essential building blocks of music theory
Music Theory for Musicians – brushing up on the basics and focusing on specific topics like scales or chords
Hoffman Academy – a user-friendly breakdown of repertoire, skills, and knowledge acquired with each lesson; the premium option offers personalized instruction.
Online resources and apps can enhance your musical abilities. With the right equipment and the right resources, you’ll soon find your skills soaring to a crescendo.
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