Saturday, October 12, 2013

Metronome Upate

I just want to let you know that the bluegrass rhythm is not included with the base iReal b iPad app. They do have one, but you'll have to pay extra for it. It's included in the Pop Styles Pack, and it will cost you another $5.00.
There are several other styles in the pack, but the bluegrass style is the only one I wanted at the time. Anyway, just a heads up if you're considering this app.
By the way, I'm considering buying a set of wireless speakers to use with my iPad during practice. An acoustic banjo easily overpowers the iPad, so sometimes I have difficulty hearing the rhythm.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Metronome Alternative

The metronome is unarguably one of the best tools in any musician's tool box. For me it helps me get over my tendency to start picking up steam when I practice alone.

My metronome is one of those standard digital units with a flashing red LED and an obnoxiously loud click that marks each beat. Although it may help with my timing issues, the downside is that it really gets on my nerves and offers nothing interesting in the way of rhythm.

A quick search for a metronome replacement lead me first to Band in the Box. I owned this product many versions ago, but I wanted specifically to use the metronome replacement on my iPad, so I was out luck following this route.

Then I came upon iReal b for iPad. It provides a drum instead of a sterile click, bass, and piano that play against chords that you enter for the song that you want to practice. 

The iReal b app also links to a forum where one can find and download countless songs in various categories, and yes, bluegrass is one of the categories.

There is no demo version of the app, so I forked out a whole $8.00 to purchase it, and I'm glad that I did. No more obnoxious metronome and a way better practice experience!

Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with the product, but I am a happy user.