Monday, July 13, 2009

Music theory iPhone app reviews

If you're like myself and find yourself with time to use your iPhone
or iPod touch (ex. commuting), I find it beneficial to have some
music theory apps to keep yourself training when you're away from your
computer or instrument. I've come across some free and cheap apps that
I either use often or regret buying, so here's a look at some of them:

Key Signature by Jason Neufeld

This little app is simple and all you need to test yourself on key
signatures. Best of all, it's free! You start by choosing whether you
want to test yourself on major, minor, or both keys. You can also
focus on sharps, flats, or both. It also times you and keeps track of

your mistakes so you can see what you're good or bad at. I don't
really care for the timing thing. I just think that knowing key
signatures can help in so many ways. For example, if I know that F
major has one flat in it (Bb), I can then easily construct all the
diatonic chords from there (F major, G minor, A minor, etc...) as long
as I know my C major scale in thirds (a little tangent here but useful).

Neufeld has a paid guitar train
ing app also but I've yet to check that


This is a neat little application I paid 99 cents for. It's a great
reference to have at your side (like when you want to double check the
formula for the 6th mode of the melodic minor scale). It's divided up
into four sections: scales, chords, harmonizations, and notes. It will
give you the notes to every chord or scale you could ever imagine. Or,
start from any note and get all of the arpeggios, scales, and chords
from that note. The downside: some faults on notation. I was a little
confused at first when I saw the way he wrote a dominant seventh
chord. I still think it's a good tool to have at your side for any
instrument, as long as you don't mind some notational differences here and there.


I've never wanted my 99 cents back so fast until I got this app. I
just wanted a simple way to practice my sight reading abilities in
treble and bass clef. So from the pics the app looks okay. But why,
why the hell would you make a simple app like this that DISABLES your
music playing just to use it?! Absolutely crazy if you ask me. I don't
have perfect pitch so I'm not concerned with the sound of a G thank
you. After I got past this, I gave it a shot with my headphones in and
was mistified by the horrific choice of sound when you hit a wrong
note. So bad that now I can't even use it. I'll be on the lookout for
another app just like this as long as it doesn't punish me from the start.


Ok this one I really like and I think it has huge potential to be the
best music theory app out there. At the moment, it's really basic and
just has basic interval, scale, and major chord theory. Like really
basic. And so is the interface. It looks as if you are picking songs
to listen to, but he divides topics up into Theory and Practice. The
theory articles are good and make for good review I guess, but the
practice sections are phenomenal. You get to practice by entering
major chords and scales note by note. Practice the circle of fifths/
fourths. What's the diatonic fourth chord of F# major? Only has major
scales and chords at the moment, but imagine when other modal scales
are added and the quizzes can test you on practically everything? Pure
gold. And at 99 cents with free future updates, you're nuts not to get
this before the price goes up. Hell I would pay ten bucks for this

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