Whether you are a young student or someone who has been making music for years, it never hurts to learn a new trick. Smartphones have been around for over a decade now, but still many of us solely use them for communication and social media. If you’re a musician looking to get the most out of your phone, we have some of the best free music making apps to help you out. Some of the apps on our list have in-app purchases or more elaborate versions that require money, but only you know how much money you’re willing to spend on this technology. From recording software to rhythm trainers and beyond, here are some of the best free music making apps.
If you have been making music for more than ten minutes, you are probably already aware of GarageBand. This application comes standard on many Apple devices as it is the tech company’s preferred app for producing music. For those who are new to recording, GarageBand is user-friendly and allows for you to learn how to mix and create sounds. You can add a virtual percussionist, pull from GarageBand’s sound library to add to your mix, and enjoy dozens of lessons on how to play guitar and piano. This is strictly an Apple program, but you can find something similar in Walk Band on Android.
Back in the day, you either had to tune your guitar by ear or carry around a tuner with you. Now your smartphone easily doubles as a digital tuner, a true Godsend for young musicians on the go. Guitar Tuna is here to help you tune your instrument and become a better guitar player. Along with the digital tuner, you will find a series of chord diagrams and mini-games aimed at helping you master the playing and identifying of chords. This is a free app on Android, but it is powered by the teaching program from Yousician. You can enjoy plenty of cool features without subscribing to the service, but doing so will unlock a whole new level of learning. Among the instruments featured on Yousician are guitar, bass, ukulele, piano, and voice.
If you really want to create your own beats in your music, you should check out Beatwave. Available from Apple for iOS devices, Beatwave is a DIY music app that allows you to really explore your own creativity. Develop customized melodies, riffs, and basslines all from the comfort of your iPad or iPhone. Beatwave does have some in-app purchases available, but even if you bought all of the add-ons, it would max out around $30. Still, this is one of the best free music making apps for those who want to create their own sounds.
One of the simplest and best music making apps is a voice recorder. Whether you’re looking to record your practice time or take down an acoustic performance or even just leave yourself a memo, voice recorders are a wonderful and easy app to keep on your phone. Voice Recorder and Audio Editor is available in the Apple store. IPhone users love this little guy, with 137,000 ratings averaging out at 4.7 out of 5. Voice Recorder and Audio Editor may not have the flashy name of some other apps, but it’s tried and true. For Android users, we recommend Voice Recorder from quality apps or Easy Voice Recorder from Digipom. Both have similarly great reviews and popularity.
Like GarageBand, SoundCloud has been one of the best free music making apps for a long time. After you’ve recorded your music, you’re going to need a way to distribute your amazing content to the masses, right? SoundCloud allows for everyday users and up-and-coming musicians to publish albums, mixtapes, podcasts, and more. This is also a great way to find new artists with fresh sounds with whom you can collaborate or whose influence you can incorporate into your own music. Soundcloud primarily works with Android but you can find something compatible in the Apple store like VOX.
If you normally play a different instrument but want to learn how to play piano, the Piano Teacher app is a great resource to explore. With over a million downloads and an average rating of 4.4/5 after 60,000 reviews, Piano Teacher has certainly been helpful to a few other musicians out there. While we hope you would eventually move up to a physical keyboard or piano, this might be a good way to see if the piano is something you would enjoy playing. It never hurts to be able to add a new sound to your music. Similar Android apps that are also popular are Perfect Piano (50 million downloads!) and Music Keyboard.
Do you constantly find yourself tearing through songbooks or googling for sheet music that is difficult to find? MuseScore, available for Android users is here to help. The app boasts more than 700,000 pieces of sheet music, including modern day hits and more traditional music. MuseScore isn’t just a tool for guitarists or drummers, though, as these pages of sheet music can service musicians playing saxophone, flute, strings, and more. Though it costs about $10, a great alternative for Apple users is for Score.
MixPad Multitrack Recorder Free
Finally an app for both Android and Apple users. This program may not have the flashiest name, but it’s a great app for musicians who want to begin recording and publishing their music. MixPad Multitrack Recorder Free is actually the name of the program in the Apple App Store but it has a slightly different name of MixPad Multitrack Mixer Free. The two different programs are a little different from each other but both can get the job done. Keep in mind that these programs may offer you more effect options than the standard package, but you will have to pay for them. If you’ve never tried mixing together music files to complete a full track, we recommend trying it on a software like these or GarageBand.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to identify chords so that you can play along to something new without searching the internet? Capo 3 is here for you. Upload songs from your personal music collection and the app will automatically identify the chords, the key, and just about anything else you could possibly want to know. This program has the capability to analyze each part of the song so that you’ll know what you need for each instrument. What better tool could there be for a musician who wants to add a few covers to their set-list? Capo 3 is available for Apple users, but Android owners can try ChordU or Smart Chords & Tools for similar help.
We can talk about chords all day, but there are basic fundamentals you need to learn as musician. Among these important skills are having a trained ear and understanding rhythm. Perfect Ear is an Android app promising you “a music school in your pocket.” Some of the valuable skills you can learn from this app are scale identification, rhythm, sight reading, the circle of fifths, and other necessary parts of the music learning process.
If you want to avoid downloading a series of apps to help you create, mix, and publish music, you might want to find some of the best free music making apps that integrate these many different features. BandLab is available for iPad and iPhone and for all Android users. Record live or import your favorite tracks to make something all your own. Once you’ve made your music, you can join different communities and put your music out there. The app has 4.5 stars on Apple and 4.3 stars on Android with thousands of reviews at both, so we know some of you are already using this service.
These are just some of the best free music making apps, but we feel confident using apps like these will help you immensely in your journey as a musician. Feel free to shop around and find the app that best fits your needs and budget.
Technology is great, but it isn’t the only thing that can make you better as a musician. Another resource that helps young people hone their crafts are music camps. At Camp Electric, we bring together the biggest names in Christian music for a week of classroom education, workshops, concerts, and more.