There’s no app that will magically turn you into a fantastic singer. That said, there are many tools out there that you should keep handy on your journey. The apps in this article will help you achieve a range of singing-related tasks.
I use every one of these apps on my own Android phone, and I’ve tried to find suitable alternatives for iPhone. I don’t receive kickbacks for recommending anything on this list.
1 – File Sync Apps
The first step to becoming a singer is always to ensure you’re singing as often as possible. This means having your music handy everywhere. The first app on this list will come as no surprise.
Android, iPhone, Mac, Windows, Linux, Web etc.
Dropbox is a revolutionary app that “automagically” keeps an identical copy of your folder on all computers at all times. On phones or on the web, you can access individual files or download them. I had over 16 GB of music when I imported it into Dropbox, so the free plan wasn’t an option for me. My life now wouldn’t be the same without the pro version of Dropbox.
There are many great alternatives, like Google Drive, but Dropbox is still the king. If you can’t afford a pro plan, you can keep your music library offline and upload your project songs as needed.
When it comes to updating my Dropbox, the DropSync app for Android is a total lifesaver. On desktops, Dropbox is fantastic at keeping itself synchronised between computers. However, on phones, there are many limitations that make this kind of magic more difficult. In fact, this may never be possible on an iPhone.
DropSync is an app that introduces the Dropbox sync feature to Android phones. It’s not as simple as using Dropbox on the desktop, but once configured it will keep your phone synchronised as you’d expect. It has a bunch of handy settings that give you greater control over how your phone syncs. Phones have limited memory, so you can choose specific folders to sync.
You can also do things like one-way sync. I can update my library on my desktop and my music will sync to my phone, but I can’t press a button on my phone and mess things up. Phones often download extra files like album art, and I’ve also had memory cards corrupt my songs. One-way sync is great at preventing these issues.
As you can see, it’s a little more effort to get going, but it pays off. If you own an Android phone and you MUST have your music everywhere you go, it might be the tool for you.
2 – Tempo and Pitch Change Apps
The ability to change the tempo and speed of your music can make learning a song much easier. When a song is outside your range, change the key to something more comfortable. If you’re having trouble learning fast lyrics, reduce the tempo until you can sing them clearly.
Be careful when editing a song. Pitch is defined by frequency changes, so a simple speed change can alter the pitch. Only an app with separate pitch and tempo dials can perform the maths necessary to keep those changes apart.
Music Speed Changer by Single-Minded Productions
This is a fantastic app. Open it up, choose a song, and press play. Then tweak the pitch and tempo as you like. It’s simple and it looks great. It also has a loop feature for practising small sections at a time. Best of all, it’s free!
Music Speed Changer Lite 2 by Harald Meyer
I was looking for an iPhone version of the Music Speed Changer app from Android and found this. Despite the name, this is NOT the same app. However, it seems to do the same job. The interface is not as polished, but hey, it just needs to do the job. As an Android user, it was difficult to find a decent alternative without being able to try them all, so if you have a better alternative, let me know. The lite version is free. There is also a pro version that includes looping, exports, playlists and other features .
3 – Ear Training Apps
A great ear training app can help you improve your accuracy, while also giving you some skills in music theory. The right app will cover all aspects of music practice and music theory.
Perfect Ear by EDuckAppsSV
This is the most detailed, polished app I’ve ever seen for ear training. It has exercises covering a massive range of topics including note singing, absolute pitch, theory, and melodic dictation. Most of the skills you need as a singer or musician will have an exercise in this app. This is an absolute must-have if you’re interested in working specific skills in detail.
Complete Ear Trainer by Binary Guilt Software
iPhone & Android
While looking for an iPhone alternative for Perfect Ear, I stumbled upon this gem. In many ways, Complete Ear Trainer is more polished than Perfect Ear, but Perfect ear seems to have a much wider range of exercises. This app requires an in-app purchase to unlock most of the exercises, but they’re very good quality. You get a detailed explanation of how each exercise works, along with an overview of the music theory covered. The lessons are also well-structured. If you’re on iPhone or if you want an alternative to Perfect Ear, give this one a try.
4 – Backing Tracks and Karaoke Apps
Many singers start off in karaoke bars, then realise that singing is their passion. Karaoke and backing tracks go hand-in-hand. Singing with backing tracks is a great step in improving your voice, and a good backing track is necessary for many solo gigs.
I love this website. I can download high-quality backing tracks for less than two bucks. Here’s what I do. I purchase the backing track, then I also purchase their cover version. I always grab the cover version because they’re usually accurate renditions of the original, but without the extra mastering of the original track, it’s much easier to hear some of the finer details.
Karaoke by Yokee Music
Android and iPhone
I use Karaoke Version for all my backing tracks, but if you want real karaoke this app by Yokee Music will do the trick. It’s available for Android and iPhone. It has a huge music library and a fantastic user interface. You can record yourself singing karaoke while the words scroll along the screen. What more could you ask for?
Mobile Instrument Apps
Eventually, you’re going to want to play another instrument with your vocals. Maybe you want to try busking, or start a band, or maybe you just want an app to give you a starting note. These days you can carry an entire recording studio in your pocket, so no riff gets forgotten!
Perfect Piano by Revontulet
This app has been around for a long time and does its job well. Features include sound effects, metronome, recording, and multi-touch (you can play chords). Perfect Piano has some handy learning functions to help you improve your skills. There are many other piano apps out there, but this one packs a huge collection of features into a simple interface.
Walk Band (Perfect Piano) by Revontulet
The developers of Perfect Piano have greatly expanded the app on Android. The new name makes it clear how much the app has changed. You now have access to a wide range of instruments including piano, guitar, drums and bass. The app is now a mini studio, capable of multi-track recording, even with MIDI devices connected via USB.
I hope these apps will serve you well. With a kit of tools for singing practice, instrumental accompaniment, backing tracks and file sync, you should be confident that you can turn to your phone for everything you need.
Did I miss a great app? Is there some other category I should mention? Let us know in the comments!