Best Educational Apps
Brush up on your technique, learn a new instrument, or simply work on your musicality
Better Ears (iOS and Android)
Better Ears for iPad is an educational music and ear training program, which helps you grow your musical skills. There are ten different exercises included, starting from interval recognition all the way to chord progressions.
You can choose from a range of exercises performed by up to six different instruments. It comes with a virtual keyboard and fretboard so you can enter notes yourself, and has four skill levels from beginner through to professional.
There’s support for building your own courses and syncing between devices amongst other things. Music theory is often overlooked but it can really help you to get a better understanding of how music works.
Web App Store Price £10.49
Songsterr Tabs and Chords (iOS and Android)
Songsterr for iOS and Android is a tab player with instant access to realistic playback of 90,000 songs (500,000 tab tracks) from Songsterr.com. You can search tabs by keyword or browse by tags and popularity, and it supports guitar, bass and drums.
There’s alternative Chord view, half-speed playback, a realistic guitar engine and tabs for multiple instruments, as well as looping, solo, offline mode and syncing. There’s a tuner and background audio support so you can play along using a compatible effect app. Happily it’s also all legit so when you access a tab the original composer will get a small royalty payment.
Web www.songsterr.com Price App free; subscription is £2.99 per month
Steinway and Sons Etude 2.0 (iOS and Android)
This app for iPad lets you find a song from the in-app music store, download it, and see keys to press at each moment. You can slow it down and even practice each hand separately. There’s a built-in MIDI synth, onscreen keyboard, and sheet music or piano roll views.
Web www.etudeapp.com Price Free; buy songs for £1.99 each
Guitar Jam Tracks: Scale Trainer & Practice Buddy (iOS and Android)
This app for iOS and Android lets you learn guitar scales and solo to five great-sounding jam tracks right from your device, adding more styles and scales with the in-app store.
The easy-to-read scale charts show you exactly where to put your fingers to start sounding like a pro. Several keys and scales are included as well as styles such as acoustic blues, jazz and modern rock.
Simply pick a key to start playing the track, then tap Chords to see what chords are being played, or tap Scales to see the scale charts for that key. Practice is one of the hardest things to motivate yourself to do but it’s an essential part of improving, and this app can really help.
Web www.ninebuzz.com Price £1.49 (offers in-app purchases)
Mahalo Learn Piano HD (iOS and Android)
This app, with content from piano tutor Peter Darling, shows you everything from hand exercises through basic playing skills and much more.
The app itself is small, but you can download videos through it to greatly expand the range of lessons you have access to.
Web www.mahalo.com Price £1.49