Practical Apps for Learning to Play and Make Beautiful Music

Practical Apps for Learning to Play and Make Beautiful Music

Practical Apps for Learning to Play and Make Beautiful Music

by Stephanie Haywood

Making music has various health benefits, from reducing stress and depression to improving memory and reading skills. If you are thinking of picking up a musical instrument, you are taking a smart step towards improved wellbeing. If you have kids who want to play an instrument, they can also benefit; studies have shown musical kids do better in school.

Learning to play an instrument is easier said than done, however. It requires dedication, patience, and lots of practice to succeed. The good news is that today’s modern technology means you can learn on your own, even if you don’t have funds for a professional teacher. Download these apps to help you on your musical journey.


Yousician combines award-winning technology and world-class educators to help music students learn singing, piano, bass, ukulele, or guitar. You will receive access to step-by-step video tutorials that cover instrumental basics and also get personalized exercises that are adjusted according to your performance. Select from thousands of songs to hone your skills and access. You also have the opportunity to enter weekly challenges alongside millions of other app users, giving you a chance to earn a spot on the leaderboard. It’s been shown that some healthy competition can enhance learning, so this added motivation will give you a boost and make the process more fun, too!

Read Music

Research has shown that learning to read music is much like learning to read as a child: You have to learn an alphabet of “letters” (notes) and the various ways that those letters can be combined. This serves as the basis, allowing you to decode larger, more complicated units like chords and scales. The Read Music app gives you numerous reading lessons and quizzes teaching you how to identify the notes, as well as exercises that teach you how to identify marks when playing the guitar and piano. The app also lets you practice wherever you are — all you need is your phone and, ideally, a stand or popsocket grip so you can prop up your device and go through your lessons hands-free.


Once you have the basics like reading music down, you will want to perfect your craft. Tunable is the perfect app for this. It’s a chromatic tuner and metronome in one. To check that you’re playing in tune, for instance, play a note and watch the screen: A large colorful indicator will show how on-point you are. (The more accurate you are, the more the screen fills with green.) Use Tunable to improve in terms of playing a steady beat or more consistent pitch. You can also record yourself playing and even add reverb for a more professional sound. Share your recordings with others through email, Dropbox, or SoundCloud.

Whether you are learning a musical instrument yourself or the parent of a child who is learning, these apps can help. They will make the education process easier and more engaging for students of any age. Download these apps and make the most of the support that technology can give you as you dive into the world of music.

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Practical guitar amps, also known as personal amps or practice amps, are amplifiers designed for home practice, rehearsals, and small performances. These amps are typically compact, lightweight, and affordable, making them ideal for beginners, casual players, or musicians looking for a portable solution. Here are some key features and considerations when choosing a practical guitar amp:

1. Wattage: Practical amps usually have lower wattage ratings compared to larger stage amps, typically ranging from 5 to 30 watts. Lower wattage amps are suitable for home practice and small venues, providing enough volume without overwhelming the space or disturbing neighbors.

2. Size and Portability: Personal amps are compact and lightweight, making them easy to transport and store. Look for amps with convenient carrying handles, built-in speakers, and durable construction for on-the-go use.

3. Tone Controls: Most practical amps feature basic tone controls, such as EQ (bass, midrange, treble) and gain knobs, allowing you to shape your tone to suit different playing styles and preferences. Some amps may also include built-in effects like reverb, delay, or modulation for added versatility.

4. Input and Output Options: Consider the input and output options available on the amp. Look for amps with multiple input jacks, including a dedicated guitar input and an auxiliary input for connecting external devices like MP3 players or smartphones. Some amps also include headphone jacks for silent practice.

5. Speaker Size: The size and quality of the speaker(s) can significantly impact the amp’s sound and projection. While smaller amps typically feature 6- or 8-inch speakers, larger amps may have 10- or 12-inch speakers for improved bass response and overall clarity.

6. Versatility: Choose an amp that offers versatility and flexibility for different playing situations. Look for amps with clean and overdrive channels, footswitch compatibility, and built-in effects for a wide range of tones and sounds.

7. Budget: Practical amps come in a wide range of price points to suit different budgets. While entry-level amps may offer basic features and sound quality, higher-end models may include more advanced features and premium components. Consider your budget and needs when selecting an amp that offers the best value for money.

Some popular options for practical guitar amps include the Fender Mustang LT25, Boss Katana Mini, Blackstar Fly 3, and Yamaha THR series. These amps offer a combination of portability, tone options, and affordability, making them suitable for home practice and small gigs. Ultimately, the best practical amp for you will depend on your playing style, budget, and specific requirements.

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