Ways to use a smartphone to become a more productive singer

Posted: July 26, 2012 in Android, apps, podcasts, practice, rehearsal, smartphone, studying

Credit: Cleartune / Bitcount Ltd.

I recently fielded a great question on the New Forum for Classical Singers.  Forum member TRGareau posted:

I use an iPhone for languages/ear training/keyboards/metronome but scores don’t really carry over well. Are there any other things the smaller screen is good for that I’m forgetting?

Here’s what I posted in response:

  • Listen to recordings, watch YouTube clips of performances (says Captain Obvious)
  • Use WorldCat app or mobile website to locate scores at libraries and make interlibrary loan requests
  • YAP Tracker has an app (haven’t tried it myself)
  • Music theory apps (I haven’t checked these out either)
  • Practice with MP3 accompaniment tracks when you’re away from your pianist (you can get these from YourAccompanist.com and other websites)
  • Store song texts and libretti to memorize on the go
  • Make a spoken recording of your lines/text and listen to it ad nauseum, as a memorization aid
  • Make recordings of lessons/coachings/rehearsals in a pinch, if you don’t have another recording device on hand
  • Quick and dirty audio/video recording of your performances, to evaluate later
  • Make a cheat sheet of staging notes
  • Scan scores and reference materials at the music library
  • Subscribe and listen to podcasts on opera, history, language, literature, diction, the biz, etc.
  • Protect your hearing – see TooLoud app
  • Visualize the overtones in your voice – e.g. see MeionSpector app
  • Use a flash card app with pre-made flash cards, or make your own cards, to study languages, IPA, theory, or any other topic. I’ve always thought that the OperaWorks attitude/gesture cards would be interesting to enter into a flash card app.
  • Cleartune is a cool app, mainly for instrumentalists but I found it too cool not to get…

Some of the app mentioned above are iOS-only, but many have Android versions (or close equivalents).

  1. Steve Roth says:

    “Pitch Perfect” is a very good pitch pipe app for Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile, written by a friend of mine. It allows selection of the pitch either by name or by key signature, and it can store the pitches for various songs so you can get a pitch just by selecting the song name.

    • Tech4Singers says:

      Thanks for the rec, Steve – that last feature sounds especially useful for setlists etc. and I didn’t realize there were pitch pipe apps that do that.

  2. […] Ways to use a smartphone to become a more productive singer Share this:FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail […]

  3. […] I also bought and listened to multiple recordings of songs from Ariettes oubliées on iTunes on my iPad.  I used forScore’s feature for assigning song tracks to scores, which lets me listen to the track while reading the score.  I wish forScore had a way of assigning multiple songs or a playlist to the same score.  That would make it easier for me to do comparative listening of different artists performing the same song.  Also, I purchased piano accompaniment tracks for Ariettes oubliées from Your Accompanist and mp3accompanist.com for practicing when there’s no pianist available.  As for basic learning & note-bashing of the vocal line–my iPad, forScore’s virtual piano, and a pair of headphones let me do that anywhere, and it’s been useful for turning my occasional train commute into productive music-learning time. […]

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