Earlier this week, I was doing my semi-annual culling of all the apps on my iPhone. I don’t know if you do this, but I have to or I’d have too much crap to sift through just to get to the stuff that I really want to use.
Anyways, I got to thinking about some apps that have been helpful to me as a Worship Leader and I thought I’d share 3 that are really killing it for me right now.
Lets start by getting a few of the mainstays that everyone knows about out of the way, even though they deserve a mention anyways:
Seriously, it’s my digital brain & storage locker. If you’re not using it to keep track of everything you need to keep track of, you’re doing it wrong. Check out this post I wrote, The Worship Leader’s Guide to Evernote.
Yup, the native app is the best for recording quick ideas and storing them away for a rainy day. I’ll also use it to work out harmonies or other vocal parts real quick. Simple and effective.
Alright, now for the good stuff. Here’s 3 great apps that you might not know about that will make your life as a Worship Leader that much better!
1. Hum ($1.99) – iTunes
Hum is like Voice Recorder & Evernote had a baby that helps you write music. Hum helps you to capture and organize all of your songwriting ideas in a central place and backs you up so that you never lose an idea again!
Not only can you tag and sort your lyrics by key, tuning, and mood, but you can easily share your ideas through email or message. You can also keep a page of notes beside your lyrics to keep your thoughts on the song right there. This is where I keep all of the songs that I’m working on and it has been so helpful.
I first heard about this app from my buddy Chris Vacher (@chrisfromcanada) and I’m so grateful that he sang it’s praises. Hum isn’t just great for storing all your song ideas, but it helps you to keep it in front of you in a real way. Write the songs that God is birthing in your heart by using Hum.
2. GuitarToolkit ($2.99) – iTunes
I’ve had this app for years and it is the ONLY guitar app that I use. It does lots of simple things really well, like a metronome (with Tap Tempo), a tuner, and an extensive chord library. I use these features every time I’m working on a new chart or trying to work through a new song.
GuitarToolkit also has a HUGE library of scales to help you woodshed like no other! Want to learn how to play the G Pentatonic Blues scale all the way up and down the neck? No problem. You pick the key & the scale, and you can walk all over the neck learning a new scale.
You can also customize the app to the guitar you’re playing (6 String, 4 String Bass, even Banjo & Mandolin), the tuning you want to use (everything from Full Step Down to Baritone to Drop D), as well as making everything relative to a capo. My favorite feature: If you’re playing a chord and don’t know what to call it, simply go to the Chords tab, press where your fingers are and what strings are open, and you’ve got your answer!
3. Audible (Free, w/ In-App Purchases) – iTunes
I know, you’re all like “WHAT?!?,” but hear me out. I’m a big proponent of the “Leaders are readers” sentiment, but I also get that Worship Leaders can be busy people. Most of us are Husbands or Wives, Moms or Dads, likely have full-time jobs NOT at the church, and simply don’t feel like we have the time to read books.
That’s where Audible comes in. With Audible, you can buy an audiobook and listen to it, just like you would a podcast or even music while you’re doing anything! You can be learning about leadership from some of the greats while you’re folding laundry or driving to/from work. You could even read the classic Worship Matters in your spare time without ever lifting a page!
Audible also has some great features like various narration speeds (i.e. the speed of the reader), so you can get through stuff even faster. My favorite is 1.25x or 1.5x speed, as it keeps things moving, even in slow spots. You can even bookmark places in the book, just to specific chapters, or even set a sleep timer when you listen as you drift off to sleep. On the real, Leaders are readers, so check out how Audible can make you into a real reader!