iPhone already gets a lot of love for being an easy platform for musicians to create on, so we thought it would be worthwhile to dig into some of the great apps available on the "other" platform - Android (also see our tips for better music for Galaxy owners). There's a number of options that can really help the working musician be more productive and creative. Here are a few of our favorites - angled a little more towards guitarists but great for any musician...
We tune because we care. gStrings is incredibly simple to quickly get in tune. It has an "Auto" mode, so you it'll know what string you're trying to tune automatically. And if you're way too far out of tune, it has playback tones so you can hear the exact tone you're tuning to so you can quickly get into the range of Auto. Every guitar player needs this app.
Those Major 7th chords are always a pain to remember, and this handy app is the best chord book around so you don't have to remember all of those crazy augmented jazz chords. You can get quick chord charts and inversion options with the click of a button. It's super easy. You can also easily get chords for open tunings if you're looking to learn some Open G Keith Richards style chords or even for other stringed instruments like mandolin or ukulele.
This powerful app allows you to create multi-track recording on the fly. Fruity Loops is famous as a sequencer app, but it can be really handy to setup some bass & drum loops so that you can have a repeated track to jam over - perfect for practicing those solos that you've been trying to work out. There's a ton more to this app, so using it as a drum machine is valuable but really just scratches the surface.
Hi-Q MP3 Recorder
Always record. Whether it's practice, a gig, or some song ideas, you'll never be sorry you recorded it to listen back to. And there's really no better app to do that with than Hi-Q MP3 Recorder. Key features are 1) that it records directly to MP3, so it's super easy to share with bandmates or friends without having to worry about how to compress a clunky WAV file, 2) it records up to 320kbps which means the sound quality is great, and 3) you can record in stereo on devices that support it (including Galaxy devices and some others), so you'll get a nice full-sounding stereo recording with this simple app. So get on with recording those solo acoustic ideas you've been hesitating to lay down!
Evernote is one of the most popular apps on the Google Play store, so it isn't just an app for musicians, but it does really come in handy for the working musician. We use it for capturing song lyric ideas on the go, keeping track of setlists, making lists of cover song ideas, and storing the occasional chord cheat sheet so you're prepared at practice even when it's a new song you're working on.