I get bored practicing by myself, because of this, I like to practice with recordings of pieces whenever possible. I find that I will practice longer if I have something real to practice with. It also helps me to hear how my part fits in with the piece as a whole. I also have students who work with original recordings when they are learning songs. The problem is sometimes the songs are just too fast. Enter “The Amazing Slow Downer'” This fantastic piece of software allows you to slow a piece down up to 80% of the original tempo without changing the key of the piece and it also allows you to change the key of the piece. It is available in trial and full versions. The trial version is free and will allow you to play the first two tracks on any CD (including burned CDs) in its entirity. It will also play the first few minutes of any tune from iTunes and other tracks on the CD.
I have used this software to slow down a piece that I was practicing on flute and also to slow down songs and change the keys for students. Every student that used the software in lessons, was impressed and wanted a copy to use at home. This was a great way to experiment with lower keys for vocalists without a lot of commitment. Just click the button and you have the recording in a lower key. If you purchase additional software from Roni Music, you can also record the new lower or slower version for your students to take home with them.
For those of you who use the iphone or ipod touch in lessons The Amazing Slow Downer is now available as an iphone or itouch application. Just go to the application area on itunes and look up Amazing Slow Downer. It is $14.95 for the application.
The software for regular computers (both Mac and PC) is available for immidiate download from the Roni Music website and costs $49.95.