Here are some ideas for practicing that are unique to our modern age. Use your cell phone and Bluetooth speaker.
With the click of a button, your cell phone can get you to all kinds of apps. You can download a free metronome and tuner. You can go to YouTube to listen to and play along with music. You can find a pro that’s playing something you want to learn with Spotify or Apple Music.
Your cell phone can also act as a recording device. You can record yourself in both audio and video. When you listen and watch you can notice your improvement over time. If you’re trying a new idea or technique you can listen back to what you’ve created. If you are writing songs or lyrics, you can record the ideas as you hear them. And then listen back to them later to work to put them all together.
You can also use your cell phone to create a backing track. I find this helpful when I’m getting comfortable with improvisation. When I record the rhythm and harmony first, I learn the music. I then have a musical structure to use when I improvise. And I know what notes and rhythms to use!
Here are some other ideas for the cell phone.
Practicing With Your Cell Phone
- Record audio on your cell phone and then play along. For example, you can record the chords of the music you are working on. Then you can practice the melody along with your recorded accompaniment. Or you can record a rhythmic beat that encourages you to stay in time.
- Make a video of yourself playing one of your pieces. Then, watch and decide what you want to do better. You can also share these videos with fellow musicians and ask for advice.
- Use a metronome to help us keep the beat with your cell phone. Or, if you type “metronome” into your browser, you’ll get to a beat keeper immediately: online metronome.
Practicing With YouTube
- Listen to a song on YouTube to internalize the melody, harmony, and rhythm. If you are more advanced, you can internalize the musical style of the music.
- Slow a YouTube video down to play along. I find 75% speed often works the best when I’m learning new music.
I’m sure that as you use your cell phone in musical practice, you’ll be inspired by more ideas. Comment below to let me know what they are. And encourage your students to try these things too.
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Jenny guides you to find your musical self. You can learn piano, violin, viola, or ukulele.