Follow BagpipeLessons.com on your Favorite Platforms:
Video Transcript: Your smartphone is the most powerful learning tool ever invented. Today, I’m going to talk about how to use your smartphone to completely transform the way you learn, practice, and play music. We’ll take a close-up look at some of my favorite apps you can use for tuning, keeping your tempo steady, getting your tunes up to speed, playing with recordings, recording yourself, and just having more fun. I’ll show you a product I designed and created specifically for pipers that makes it super easy and fun to use your smartphone with your pipes. So, stay with me. You’re going to love this video!
There are literally hundreds of apps out there that you can use for your piping, and honestly, they make playing so much more fun. There are bagpipe tuning apps, there’s my own app, the Piper’s Metronome, specifically designed to help you develop steady timing, improve your expression, and get your tempos up to speed. We have music practice apps that allow you to play along with recordings and change the pitch and speed, and audio and video recording apps that let you review your practice sessions. You can even use your phone as a super portable digital music stand that moves with you to help you learn and memorize your tunes.
Regardless of how you use your phone, the challenge remains: as mobile pipers, we need a practical and comfortable way to keep our phones with us when we’re piping, and that’s where the Piper’s Advantage Bagpipe Phone Mount comes in! After over a year of design and testing, I developed the world’s first phone mount specifically for the bagpipes. It’s sleek, compact, lightweight, and flexible. It’s completely adjustable and allows you to find the perfect position and viewing angle for your phone. Let’s take a closer look at this game-changing accessory that every piper needs.
Here’s how the Piper’s Advantage Bagpipe Phone Mount works: It has a phone cradle to securely hold your phone or mobile device. It has a flexible arm that allows you to find the perfect position for viewing. It has a clamp that allows you to tighten down on your blowpipe stock. In addition, it has this extra bonus stretchy strap, which is designed to give extra support if you have a larger phone or a phone with a thicker case. All you need to do is pull the corners of the strap over the corners of your phone, and voila! It is held really securely in the cradle.
Now…depending on your personal preference for the distance and position of your phone, most pipers attach the phone mount to the blowpipe stock. But you can also attach it to the chanter stock. My goal for the design of the Piper’s Advantage Bagpipe Phone Mount was to give you flexibility and adjustability, and protect your phone and pipes.
Now let’s explore some of the amazing apps that you can use to elevate your piping practice experience. Here are some of my favorites:
There are many instrument tuner apps out there, but my favorite by far is the Braw Bagpipe Tuner. It has some fantastic features that no other apps have. It also works extremely well with the InTune Mic, another one of my inventions. The InTune Mic is the world’s first wireless clip-on microphone for smartphones, and it works perfectly with the Piper’s Advantage Bagpipe Phone Mount to help you get your pipes in tune fast, anywhere.
When you’re on the go, begin by clipping the InTune Mic to your chanter for calibration. Once you’re done, proceed with tuning the drones one by one. Within minutes, you’re ready to go. If you want to do some fine-tuning on your chanter, move the InTune Mic back to your chanter and go for it. With the InTune Mic and your Piper’s Advantage Bagpipe Phone Mount, your practice sessions are completely wireless and mobile. You can tune up easily and quickly, whether you’re at home, at band practice, or at the Highland Games.
There is another video on my YouTube channel where I go into detail on how to use the Braw Tuner and the InTune Mic. Check out the links in the description below or visit InTuneMic.com.
There are tons of metronome apps out there on the app store. Some of them are paid, some of them are free. But none of them have the features that I wanted for the way that pipers play their tunes. That’s why I created the Piper’s Metronome specifically for the way that pipers play. It’s super easy to use and intuitive, and it does so much more than just keep a steady beat.
It has built-in presets for all of the most common types of time signatures and rhythm patterns for the most common piping rhythms, including triplets and dot-cuts. You can even create custom sets of tunes with different time signatures and tempos, like medleys, and even add a custom introduction, like a pipe band-style attack. And you can do pulsing to bring out the full expression in tunes like strathspeys, reels, and 2/4 marches. You can even save and share your sets with your piping friends and bandmates with a single click.
I love to use the Piper’s Metronome with my phone mount so that I can march around and play. I like to use simple earbuds, which also function as earplugs, to protect my ears and allow me to hear the metronome over the sound of the pipes.
When learning a new tune, it’s super helpful to have a good recording to listen to and learn from. It’s even better to be able to play along with the recording. That’s where this next app comes in. It’s called AnyTune. It’s a music player app that’s specifically designed for practicing music. You can take any tune recording, import it into the app, and you can change the pitch so that it’s in tune with your pipes. You can slow down and change the tempo to make it easier to play along with a tune when you’re learning. You can also select specific sections of the music to loop for focused practice, like a part, a phrase, or a bar.
Everybody loves YouTube, and the YouTube app is another great tool to practice along with videos. Find the video you want, and you can adjust the playback speed for your preference. It’s so much easier to learn those tunes when you can slow them down.
One of the most powerful learning tools is recording yourself. You can listen back and find areas for improvement and monitor your progress. On my phone, I use the Voice Memos app that comes on the iPhone. I also love an app called Voice Record Pro. It has some extra features like different file types, and it has more options for saving and exporting your recorded tunes.
You can even use your smartphone to store your sheet music for your tunes. With the Piper’s Advantage Bagpipe Phone Mount, you can even use your phone as a portable music stand! I use Dropbox to store and access my sheet music. You can also use Google Drive or just email or text the music to yourself. If you only have a printed version of your music, just take a photo with your phone’s camera, and boom, you now have it on your phone.
I’m sure there are lots more apps that you might be using that you really like. If I’ve missed one of your favorites, please let me know.
With all of these great apps and your smartphone now securely attached to your pipes with your Piper’s Advantage Bagpipe Phone Mount, you’re ready and well-equipped for an efficient, engaging, and fun bagpipe practice session. You’re ready to upgrade your bagpipe experience!
You have a couple of great options to choose from. You can get the phone mount on its own, or you can get a discounted bundle that includes the phone mount and the InTune Mic. This amazing duo will allow you to quickly achieve perfect tuning anywhere.
My favorite tuning app is the Braw Tuner, but the InTune Mic works with any app, and it’s available for Apple and Android. You also have the option to go all-in and get a larger bundle that features some of my most popular products. You can get the phone mount, my award-winning and patented Tone Protector, the Tone Protector Reed Case, the Piper’s Ultimate Reed Poker, and the Bagpipe Gauge. These products are all designed to help you achieve a world-class sound so you can enjoy playing more.
You love your pipes, you love your phone, and all these amazing apps and what they can do. Now, unleash the power of your phone and these apps by keeping it right at your fingertips while you play. Whether you’re tuning, working on timing, practicing your tunes, working on memorization, or just looking for a way to make playing more fun and engaging, the Piper’s Advantage Bagpipe Phone Mount is lightweight and adjustable, and designed to fit perfectly with your pipes. It’s a powerful tool you can use to enhance your piping experience, regardless of your playing level.
Finally, there’s a way to harness the incredible power of your smartphone and all of your favorite apps while playing your pipes. So, what are you waiting for? Check it out today at BagpipeLessons.com/phonemount and download my free guide “The Best Apps Every Piper Should Have.” The link is at the top of this page.
Thanks for watching, and don’t forget to hit the subscribe button, and click the little bell to be notified when I post new things here on the BagpipeLessons.com YouTube channel. And visit BagpipeLessons.com to watch more videos, lessons, and free guides like this one.
Follow BagpipeLessons.com on your Favorite Platforms: