One great thing about being a beginner musician in the 21st Century is the plethora of amazing apps and websites that exist that make learning easy and fun!

But where do you even start? There are almost 2 million apps in the app store. So today I’m going to cut through the chaos and give you 5 apps every beginner musician should be using.

Guitar Tuna (Free)

This is my number one recommendation. If you don’t get any other app on this list, get this one! Guitar Tuna (pun intended) is a tuning app for guitar, ukulele, and bass. To date, it’s the best tuner I’ve found for beginners.

Tuning can seem a bit daunting at first, and I’ve noticed a lot of first time players struggle with using a more traditional tuner, but with Guitar Tuna my students get the hang of tuning their guitar almost immediately…and so will you!

GuitarTuna Pro is also available for $4.99/mo., but it’s not necessary for the primary function of this app.

Pro Tip: Enable the “Auto” function in the top right of the screen so you don’t have to take your hands off your guitar.

Tempo Lite (Free)

It should come as no surprise that rhythm is crucially important to being a musician. Do you know if you’re in time? Not without a metronome you don’t!

Enter Tempo Lite. As the top rated paid metronome app in the app store, you know you’re also dealing with the best of the best when you use this free version.

It’s packed with important metronome features like different time signatures, pulsating LEDs, tap tempo, and beat accents; all of these features are designed to help you improve your timing and rhythm.

Two paid versions also exist, Tempo ($2.99) or Tempo Advance ($3.99), and come loaded with extra features. However for a beginner, the free version is likely all you need!

Ultimate Guitar Tabs (Free)

Have you ever heard a song and thought, “I’d love to learn to play that!” but didn’t know where to start? Well, the Ultimate Guitar Tabs app is exactly where you need to start.

First of all, nearly every song on the planet is represented on the app, many with multiple versions (all rated 1-5) so you know you’re learning the right stuff!

If a hard copy is more your style, you can also print chord charts straight from their website (ultimate-guitar.com) which operates pretty much the same way the app does.

There is a premium version that may be worth it as you progress and begin learning more difficult songs, but for a beginner – the free version is all you need!

Voice Memos

As you begin learning your instrument and improving, you may find yourself getting creative and coming up with ideas on your own. Congratulations! This is the best part about music – making it!

But how do you record your ideas so you don’t forget them? Nothing is more frustrating than having a stroke of musical brilliance, only to completely forget it the next day.

Well, don’t overlook the obvious! Built right into nearly every smartphone these days is a voice memo/recorder app that is there to save the day.

Simply open it, hit record, and play your idea into the phone.

You’ll never have to worry about forgetting your next #1 smash hit again!

Tenuto ($3.99)

When you’re first starting with music, it’s important that you put some time into learning and understanding the fundamentals of how music works (i.e. “music theory”), and one of the best places to learn music theory on the internet is aptly named – musictheory.net.

Tenuto is the app form of musictheory.net! So you know you’re learning quality information in the best way possible.

Tenuto offers a collection of 24 highly-customizable exercises designed to enhance your musicality. From recognizing chords on a keyboard to identifying note intervals by ear, it’s guaranteed to have an exercise for you!

While not free, it’s well worth the price of admission to build a foundation of musical knowledge that will serve you for your entire life.

Wrapping Up

As a modern musician, there are so many tools at your disposal. Use them!

While these 5 are crucially important and stand out as the best in the market in their respective categories, there are thousands of others that you may find fit your needs best.

I encourage you to implement technology into your practice routine as much as possible – but do NOT let it become a distraction that ends up hindering your playing, more than helping. It’s pretty hard to become a good musician if you spend all your practice time looking for new apps!

So get started with these 5 apps every beginner musician should be using and watch your playing skyrocket!