The latest news from my travels

Feb 5, 2017

Apps for the Musician

Making the most of online resources

There are many apps available to professionals and music students, I thought it might be helpful to list a few that are proving very useful to my bandmates and those studying with me.

iReal pro

This app is so useful it is appearing onstage everywhere. It contains an enormous selection of chord charts for Jazz standards and Pop songs which can be transposed to every key. Each chart can play a backing track for practise purposes with options for different styles and transposition for Bb/Eb instruments. For those who remember the days of carting dozens of Real Books around, the iPad is so much easier on the back.

iReal pro


Jazz Session Band

The Jazz Session Band series of apps has expanded to include Blues, Acoustic and various other styles since it's first version.

This handy little app enables you to put together chord progressions made of loops recorded by top class musicians, ideal for practising and I have found it invaluable when composing new tunes as the feel is so much better than a computer simulation. There is a range of styles to try out within each app and again transposing instruments are catered for.

Honorouble Mentions

Some other apps which I use frequently in my work are


A quality DAW to record your tracks straight into the iPad. It demands some knowledge of recording technology to get the best out of it, but is well worth spending the time on.


If you don't have the need of specialist recording kit, the native iPad app can give excellent results.


A basic one track recording app which I use in rehearsal or to put down ideas on the fly, very easy to use and edit, so you can get rid of the guitarist and drummer having a row and just keep the music. Update- since posting this blog, the developers seem to have stopped supporing Recordium. I am currently experimenting with Audioholic which seems like a good replacement


One option for linking live instruments, sounds from other apps, effects straight into your preferred recording app, so if you have backing in Sessionband, a live sax solo and a nice delay effect you can put them all through Audiobus into Garageband. Many apps are compatible with it and it is fairly easy to get the hang of.

This is a brief overview of some things you may find useful. There isn't room here to touch on the many synths, loops, samples and simulated instruments that are available, but I hope it has been a handy introduction to those new to music on the iPad.