5 Best Tablets for Musicians

Are you tired of dragging your massive laptop around? Do you want to leave your paper sheet music at home? Consider some of the best tablets for musicians.

These tablets can help you read, listen to, and make music anywhere. That way, you can lighten your load without sacrificing your ability to play.

Keep reading to learn more.

5 Best Tablets for Musicians

Whether you’re a classical pianist or a rock guitarist, a good tablet can do wonders. You don’t have to worry about carrying around a massive laptop or a ton of printed sheet music.

Here are some of the best tablets for musicians.

1. Apple iPad Pro

The Apple iPad Pro comes in 12.9 inches or 11 inches, and both models are perfect for musicians. You can use popular apps such as GarageBand to compose, record, and edit your music on the go.

Both iPad Pro models also support sheet music reading apps such as forScore and IMSLP. That way, you can download and read sheet music without needing a printer. And if you want to compose music using notation, apps like Symphony Pro 6 let you do that.

If you want a larger screen, you may want to go for the 12.9-inch version. However, the 11-inch version is also useful, and it’s better for travel. Either model is a great choice for anyone who uses a Mac because you can sync the devices and move music projects back and forth.

Pros

  • Multiple sizes
  • Works with other Apple products
  • Suitable for composing, recording, and performing
  • Plenty of storage

Cons

  • Somewhat expensive
  • Not for Windows users

2. iPad Air

If you don’t need something as powerful, you may prefer the iPad Air. This tablet is 10.9 inches, so it’s a bit smaller than the small iPad Pro. However, it’s much more affordable, so it’s a great entry-level model for people who’ve never used a tablet for music.

You can use it with all of the same apps as the iPad Pro, which is super nice. This model features fantastic speakers, so you can listen back to your recordings. Like the Pro, the iPad Air also syncs with your iPhone and Mac so that you can work on projects on multiple devices.

It works well with the Apple Pencil, which is great for reading sheet music. You can annotate your files to add accidentals and other marks to help you remember them. While there isn’t as much storage as on a Pro, it’s a great choice for many musicians.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Syncs with other devices
  • Great speakers
  • Works with the Apple Pencil
  • Somewhat more portable

Cons

  • Low storage
  • Not the most powerful

3. Surface Pro

The Surface Pro is an excellent tablet for musicians who prefer Windows. This tablet works like a desktop and a tablet, so it’s convenient if you don’t want to use multiple devices. It’s very fast, so you can move from app to app without a ton of lag time.

While it doesn’t support Apple apps, you can use Windows alternatives. You can use programs like Audacity, or you can download paid options such as ProTools. It has a 12.3-inch screen, so it’s not too big, but it’s big enough to do a lot of tasks.

If you want to read sheet music, you can turn the tablet on its side and use an app like MobileSheets. You can also compose music with apps like MuseScore or Finale. Plus, you can use this tablet as your main laptop.

Pros

  • Suitable for Windows users
  • Works as a tablet and laptop
  • Decent size
  • Somewhat affordable
  • Fast

Cons

  • Doesn’t support Apple apps

4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

Android users may want to try the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7. It’s an 11-inch tablet, and you can turn it into a laptop with an external keyboard and some special software. That means you get to use the tablet for things like reading music or listening to recordings.

If you want to compose or edit music, you can use the keyboard for more precision. This tablet even comes with a pen to use as a stylus, so you can get precise on the screen. You can choose from different amounts of storage so that you have room for all of your projects.

Use apps like Songbook or Musicnotes to read sheet music on your device. If you need to edit or compose, you can use apps like BandLab or Maestro – Music Composer. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is relatively affordable, so it’s nice for musicians on a budget.

Pros

  • Good size
  • Works with Android apps
  • Desktop mode
  • Comes with a stylus
  • Not too expensive

Cons

  • Not a ton of music apps available

5. Fire HD 10

If you’re on a super tight budget, the Fire HD 10 might be your best bet. You can use the 10-inch tablet to listen to music and get ideas for your next recording. It also supports popular apps, such as Instagram through the Amazon app store.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with as many apps as other operating systems. But it’s a nice option if you want something simple to use on the go. You can send yourself PDFs to download so that you can read music on the screen.

However, you won’t find a ton of options for recording or composing music. Still, this can be an excellent tablet for use in music lessons or when learning on your own. You don’t need a ton of apps to learn the basics of how music works.

Pros

  • Very cheap
  • Not too small
  • Can listen to music
  • Good for non-musical uses
  • Supports many popular apps

Cons

  • Not for serious projects
  • Pretty basic

How To Choose the Best Tablet for Your Music

When comparing the best tablets for musicians, you should consider your situation. The iPad lineup is probably the most popular, but it’s not the best for everyone.

Here are a few factors to help you choose which tablet is best for you.

How You’ll Use It

First, you need to decide if you want to use a tablet to listen to music, read sheet music, compose, or record. Tablets like the Fire HD 10 are great for listening and reading, but they aren’t the best for making music.

On the other hand, the iPad Pros and Air can support a lot of composing and recording projects. The Surface and Samsung tablets also offer a lot of apps and features.

Operating System

When choosing any device, you may prefer one operating system over another. Mac users will take to the iPads the best, while Windows users may want to get the Surface Pro. You should also think about the apps you want to use and if the operating system supports them.

Size

If you want to take your tablet with you, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro might be too big. So think about the smaller tablets so that you have room in your bag for your gear.

However, a larger tablet may be better if you want to read music. Smaller screens can get annoying after a while, so a larger tablet may keep you from having to strain to read the notes.

Which Tablet Will You Choose?

The best tablets for musicians all let you do something with music. Some offer more features than others, though, so consider how much music you want to create on your tablet. Then, you’ll be able to select the best model for your needs.

Website | + posts

Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.