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  • Writer's picturerachael5770

10 Essential Apps for Running Your #singerlife

As much as I advocate pen and paper in many situations, there’s no getting around the fact that we live in a digital world – so why not use it to our advantage? I find myself coming back to the following apps time and time again. They are tried and true and have helped me continue to make steady progress toward my goals.

For help with your business:

1. Wunderlist

For day-to-day tasks, I recommend Wunderlist. The app is geared toward the Getting Things Done process. In a nutshell, the GTD process is about writing down absolutely everything you have to do so that your brain doesn’t have to do the work of remembering it. Then when you have a block of time to get some work done, all you have to do is consult your to-do lists. I always seem to have the clearest idea about what I need to do just when I am too busy to do it, yet when I finally sit down to work I can’t remember any of it. This app has changed that for me. I use Wunderlist to remind me to update my press materials regularly, to keep track of all of the pieces I want to research, to keep a list of companies to apply to, and more.

2. Evernote

Evernote has a seemingly endless number of uses. I personally like to use it to brainstorm, collect inspiration, and keep anything I need to reference quickly on the go. I keep a digital copy of my repertoire ideas list, and have a separate note with recital ideas at the ready. I have a notebook dedicated to notes from various master classes, as well as one solely consisting of feedback from judges. I especially like to use Evernote in conjunction with its Web Clipper extension. When I run across interesting articles online I can save them right to Evernote and consult them when my inspiration is running low.

3. YAPTracker App - iOS only for now

Did you know that YAPTracker has an iOS app? I find the app to be so much better than going through listings on a computer, for one reason: You can mark your undecided listings as “interested” or “not interested” without going into the detailed listing itself. It is so helpful to do a quick scan and mark “not interested” on a bunch of listings at once before going through the promising ones in more detail. The only downside to the app: not all of our fancy diacritic markings are supported (for example, apostrophes turn into “&rsquo”). However, this rarely keeps me from understanding the listings.

4. Scanner Pro

I love this scanner app for both my iPad and iPhone. I have used Scanner Pro for everything from scanning a copy of my music (music that I own already, of course), to scanning signed contracts for gigs, to scanning five whole chapters of my Italian textbook so I could study on my audition trip without having to lug the entire textbook along with me. Scans are uploaded automatically to DropBox. It kind of rocks.

I found Scanner Pro for free when it was on a special promotion. It is currently $2.99. For a free scanner app, try Genius Scan (not an affiliate link).

5. forScore

Anyone who wants to use their iPad as a digital music reader needs this app. Period. Pay the $10. The best part about the forScore app is the page turns – there is absolutely no lag and your next page is always crystal clear immediately. You can also create set lists (“Audition pieces for grad school”, for example), mark your music with forScore’s wide range of markers, and create shortcuts for navigating cuts and repeated sections. A forScore mini app ($7) also exists for your iPhone, though I have yet to personally try it. Learn more about all the features of ForScore here.

For help with your singing:

6. Voice Memos

Nothing fancy here, this is simply the voice recorder that comes on every iPhone. I find that the recording quality of today’s iPhone is surprisingly decent. While I wouldn’t necessarily rely on the app to do any professional recording, it is perfect for recording your voice lessons. The app makes it easy to email recordings to yourself to store on your computer. If your phone has the storage space, you may even consider using its native video recorder. Some people find a video more engaging and you might be better at going back to listen if you can watch themselves sing.

7. Metronome

I use the ProMetronome app because it’s free, but any metronome app will do. I am convinced that the phenomenon of singers not being recognized as musicians (alongside instrumentalists) is due in part to problems with rhythm. I cannot tell you how many points you will win with the maestro and/or every pianist you ever work with if you have good rhythm skills. Get thee to a metronome!

8. Pitch Perfect

I use the Pitch Perfect app (again, because it’s free), but there are several to choose from out there. I mean, it’s a pitch pipe. Singers have been carrying them around since the dawn of time. It’s always good to have around when you have to practice without a piano. And since it’s on your phone, I can virtually guarantee that you will not leave home without it.

9. Piano for iPhone

Since I find myself on the road so frequently, I rarely have access to a piano as much as I’d like. It started to get old using my pitch pipe app alone to bang out melodies, so I found this handy piano app. You can adjust the width of the keys and even the tone of the keyboard. It’s not perfect, but it certainly gets the job done.

10. Tuner Lite

It’s never a bad idea to check up on your tuning. I myself have discovered that what my brain thinks is “in tune” is actually about 12 cents flat!! I work on this in my practice every day with the Tuner Lite app. No need to buy the full version, the free one works just fine. Sometimes it can be difficult for singers to use a tuner, since our vibrato can confuse it. Sing with a straighter tone to get an accurate reading, and once you’re sure you know where the pitch is, allow that vibrato to come right back in.

Tell me about some of your can’t-live-without apps. What are they, and how do they help you with your singing?

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