Monthly Archives: May 2012

New Scale Tapper video on YouTube

Mainly just wanting to check out the WordPress/YouTube video embedding support. (Edit: Wow that was simple just drop in the youtu.be URL on its own line.) Here is a new video for the upcoming releasing of Scale Tapper 1.2. The major new change is the Theme selector featuring exciting new themes like Blue, Bamboo, and Pink. The Classic Scale Tapper theme is also available for all you die hard Scale-Tappers.

The new update should drop June 3rd, but meanwhile you can check out @ScaleTapper on Twitter. I will be giving out free promo codes all week leading up to the Sunday update. Do not hesitate to grab a copy of Scale Tapper before the new release because you will automatically receive the free update. For now you can still check out some of the hallmark features of Scale Tapper:

  • Interactive pitch constellations – A pitch constellation lays out your scale or chord and allows you to quickly visualize the relation between tones and semitones. Double tap on a note to transpose any sequence of notes to any key in both sharp and flat modes.
  • Fully-customizable fretboard – Tune your fretboard across 7 octaves and select between 3-12 strings for iPad (up to 6 strings on iPhone). This allows you to create any stringed instrument imaginable; from 3-string balalaika to a 12-string bandurria and everything in between. Let your imagination run free.
  • Predefined scales and chords are built-in. Select from the growing list of scales and chords. Better yet create your own and rock out with your newfound creativity.

Please join forces and let me know what you like about Scale Tapper. This is an app for musicians by musicians and I continue to use all your feedback to make improvements. Send a message on Twitter, leave a comment on the discussion page, and subscribe to the newsletter on the Scale Tapper homepage. And of course be sure to check out http://scaletap.com for the latest web edition of Scale Tapper: Online.

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Exploring Chords and String Instruments | Scale Tapper for iPad

Lately I have been working on scaletap.com, but one interesting capability of Scale Tapper for iOS is as a chord exploration tool.  Let’s take a look at a couple examples of working with chords, and soon you’ll be designing your own chords with custom fingerings that achieve the sound you have been searching for.

Scale Tapper Major Triad in C

Major Triad in Key of C

If we take a look at the C Major Triad we can interpret this chord as consisting of C-E-G. The major triad consists of the root note, and two notes four and seven semitones higher than the root. This is easy to visualize on the pitch constellation, as we can count 4 semitones from C to E and 7 semitones from C to G.

Tapping the guitar icon we can bring up the interactive fretboard. By default the fretboard is tuned to a classic guitar, E-A-D-G-B-E. We can see the classic C Major Triad indicated as well as many other possible fingerings. If you have a guitar available you can try out these alternative fingerings. If not you can play the notes directly one at a time or simultaneously on the fretboard in Scale Tapper.

C Major Triad Fretboard - Basic Guitar Tuning

C Major Triad Fretboard for Basic Guitar

As you can tell Scale Tapper does not limit you to specific fingerings or even specific tunings. Let’s take a look at the same C Major Triad with a drop D guitar tuning. Open Settings by tapping on the wheel icon. Here you can select the Number of Strings, String Tuning, and Number of Frets Per Screen. Let’s tap on the String Tuning button and the tuning wheel will appear. To change from the default guitar tuning to drop D simply tap twice on the -1/2 button. This will drop the tuning two semitones or one full note. When done simply tap the Update button to update the String Tuning and tap the Done button to leave Settings.

Scale Tapper Settings - Drop D Guitar Tuning

Drop D Guitar Tuning in Settings

Now let’s take a look at the fretboard again. As you can see with this tuning you can still play the classic C Major chord this time with a barre or capo on the second fret. You could also play it as you would a D Major chord on the classic E tuning. With Scale Tapper there is no limit to your originality.

C Major Triad - Drop D Tuning

Drop D guitar tuning – C Major Triad

As we have shown Scale Tapper can become any stringed instrument we can imagine. Let’s switch to iPhone mode and take a look at how we could find Ukulele tunings. Scale Tapper is Universal so the same version runs on all your iOS devices. First we will go straight to Settings and select Number of Strings: 4 and tap on the String Tuning button. Let’s tap on Presets and we see that concert/tenor ukulele is an option as G-C-E-A (The famous “Goats Can Eat Anything.”) Tap Update and Done and we’ll bring up the G Minor Triad chord from the list. Simply spin the wheel to change the key of the chord or scale. Then tap the guitar icon and we will see G Minor Triad highlighted along with some possible fingerings for this chord.

Scale Tapper as Ukulele on iPhone

iPhone as a Ukulele with Scale Tapper

So what have we learned? Scale Tapper is an extremely versatile app for learning and experimenting with scales and chords. For any string instrument you can imagine or invent you now have the power to take it to the next level with Scale Tapper. Scale Tapper is Available on the App Store as a Universal binary for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Rise above simply memorizing chords and scales and let your creativity guide you to a new dimension of music.

Exploring Scales and Music Theory | Scale Tapper for iPad

What is a scale? A musical scale is a series of notes usually presented in ascending or descending order. Most songs utilize notes from one scale or another to create harmony or disharmony depending on the mood of the piece. Using the iPad is a great way to learn scales. With Scale Tapper learning musical scales becomes interactive.

Scale Tapper for iPad (also for iPhone and iPod Touch) allows you to peak inside the scales themselves to explore how they function. You can even use it to invent your own sequences and harmonies.

Scale Tapper Main Screen

Scale Tapper for iPad

On the main iPad interface the sidebar displays the included scales and chords as well as your favorites and personal creations. There are many included examples such as Major, Minor, and Pentatonic. To create your own scale tap on the “+” button. This will clone the current scale (or create a new one) and allow you to edit and name your new scale. Tap on the heart and the current scale will be added to your favorites. One cool feature is the double-tap to transpose.

Scale Tapper Transposition

Transposing with Scale Tapper

Included are some famous modes such as Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian. With the double-tap to transpose feature of Scale Tapper we can arrive at these modes and others by simple transposition. For example if we double-tap on the D note of the C Ionian we arrive at the D Dorian mode. Many scales are interrelated and we can arrive at them through transposition. As an exercise which mode do you get if you double-tap the D note of the C Dorian?

A great way to explore the scales is with a musical instrument. What’s great about Scale Tapper is that it becomes any stringed instrument you can imagine. Whether you study bass, mandolin, ukelele, guitar, or any exotic/obscure instrument, Scale Tapper will accommodate you. You can even invent your own instrument with whatever tuning you can imagine.

Scale Tapper Fretboard

Customize your own string instrument.

Once you have the scale ready that you want to explore tap on the guitar icon on the toolbar. This will bring up the fretboard. By default it is tuned as a classic 6-string guitar. With the settings wheel you can tune this to whichever instrument you like. The iPad supports between 3 and 12 strings, while the iPhone supports up the 6 strings. You can even customize how many notes per screen and which octave the scale will play at. By pressing the play button you can play back your scale. Pressing the × button during playback allows you to stop the scale. The “Asc/Desc” button allows you to change the direction of the scale. You can also play on the fretboard directly. The fretboard will light up to show you which notes are contained in the current scale and key.

Learning music? Studying scales and chords? Playing a string instrument? Or do you simply want to jam out and have some fun? Whatever your musical background or experience level Scale Tapper can benefit you. It is a complete music theory workshop for your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. Available on the App Store.