Make your rock star dreams come true
I know you.
I know you have a secret dream – no, a yearning – to be a rock star. When you were a kid, you’d stand in front of your parents’ full-length mirror with a hairbrush or a spoon as a microphone while you sang, danced and pouted along to “Dancing Queen” or “Bohemian Rhapsody” or “Baby Got Back,” copping your moves from Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson or Celine Dion.
No. Wait. That was me.
But anyway, I’m sure you can relate. Back in those days, becoming a rock star seemed completely out of reach. Sure, we had the moves, but how were we going to find a band that really understood our complex artistic vision of combining the gritty funk of James Brown with the earnest heart of Jackson Browne?
Thanks to technology, all that’s changed. Today, thanks to the wonderful world of apps, anyone with a smartphone can make music – no talent required! Here are a few of my favorite apps for turning non-musicians into rock stars:
- - Songify ($2.99): We’re starting on the ground floor here. This app is just one step above a toy, but what a fun toy it is! Just say what’s on your mind – the latest email from your pointy-haired boss or that love note you wrote to the 7th-grade girlfriend – and the app turns your speech into an auto-tuned masterpiece. It comes with five different tunes, but you can buy more inside the app. Available for both Android & iOS
- - Figure by Propellerhead ($0.99): When you’re ready to step up from other people’s songs to making your own, this little app is a powerhouse. Using the same technology that’s behind Reason, Propellerhead’s professional music production software, the app allows you to create and record beats, bass lines and melodies that’ll sound totally boss booming out of your Maybach (or your mom’s Pinto), just by tapping, dragging and rocking. Available for iOS.
- - GarageBand ($4.99): Apple’s developers really knocked it out of the park when they ported the company’s entry-level music making software over to iOS. It has many of the features you’d expect, but my favorite feature for non-musicians is the “smart” instruments. Pull up the Smart Guitar, choose the “hard rock” ax and just strum the chord. It’s as easy as the Autoharp you played in 4th-grade music class, but 70% less likely to get you beat up at parties. Available for iOS
These three simple apps will have you rocking out and impressing your friends within minutes – all for under 10 bucks!
If you’re a non-musician who’s found a great app for making music on your phone or tablet, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.