Fine tune your ears and refresh your theory knowledge with these essential apps for singers.
1. Virtual Piano Keyboard
Not everyone is lucky enough to have a keyboard or piano to practice with, which is why Virtual Piano Keyboard is a great app to have.
This app is a portable keyboard and voice recorder that is perfect for finding your starting notes and keys, and recording your practice sessions. One bonus about this app is that the keyboards range is not limited and unlike other apps, you can easily scroll between octaves when practicing.
Metronomes are so important, especially when learning quick and difficult runs, and iRhythmic is the perfect combination of metronome and teacher.
This app allows you to change the time signature, as well as the tempo and also enter your own rhythms into the app. This is great when you are trying to learn specific rhythms that you are finding difficult to work out! The fact you can change so much within the app sets iRhythmic apart from other Metronome apps. Unfortunately, it is not available on Android, but don’t worry because Jelly Metronome is a great substitute with a fun interface and very similar features.
Warming up properly is vital in any singers’ routine, and SwiftScales provides a variety of scales to help you do so.
With SwiftScales you can use the preset warm-ups specifically suited to your range, or create your own scales and save them to the app. The best thing about this app is that once you have created your own scale, you can share it with other people with ‘Scale Codes’; perfect if you want to swap routines, or share scales with students to ensure they warm up correctly.
4. Harmony Voice
Singing and creating harmonies is a difficult skill to learn, but Harmony Voice will work out your own harmonies and practice them.
With this app you can listen to the harmonies the app creates while you sing the melody line, or sing harmony line on top of track imported from your music library. Unfortunately, this app is only available on iOS, but if you are an Android user, why not try a recorder like the J4T Multitrack Record, so that you can record one or two lines and practice singing another over the top.
5. ABRSM Aural Trainer
Aural tests and ear training can sometimes feel repetitive and boring, but ABRSM is an engaging way to practice your aural skills, whether you are working towards an exam or not.
The app will work you through aural exercises that increase in difficulty, which means you can practice and improve your aural skills. Make sure you use the interval trainer this app provides. It is the perfect tool to use when you want to improve your sight singing. Although this app isn’t available for Android, you can use AuralBook for ABRSM, which will provide the same progressive training and the official ABRSM app.
Bonus – Voice Cross Trainer
This app crosses several singing boundaries – so didn’t fit neatly into our single categories above. But those serious about developing their singing will want to get Voice Cross Trainer designed by top vocal coach Kim Chandler.
This app provides a training course of essential pop vocal skills and concepts combining video demos, written descriptions and sing-along audio clips. It’s much more than a warm-up tool; it teaches exercises with modes, rhythms and intervals which will be common to singers in contemporary genres.
-Ruby Foster is a musician in Leeds, UK. You can see more articles from her here.