Today we shine the app spotlight on music with two free apps for those who are just beginning to learn how to read music, and one premium app for the more experienced student or even professional musician.
Treble Cat (5/5 stars, all ages, currently FREE)
Treble Cat is a highly entertaining game designed to help kids and adults learn how to quickly identify notes in the treble clef. This will help to effortlessly improve sight reading skills.
This game has been designed and created in collaboration with professional musicians and educators.
– Highly entertaining with great soundtrack.
– For kids and adults.
Bass Cat (4/5 stars, all ages, currently FREE)
Same concept as Treble Cat, from the same developer, but focusing on the bass clef.
iReal b (4.5/5 stars, all ages, currently priced at $10.99) – This app is like an all-in-one musician’s toolbox. From Amazon:
A PROFESSIONAL TOOL FOR MUSICIANS AND MUSIC STUDENTS OF ALL LEVELS.
> It’s a Book:
Create, edit, print*, share and collect chord charts of your favorite songs for reference while practicing or performing.
*Note that printing functionality is not natively supported on the Kindle Fire or Fire HD; however, those with Hewlett-Packard printers can use the FREE HP ePrint Home & Biz app to wirelessly connect their first-generation Fire or Fire HD 8.9″ model to that printer.
Another print option for ALL Fire owners is PDF Converter Pro, a $1.99 app (price as of this writing) that can convert various file formats to and from PDF format. Once you’ve created a pdf, you can use the FREE Dropbox, SugarSync or similar cloud storage/transfer app (you must first set up a free Dropbox.com or Sugarsync.com account, first 2 – 5GB of storage is free) to wirelessly transfer the PDF to a computer and print from there.
> It’s a Band:
Practice with a realistic sounding piano (or guitar), bass and drum accompaniments for any downloaded or user-created chord chart.
– 14 Jazz play along styles: Ballad Swing, Ballad Even, Slow Swing, Medium Swing, Medium Up Swing, Up Tempo Swing, Double Time Swing, Bossa Nova, Even 8ths, Latin, Latin/Swing, Afro 12/8, Gypsy Jazz, Practice.
– 8 Latin play along style: Brazil-Bossa Electric, Brazil-Bossa Acoustic, Brazil-Samba, Cuba-Son Montuno 2-3, Cuba-Son Montuno 3-2, Cuba-Cha Cha Cha, Cuba-Bolero, Argentina-Tango.
– 12 Pop play along styles: Rock, Slow Rock, 12/8 Rock, Funk, Soul, RnB, Smooth, Disco, Reggae, Shuffle, Country, Bluegrass.
– Transpose any chart to any key or to number system notation (Nashville system).
– Includes 50 exercises for practicing common chord progressions.
– 1000s of songs can be imported from the forums in a few simple steps.
– Edit existing songs or create your own with the Editor.
– The Player will play any song that you edit or create.
– Easily share individual charts or whole playlists with other iReal b users via email and the forums.
– Advanced practice settings (automatic tempo increase, automatic key transposition).
– Global Eb, Bb, F and G transposition for horn players or global setting for number system notation (Nashville system).
– Create multiple editable playlists.
– Export songs as JPEG, Audio (WAV), MIDI and MusicXML.
Amazon reviewers say:
“This app is great. For the Gen-X’ers who started playing jazz in the 90’s and maybe even had a few practice tools on their old DOS/Windows PC’s, it reminds me of a touch-screen/on-the-go combination of Band-in-a-Box and Encore. I was able to easily create playlists of all of the tunes in the set list, in the keys that the vocalist had selected, and using the global transposition function to convert all of the charts from C to Bb (for tenor sax, trumpet, etc.).”
“This is a fantastic app. I’ve had it on my iPhone for a while. Today, I purchased it for my Kindle Fire. there were no songs loaded, just exercises, so I was a little panicked. But, I went to forum – under “Settings” – and was able to instantly download them. VERY EASY! This app is great for looking up changes or if someone calls a tune that you don’t know. It can be great for ear-training also.”
“I’m a working pro and I use this app all the time. Works great, lots of options, lots of flexibility.”