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The 4 Best iPad Apps That Can Make You A Better Musician

We’ve posted the best iPad apps for musicians before but now, lets take a closer look at the best apps to help musicians learn a musican skill or develop their pre-existing skills. Here are the 4 best apps to make you a better musician:

Karajan was featured on our list of the 5 best iPhone apps for musicicans a few months ago and now that there’s an iPad version of the app it may be the best mobile learning tool for music. The app provides lessons for learning to recognize intervals, chords, scales, pitch and tempo where you can either click the right answer or play it on a simulated piano or guitar thanks to the Multi-Touch screen. 
Now musicians can train their ear and work on their piano/guitar skills virtually anywhere. Practice makes perfect and with a built-in headphone jack you can do your roommate a favor by not forcing them to hear you work your way to perfection.
Price: $9.99

Guitar Lab is a great app for anyone learning to play guitar that doesn’t have the time or money to take guitar lessons. The app streams guitar lessons to your iPad (as long as you have WiFi connection or 3G) and includes text, standard notation and guitar tabs so you can practice guitar where ever you happen to be. The app is free with additional lessons available to purchase and add to the app at anytime. This tool is great for anyone who wants to learn to play guitar but needs an on-call guitar teacher to fit in their busy schedule.
Price: Free

Piano Man is Guitar Hero for pianists without the fickle virtual crowd. This app is great for piano players to practice timing and learn to play the instrument regardless of whether or not they can read sheet music. But wait, it gets better. There is now a “Battle Arena” feature where up to 4 people can battle from all over the world to see who can tickle the ivories the best.
Price: Free

The SyncSing HD app allows songwriters to turn their iPad into a mobile songbook so you can carry your lyrics and their accompanying chords/tabs with you at all times. This app has been great for the song writer on the go since it came out but, the newest version includes new features that make practicing easier with the iPad. You’re now able to associate sound files with your songs so that you can play along with a beat. 
Player & Singer Mode allows you to adjust the settings so that only the lyrics or only the chords (above) are shown so that you can master your craft whether you’re singing or playing an instrument. In addition, Karaoke Mode allows you to sing along with instrumental versions of your song. The last new feature I found particularly notable was Training Mode. Training Mode gives you the ability to loop a specific segment of the song over and over. This is a great feature for that tricky solo you just can’t get right and don’t want to have to keep restarting the song from the beginning. Check out this video from SyncSing’s official website for more info.
Price: Free

Did we leave out any apps that have helped you become a better musician? Let us know in the comment section so we can include your feedback in our next iPad post!

Chris is the co-founder of MicControl, a music blogging network based on a music social networking platform. This post originally appeared on the MicControl blog on May 26, 2010. Chris can be found on twitter and facebook.

Reader Comments (30)

While I recognize that the 'Piano Man' app is similar to a guitar hero format, it could be very useful to helping to establish the necessary connection between the sound of a note and the placement of the piano key. This is a huge benefit and may help to train the ears of many young musicians!

May 27 | Unregistered CommenterJon Ostrow

Great apps. My all time fave is Tab Toolkit.

May 29 | Unregistered CommenterJR

Just released are two iPad apps for brass players. Both help the user to focus on fingerings, speed training, accuracy, chord progressions and ear training.

Trumpet Pro HD -

French Horn HD -

June 8 | Unregistered CommenterEd Trujillo

Two very cool apps, Ed. Thanks for the input... I'm working on an extensive list of apps for musicians, I'll be sure to add those to the list!

June 13 | Unregistered CommenterChris Taylor

Hey Chris,

I just released Trombone Pro HD for the iPhone so you can also add that one to your list of iPad music education apps.

The URL with info and video is available at

Regards, Ed

September 26 | Unregistered CommenterEd Trujillo

We have just released Note Perfect! for iPhone. This great little game helps music students improve their fluency when reading music

Take a look at


November 6 | Unregistered CommenterGavin

Guitar Jam Tracks for iPhone is one of my favs. Great tool for learning your major and minor scales, they have a few different styles. It was featured by Gizmodo and AppAdvice as a top app!

December 5 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Great Advice for Musicians! A great tool not often highlighted!

February 8 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Chang

Anything that emulates Guitar Hero is inherently dangerous for serious musicians-to-be. Avoid gimmicks and stick with apps that teach real music theory; it's hard and often tedious work but it pays off!

April 11 | Unregistered CommenterPercy

If you are into pitch constellations and want to delve into some real music theory then you should check out Scale Tapper for iPad (also runs on iPhone, iPod Touch). You can visually create scales and chords, transpose them, and then tap them out on your own custom-tuned fretboard. Check out the video on YouTube for a quick run-through of features, and be sure to find us on the App Store.

August 11 | Unregistered CommenterScale Tapper

great application on learning to play piano chord. i have been searching for the best application for music enthusiast and i think this is the best one.

August 17 | Unregistered Commenterpiano chords

I like this, but I use the Ghostwriter Notes to compose musical scores. And I love using it. The music sheets are like real papers. And you can actually convert them to PDF's. You can buy them at

December 8 | Unregistered Commenterdawson

Garage Band is the best one, include it to the list!

I'm using Piano Tabs which helps me playing and remembering my songs quiet a lot.

Always worth a try!

January 29 | Unregistered CommenterThomas Fankhauser

Hi all, please take a look at my collection of music apps for learning and teaching, with a teachers' corner, at
There's a general blog, and a special forum on most pages to discuss
specific items.

I'd love to get your input.

Anita Pincas
London University

February 3 | Unregistered CommenterAnita Pincas

Hi I think an ap which scrolls across why you play along would work really well? ,A stave with semibreve's minims ,or quavers on one line moving across , which then would move up a note or down and then , split in to teach ,rythmn ,ties ,slurs etc ,but basically a good reading and practice tool?? Thoughts ??

February 5 | Unregistered CommenterSaxdaddy

You should also check out iLovePiano for iPad.

It is a really nice application that helps you learn musical notes, piano keys, staff music representation.

If you own a real piano or an electric keyboard you can use it in your practice (iLovePiano listens to your piano via the microphone and recognizes the notes).

iLovePiano in AppStore

iLovePiano on Facebook

iLovePiano on YouTube

March 5 | Unregistered CommenterMihai Babusca

Thanks so much for this post. There is very good and helpful information in this post. Keep up the good work.
Also go to the link below to know about new mobile application for iPhone and iPad, named ‘GlobalSourcer’.
Best business apps

Tempo, the best Metronome.

December 2 | Unregistered CommenterSerge

This is very useful, and I'll add them to my complete classification/listin of apps for music at

Any further suggestions for that website will be most welcome.

Anita Pincas
Institute of Education, University of London

December 3 | Unregistered CommenterAnita Pincas

Soundsnips is another great (and free) iOS app that teaches music learners how to listen to classical music. It displays popup facts and explanations as the music plays. Check it out:

December 19 | Unregistered CommenterRosey G

I'm a guitarist and an indie developer for iOS. Just recently my first app has found it's way into the AppStore. It's called - The Chord App, and it allows you to build, save, load, edit custom guitar chord charts right on your iPad. It's a simple, yet useful, app that is extremely easy to use.

I've worked with a professional guitarist with over 45 years of experience to put together a great collection of chords (1400+ chord positions). And it's growing with every update due to our users' input.

You can check it our here:

Serge - The Chord App

January 11 | Unregistered CommenterThe Chord App

How about an app that writes out sheet music? Is there such a thing?

January 11 | Unregistered CommenterVelvetVoice

The app Guitar Lab is awesome. I have begun to learn to play guitar recently. So I love this app as it allows me to play guitar wherever I go, even when I don’t have the instrument with me.

June 21 | Unregistered CommenterElsie

These are all great suggestions. I have been a music teacher and professor for about 20 years. The best app I have seen is AURALBOOK. It is so great for improving your aural skills and testing your listening abilities. The app comes in so many different levels and languages so it is covers a wide range of students. My students think it's actually really fun to play and I think it tests you very well. I enjoy playing it as well. It's also free so instead of paying for more hours from a teacher you can get direct, live feedback like a teacher from AURALBOOK.

July 10 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Wow awesome post! this applications are so great beginners will definitely learn from this applications. this lists of applications can help beginner musicians in starting their own career as a musician and be a better one.

July 12 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Ramos

Nice post! this apps are all good. the good thing is playing musical intrument nowadays are not just playing the actual instrument itself , nowadays playing instruments are more exciting more educational by means of using mobile devices.

July 26 | Unregistered CommenterJohnson Alex

I have a music writing app currently on the iTunes / App Store for £1.99. It allows you to create sheet music from scratch, inputting the notes via the touch piano keyboard. You can then print out the music onto an A4 size sheet, or email a PDF version. The next version, version 1.6, which should be out this week, 16/03/2014, will also be MIDI enabled for input, which will allow you to connect a MIDI keyboard, via a camera connection kit, and input notes directly onto the music sheet. A MIDI output version is planned for the near future, which I hope will enable you to output songs to Garage Band or other such apps to help with your music creation. Lyrics can also be added. The results can be saved on the iPad/iPhone and many compositions can be created and retrived as necessary, while taking very little memory. MusicWriter is also a great app for learning music, as it quickly shows you which keys on the piano relate to the notes on the stave, and tells you what notes they are. Many thanks for your interest. Phillip Holmes (Director - Ark Applications Ltd)

There is a great little iOS app called EarBeater that is pretty helpful.

It is a nice application that helps you learn musical notes,and post of people defenitely like this post.

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