Best Sites, Apps, and YouTube Channels to Learn Music (2021)

Two many years in the past, my drum instructor Marty advised me he was jealous of the millennial technology. When sweaty, teenage Marty discovered to play within the Seventies, he wore out 10-second increments on his vinyl information as he struggled to grasp numerous rolls, cymbal splashes, and fills alongside his idols. My technology might simply loop powerful sections on our favourite System of a Down fills with our iPods. 

I’m starting to really feel comparable tinges of envy for individuals beginning to be taught devices within the iPad period. After twenty years of formal classes and a four-year conservatory diploma, I’m satisfied a superb portion of my training might have been substituted with a decent tablet, YouTube, and a caffeine drip.

I polled pals, colleagues, and fellow music nerds for a few of their favourite apps, websites, and movies. The better part? Most of those supplies value nothing. If you have an interest in laying out some money, try our different information on the Best Music Gear for Learning an Instrument. Otherwise, mud off that previous ax, as a result of now could be the time to shred. 

Updated September 2021: We’ve adjusted the format, and added Vanido, Uberchord, and Tenuto.

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All-In-One Teaching Apps

Photograph: Yousician

The following are nice instruments to make it easier to hone the abilities you want to get higher at taking part in an instrument.

Fender Play

Web, iOS, Android

Fender’s app-based studying platform is one of the best we have discovered for learners, and after a free trial, it is solely $10 per thirty days. You choose your instrument (acoustic guitar, electrical guitar, bass, or ukulele), then you choose the fashion of music you are attempting to be taught. Fender’s consultants then present a collection of well-produced video classes. You ascend to totally different tiers as your taking part in improves, and each talent builds off one you discovered earlier than. If you may’t spring for personal classes, Fender Play is the following neatest thing.


MacOS/Windows, iOS, Android

Yousician makes use of the built-in mic in your smartphone, pill, or laptop computer to provide you with prompt suggestions whilst you play. It’s the closest you may get to a real-instrument model of Guitar Hero. There are particular classes for guitar, piano, bass, ukelele, or voice, all of which have a brilliant and easy-to-follow interface that looks like a online game. I notably just like the weekly challenges, which reward you for continually studying new music. There is a seven-day free trial, however Yousician does have a subscription value for premium service.



Uberchord is an all-inclusive app that is designed to remodel you right into a guitar hero. You can work on songs, chords, and numerous talent growth programs and earn factors within the app. You can use an adapter to plug an electrical guitar into the app, or your cellphone or pill can hear to you play an acoustic guitar. Like Fender Play and Yousician, you may have to spring for a paid membership to get essentially the most options.



This iOS app assessments your vocal vary, asks you what fashion of music you need to sing, and walks you thru primary workout routines to enhance your singing whereas listening (and grading) you through your cellphone’s microphone. It may appear embarrassing at first, however Vanido can drastically enhance your singing voice. It’s just like the Rosetta Stone of singing.

Tuning and Timing Apps

Photograph: Soundbrenner

The following apps will make it easier to play in time, on key, and develop your ear.

Soundbrenner, a Metronome App

iOS, Android

Every musician ought to observe with a metronome—the clacky factor that helps you retain a beat completely in time. Your grandma most likely had an annoying one that truly swung again and forth, however as of late I take advantage of this free app from Soundbrenner. You can simply program numerous accents, sounds, and time signatures, and should you ever get the Soundbrenner Core—a nifty vibrating smartwatch that pairs to the app—you may already know the interface. Don’t like this one? Just search your app retailer; there are tons of nice free choices.

Good Tuning Apps

Like metronome apps, you may simply discover a good tuner to hold your devices sounding as they need to. My favourite is Guitar Tuna, which integrates with Yousician. It has a easy interface, and it really works for all stringed devices. If you play a horn or different non-stringed instrument, do that chromatic tuner from Piascore. You nonetheless may need a mechanical tuner for higher accuracy.

Learn to Read Scary Notes!

Take it from a drummer who was pressured via years of conservatory piano classes: Reading music may be intimidating. That’s why I like Notes Trainer, which makes use of a built-in piano interface to educate you the place each be aware is on the keyboard. It even creates workout routines to observe, primarily based on the precise scales or sounds you are attempting to get beneath your fingers. Tenuto is one other nice observe instrument if you would like to be taught music concept, with 25 built-in workout routines to educate you the fundamentals. Don’t use iOS? Try Sight Reading Trainer. It can really hear to your piano to ensure you’re taking part in the fitting notes.

Multitimer for Effective Practice

One of essentially the most helpful apps I’ve just lately found is Multitimer. I typically have a whole lot of totally different workout routines or forms of practising to do in a single session, and so as to handle my time, it is tremendous useful to toggle via a number of countdown timers on display. My quarter-hour for scales by no means bleeds into my 10-minute chord workout routines, and so on. By organising Multitimer forward of my classes, I always remember to set a brand new timer on my cellphone or lose monitor of my observe schedule. It appears easy, however this little instrument actually has made my observe classes extra environment friendly.

Amazing Slow Downer

The Amazing Slow Downer’s website nonetheless appears to be like straight from 1998, however the software program itself works nice on desktop, iOS, or Android. You enter a tune and then alter what pace it performs again at with out affecting the pitch. It’s excellent for anybody attempting to slowly be taught one in all their favourite musician’s solos, and it is a highly regarded app amongst jazz musicians because of this.

How to Find Music to Play

Illustration: Alvaro Dominguez

The finest manner to find out how to play music is to discover music you need to play. If you hear a tune you do not acknowledge on the radio, otherwise you’re sitting in a café and a tune you want comes on, Shazam will assist you determine what it’s, so you may attempt to play it later.

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