Techology and online Music lessons

How Has Technology Changed Music Lessons? [Infographic]

Over the past several years, online music lessons have substantially grown in popularity. And it’s no wonder — it’s an option that is convenient and often priced lower than in-person lessons. Plus, you can choose an instructor from practically anywhere!

Advances in technology have made the success of online music lessons possible, but that’s not the only way that technology has changed the way we learn music. New innovations provide fun and creative ways to enhance the learning experience for today’s student. You can find the best online piano lessons, for instance, and then supplement those with apps, games, and YouTube tutorials.

Here are some fascinating facts about how we learn, teach, and promote music online.

Technology and Music Lessons Infographic - Online music lessons

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Teaching Music Online – Additional Resources

Interested in teaching online? These days, you’ve got several options for video platforms to use, allowing you to instantly connect with your student, send files, and record lessons. Learn more about teaching online with TakeLessons here.

Learning Music Online – Additional Resources

Whether you’re looking for the best online piano lessons via Skype, pre-recorded YouTube drum tutorials, or chord charts for guitar and bass, there are so many resources available for students!

Learn Guitar 

Learn Piano

Learn Violin

Learn Drums

Whether or not you take (or teach) lessons online, there are many ways you can use current technology to enhance and supplement the learning experience. If you’re a teacher and need a place to start, online forums are great for sharing ideas with other instructors. The possibilities are endless! And once you start looking, it’s amazing what you can find out there!

Special thanks to online piano teacher Crystal B. for her help with this article! 

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famous violin players

Which of These Famous Violin Players Are You? [Quiz]

Do you love playing the violin? From Hiefetz to Perlman, there are dozens of famous violin players who have helped inspire us all.

Whether you’re just starting to learn the violin or you’re a seasoned professional, chances are there’s a certain violinist who you’ve channeled more than others.

Find out which of these famous violin players is your alter ego in the quiz below! Be sure to share your results with your fellow violinists.

Which of the famous violin players did you get? If you’re struggling to emulate your favorite violin player, you might want to consider sharpening your skills by taking some violin lessons.

Your violin teacher will be able to teach you certain techniques so you can rock like Lindsey Stirling or shine bright like Joshua Bell. All it takes is a little practice and some confidence!

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5 Easy Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Violin

playing the violin

Are you taking proper care of your violin? Below, violin teacher Ruth V. shares some tips on how to maintain a healthy violin…

Learning how to properly care for your violin is important for many different reasons. First, it ensures you get the best sound when playing the violin.

More importantly, it helps protect your investment. Violins are expensive, and the last thing you want to do is carelessly tarnish your instrument by not taking care of it.

Below are five tips that will help keep your violin healthy so you can sound your best while playing the violin.

1. Wipe violin down

After playing the violin, rosin residue will start to cake on the instrument. It is very important to wipe down your instrument with a small soft dry cloth after each practice.

You want to make sure you wipe the fingerboard, under the fingerboard, on the body of the instrument, between the sound holes, and last but not least, your strings.

Never wipe rosin off the bow with just your fingers, because the oils on your hands could transfer on to your bow. A soft dry cloth is strongly recommended.

2. Loosen bow hairs

It is essential to loosen the bow hairs after you’re done playing the violin, as this will help preserve the instrument’s life span.

Avoid getting polish or touching the bow hair with your fingers. Doing so may damage the bow hairs, which can be expensive to replace.

Typically, bow hairs will last for around 120 hours of violin playing, which means your bow should be rehaired once every six months or so.

3. Tune pegs

Tuning pegs is not the easiest thing to maneuver, especially when you’re first learning the violin. If your pegs are turned too tight the string may pop causing pain to one’s self or nicking the instrument.

Nonetheless, effective tuning is a vital skill for a musician to acquire. When tuning, start with your A string then move onto your E string followed by the D and G strings.

If you’re unsure of how to tune or care for your pegs, ask your violin instructor to help.

4. Store violin in cool, dry place

Keeping your violin in a cool dry place is extremely beneficial to the life span of your instrument.

Heat and/or direct sunlight can cause the wood to expand or warp. After playing the violin, store it in a safe place away from air conditioners or heaters in your home.

And always remember to unload your violin from the trunk or backseat of your vehicle!

5. Don’t forget to store violin accessories

Your violin accessories—such as rosin, tuner, shoulder rest, stand, and carrying bag—should also be stored properly.

Make sure to always remove and place your shoulder rest in your bag after each use. Keeping the shoulder rest on the body of the violin for too long may cause chips and/or nicks on the body.

What’s more, tuners should always be turned off after each use and placed in an easily attachable bag. Don’t forget to keep a pencil with all the accessories as well.

A clean violin is a happy violin. Use the tips above to maintain the health of your instrument. If you have questions or need guidance, consult your violin teacher.

Photo by Andreanna Moya Photography

Post Author: Ruth V.
Ruth V. teaches violin, piano, and guitar lessons in San Antonio, TX. She received her Bachelor’s in Human Arts from the University of the Incarnate Word. Learn more about Ruth V. here!

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violin performance

5 Tips for Pulling Off a Showstopping Violin Performance

violin performance

Stage presence is an important skill for all musicians to master. Below, violin teacher Ha-eun R. shares several tips on how to confidently pull off a showstopping violin performance…

Have you ever attended a concert in which the artist sounded better if you closed your eyes? A performer’s stage presence is more important than one might think, as a recent study has shown.

According to research, published in the PNAS journal, participants who were shown silent videos of piano competitions were able to pick out the winners more often than those who could hear the music

What this study proves is that nailing a great violin performance isn’t just about your ability to play the violin. It’s also about how you present yourself on stage.

If your stage presence is struggling, here are some helpful tips on how to nail your next violin performance.

1. Watch Where You Stand

You’re the star, not an extra! Be mindful of where you stand on stage, as your placement affects your sound projection. The violin’s F-hole should be facing the audience to facilitate sound projection.

What’s more, if you’re playing with music, try to keep the stand from obscuring your face. Otherwise it may look like you’re performing for your music stand.

If possible, book some time to play in the venue with your violin teacher present so you can determine where onstage is best for you to stand.

2. Avoid Distracting Behaviors

You don’t want to divert the audience away from your violin performance with distracting behaviors, such as foot-tapping, bobble-heading, breathing loudly, or gazing somewhere conspicuous like a high window or ceiling.

Another big issue is excessive body movement. Movement should only ever serve to match the music. If you feel yourself moving too much, try practicing in front of a mirror.

This will have the added bonus of giving you more stability, especially with shifting and bow technique. You’d be surprised how many people do this. With enough mindfulness, you can even choose to choreograph!

3. Be Cognizant of Your Audience

Always play for the people at the very back of the hall. Things that sound somewhat scratchy or harsh in the practice room can end up sounding passionate and energetic to the audience.

On the other hand, a practice room pianissimo will often not translate well in a hall. It’s not about sounding pianissimo, it’s about feeling pianissimo. Always ask your violin teacher for their opinion.

4. Display Confidence Onstage

Enter the limelight with confidence and bravado no matter how nervous you are. In other words, fake it ’til you make it!

If a violin string breaks or you play out of tune, brush it off. If you carry yourself well in the midst of adversity, the audience will admire you all the more for it.

5. Be Gracious

Finally, after you’re done with your violin performance and people are congratulating you, be gracious and thankful. Even if you think you played badly, you should act as if it went well.

This is not the time to nitpick about the mistakes you made. If you complain, people may end up having second thoughts about their good opinion of your violin performance.

Violin performances can be intimidating. If you can, play for experienced musicians as often as possible, such as your violin teacher. Their views can offer great insight on “stage hygiene” and professional protocol.

Remember that no musician is perfect and every violin performance adds to your musicianship as long as you learn from it!

Untitled design (26)Post Author: Ha-eun R.
Ha-eun R. teaches violin lessons and audition prep in Brookline, MA. She received her Masters in Violin Performance from Boston Conservatory. Learn more about Ha-eun here!

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Expert Tips: How to Play the Violin with Accompaniment

play the violin

Playing the violin with accompaniment can be difficult, as it requires various different skills. Below, violin teacher Julie P. shares some expert tips on how to play the violin with accompaniment…

If you want to play the violin with an accompaniment, you might find that there are a few new skills you need to develop.

When you play the violin by yourself there’s no one you need to coordinate with for tempo, dynamics, and rhythm. But as soon as you add someone else to the mix, things can start to get complicated.

Not only do you have to listen to what you’re playing, but you also have to be cognizant of what your partner is playing. Sometimes it’s tricky to line up both parts and make it sound like one cohesive song.

Below are eight songs that demonstrate the different styles and skills used in playing the violin with accompaniment.

1. Setting the Tempo

I’m Yours — Jason Mraz

The first thing you need to determine with your partner is tempo. Oftentimes, the accompanist will begin the song alone with a short intro.

However, if you’re planning to start the song together, you must communicate your tempo beforehand.

The musicians playing this fun Jason Mraz cover demonstrate one straight-forward way of counting off a tune.

Some people count off quietly, while others are so used to playing with each other that a simple breath before the downbeat is enough.

2. Playing to Strummed Chords

Shake It Off — Taylor Swift

One of the most difficult things to learn how to do is play along with the rhythm of strummed chords. Guitarists have different strumming patterns that create different rhythms.

Each song gets its own strumming pattern, which helps create the atmosphere for the music. It can be difficult to know where your violin fits within the strumming rhythm.

To practice this, have your accompanist play his or her part along with a recording of the actual song. This way, you can hear how it fits with your melody line.

You can also ask your accompanist to make a recording of his or her part so that you can practice with it and get used to hearing the two parts meshed together.

3. Using Guitar as a Percussion Instrument

Royals — Lorde

Guitarists can create rhythmic accompaniment by using their instrument as a drum.

In this cover of Lorde’s song Royals, the guitarist uses the heel of his hand to hit his guitar as part of his strumming pattern, which creates a different texture from the times when he’s just strumming.

As a violinist, make sure you lock into the rhythm of this percussive strumming pattern. If you’re having trouble with this kind of pattern, ask your accompanist to make a recording of it for you so you can listen to it and get it in your head.

4. Strumming Without a Chord

Happy — Pharrell Williams

Guitarists can also create rhythmic interest by strumming without fingering any specific chord.

They simply rest the fingers of their left hand on the strings without pushing the strings down. This keeps the strings from vibrating, giving them a metallic sound when strummed.

The guitarist in this video uses a few different patterns with this kind of playing. As a violinist you may feel that there is less harmonic support for your playing when a guitarist isn’t playing a chord, so make sure you’re confident on your part.

5. Broken Chords

Dust In the Wind — Kansas

Sometimes your accompanist will not play strummed chords, but will break up the chords into individual notes plucked one at a time.

There is less rhythmic intensity with this kind of playing, which is perfect for the above cover of Dust in the Wind.

6. Trading the Melody

Stay With Me — Sam Smith

When playing with an accompanist, it’s often effective to step out for a while and let the accompanist take the melody.

For example, pianists can easily play melody in one hand and accompaniment with the other.

A talented guitarist can also do this effectively. The above video shows the pianist taking a turn at the melody in the middle of the song.

7. Creating an Interesting Arrangement

Game of Thrones Theme Song

If you’re covering a recording made by a large group, you won’t be able to recreate all of the musical colors and textures with just two instruments.

However, there are a number of things you can do to make your arrangement interesting and true to the spirit of the original.

The two sisters in the video above do a great job of this. The violinist plays the initial melody first in her low octave, and then on the repeat she plays it up an octave.

In the middle section, the guitarist changes to a broken chord accompaniment pattern to lessen the rhythmic drive, which also brings down the dynamic level. Later on in the song, the violinist uses double stops to create more interest and a thicker texture.

8. End Together

Yellow — Coldplay

There’s nothing worse than hearing a great duo give a fantastic performance and then watching them fall apart at the end because they never decided on an ending!

How you end the song is just as important as how you begin. Oftentimes, a simple ritard at the end of the song is all you need, as shown in the video above.

If you want to get creative, write your own ending or have your accompanist finish with a vamp of the strumming pattern.

Now that you’ve seen what’s possible, go find an accompanist and try one of the above songs. If there’s some other song that you’ve had on repeat for a while, try your hand at making your own arrangement.

Photo by Ctd 2005

JuliePPost Author: Julie P.
Julie P. teaches flute, clarinet, music theory, and saxophone lessons in Brooklyn, NY. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and her Masters in Music Performance from New Jersey City University. Learn more about Julie here!

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violin exercises

5 Violin Exercises to Help Build Finger Strength

violin exercises

Just like athletes, musicians must build certain muscles to help them better perform. Below, violin teacher Julie P. shares some fun violin exercises that help build finger strength…

Finger strength is very important for violinists. The fingers in the left hand control the pitches on the violin, while the fingers on the right hand control the bow.

For this article, we’ll focus on violin exercises that will help build your left hand finger strength so that you can play in tune as well as any tempo.

Students who haven’t developed finger strength in their left hand often struggle with pushing the string down all the way to the finger board.

When a string isn’t pushed fully down, the tone quality of the note suffers and it can sound scratchy.

This especially becomes a problem when students start using the fourth finger (pinky) as it is one of the weakest fingers.

Finger strength is also important for playing fast. So much is demanded of the left hand for fast passages of music that sometimes violinists will find that their left hand hurts after playing.

It’s important, therefore, to build up the proper finger strength so that you don’t fatigue your left hand to the point of injury.

Below are five violin exercises you can practice outside of your violin lessons to help build finger strength.

1. Four Little Monkeys

For young violin players, the nursery rhyme “4 Little Monkeys” is a great way to develop coordination and initial finger strength.

First, the student holds the violin in proper playing position and taps one of his or her fingers on a string to the beat of the chant.

The number of monkeys determines which finger gets tapped. As the song counts down from four to one, each finger on the left hand gets a turn.

If you’re not sure how the song goes, here’s a reminder:

Four little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell down and bumped his head
Mamma called the doctor and the doctor said,
No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”

“Three little monkeys jumping on the bed…”

2. Left Hand Pizzicato

A great way to strengthen the third and fourth fingers on the left hand is to play pizzicato with the left hand.

This is usually done with just the third and fourth fingers, and requires a lot of control in those fingers to pluck only one string.

Make up plucking patterns on open strings, or play simple songs and insert left hand pizzicato notes whenever open strings come up in the music.

3. Harmonics

Harmonics are high notes that are created by dividing a string in a certain spot. The way you do this is by lightly resting a finger (usually the fourth finger) in a specific spot on the string without pushing it down.

Practicing harmonics will help you develop finger strength because it requires you to move out of first position, as well as use your fourth finger.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to play harmonics:

4. Finger Tapping on a Table

Here’s a violin exercise you can do without even using your violin! Try tapping different finger patterns on a table or hard surface, as if you were playing the piano.

Challenge yourself by writing out patterns to tap slow, and then fast. Or, try “playing” some of your music this way.

Try these patterns to start (index finger is 1 and pinky finger is 4):
1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4
1 3 2 4 3 1 4 2
1 4 2 3 4 1 3 2

5. Trills

Trills are a great violin exercise to develop finger strength. To play a trill, you’ll play one note and then quickly alternate it with the note above.

The fast movement of the trilling note will challenge your finger strength. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to play trills:

The violin exercises above will help you build your left hand finger strength so that you can play the violin even better.

If you’re looking for more help with building your left hand finger strength, try asking your violin teacher for some more violin exercises and specific advice.

Photo by Changjin Lee

JuliePPost Author: Julie P.
Julie P. teaches flute, clarinet, music theory, and saxophone lessons in Brooklyn, NY. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and her Masters in Music Performance from New Jersey City University. Learn more about Julie here!

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5 Exercises to Help Reduce Tension While Playing the Violin

playing the violin

Reducing tension while playing the violin is extremely important. After all, relaxing your muscles is one of the keys to producing a smooth sound. Below, violin teacher Carol Beth L. shares five exercises for helping reduce tension while playing the violin. 

Are you having a difficult time perfecting your violin playing? Very often, violin students have trouble producing a good sound when they aren’t properly relaxed.

High-level players learn, among other things, to eliminate tension in the areas required to produce a beautiful sound, such as their bow-arm and bow-hand.

Some, however, may still put themselves at risk for stress-related injuries if they aren’t careful. For violin students, staying relaxed will help them play more beautifully and for a longer period of time.

Below are a few exercises you can do if you feel yourself becoming tense while playing the violin:

1. Shake your muscles out

If you’re feeling tense, put down your violin and shake away the tension. While this exercise seems pretty simple, it gives your muscles a fresh and relaxed start.

Oftentimes, you don’t even realize that you’re tensing up while playing the violin. Making a conscious effort to stop and shake out your muscles will often do the trick.

However, if you’re still feeling strained, try massaging muscles that don’t want to relax.

2. Take it slowly

It’s easy to give into the temptation to rush. Rushing, however, adds unnecessary stress and takes away precious time needed for the fingers, hand, and arm to understand and respond to messages from the brain.

It’s usually only when you are fairly confident that you should speed up. Don’t take this to the extreme either, though. Some types of perfectionists advance more slowly because they don’t realize how much they can do.

3. Position yourself correctly

When a student holds the violin or the bow incorrectly or they have incorrect posture, muscles tend to tighten. Sometimes, this occurs without the student even realizing it.

If you’re having trouble positioning correctly, stop playing the violin and start over, making sure that your bow-arm is in the right position and your standing tall. Standing while practicing rather than sitting can also encourage correct posture.

4. Let gravity do its job

Some beginner violin players will push the bow down on the strings to make a sound. However, it’s more useful to guide the bow onto the strings, allowing gravity to actually do the work.

If that’s difficult to imagine, try thinking about air-bowing in a “u” shape–almost as if the bow is on a swing moving down onto the imaginary string and then back up again.

In doing this exercise, you’re letting yourself follow the arc naturally dictated by the pull of gravity combined with the forward and backward motion of the swing. Once you can do this with your bow in the air, put your violin back up and let the bow catch the string as it moves.

5. Try the ‘baroque’ bowhold

During the baroque era, the bow looked a lot more like a bow with which you might shoot an arrow. It was difficult to hold it close to the frog, so people held it a quarter to a third of the way up. Of course, modern bows are no longer shaped this way, but we can still learn from the basic idea.

First, find the balance point of your bow–that is, the point at which you can hold the bow by the stick with just a finger and thumb and allow the bow to hang horizontally. Visually, it will look like an imbalanced set of scales; both sides will weigh the same, but the side with the frog is heavier and therefore shorter.

Now hold the bow as closely as possible to your regular bowhold and try playing the violin. Chances are it will feel unnaturally light. Once you have played a little bit and moved back to the frog, you may notice that your sound is more open. If you do, it’s probably because your bowhold has become lighter and more relaxed.

If you’re currently taking violin lessons, try out these exercises and see if they help your playing. Some of these exercises I have done on my own for many years; others, I observed through teachers in recent years and then tried out myself.

All of them, however, can help violin students to improve their playing and, very often, can either directly or indirectly help to reduce tension.

Photo by Scott Schram

CarolPost Author: Carol Beth L.
Carol Beth L. teaches viola and violin in San Francisco, CA. She currently plays viola in the San Francisco Civic Orchestra and has been teaching students since 2012. Learn more about Carol Beth here!

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best violin songs

Best Violin Songs and Tips for Wedding Performances

best violin songs

Violinists get ready because it’s wedding season! Below, violin teacher Julie P. shares the best violin songs for weddings as well as some helpful tips and tricks for preparing and performing…

Wedding season is both an exciting and stressful time for violinists. For much of the summer and fall, violinists are in high demand, as the violin is one of the most popular instruments requested for weddings.

If you’ve been asked to play solo or in a larger mixed-instrument ensemble, you might be feeling a bit stressed. After all, you want to make sure the bride and groom’s day goes off without a hitch.

To help you prepare, review this quick guide to playing the violin at weddings and list of the best violin songs.

Initial Meeting With The Couple

Typically, you’ll be asked to play the violin during the ceremony and/or the cocktail hour. Different kinds of music are appropriate for these events, and sometimes clients will even have specific requests.

When discussing the best violin songs to choose ahead of time, try to be as detailed as possible so you can get an accurate picture of what the couple wants.

It’s very helpful to have demo tracks of your violin playing to give to prospective clients. If you don’t have demo tracks, you can use YouTube clips to make sure you’re clear on the style of the music the client wants.

For example,”Signed, Sealed Delivered” by Stevie Wonder is typically played pretty funky, but maybe the client wants a version arranged for string quartet as seen in this video.


Some couples will have no idea what violin songs they want played or when they should even be played. In this case, it is very helpful for everyone involved if you have a standard list prepared that you can show them.

For a wedding ceremony, you’re list should include the following:

  • Prelude music
  • Entrance music for the mother-of-the-bride and groom
  • Entrance music for the bridesmaids
  • Entrance music for the bride
  • Special music for the middle of the ceremony (might be hymns that are sung, music played during a unity ceremony, or during communion)
  • Recessional music for the bridal party
  • Exit music for the guests

For a cocktail hour, you are much freer to choose whatever music you like playing. Just be sure to find out what style of music the couple wants you to play. Cocktail hours can run the gamut from classical to jazz to bluegrass to pop.


Once you’ve ironed out some of the details, it is always a good idea to prepare a contract that you can present to the couple.

Not only will having a contract make you look more professional, but it’s a great way to protect your time and make sure all parties are on the same page regarding the details of the gig.

If you’re not sure where to start in creating a contract, here’s an excellent example from Shaw Strings.


The way you and your ensemble dress is very important. Make sure you ask about the dress code, as every wedding is different. You want to fit in and not distract from the ceremony itself.

It’s also important to have promotional materials that reflect the level of professionalism of you or your group, as well as the range of styles and settings you can play.

These materials will often be the first contact prospective clients have with you, so you want to make sure that your pictures and recordings are as appealing as possible.

Playing Outside vs. Inside

If you’re playing outdoors, heavy music stands and music fasteners are crucial. Almost every violinist has played at a wedding in which their music blew away or their stand toppled over in the wind.

Sometimes such a music fail is inevitable, but be prepared as best you can. Sometimes photocopying the music to put in a binder is best, and clips like these can be lifesavers. Since your instrument is valuable, ensure that you will not have to play in rain or direct sunlight.

Building a Repertoire List

These days, wedding music can range from traditional classical music and hymns, to pop and rock songs. For whatever instrumentation you’re playing with, it’s good to have a wide variety of repertoire prepared.

The more diverse your repertoire list, the wider the range of customers you will attract. If you’re looking to build a great repertoire list, here are 10 of the best violin songs to play.


Pachelbel’s Canon

Ave Maria, Schubert

Bridal March, Wagner

Air on the G string, Bach

Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring, Bach


All You Need is Love, Beatles

At Last, Etta James

Can’t Help Falling in Love, Elvis Presley

What a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong

I’m Yours, Jason Mraz

Use these tips and the list of the best violin songs to help you prepare for your first wedding gig. Remember, weddings are joyous events so sit back and enjoy your time there!

Photo by Pbkwee

JuliePPost Author: Julie P.
Julie P. teaches flute, clarinet, music theory, and saxophone lessons in Brooklyn, NY. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and her Masters in Music Performance from New Jersey City University. Learn more about Julie here!

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12 Addictive Apps Every Musician Needs - top music apps

12 Addictive Apps Every Musician Needs (2015 Update)

12 Addictive Apps Every Musician Needs - top music apps

Since the invention of the app store, aspiring and experienced musicians have been finding inspiration, practicing their skills, and immersing themselves in their craft — all with the help of some of the top music apps!

There are so many noteworthy apps that can benefit all musicians, from guitarists to singers and songwriters. Whether you are looking for something educational or creative, this list will benefit your collection of apps. And best of all, they are all fun to work with… and pretty addictive, we might add!

Here are our picks for top music apps…

12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)Songwriter’s Pad

Songwriter’s Pad is the ultimate songwriter’s tool. It contains powerful idea-generating tools to inspire creation while making lyric-writing easier than ever. Everything you need to write music is packed into this one application. Finally, an app to defeat writer’s block once and for all!

Download: iOSAndroid


12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)Songsterr Tabs & Chords

Songsterr Tabs & Chords was featured in the Wall Street Journal as, “one of the best apps for learning to play music.” With a huge catalog of 500,000 accurate tabs and chords, all musicians can learn something with this app. Most songs have tabs for individual instruments too, including the guitar, bass, drums, and vocals.

Download: iOS, Android


12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)GarageBand

Do you need a full recording studio on the go? If so, this is the app for you. GarageBand turns your phone into a collection of instruments, including piano, organ, guitar, and drums. Guitarists can even plug their electric guitar in and play through classic amps and stompbox effects!

Download: iOS


12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)My Note Games

This is a fun music game that teaches music theory and instrument mastery, including lessons for saxophone, piano, guitar, recorder, trumpet, violin, viola, and cello, plus vocals and whistling. The app actually listens to you playing your instrument, checking your tone, pitch, and accuracy.

Download: iOS


12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)Beatwave

With Beatwave, you can make unique music just by tapping on your screen! No musical skills are required, and you can create songs anywhere from your phone. In minutes, you can make complex songs with multiple layers of instruments and sounds — and then share them on social media!

Download: iOS


12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)Ear Trainer

Ear Trainer is an educational application designed for beginner to advanced musicians, music students, and anyone interested in improving one’s musical ear. There are more than 260 individual exercises covering intervals, chords, scales, relative pitch, and melody.

Download: iOS


12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)Sing! Karaoke by Smule

Are you ready to take karaoke to the next level? With Sing! Karaoke by Smule, you can sing your favorite karaoke songs and show them off to the world. Record yourself, add audio effects, and share with the app’s global community!

Download: iOS, Android


12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)Polyphonic!

Polyphonic! is a simple interface app for creating your own complex layers of music, even without any prior musical ability. Each square represents a different sound and each color represents a unique group of sounds. This app is perfect for anyone interested in music creation.

Download: iOS


12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)Hum

Hum makes note-taking and audio recording of song ideas easier than ever! Every aspiring songwriter needs this tool in his or her arsenal. Hum keeps your lyrics and song ideas organized and sortable so you never lose anything again.

Download: iOS


12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)Lyrics Pro

With this app, you get access to the lyrics of millions of tracks, straight from your phone. You can search by artist, song name, or the lyrics themselves. It also has a cool auto-loading feature that delivers the lyrics to any song that is currently playing!

Download: iOS


12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)Figure

You now have the ability to create awesome music in minutes! Simply open Figure and start by creating a beat, then share it with your friends. Whether you are new to music production or are a seasoned veteran, this app is super fun to use. All musicians can use it to improve their rhythm and expand creativity.

Download: iOS


12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)SongPop

Do you know everything about music? Test yourself against friends with SongPop. As you play, you’ll listen to song clips from thousands of original artists in more than 300 genres, and the idea is to guess the artist or song faster than your friends.

Download: iOS, Android


Readers, what top music apps are missing from this list? Let us know in the comments!

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famous violin players

How Well Do You Know These Famous Violin Players? [Quiz]

From Bach to Heifetz, there are dozens of famous violin players who’ve made major impacts on the violin community. If you call yourself a violin aficionado, then test your knowledge of these famous violin players in the quiz below.

How did you do? If you’re not happy with your results, there’s no need to worry. Simply, ask your violin teacher to help you study some violin trivia or brush up on these famous violin players on your own.

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