When you’re learning drums, it’s important to find fun and easy ways to practice on the go. Grab your smartphone because here, Edmond, OK drum instructor Tracy D. shares her picks for the best mobile apps for drummers…
App developers have certainly made great tools available for musicians, and a few fantastic apps for drummers. So whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate drummer, here are 11 smartphone apps you should download, now!
Drum Set apps
These smartphone apps are entertaining, easy to use, and they can help you execute ideas when you’re away from your kit (or don’t have one yet). Many of these apps can also help beginners learn to read music.
Drums! has a built-in music player and single and double kick features.
The app gives you the ability to jam along to pre-recorded tracks and play different sounds. Download additional in-app features like the percussion pack for an additional cost.
You can download this app from the iTunes store.
This app has multi-touch functionality, low latency, and allows you to choose from a variety of setups.
The play-along feature let’s you practice to your favorite songs, or use the “Song Player” feature to play your own songs.
Drum set is available to download on Android devices.
This Windows-compatible app is like a virtual drum set.
DrumKit includes sounds from a variety of drums in addition to cymbals, toms, and kick drums.
The movable components make this app ideal for left-handed drummers.
Let’s face it: if you want to play with solid time, you need a metronome. Apps make some feature-rich timekeepers that are powerful and inexpensive.
This feature-rich app has 35 different time signatures (simple, compound, and complex). The app will continue to run even when your device locks, which makes it great to use during practice. It also has setlist functionality, which will take you from the shed to the stage.
Want to demo this app for free? Download the lite version and give it a try.
Create a setlist of songs and play through them continuously.
With a range of different sounds, and beat and bar counters, Metronome Beats Pro is great to use during practice, and even effective for live shows.
Metronomy includes sound recording and fine tempo tuning (from 40 to 238 BPM).
The visual beat counter will help you learn to keep time on drums. Download this app and use it next time you practice!
Drum Machine and Loop apps
If you’re a drummer or a multi-instrumentalist, you will find these apps useful and fun. Use these to fuel your creativity and provide a backdrop for your technical work.
Drum Beats+ has over 100 built-in drum loops, but don’t worry, if that’s not enough, you can always download more!
The easy tempo changer (from 60 to 190 BPM) makes this app ideal for both beginner and advanced drummers.
Use the drum machine/loop station to create your own beats. Or play-along to one of 91 samples.
You can also change the tempo from 40-250 beats per minute.
Download RaveIT for your Windows device here.
Drum Lesson apps
Learn some chops and licks from some legends of the industry.
This beginner-friendly app also features videos with notations.
Notation and Composition Apps
As you progress you will likely have ideas that you will want to jot down, and these apps for drummers have quite a few handy features. Plus, if you get into larger-scale compositions, you will still find them useful.
Reflow Score Writer is iCloud and Dropbox ready, so you can make changes on the fly that will be saved across your devices.
With several options to import and play files, and lots of fun features, you will definitely get more bang for your buck with this app.
Import and export files in MusicXML formats so you can exchange sheets with other software programs.
Want to show off the cool new beat you just recorded? Ensemble Composer Pro allows you to export songs as ringtones.
These 11 apps are personal favorites of mine. If you use these apps regularly and with great focus, you will become a well-rounded drummer and musician. Your practice with these apps should be consistent.
These are just a few of many apps for drummers available online. Try these out and let us know what you think!