Singing with expression begins by understanding the beat and rhythm of your song. One way to help make this a breeze is by using a tempo app. Depending on your needs, there are various apps to strengthen your confidence while learning your song, making you a reliable performer.
As part of your lessons at Kathleen Connell Singing Studio, we have a library of backing tracks available. These are essential for online learning and also for your practice at home. Our superb accompanist Alison Cameron provides two types of recordings.
Our unique recordings include a slower tempo track to help you learn your notes at a comfortable speed. The learning track includes a metronome in the background, called a “click track”.
The second track gives you a taste of the performance speed and builds your confidence to sing with rich and clear resonance. Tempo apps help you reinforce your ability to keep the beat and secure your rhythm to express yourself fully in your song. Simply insert the backing track into the app and slow the tempo, or speed it up to suit your learning stage.
TimePitch is a free app that works with the media library on your smartphone. It’s available through the Apple app store and Android Google Play. First, you need to save the backing track into your phone’s music library. TimePitch allows you to change the tempo and pitch of your chosen song through an incremental slider. It can help you gradually work towards a faster performance tempo. Note: the pitch modifier isn’t that useful for practice but have some fun playing with your favourite singer.
MyTempo is offered by the Australian Music Examination Board (AMEB). It is currently available for iPhone and iPad users. There’s a fee of $4.49 to download it. Like TimePitch, the app allows you to slow down, speed up and loop your backing track, plus add a metronome beat to make a click track for your learning experience.
A few tips to use this app:
Tempo Perfect is really useful if you just need help with the metronome from time to time and use two separate devices. Get it free from the App Store or Google Play. Choose your desired tempo from the number on Alison’s file title and the measure (time signature) from the dropdown lists within the app.
Tempo Perfect also has a “subdiv” function, which allows you to subdivide into smaller points across the beat. This is a beneficial skill to learn and can improve your internal rhythmic accuracy. Tempo Perfect marks these points with a different sounding click to the main beats.
Ultimately, you should be able to sing your piece without the click track when you’ve internalised the rhythm and tempo. Practicing whilst walking or moving some body part is an easy way to start. As you become used to the tempo, your movement should become subtler. Alternatively, if you’re the type of person who likes to make expressive gestures, you can incorporate tempo as part of your performance.
Internalising tempo can be really challenging at first. However, the key is to know that we’re born with an internal sense of pulse–our heartbeat.
If you’re looking for online lessons that provide you with unique backing tracks for your songs, Kathleen Connell studio is ready to help you. Browse the Studio and Online singing lessons to find one that suits you. And for any enquiries, Get in touch.