iPhone Apps for Drummers

There are a lot of iPhone apps out there, and a lot of them are aimed at drummers. There are metronomes, practice tools, tuners, drum machines, recorders, etc. I’ll be honest. I’ve bought a lot of them. Of those I’ve bought or downloaded, I actually use an incredibly small percentage of of them on any sort of regular basis. In fact, I’d wager I’ll never touch 90% of them again. However, some of the ones I use regularly are incredibly useful, so I figured I would share.

Amazing Slow Downer

Amazing Slow Downer

Amazing Slow Downer

Amazing Slow Downer is, hands down, the best tool in my arsenal for learning how to play (or transcribe) other people’s music. What it does is simple in a sense. It slows down the song, but manages to keep the pitch. How much you slow down the song is variable. As you can see from the screenshot, there’s a whole host of sliders you can adjust, and they’re all pretty useful.  Aside from slowing down songs, Amazing Slow Downer is incredibly useful for setting up and repeating difficult parts of songs. At $14.99 at the time of this writing, Amazing Slow Downer is one of the more expensive applications in the iTunes App Store. However, it’s totally worth it. And, compared to the $49.95 the Mac/PC version costs, it doesn’t feel like a bad deal at all.

Setlist Metronome

Setlist Metronome

Setlist Metronome

There are way too many metronomes available for the iPhone. I’ve tried quite a few of them, both paid-for and free. This has been my favorite of the bunch. For a drummer, any metronome that uses only audible cues is pretty worthless. Setlist Metronome is, of course, a metronome with both visual and audible cues (otherwise it wouldn’t be earning my recommendation).  Beyond that, what sets it apart, and earns it its name, is the ability to create a setlist. You define a bunch of tempos and time signatures, load them all in a certain order, and then go play your gig/practice using them. Easy as that! It really doesn’t do much more, but why would you want it to? Keep it simple and useful. This is another one that costs a bit more than most apps  ($7.99 when this was written). Personally, I still find it worth it.

Cleartune – Chromatic Tuner

Cleartune

Cleartune - Chromatic Tuner

I don’t know if this is something all drummers would need or use, but I’m one of those that relies on a tuner when I’m doing my snare and toms, at least to get me started. There are also a lot of tuners out there. This one seemed to be the best (most accurate and quick to respond) of the tuners I tried. It works great on guitars and other “normal” instruments, but it’s quick enough to react to a drum hits too. At $3.99 during this writing, I’d say it is definitely a solid purchase.

  6 comments

  1. Jessie W   •  

    mapex drum masterclass is the best iphone drum app out there, hands down.

  2. Jacob   •     Author

    I bought and tried Mapex Drum Masterclass before writing this article. It may be useful for someone who has no idea about how to read rhythmic notation on sheet music. However, as someone who already can, I definitely don’t see the Mapex app fitting into my frequently-used iPhone app list. It’s a tool that’s pretty easy to grow out of fairly quickly. However, it did appear to be decently written.

  3. Tod   •  

    my drum teacher told me about Mapex masterclass (which I’m currently using) and being a novice drummer myself I think it’s amazing. Speak for yourself that it’s easy to grow out of, I’m still struggling with Lesson 28! I think Mapex have done a fantastic job with it compared to other toy apps out there. amazing slow downer looks useful too. :o)

  4. Ryan   •  

    Hey Jacob. Man, right now I’m about to get an itouch, so I’ve been looking into different apps I could use. This article is just what I was looking for! I’ve recently started playing drums to music and playing by ear, so I definitely need to get the Slow Downer. Thanks for the info!

  5. Dan   •  

    I’ve purchased tons of drum related apps and I would have to agree that amazing slow downer is one of my most used. Before I got that I had ‘robick’ which was almost as good (and much cheaper) but if you slowed down a track too much then the sound started to distort. Other useful apps I use regularly are Tempo, Tempo Advance (as you can increase/decrease speed) and The drum dictionary.

  6. Sam   •  

    Have you or anyone tried the Backbeater? I think it came out fairly recently.

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