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Sponsored App Review: Sheet Music Trainer

July 21, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

Description: Sheet Music Trainer is an Android app that aims to help musicians getting started with their instrument – or those looking to master another – learn how to read music properly. It’s a mix between a game and an educational program, utilizing the microphone on your Android device to listen to the note you’re playing. You’re told which note to play, which corresponds with the musical note onscreen, and you have a short period of time in order to play that right note. Each time you hit the right note, you’ll progress to the next one. You can select which key you want to play in and most importantly, it supports a wide array of instruments from the likes of the Violin and Harpsichord to the ever-popular Guitar. Take a look at the introduction video below and check out their website for more info.

How it Works: First of all, you’ll need to download Sheet Music Trainer from the Play Store. After that, you’ll need to select your instrument of choice. There’s a good variety to choose from, but here I am going to choose Guitar as I have been learning to play over the last couple of months or so.

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After that, you can go ahead and choose the highest and lowest notes.

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Setting things up continues with the choice of clef, too. As you can see, the developer has put a lot of effort into covering all the bases here and it really shows however, as someone completely new to sheet music I’m not sure which one I should go for really.

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Choosing which note to play is a little more in my wheel house and I went with E.

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When playing the game, you’ll see a note you need to play, with it spelled out plainly by the side of the target in the bottom-right corner. You won’t have too long to hit that note though, so it pays to be quick.

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I’ve had no real previous experience with sheet music, so I kept getting things wrong, but the game doesn’t penalize you too much at all you just need to keep trying.

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When you do get the note right, the display flashes green as oppose to the red I keep on seeing, and you can always go back to the main screen and change your instrument and key to practice further.

Opinion: Over the last few months I’ve been trying to teach myself how to play the Guitar, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and when I was younger I didn’t have the patience for it. When learning to play the Guitar, you spend a lot of time reading tablature, but reading music is something that will help me learn even more songs and help me put together riffs a little more professionally. Sheet Music Trainer has been an interesting experience for me, as I’m not quite at the stage where I can do things instantly on the guitar, but the way the game works is great and while it does feel like I am running drills a little bit, that’s one of the most effective ways to memorize and learn anything. Just like the developer says, after a while of constant practicing with this, reading music will be second nature, and I’m inclined to believe him.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – Sheet Music Trainer runs well, but it would be nice to control the speed of each note for different levels of skill.
  • Features (5/5) – The core mechanic is good, effectively teaching you what’s what as you play note after note, but the inclusion of so many different instruments is a big plus.
  • Theme (4/5) – Easy enough to follow, the game looks good and it’s definitely not difficult to get to grips with.
  • Overall (4/5) – An excellent application that will effectively teach people how to read sheet music quicker than they thought possible, Sheet Music Trainer is a budding musician’s must-have.

Pros

  • Lots of instruments to choose from, great for those that can play more than one.
  • You can choose which notes and key to play as well, further helping you practice your sheet music skills.
  • Not just great for sheet reading, as playing the instrument at the same time is great as bonus practice, too.
  • The gameified way Sheet Music Trainer presents the notes and such will especially appeal to the younger players out there.

Cons

  • Changes to how fast each note goes would be nice for complete beginners.
  • Having to replay a note until you get it right, before moving onto the next one would be a nice touch.

Conclusion: I’m perhaps not the best person to get the most out of Sheet Music Trainer, that would be budding musicians who invest a lot of their time into their passion, their craft or their livelihood. It’s a great app that can not only help people keep on practicing their chords and their notes, but it also lets them learn sheet music and over time it’ll be like second nature to them. An excellent app that has to be tried to see how good it is, this is well worth taking a look at if you want to learn how to read music once and for all, no matter what instrument you play.

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