electric guitars

A Hands On Review of Rock Prodigy
Reviewer Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

What does a full time music education teacher think of Rock Prodigy? Can it really teach you to play the guitar? Absolutely!

Apps that try to teach you to play an instrument seem to be a dime a dozen these days.  Most of them tend to be rather thinly written and difficult to follow, or at the very least fail to teach all of the necessary skills, opting instead to gloss over things and provide the bare minimum required to teach the skills.  A few apps in the guitar category do it right though, and Rock Prodigy by The Way of H, Inc. is one that seems to be off on the right foot.  I admit to being the world's worst guitar player, and although I can play almost every instrument there is, strings have always stymied me.  Did Rock Prodigy manage to teach me how to play the guitar?  Read on to find out.


Finale-SongBook-ScreenShotRecently MakeMusic released its new SongBook music reader app for the iPad.  The app has been expected for many months now, ever since it was first announced back in January of 2012.  Back then I wrote that I was looking forward to seeing the finale format music notation app, now known to be called SongBook, and recently was able to put it through its paces.  My first impression, good but still lacking in a few key areas. Read on to find out more.

AtPlayMusic Recorder AppI've looked at quite a few Recorder training apps in the last few months.  All have promised to easily teach a person to play the recorder with a minimum of effort.  I've been sadly dissapointed with most of them but today I had the chance to look at the AtPlayMusic Recorder app.  For once I actually enjoyed playing through the app and I was impressed with how they progressed through the instruction.  Read on to find out what I liked and why this could spell the beginning of some very good future offerings from the same company.

Tenuto Music Theory Training App for iPadTenuto is a very well done offline music theory training tool for the iPad. Based on the very popular browser based apps on MusicTheory.net, Ricci Adams has ported these online versions to the iPad, making them much more easily used in small group and classroom lesson settings.

Theory Lessons iPad AppBased on the content Adam’s originally wrote for his musictheory.net web site the Theory Lessons iPad app offers a handy reference for use in a classroom music setting. Each of the thirty nine lessons offers a textual and graphical explanation of various concepts of music theory. The lessons themselves are grouped into categories beginning with The Basics and moving on to sequenced instruction on concepts such as Rhythm and Meter, Scales and Key Signatures, Intervals, Chords, Diatonic Chords, Chord Progressions, and Neopolitan Chords.


SheetMuse IconSheetMuse is a handy little free sheet music storage app, but people that have large collections of scores or require the ability to write notes in the music should probably look elsewhere.  Read on for the full review.





Sound Production For SaxophoneSaxophone master Walter Beasley has released a pair of iPhone apps dedicated to his chosen instrument.  These instructional video apps contain over 80 minutes of video instruction on the saxophone taught by Beasley and feature short clips of him demonstrating the various concepts and techniques.  The first of the two apps titled Sound Production For Saxophone deals with concepts ranging from basic embouchure to diaphragmatic breathing and basic practice tips. 

The second app, titled Circular Breathing, deals with exactly that, and is described in detail in about thirty minutes worth of videos.  All aspects of learning and developing circular breathing are presented and are done with the help of visual demonstrations showing how the process really works.  

As an educational tool the videos are quite informative and present their points well.  Any novice saxophone student would most likely benefit from viewing the Sound Production videos while more advanced students or those interested in playing around with circular breathing would benefit from the latter.

It used to be that a person would carry around multiple devices to practice their instrument or to teach a music class. Things like a metronome, a digital audio recorder, a tuner, etc. are all essential parts of a musicians arsenal. With the introduction of the iPhone and iPad you can get rid of all of those individual devices but yet many people still wind up buying a different app for each of those independent needs. Enter APS MusicMaster Pro, an iPad app that combines everything you need into one multi-purpose application. The brainchild of Joeseph Pisano of Grove City College, APS MusicMaster Pro combines not just the three devices mentioned previously but a total of ten different useful music education tools.

Musicopolous is an iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad app that is intended to help the user practice music theory skills, mostly related to building scales, intervals, and chords as well as sight reading skills such as identifying the names of key signatures and note names when shown on the grand staff.  For this review the app was tested on an iPhone 4.  How did it measure up to the competition?  Read on to find out.

forScore App for iPadThe idea of being able to have all of your sheet music with you at all times, instantly accessible and indexed is a wonderful thought for many musicians.  In past years commercial products have been produced to provide us with that capability but for the most part they have remained out of reach of most individuals either for financial or logistical reasons.  With the explosive growth of the iPad though musicians are getting a second shot at going totally digital with their sheet music in the form of a $5 app called forScore.  

Trumpet Pro Home ScreenMusic education related iPhone apps that are actually useful seem to be rather few and far between.  When I was informed of the Trumpet Pro apps now available for both iPhone and iPad I was a little skeptical, having seen other fingering training apps that failed to live up to my expectations. When I saw the pricing associated with these two apps I became a bit more skeptical but decided to give them a try anyway and see if they were truly worth the investment.

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