Updated: Sep 21, 2021
In this article we will cover vital resources for musicians in the practice room. These are a culmination of tools I have accrued throughout the years, and I want to spend a bit of time digging deeper into why I use them and their significance in the long-term. Split into 3 categories, we have tools for: Overall Practicing, Repertoire, and Soloing. While this is a fairly combo (guitar, bass, piano) heavy list, I have included some resources for woodwind, brass, and orchestral instruments as well!
Metronome - You will not always be playing alone, using this develops your timing and shows maturity as a musician (you thinking you’re in time does not always equate to you actually being in time.
Free Phone Apps / Or for higher quality and volume you can buy the real thing.
Youtube: “Drum Backing Track 60bpm”
Adjust the number to the speed you want, this is a good alternative to a metronome.
The Amazing Slow Downer (Lite) App- Allows you to slow down a song without distorting the pitch, great for really capturing every note / rhythm.
There is a paid and free version of the app (highly worth the investment if you’re serious about your instrument)
Modacity App (Apple Only) - The most organized practice scheduler I’ve ever encountered. Allows you to schedule a very detailed practice session and even organize them while taking notes and more!! Highly Recommended.
Ultimate Guitar - This is a classic, and I have found the Pro version an incredible asset as both an Instructor and Gigging Musician.
Songsterr - Use on computer so it is free, while their library is limited, it does allow you to play along with the song, helps with timing.
Musescore - Great for finding arrangements for Woodwind, Brass, and Orchestral instruments.
Youtube: “Song Name Guitar Only” - This will cut out the vocals, drums, and other instruments from the track so you can really dial your ear on the guitar part.
Youtube: “Genre Backing Track” - This will give a generic groove set in whichever genre you choose, and in some cases will provide a picture of the scales to be used over the chord changes.
Incredibly useful for exploring new ideas and working on your rhythm.
All-Guitar-Chords.Com - From scales, to chords, and many things in-between, this site is incredible for diving into music theory on your guitar and mapping out the fretboard.
When practicing, go a mile deep not a mile wide; small focused practice sessions will provide more progress than running over everything twice.
Pick 1 thing to learn that involves theory (a scale, triads, new chords or voicings), then Pick 1 song that you can implement the above thing on. This will help better internalize the new information and make it more fun!!