21st Century Musician’s Essential Tech

I’ve recently rocketed my music setup into the 21st century and I thought I’d share with you the tech I’m using now!

Tablet & Stylus

Essential for reading music. I use the iPad pro 12.9″ with the Apple pencil. 

  • Save the trees — no more printing music
  • Easy to mark up in different colours
  • Also easy to erase — no more residual pencil marks
  • Easy to read in dim light
  • Entire music library in one lightweight tablet (yes, they are light now)

Learning curve:

  • None, really


Must-have to turn the pages. I use the Donner (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Donner-Bluetooth-Rechargeable-Reading-Controller/dp/B01MZICTQV)


  • No more difficult page turns


I use a midi keyboard to input notes into Musescore. Great for composing quickly! Doesn’t do rhythms but the pitch saves you a lot of time. Really portable as well — took it on a transatlantic flight iwth no problem.

I use M-Audio Keystation Mini 32 II, Compact Portable 32-Key USB/MIDI Keyboard Controller with Synth-Action Velocity-Sensitive Keys (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00IWRJSE2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)


  • Easily plugs into MacBook
  • Draws power from MacBook
  • 32 keys but has a big range as you can hit the plus or minus button to move your octave around

Modacity — Practice App


I use this app every day with my practice and I think I’ve barely scratched the surface of what it can do. Shoutout to Andrew Hitz at The Entrepreneurial Musician podcast for introducing me to this!


  • Make practice lists
  • Record yourself easily
  • Metronome/tuner
  • Tracks time spent practicing
  • Tracks practice streaks

ForScore — for reading music

I got this app several years ago for reading music, back when it was half the price. Not sure I’d buy it now as there might be cheaper alternatives, but I’m very pleased with it nonetheless.

PiaScore — IMSLP app

Great for downloading music from the wonderful free IMSLP library.

Musescore — for composing

Like Sibelius, but free. I compose on my MacBook Air but there is an iPad app as well which I haven’t tried.

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