My Essential Apps
This one of my favourite apps. While I’m working on learning and hearing jazz progressions, iRealbook via its forums let me store chord changes for 1000s of tunes from jazz standards to The Beatles. There are no melodies for copyright reasons. One of the best features is that I can loop sections of tunes to work on bass lines or improvisation. On the gig the best feature is that I can transpose a tune to any key. I can also make playlists for anyone I work with so that I am prepared for the next gig.
iGigBook lets me store all my fakebook PDFs on my iPad. A fakebook contains a transcription of the melody and chord changes for a tune. Currently I have about a dozen books on my iPad and through the app I can search for tunes in a matter of moments and be ready to go on a gig. I can also prepare set lists for future gigs.
For a bass player a strong sense of time is really important and with modern recording usually involving playing with a click track I practice with a metronome regularly. I have a number of different ways of using the click to improve my time and I’ll post about those sometime in the future.
I’m on a lifting and transcription kick at the moment. Although musicians should be doing this all the time. Lifting is what it’s called when you learn a bass line from a song. Transcribing is writing that part down on paper or in a notation program. I use this app to help me lift the tunes. You can set a loop up to work on a section of a tune. You can even create a loop that pauses after playing the section to allow you to work on the part. The loop restarts again. I use an iRig which lets me plug my bass into my iPad or iPhone while playing along with the track.
What app do you like to use?