Below are a number of downloads chosen for their usefulness as study aids. I have done my best to find the best freeware available – where no free software has been available for the required purpose, I have looked for the best value for money. The bottom line is, however, that if you want top notch music software, you will have to pay for it and I’m afraid it won’t be cheap.
Guitar fretboard training software. Advanced FretPro also contains a large library of scales and chords which are displayed on a graphical fretboard showing not only the position but also the notes that are used in the scale or chord. The program features a game mode where you are presented with a fretboard and have to correctly name the highlighted fret positions. You can choose which frets and strings to test. Practice against the clock and keep a note of your average note recognition time.
TempoPerfect is a free software metronome. Unlike mechanical metronomes, our software metronome provides a clear and precise beat that won’t wind down, making it an essential tool for any musician. Designed to help musicians play in time, this tempo software creates accurate beat patterns for simple or complex rhythms. Using a combination of accented beats and normal beats, you can subdivide beats to hear tricky patterns like triplets, or accent the first beat in a measure when working in difficult time signatures.
TempoPerfect also includes a tempo guide within the program which is a helpful resource for remembering the BPM for particular speed markings (e.g., Allegro).
Watch the notes and lyrics as you listen to your favorite music. Notation Player helps you find MIDI files on the Internet and converts them to printable music notation with great accuracy. Notation Player automatically detects and displays grace notes, trills and tremolos that are used in a wide variety of music styles. It correctly notates paired eighth note swing rhythms used in jazz. Sing along or practice your instrument while following the notes on the screen. Notation Player automatically turns the pages for you. Also, use Notation Player to view, print, and play Notation (.not) files created by Notation Composer and Musician. All of the original author’s notations are preserved, such as accent marks, dynamic marks, and slurs. If the author prepared individual parts for instruments or voices, then view and print just the part you need. You can change the printed page size, and Notation Player will automatically reformat the pages. A great tool for learning musical notation.
Notation Musician is an eye-opening study aid, a source of accurate sheet music, an untiring accompanist, and an excellent practice tool. Enhance your enjoyment and understanding of music by watching the notes on your computer screen as you listen. Download music easily from the Internet, and Musician will display the score on the screen as the music plays. You control the tempo of the music – slow it down as much as you like for close study. Change the volume of each instrument in order to hear the part that you are most interested in. Play your instrument or sing along with the music, as you read your part from the screen. Mute your instrument’s part in the score, and provide that part yourself as Notation Musician accompanies you. Set up practice loops to perfect your playing. Add lyrics and display in a large format sing-along part, as you and your friends read the words and melody easily from the screen. Produce your own customized sheet music from the many music files available on the internet. Share the music you like with your musical group or friends. Add or edit lyrics to make the song your own. Easily produce piano music by splitting a musical track correctly into right-hand and left-hand parts. If you play guitar, autoharp, or piano, rearrange the score into a “fake book” with chord names. If you play a woodwind or brass instrument, transpose your sheet music into the correct key for your instrument.
License: Free 30 day trial, $37.99
VanBasco’s Karaoke Player is, just like its name suggests, an application designed to play karaoke and standard MIDI files.Designed for karaoke, the application integrates multiple features in this regard, including a lyrics window that comes with lots of customization options. Built-in support for .kar, .mid, .midi and .rmi files, and boasts skin support for a personalized look.
The karaoke window is fully customizable, which means you can change the font and its size, position, colors and background image. Additionally, you can enable hints, show song information when no lyrics are available and fit window to lyrics.
Other than that, vanBasco’s Karaoke Player features a real-time MIDI output window that displays notes, volume and instruments, but also a piano view to show all notes on a piano. The main window of the program offers not only the common controls such as play, stop, previous and next song, but also some other options usually found in media players, including autoplay, shuffle, scan and repeat. Plus, it features a playlist editor that gives you the chance to easily browse the files stored on the local disks and pick the ones you wish to play.
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