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Top Musical Instrument Apps for iPhone and iPad

From synths to guitars to drums, these essential musical instrument apps will enable you to play virtually any instrument.

Apps in this Guide

With their expansive screens, the iPhone and iPad are perfect for touch-based musical instrumentation, especially when paired with the extensive array of musical instrument apps you can find in themore

With their expansive screens, the iPhone and iPad are perfect for touch-based musical instrumentation, especially when paired with the extensive array of musical instrument apps you can find in the App Store. GarageBand, BeatMaker 3, and Moog Model 15, for example, can put almost any instrument in the palm of your hand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which iOS device is best for music making?
We recommend the 12.9 inch iPad Pro, because it has the largest screen in the entire iOS ecosystem, so you have room to explore your creativity to its fullest.
Where can I get help and support, if I get stuck?
The Apple website offers help, support, and tips for GarageBand. BeatMaker 3’s developer, Intua, offers documentation, support, and tutorials on its site, and Moog's website provides a manual for Model 15.

Essential Musical Instrument Apps

Model 15

Model 15

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The familiar Moog keyboard, 1150 ribbon controller, 8-step sequencing arpeggiator, and Animoog keyboard (featuring 22 built-in scales and polyphonic modulation capabilities) are expanded by extras, such as total MIDI integration and the ability to use the app as a MIDI controller. ($29.99, plus in-app purchases)

BeatMaker 3

BeatMaker 3

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Between its intuitive, easy-to-use UI, 128 pads (each one a multidimensional, full-fledged instrument), and large sound store, BeatMaker 3 has everything you need to create electronic-based music. ($39.99, plus in-app purchases)

GarageBand

GarageBand

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GarageBand includes more than enough touch instruments -- mics, keyboards (featuring 150 synth patches), guitars, and acoustic and electronic drums -- to complete any musical project. iOS's Audio Unit Extensions bring third-party instruments and effects into the mix. Most unique and exciting are the virtual session drummers -- nine acoustic and electronic ones to choose from -- that can perform one-million-plus realistic grooves and fills. (Free)