Today, virtually every student has access to a smartphone or tablet. However, these devices may not be fully utilized while in the practice room or during lessons. Apps for smartphones are generally inexpensive and can be extremely valuable. The University Committee has compiled a short list of curated apps to enhance musical growth in the practice room for the high school or college musician. This list is not all-inclusive but focuses on some of our favorites. Most of these apps can be found on both iOS and Android platforms, and any deviations are noted. (Some of the iOS apps are iPhone only and not available for iPad.) Hopefully this series of articles will allow you to get the most out of your smart device in the practice room!
APPS FOR RHYTHM
Every percussionist wants to have an impeccable sense of time, and consistent practice with a metronome can make this a reality.
Tempo by Frozen Ape
iOS and Android
Tempo is a metronome app that offers multiple subdivisions, time signatures, a pitch reference tool, timer, and several different visual and sound settings. With a built-in bar counter/timer function, this app can help you practice in short periods with frequent breaks. For more options, including polyrhythmic subdivisions and further customization, consider Tempo Advanced. There is also a free version called Tempo Lite.
IPT: Inner Pulse Trainer by Frank Mellies
iOS and Android
IPT is a metronome app that gradually removes beats to test your sense of time. As the “checkpoints” gradually move further and further apart, you are able to evaluate your pulse absent the continuous metronome clicks.
Heterobeats by Ryu Suzuki
Heterobeats is a metronome app that offers the ability to combine polyrhythms (1:1 up to 12:11). It offers various pitch and sound settings.
Peter Soroka is a diverse percussionist pursuing a Doctor of Music degree in Percussion Performance at Florida State University. He holds performance degrees from the University of North Texas and Virginia Commonwealth University, and has performed with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia Gulf Coast in Destin, Florida.
Micheal Barnes is a master’s student at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has performed with the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, the Ft. Smith Symphony, and the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas. He was recently awarded a teaching fellowship to work with the National Youth Orchestra and Choir of Belize, as well as being awarded the Mary Grey Thompson Award for outstanding contributions to the University of Oklahoma College of Fine Arts.