In the smartphone era it's possible for everyone to be a DJ or a musician - if only you know how to fish the right apps from the Play Store pond. And if you already have the necessary musical knowledge, you'll be pleased to know the Play Store is full of many useful tools that can assist with everything from tuning instruments to mixing samples. Here we present some of the best free apps.
Pianist HD - Piano For You
For all the pianists out there - or those who want to be one - Pianist HD delivers some interesting features on your smartphone or tablet. You can choose between different samples, such as drums or trumpet, to play along to on the virtual keyboard. There are plenty of available songs that others have uploaded for you. This app is of course better suited to tablets, as on a smartphone the keys can be a little crowded.
To start as a beginner playing the piano, this app is all you need. As the sheet music runs across the display you just need to play the right keys at the right time. The app offers an extensive tutorial on how to do this, but even without having played before, it is easy to use, and does what it promises. There is no stuttering or delays and the song selection available through the cloud is extensive.
Tuner gStrings Free
Anyone who has ever gone on tour with his guitar (or at least on holidays), has had the experience of an out of tune instrument. With the right apps, however, you can save your precious baggage space for fun stuff, like stolen hotel towels. Tuner gStrings Free offers you a professional and very sensitive tuner, for free. Whether you play cello, guitar or piano - you can use the app to tune any instrument.
There are help settings to align the frequency range of the instrument and the microphone can also be calibrated. Professional musicians will also find more extensive settings for the detailed fine-tuning, which are also explained in detail. All in all, the app is the perfect on-the-go tuner and provides perfect results.
Perhaps not the sexiest rock'n'roll accessory out there, a tuner that gets the job done is just as essential as a troubled childhood and drinking problem. Other free tuners apps available include: n-Track Tuner, Free Guitar Tuner and CarlTune - Chromatic Tuner.
Guitar: Solo Lite
Never again will you find yourself around a campfire with no guitar. With Guitar: Solo Lite you can transform your handheld device into a virtual guitar and get jammin' without any equipment. Stroke the thumb of your right hand over the strings, and change chords with the left hand. At the top of the screen you can display the right chord table. Similarly, you can select a fret-section and you can even switch to electric guitar mode.
With a tablet or smartphone of the right proportions, it is also possible to engage a second mode directly on the display and play the chords and strike the strings with the other hand. This is very weird to get used to, but still a good idea. Like real guitar, for those who practice, you should be able to get some good sounds out of this app.
If, once you have wrapped your fingers around this app, you want to try more, there's many apps available that bring a wide repertoire of skills, for example: Ultimate Guitar Tabs & Chords, Chord! Free (Guitar Chords) or Guitar Chords and Tabs.
If you've ever started to play drums, then you now how easy it is to miss a beat every now and then. We all need a little support when we're learning! A metronome app lends itself perfectly to this. Mobile Metronome is a small, simple and handy tool to have on your smart phone that will help you get your rhythm on and keep better time.
You can set your metronome's speed between 10-230 BPM (beats per minute) and choose between different sounds to set the time signature. Once you've found the perfect settings, you can save them and recall everything the next time you launch the app. The app is very basic and has no frills but it works flawlessly.
Anyone who has ever wanted to make their music sound better should already be familiar with the mixing desk. Caustic 2 allows you to play your own audio files and set various filters on your melodies. You also have access to synthesizers, sequencers and mixers, which can create a very individual sound. In total, Caustic 2 brings six different music machines to your tablet or smartphone, including an effects rack.
The PCM synthesizer and drum machine can be fitted with your own WAV files. There's one thing you can say for sure: Caustic 2 is definitely not an app in which to just plonk together a few effects. An intense preoccupation with the app is absolutely necessary if you want to get something awesome coming out the other end. At least it's fun!
We're sure you have plenty of other recommendations for apps that allow the musician's heart to beat faster. Share your favorites in the comments below!