Frankly, sophisticated apps like Practice+ can intimidate me. I prefer those that only have a few features that also seem extremely intuitive. Although this enhanced metronome app was quite easy to explore, the multiple features had me wondering if this would be worth my consideration for most of my students.
However…after I experimented with the recording option, it dawned on me that this could be the PERFECT app for an adult student of mine who continues to struggle with finding and sticking with a steady beat.
As I played through a piece using the “Clave” metronome set to 8th note subdivisions–there are SO many options from which to choose–I recorded my practice with the metronome and saved it with an appropriate title and then listened to the recording, all within the same app. I was close to being right on with a tendency to be slightly in front of the pulse–typical of yours truly.
Since my student struggles to know if she is on the beat, this practice metronome with a recording feature could be a dynamite tool to help her finally secure a steady, strict pulse. By listening to herself practice with the metronome she could possibly (hopefully!) self correct her wobbly adherence to the beat.
There’s an option to email recordings which could offer my student a chance to send me a sample of her practice for feedback and encouragement from me between lessons.
- You can personalize the app by choosing one of 5 themes or colors.
- Practice+ contains five separate modes including Tuner, Metronome, Recorder, Setlist and Loop Modes. Each mode can work simultaneously with the metronome which is easily controlled via the compact metronome bar that is always on-screen.
- The developers claim the Tuner to be powerfully accurate.
- The Metronome can be customized to various meters, accents, subdivisions, sounds and more.
- Pitch Player mode is offered to check intonation–obviously not as useful for a pianist–but definitely for a string or wind player.
- The Recorder is incredibly easy to use and finished sessions are easily shared right from your device.
- If you are working on multiple pieces, the SetList feature allows you to create setlists and save all settings with a single tap.
- The Practice Mode allows you to loop difficult passages as it increases tempo automatically with each repetition.
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Leila’s Opinion of Practice+ $3.99
Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and is optimized for iPhone 5.
Application Potential: 4/5
This app equips the slightly techie and truly devoted practicer/performer not only with a souped-up metronome but also offers instant feedback on progress thanks to the recording option and opportunities to organize tempos of your current repertoire. The ability to email recordings of performances is a huge bonus!
Ability to Use with Ease: 4/5
The navigation may be intimidating for younger students–this is definitely for the seasoned app user.
Assessment of Investment: 4/5
There are plenty of metronomes, many of which I am unfamiliar, so it is hard to know if this is THE right metronome for you. However, for $3.99 you will find an array of features that make this more than a mere metronome. It is a well-stocked performance toolkit that could definitely help with building your musical skills and ultimately worth your investment.
Total Score: 12/15