What Apps you're using to structure your practice?

Let me know what apps or other little helpers you are using to structure or improve your practice!

My collection includes:

I use this to scan and import all my scores and have them ready on my iPad. It significantly improved the health of my back 😉 But I also like to organize lists with pieces I am currently working on or materials for teaching. The possibility to have several layers of annotations is excellent to use individual layers for students or to have a blank page when it comes to making a new annotated score for a live stream! I use forScore together with a Bluetooth pageturner,  the "PageFlip Firefly".

An easy-to-use metronome is indispensable for everyday practice, and ProMetronome has been with me since my first smartphone days. I am sure there are alternatives with the same feature set, but I like the ease of use and the possibility to highlight specific beats in a bar. A great help was the ability to display polyrhythms visually, but you need the paid version for that (which I generally use for all my apps, I don't want to be blasted by ads when I am practicing).

Stay focused, be present. I use this as a practice timer. It shows you the number of sessions as little trees and is an excellent gamified way to have more focus sessions with your instrument!

What Apps or helpers do you use? Let me know!

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  • I also use forScore, PageFlip Butterfly Bluetooth Page Turner on an iPad Pro for all my ensemble music.  There are too many pages for the scores & different parts to print. I also have different setlists in forScore to organize my music.  However, when I am learning a new piece of music, I still like to work with a paper copy.  Pro Metronome is great for practicing scale, arpeggio, tremolo.  Has anyone tried Andante (practice journal app)?

    Like 1
      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Bill Young Andante looks fantastic, I'll check it out! So far I've been tracking my practice with a notebook (which still feels amazing, no need to digitalize everything), but Andante looks neat!

      Like
    • Martin I use the notebook to jot down important points after a lesson, a masterclass, or a performance. I then type up a summary by expanding my notes and fill in details with measure numbers. I learned this from Laura Snowden when she took lessons with Julian Bream. 
       

      My summary would have details for each bullet point in my notes. For example, no hesitation before the bar 2. Rubrato between measures 3-4. Vibrato on F# in measure 4.  Crescendo & decrescendo from bar 5-8. Don’t stop the vibrato while playing the accompaniment. Fix the slur between mi-re# in bar 1 so the tone is focus and not thin.  Watch out for the diminished chord in bar 16. Loud but not harsh. How to make the shift easier by using guide finger, practice changing the chords with different finger configurations on the same fret before attempting to play the correct chords by shifting to the correct frets, etc.

       

      The last step is sending my detailed summary of the lesson back to the teacher and ask for confirmation that I captured everything.  

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      • Jesús Mostajo
      • Computer Engineer and enthusiastic guitarist
      • Jesus_Mostajo
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Bill Young hi Bill, I’m using Google Forms for keep my training diary. it save the responses in a data sheets and show on graphs. 
      Very practical for me.

      Like 1
    • Jesús Mostajo cool idea!

      Like
  • Nothing. I don’t own an iPad or tablet. I use a metronome that I keep in my guitar case. I print out the pieces I’m working on.

    BTW, I do own a car and have running water. 🙂

    Like 2
      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Eric Phillips and still, somehow you manage 😱😱😱 You're a wonderful example that in the end, it simply comes down to sit down with your instrument and love what you do!

      Like 2
    • Eric Phillips funny, m

      again: me too;-)

      Like 1
    • Martin some people are out of the age when ther werent any apps;-)

      Like
    • Stefanie Mosburger-Dalz In the world of technology, I'm an illegal alien.

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips but I read all the answers, I want to know how people do their things;-), may be some day I look for some equipment, what is mostly lacking is time....

      Like
  • I also use forScore. I really want to use an app to track practice sessions (what was practiced, notes about the session, ability to arrange a "set" of practice items. I also saw Snowden's practice tips section and tried to apply her suggestions). Ideally, forScore would include more utilities for practice but they're not there.

    For now, I've been trying out an app on the iPad called "Music Practice." It feels like it's headed in the right direction but still has significant shortcomings. I wrote the developer and he indicated he would consider implementing some of my suggestions but I haven't seen anything new as yet.

     

    Oh, and I also use a bluetooth page turner. Now that I have one, I feel like it's a "must have."

    Like 1
  • Hmmm ....

    I don't use any apps for practise.

    Maybe I should ... ?

    Like 1
      • Jesús Mostajo
      • Computer Engineer and enthusiastic guitarist
      • Jesus_Mostajo
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Jørn Buch Larsen I recommend you Google Forms

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  • One other thing that I think is deeply related: I wish more publishers would produce scores in digital format. While I'm a bibliophile from way back (love the touch, feel and even smell of books or print documents), the utility of digital scores seems indisputable. All the apps we use require that scores be imported into some kind of digital format (usually PDF). It would be so nice if the scores were already formatted that way with proper dpi, spacing, and so on. As it is now, I'm usually taking a picture of a given score on my phone and then importing it to app.

    Like 2
    • Tom Reed
    • Tom_Reed
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Similarly to others I like the traditional approach of having a hard copy of the music and scribbling notes down directly onto that but I'm always looking for things to help make life easier...

     

    I do have a few metronome apps such as Metronomerous which is good for beat subdivisions and has a few other handy features like being able to accent those individual beats and any subdivisions. I also use Another Flamenco Compas for the Flamenco playing or just to have a more interesting groove to play to fairly regularly.

     

    iRehearse is good for slowing music down, looping phrases and changing the pitch if it's in Eb or even if it's only a few cents out.  

     

    I also use notation software such as Musescore, which is or at least was, free to transcribe, import music, and to create practice ideas around a theme or phrase. 

    Like
  • I use a metronome that is also a tuner and I love that thing, if I forget it in some sessionroom, I feel unhappy until it is back with me. Since I earn money, I by  books and I make copys to develop my fingerings or breathingmarks or bows, whatever and if it fits, I write my signs into my books- I am allowed to! these are mine, and Im adult...sometimes I think over having an I pad for score but I have no idea what might be useful for me...they are so small...I play in a folkband, sometimes I have no own voice, sometimes I have to invent my voice at once, I have  sheets of paper with marks, score, text or remarks what to do in which peace in which verse in combination with who of us six...and with which instrument....very chaotic, I have no idea, how to put that information down in files....like flowers that fade everything we do just exists in the moment that is how we are..but with the guitar I use a notebook where I write down everything, where I shake hands with every note and every chord and I learn the peace that way...just paper with 5 lines and a pen..

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  • I started using Piascore, recommended to me by a pianist that keeps all his music projects in this app. I find it overall a great tool for annotating scores, but at the moment it has not fully replaced a practice planner notebook I have been using for a number of years.

    Like
  • I use MobileSheets Pro (the pro version allows unlimited scores) which does everything I need. I'm also using Strich page turner (cheap bluetooth page turner), Beatronome metronome (love it) and - sounds stupid but - Workout Trainer exercise app for timing practice sessions. I set each type as if it's an exercise e.g. Guiliani RH studies would be an "exercise", Scales another et cetera then you set the time and it does the count down to finish and moves on to the next "exercise". You can put notes on at the end - you need the pro version to create your own "workouts" and "exercises". Maybe I'll have to have a look at Forest to replace Workout trainer.

    Like
  • Hi everyone ;)

    For convenience, since I'm often away from home, I use forScore to organize scores and write corrections or new ideas so I can turn them into MIDI files and have a wonderful editable and printable score to share with colleagues and students.

    To do this I use Notion (Presonus) on both tablets and desktop/laptop computers.

    I'm used to recording some performances when the piece of music is almost complete, when I'm at home I use Logic otherwise I'll settle for a voice memo😉

    To do warm-up exercises and technical studies I use any metronome, the internal one of forScore is more than enough for me but I also kept Metronome+.

    In the last 15 years I have created my personal PDF archive by scanning all the books I have and that I continue to buy, I am very happy in using the tablet as a music stand even if I am lucky enough to learn by heart quickly.

    Of course everyone has their own habits and needs, every organizational or study method is valid ... the important thing is Music!👍

    Like 1
    • Stephen
    • Stephen.3
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    I use Forescore for organizing and reading scores, with the Butterfly page turner.  I use Andante which is a practice journal app that times your practice and has a journal option.  I use Musescore  for transcriptions, and writing music.  I have a metronome app on the iPad, but I usually use a quartz based metronome piece of equipment.   I also use Filmic Pro, on the iPhone and filmic Pro remote on the iPad for video recording.   

    Like 1
    • don
    • don.2
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    I pretend to use pro metronome on my iphone and mobilesheets on my surface pro.  I used to use a supertight tuner on my guitar but recently I found out it caused some semi-permanent smudges so I switch to Pro Guitar Tuner on my iphone. 

    Like
  • Hello Tonebasers,

    I started using an iPad a few months ago and my journey to find tools is still in progress but so far here's what I found useful. Among all of sheet music apps I've tried the one I found working best for me is Newzik. Having all my scores at hand, easily categorized and organized in setlists and having multi-layers of possible annotations (like for different fingerings or recording comments) have enhanced my productivity a lot.

    While the scanning option of those apps is ok I better like a dedicated app that has more options for managing and applying filters, for better results, and the best free one I found is Microsoft Lens.

    For score editing I'm using Dorico, this is also the one I use on my computer, and the features it provides are more than enough for my use. One thing I like is that you can create a livescore out of a PDF in Newzik and once converted you can export the result to MusicXML format and sent it to Dorico for editing, this is great for starting a transcription!

    I'm also using GoodNotes for general note taking because I like writing notes and sketching by hand and using an iPad with the pen is just a great experience.

    According to what people are using here I've just downloaded Andante and I will give it a try for sure! Another app I want to try is LumaFusion for video editing, combined with audio recorded via GarageBand (or any better DAW on the iPad?), and FilmicPro for better camera control. Lets see if we can produce a good video out of an iPad alone!

    Like 3
  • I use Mobilesheets, which is an excellent windows equivalent of forScore, with a Bluetooth Airturn Duo 500 page turner pedal. I’ve also used Scanscore, which scans sheet music into an editable staff, although it is not very accurate, and the editing tools are cumbersome.  They just released an improved version, but I haven’t tried it. I also use MuseScore. For metronome my favorite is Pro Metronome. I’m looking for a slow-motion video app for Android or windows with sound.

    Like 1
    • Peternull
    • Peter.1
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    I use Forscore with a PageFlip butterfly. Not yet mentioned about ForScore is its use as a music library/database. I have scanned many boxes of music scores with a flatbed scanner and

    1. tagged them with country of composer, genre, flamenco palo (alegrias, soleares, etc), dance form (waltz, candombe, landler, etc), on and on. Forces you to think about what a title like Milonga means, and teaches you that you don't always know. Allows you to find all the milongas and see the common patterns....
    2. attached recordings of the pieces to the score. 

    ForScore also allows me to record easily during practice with no setup. I don´t do that often enough, and there really is no excuse at all anymore!

    I use MediaMonkey to keep digital recordings on PC, and have done similar work creating playlists with various musical forms based on contents in the title.

    For Metronomes, I mostly use ForScore´s built-in. For flamenco I use Compás, a flamenco metronome, Dr. Compas and MfSevillaSoft. I also use Weird Metronome for PC when unusual patterns are useful. 

    When transcribing from recordings I use Anytune Pro+. ForScore allows you to loop fragments of recordings for practice too (another form of metronome!), but Anytune is better for transcription.

    I use Focus To-Do aka Pomodoro Todo as a Pomodoro practice timer on my phone (since Steve Goss). I am struggling with more detail/breaking up the sessions versus longer sessions and haven't settled on a stable pattern with this. This seemed to be the most flexible app when I did my search, but I'm not sure I really like this software, I don't understand how their nested goals/timers work...

    For a practice journal I've used paper ... erratically. I'll look at Andante.

    Like 1
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