Great Android Apps for Musicians (that are free!)

Blog, Digital Music, Gadgets, Technology

Last month I got myself a HTC Android phone. As much as I’m a fan of Uncle Steve’s Apple products £40+ per month for an iPhone is just too much for me. Still, it’s not like getting an Android is a bad thing, there’s tons of apps to rival Apple’s growing collection and I was pretty much sold on the seamless integration with Google accounts (mail, calendar etc). I was browsing the Android market recently and I decided to check out what music apps existed for us musicians for those times when we’ve forgotten our tuners.

There’s a decent mix of paid and free apps but this post will concern itself with the ones that are free. Here’s some great musical apps for Android you should definitely check out…

gStrings

gStrings TunergStrings is a chromatic tuner. There are two ways you can use it: Firstly, you can use the dial to tune the note or alternatively you can get the app to ‘sound’ the note you’re looking for by playing it through the phone. The app is very simple to use and when I tested it, it’s tunings were accurate.

There are a number of options you can tamper with such as the microphone sensitivity or frequency ranges and a number of coloured skins that you can use to customise the look of the app. One thing you do have to bear in mind is you have to select the note you want to tune before you tune it, then hit the ‘Tune’ button to start tuning. This means the whole process can take longer than usual, however I did notice one unexpected benefit. Because the app is only looking for one note, the fact there was another guitarist sitting next to me widdling endlessly (this seems to happen a lot when I tune) didn’t affect the tuning process.

Unlike a lot of other free apps, this isn’t ad supported and to be honest, I can’t believe it’s free. This is great.

For more information check out the creator’s website

Mobile Metronome

Mobile MetronomeMobile Metronome is exactly what it says – a metronome capable of playing differing time signatures, accented first beats and the ability to decide on beat divisions. The slider makes it very easy to select which tempo you are looking for, plus it also displays the Italian term underneath which is great if you’re playing from sheet music that omits a metronome mark. You can also tap the tempo and when testing this, it seems very responsive.

Another big plus is being able to choose from different sounds such as a classic metronome, cowbell, clave or electronic beat.

This free version of the app is ad-supported which is displayed at the bottom, but doesn’t interfere with your overall experience. You can always upgrade to the Pro version if you wish.

For more information check out the creators website

My Piano

My PianoMy Piano is a fun app which allows you to play the piano on your Android phone. The notes covered are from C3 to E4 which isn’t a massive note range, but let’s be honest, you’re hardly likely to knock out a piano concerto on it. The sound is realistic enough and you can make changes to it in the settings which allow you to activate aftertouch, note velocity or reverb and echo effects.

What I found to be REALLY cool with this app is you can record your own sample and play that. When testing, I simply recorded myself singing the word ‘Dave’ to a single note and was able to create a tune with it. You can create as many samples as you like and save them to your memory card.

Other than that there aren’t many other options apart from volume and a small selection of skins for the application, but this is a great free app which is fun to use.

For more information check out Android Zoom’s website

Solo Lite

Solo LiteSolo Lite is a virtual guitar for Android. You can choose from a selection of chords and play them all together or finger pick them. It’s responsive and you can change chords relatively quickly which means you could strum a song if you get good at it! It’s all good fun but there is an awesome feature under the menu option called ‘Chord Library’.

Chord Library has a great deal of educational value as you can look for as many different chords as you can think of and there is a chord diagram for each one. You can even strum the diagram to see what it sounds like. Again, this is one of those apps that I can’t believe is free if you like it, upgrade to the Pro version and support the coder of this app.

For more information check out the creator’s website

That’s it for now on my search for musicians apps. I will inevitably find more on the way and I’ll write about these very soon (including some paid ones too).

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