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<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/00-Making-Music.jpg”>As an old-fashioned self-proclaimed (amateur) musician, I was amazed when watching a video showing a local band of five performing a Coldplay song using “only” iPhones and iPod Touches.
I was even more amazed watching a YouTube video of a young Korean girl who calls herself Applegirl doing solo Lady Gaga’s Poker Face cover using her iDevices.
I feel that a revolution is happening in the music world, especially in the iDevices country. So, not wanting to be left behind, it’s only logical that a few of the first apps that I downloaded for my phone were apps to make music with an iPhone.
If you also want to make music using your iDevices, here are some of the free ones that you can try.
The Musical Instruments
Let’s start our list with apps that imitate traditional musical instruments. They are trying to utilize iPhone features to produce the sound and feeling of the real instruments.
Xylophone is probably one of the most simple and universal musical instruments. I guess almost everybody is familiar with this one (even though the name might be different and the shapes are slightly different in different parts of the world).
The app is trying to replicate the wooden instrument. But instead of hitting the bars with a stick to produce sound, you just need to touch them.
There are many piano apps available out there. Just do a search in the iTunes App Store and you will find a bunch of them. I use Touch Piano as an example because of the simplicity. You just open it and play.
This one is great for those ice breaking moments or to keep the kids quiet, but won’t substitute the real one. And your fingers should be tiny enough to play this piano comfortably.
3. Angklung [No Longer Available]
Angklung is a traditional musical instrument from Indonesia. It’s made from bamboo and you shake it to produce the sound. Each angklung will produce one note, so to be able to play a complete song, you need a set of angklungs (played by one person or by a group of people).
Similar to the real thing, you shake the Angklung app to play the sound and it can only produce one note at a time. But this electronic angklung can be set to play any note that you want.
Again, there are many drums apps out there. Drum Meister Pro Lite is chosen as an example because this is the best that I found among the free alternative music making iPhone apps.
Tapping on one of the drum kits will give you the drum sound, that’s pretty ordinary. But tapping on different parts of a cymbal will also give you a different sound, just like the real thing. Other cool things about this app are the ability to re-arrange the position of the drums, and to record and play your virtual drum playing.
If you love percussion, you can also try Touch Conga.
Unlike the Piano and Drums categories, I can’t single out a particular app to use as an example for guitar apps. There are too many of them and each has their own uniqueness. So I’ll show you three different guitar apps: Instant Guitar Solo Lite that will give you instant licks just by tapping a button, Guitar Free which imitates the classical guitar, and Steel Guitar with more strings to play than ordinary guitar.
The Music Generators
This second group of apps does not imitate any ordinary musical instruments. Instead, they will help you generate music using unique and different methods.
6. RJDJ [No Longer Available]
I had difficulties finding words trying to explain this app. Basically, you are given several “Scenes” to choose and these scenes are unique environments where you can create your music. Some scenes generate music using your voice, some use the touch, and others use the movement of your iPhone.
There are no better way to enjoy this app than using it yourself. You might want to start from the “Interactive – Tutorial Scene” to get familiar with it.
7. Beatwave [No Longer Available]
In Beatwave, you create your music by placing notes in the “music field“. Then the “music scanner” will continuously move along the field and play any notes it meets along the way. You have four fields to play with, and there are a bunch of settings that you can change – like tempo and sound – to generate different outputs.
Similar to RJDJ, the best way to enjoy the app is to use and experiment with it. And since this one uses regular “scanning” intervals, you can’t help but get electronic vibes in your music.
I picked up other things during my treasure hunt. Not exactly music making apps, but will help you in the process.
They are: Guitar Tuner that will help you keep your guitar from the land of the false notes,
And iTick, the electronic metronome that will keep your beat in check.
I’m sure that my findings are minuscule compared to the collection of free music making apps available out there. So if you love to make music and you have your own favorite music-making iDevices apps, why not share them with other music lovers using the comments below?