When the iPhone was released in 2007, critics called it “too expensive” and “sure to fail”, what with it’s lack of physical keyboard. When the iPad was released in 2010, it was “just a big iPod Touch”. Now that the Apple Watch has been released, critics are calling it “unnecessary” and “too expensive.”
Well, it’s 2015 and Apple has sold 472 million iPhones and 200 million iPads.
Haters gonna hate.
From a musician’s perspective, app developers have made many great tools for both of these platforms. Apps that make being a professional musician easier. Now that there’s a brand new platform (the Apple Watch), I see nothing but opportunity.
As a service to musicians everywhere, I’ve brainstormed six rock-solid app ideas for the Apple Watch.
If you’re interested in making any of the following apps (and you will be… you will be) contact me, and we’ll get to work.
1. Forscore For Apple Watch
Perhaps the most popular app for musicians with iPads is ForScore. This is the industry standard for music reader apps on the iPad, and it’ll make a great app on the Watch as well.
Imagine being able to read your sheet music, one measure at a time, without all of the distractions of our modern world. It will be refreshing to focus solely on that one measure, giving it the attention it deserves, making that individual bar as musical as possible before continuing on to the next.
I know what you’re thinking: “Would I have to swipe to go to the next measure?” Using a bluetooth page turner like the firefly, you’ll be able to trigger measure after measure with the tap of your foot.
21st Century sheet music the way Beethoven would’ve wanted it.
You’re also probably thinking: “I play guitar, how would this work?” Flip your watch around the other way, dummy.
Lastly, you may be thinking, “This is a really stupid idea, and more work than it’s worth.”
Yeah, you’re probably right. Let’s move on.
2. iReal Pro for Apple Watch
I know what you’re thinking, “we already decided this idea sucked” but hear me out! Instead of looking at the music one measure at a time, you’ll be able to view the entire jazz tune at a glance, with the chord changes giving you a snapshot of the song.
This is the perfect app for jazz musicians who don’t know standards, and don’t want to get vibed at a jam session. It’ll allow you to hang on the tunes while still being able to “burn the book man.”
Of COURSE I want to play giant steps! I totally know that tune.
Now you’ll be able to hang with the serious jazz cats. Imagine the burnin’ solos you’ll play, pretending to have your eyes closed, while you sneakily stare at your watch. So killing.
Yeah… this idea sucks too.
3. A Microphone That’s Apple Watch Paired
Imagine this: a microphone that only works when a paired Apple Watch is holding it. Using the NFC technology built into the Watch, the microphone automatically mutes any time the watch is removed from within the 20 cm radius around it.
Seem unnecessary? Clearly, you’ve never played in a bar before. Or played at a wedding. Or anywhere where there’s drunk people.
This will revolutionize the live music industry and stop the drunken masses from grabbing the mic during the last chorus of “Don’t Stop Believin’”.
Don’t even try to pick apart this idea. It’s genius. WE WILL DROWN IN MONEY.
4. Mobile Karaoke
Karaoke bars are tacky, and buying a machine is expensive! Imagine being able to carry the full karaoke experience on your wrist! Introducing: Carryoke! (let’s workshop the name)
Now ANYONE can be a contestant on The Voice. Anytime, Anywhere!
You know what? Nevermind. This is a horrible idea. Have you ever been around singers for any amount of time? You can’t escape the non-stop singing. It’s like this scene from Harry Potter, only with more vocal runs:
For the sanity of non-singers, and the safety of singers everywhere, let’s skip this idea.
5. Music Notation
The music notation industry is in a huge shift right now. Sibelius is in limbo, a strong leader has yet to emerge on mobile platforms, and Finale still sucks. Well Ladies and Gentlemen, (drumroll please) I give you the future of music notation.
Have you ever had a two-note melodic motif that you needed to write down immediately?!? Look no further than your wrist.
Using advanced Finger-Scribbling™ technology, you’ll be able to get your masterpiece out of your mind and onto the page. You’ll then be able to export your piece into a real music notation editor and finish your magnum opus.
John Williams wishes he had this when he was writing the score for Jaws.
No, no! Do NOT shut this idea down. This is a solid one too! I can totally see composers everywhere… nope I can’t even get through that sentence. You’re right, this is pointless. Next!
6. “Drop The Bass” Remote for DJs
Question: What’s the worst part of DJ-ing?
Answer: Having to actually do stuff.
That filter knob isn’t going to sweep itself! Someone has to ring the bullhorn! Wouldn’t it be nice if you weren’t a slave to your laptop and could jump into the crowd, where you belong?
Introducing the all new “Drop The Bass” remote app for Apple Watch. This app allows you to do exactly one thing: drop that bass. As a DJ, you know this is your most important job. That’s what everyone in the crowd is waiting for. All of the sweeps, all of the builds, the agonizing minutes of continually building snare hits, ALL OF IT is for this moment. And you’re missing it because you have to be on stage to press the space bar.
No longer, my friend. Using Bluetooth, you can now drop that all-important bass while you crowdsurf. This will free you up to do the things DJs are truly meant to do. Things like throwing cakes and dressing like this:
Alright, so my ideas are garbage (except for the mic idea…SOLID). I’ll leave the app development to people who know what they’re doing. We’ll just have to wait and see how the Apple Watch can potentially help musicians.
Photo Credit: Micky.Roth