Scales are elementary to all musicianship. They provide flavor and harmonic structure, but are at the same time fairly complex. ScaleMaster is designed to help in several key areas concerning scales. It lists over 100 scale types in all keys and shows them in music notation. There are four different clefs available (treble, bass, alto and tenor). Additionally scale degrees are shown qualified by the interval to the root. To help visualization there are five virtual instruments (banjo, bass, guitar, mandolin and piano). These virtual instruments feature overlays that can show scale degrees or position of a note in the current scale and can be shifted to all available positions. All stringed instruments (banjo, bass, guitar and mandolin) fully support left-handed display, support many standard and open tunings as well as varying string sets (4, 5, 6 string bass and 4 or 5 string mandolin).
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- 211 scale types
- 4 different scale views (up, down or 2 combinations)
- Virtual banjo, bass, guitar, mandolin and piano instruments
- Alto, bass, tenor and treble clefs
- Adjustable positions for all instruments
- Adjustable tuning for all string instruments
- Fully supports landscape and portrait orientations
- Lockable interface
- Semitone indicators
- Scale rating
- Scale type indicator (i.e. pentatonic)
- Support for left-handed players
- Chord/scale matching
- Displays note names, scale index or degree
- Adjustable playback directions (up, down, up-down, down-up)
- High quality banjo, bass, guitar, mandolin and piano samples
- MIDI support
- Support for sound libraries
- Global transposition for horn players
- Presets for common banjo, bass, guitar, mandolin tunings
- Support for 4 and 5 string banjo
- Support for 4, 5 and 6 string bass
- Hi-res graphics for Retina®
- Supports 4 inch screen size (iPhone 5)
- Academic discounts available
- Localized into Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish
To switch to a different scale, just tap the "Scale" button in the toolbar, then pick a scale from the scale picker. The list is alphabetical and you can select a root in the left hand column of the picker. To play a scale directly from the scale picker just tap the speaker icon. The notation display is automatically updated with each new selection you make which indicates the label in the top left corner specifying the class a scale belongs to (i.e. pentatonic). Here you can also assign a rating for a scale to keep track of your favorites. Light text coloring as well as the scale type indicator help easily distinguishing between different types (i.e. hexatonic, heptatonic).
All instruments can be shifted into different positions by using the arrow buttons in the middle of the screen. For stringed instruments a roman numeral appears in the left corner of the instrument to indicate the current position as well as fret indicators on the neck.
ScaleMaster has a facility to match chords with scales. This topic arises when practicing a solo over changes for example. To start just tap the chord matcher icon and then select the chord inquestion in the left picker column. The second column will then automatically present a choice of scales that match the chord in question. The notation view presents chord tones in red. When tapping the play button ScaleMaster will play the scale first and then the chord.
All stringed instruments (banjo, bass, guitar and mandolin) have a tunings window. All common standard and open tunings for the specific instrument are available from the tunings picker at the top of the window. Using any of the slider will override the current tuning and generate a custom tuning. Strings can be tuned by 7 semitones higher or lower than the standard tuning. The tuning picker also selects alternate sets of strings for a given instrument. The bass instrument for example supports 4, 5 and 6 string variants and the banjo instrument is availabe in 4 and 5 string versions.
Typical use of ScaleMaster includes o fair amount of work with the virtual instruments (banjo, bass, guitar, mandolin and piano). For a larger playing area ScaleMaster supports landscape orientation. Turning the iPhone on the side automatically adjusts the app's notation view into single line mode, but maintains any setting in portrait mode. With the exception of the scale direction switch, all dialogs like scale picker, chord matcher or settings view are also available in landscape mode.
Locking the Interface
To lock all controls on the screen with exception of the virtual instruments you can use the lock button located in the top right corner of the title bar. When locked all buttons will appear grayedout, but any of the virtual instruments will function normally.
You can play notes with the instrument selected in the lower part of the screen by tapping on the keys or frets of the instrument. To play the entire current scale, tap the button with the eighth note in the toolbar. Tapping a note will also play it. For a larger instrument interface you can turn the device to a horizontal position. Also, don't forget the lock button in the top right corner.
To get to Settings, just tap the Settings button on the button bar at the bottom of your screen. Here you select instrument, clef, handedness (left hand setting applies to all stringed instruments) and the preferred style of chord notation. You can also reset all scale ratings and adjust the global transposition. When transposing into Bb, Eb or the according letter is shown in the very top, left corner of the application.
Designed for the beginning musician as well as the professional, ScaleMaster is an excellent tool towards advancement in theory and scales in particular, making it easy to look up a scale in seconds, getting a taste of the flavor of a particular scale by listening to it, or finding out how to play it on one's instrument.