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Essential iPhone Apps for Musicians

the iPhone 6 running Garage Band for iOS

With the launch of the iPhone 6 I thought it would be an appropriate time to do a roundup of essential apps for the avid musician and guitar player. If you write songs and play in a band, these apps are worth your time.

Garage Band

icon for the garage band appThis is really amazing software, and even more amazing that it runs on your phone. First of all you could use Garage Band on the Mac and you’ve got more options than The Beatles were working with. This stripped down version works pretty great too. There are lots of instruments and sounds to play with, and you can sync anything you do back to your Mac with iCloud. It’s worth the price.

iMPC

icon for iMPC Akai’s classic MPC drum machine in your pocket. You can get some good drum machine sounds and make some decent beats pretty easily, wherever you are.

Voice Memos

icon for iPhone voice memos app This built-in app from Apple is so handy. It’s great for jotting down riffs, song ideas, or even recording rehearsals. Sing into it. Put it on your knee and play some chords real quick. Put it on the bass drum and record your punk band. The iPhone’s software is great at making sure it never overdrives, and the microphone is surprisingly good. Every song I’ve written goes through this app at some point.

SoundCloud

icon for soundcloud app A great place to upload your demos to back them up, or to share your final tracks with their vibrant community of indie musicians.

Reverb

icon for Reverb.com app One of the best new places for finding great gear or selling your old stuff. They have a slick iPhone app that makes it easy to buy, sell, and browse gear.

Guitar Tuner

icon for guitar tuner appBasic but always handy.

IFTTT

icon for IFTTT app Pronounced like “gift,” IFTTT puts the internet to work for you. Set alerts for gear on Craigslist. Have it automatically update your social media accounts. Get creative.

iA Writer

icon for iA Writer app This is the best writing experience on the iPhone. Perfect for jotting down song ideas, notes, and lyrics. Syncs to your iPad and Mac with iCloud.

Feedly

icon for the Feedly app Staying on the scene these days means keeping up with a lot of blogs. Just load your RSS feeds in here and be done with it.

Bandcamp

icon for the Bandcamp app Bandcamp is really the best way to manage your website as a band until you've got a record label doing it for you. Do it all on your phone with this app.

Spotify

icon for the Spotify app Any song you want on demand except The Beatles, Ty Segall’s best albums, and the first Kinks record.

Commit

icon for the commit app Ever tried writing a song a day for a month to see how much better you get by the end? Use this app to help keep you motivated and on track when you set goals like that.

Oblique Strategies

icon for the oblique strategies appBrian Eno's Oblique Strategies for the iPhone. Whip it out when you get stuck.

Instagram

icon for the Instagram app You’re probably already using Instagram, but did you know that it’s a great way to hack your band's social media presence? You can use it as your digital hub and automatically post to Facebook and Twitter each time your post to Instagram. It’s an easy way to update everything at once. Plus photos account for 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook.

Vimeo

icon for the vimeo app Take a video of your band rehearsing a new song, publish straight to Vimeo, and then use IFTTT to automatically tweet it out. Use this to easily share video from your phone and grow your social media presence. It integrates tightly with iOS.


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