NEW PHONE APP that plays a melody, and immediately tells you if you play/sing it back correctly

I recently came across a $7 app for your phone (IOS or android) called PITCHBOP, which plays a melody, and then you sing it back (or play it back with your instrument), and the app immediately tells you if you got the pitches and rhythms correct, and then without skipping a beat gives you another melody to try. You can set the app to do very simple 2-3 note melodies with simple, slow rhythms , or melodies with many notes and very complex, fast rhythms.

Here are 2 videos that explain it: the shorter one shows what it can do, and the longer one shows you the different parameters you can set to customize your experience from novice to pro musician.
Pitchbop on Youtube

I just started using the app, but so far it looks ideal for hearing melodies and singing them right back, endlessly.

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Sounds interesting, I’ll take a look.

Just watched Aimee Nolte’s video where she recommends it. Looks like good fun and helpful too. Also noticed you can use your instrument or your voice, so I think it will be useful for me learning my fretboard!

I’ve always loved watching those performances where two guitar players ‘duel’ with each other, repeating and/or embellishing what the other one played. Maybe this app can help get there?

Well I splashed out on the app, and it’s quite good fun. I tried singing, and I’m not sure it will help with Sing the Numbers, it gives you feedback on how accurate your singing is, on pitch and rhythm. So it would be useful if you want to work on your singing, but not if you’re trying to associate the tonal numbers with pitches.

I have found it useful for playing my instrument by ear, simply reproducing a simple sequence from the sounds alone, no music notation or tonal numbers to assist. I found this very hard, so should be good to work on.

Don’t think it will help @Neil_Burnett, the phases are very short, at my level 2 notes, and you’re supposed to repeat each one.

Looks like a well made app! I wonder if this way of practicing helps or not. If you had all the time in the world should one spend it all composing with your voice? Or, would incorporating this app into your routine accelerate your practice? I believe the great majority of our time should be spent composing/improvising with your voice. Im on the fence if ones routine should have a little bit of app/ ear training.

I think I might add it to my routine, thanks for sharing

I bought it too. Nice concept but there is a major problem.
It doesn’t play background music nor does it introduce the key you’re in with a short chord sequence.
So everytime it changes keys, I’m totally lost, since i still hear the melodies in the key I started it in (and not the key it is now picking notes from).

Music is contextual! The note C sounds completely different in the key of C than it does in the key of F, for example. This app totally ignores that.
Makes it pretty impossible to use for me.

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Totally depends on your goals. Do you want to compose music for your voice? Or do you want to learn to translate the music you hear to your instrument in real time?

I am not a big fan of ear training apps in general, but this app does the inital chord sequence thing you describe, and the free version offers already several exercises:

yeah I know that one. That works well, but it shows the first note of the minor scale as note 1 instead of 6 as you would do in IFR. So that’s a bit of a problem too hahah

@Michiel_Koers, I quite like that moment of panic when I have to find the first note! But I agree, music is contextual and it would be a lot more useful with some background sound, like the tonal centre.

Anyone tried this one?

Solo - Fretboard Visualization Tool

I came across Tom Qualye when I was researching Fourths tuning. I liked his ideas on fretboard visualization, just using numbers, however, unlike IFR, his numbers are always relative to the root note of the current chord (not the tonal centre).

I was thinking, this app would be great if it could be configured to use IFR tonal numbers and chord numbers instead of intervals and chord names.

I’m working on translating music I hear to my instrument in real time. But my skepticism towards these apps come from thinking that your ear develops from being rapidly quizzed by non-musical tones. I think your ear develops best by composing melodies using your voice (making sure you are on pitch). I think these apps are more of a test of where your ear is at rather than a tool that will develop it.

I’ve tried apps in the past and never got anywhere with them. I only started noticing major improvements in my ear after improvising with my voice, instrument not in hand. This apps seems so great (I even bought it hah) but I don’t think it is the most effective way to develop my ear and won’t use it.

Having said that this post has made me realize I’m not doing any listening activities. I’ve started just picking a random song every day and transcribing the vocal melodies. I section a tiny part, sing it back on pitch and on time. Then play it on my instrument. I’ll play it a few times and let it sink it, then move on to the next line. Enjoy the line, let it sink into your brain on a deeper level.

Just my opinion on things, could be completely wrong.

Hi Racha, I really like your approach. Seems to be right in the spirit of IFR.

I started this topic because I know some people like to trade melodies back and forth on their instruments (or voice). And this app seemed like it might work if you didn’t have a live partner to do that.

I always have high hopes for apps, but then wind up doing the regular IFR exercises almost all the time instead.

Thanks, I’m sure different things work for different people. All you can do is try everything and see what works best.

I agree @Racha, nothing beats listening to songs/music and trying to playing along, or listening closely and transcribing what you hear. I’ve been doing this with the IFR Spotify playlists and improving my ability to hear pitches, identify tonal numbers, and my chord recognition is getting better too.

I tried the interval drilling apps/tools and while they can give you a snapshot of your current ability, I found they did not help improve my ability to hear intervals in songs, or identify chords.

I also have the IFR jam tracks in playlists which I can play in shuffle mode. I don’t know what track will be played, or what key is will be in. This is a great way to practice.

@hender99, having tried the PitchBop app, I think it’s more suited to a singer. It gives feedback on whether you managed to produce a specific pitch, and if you succeeded in matching a rhythm, and it can get up to some quite complex and challenging sequences. But I’m not at the level with my instrument where I can benefit from this type of practice. I’ll keep trying it every so often so see where I’m at though, as it’s quite good fun.

I’m still looking into Tom Qualye’s app.

Marie-Elaine, forgive my ignorance, but could you point me to where I’d find the IFR Spotify playlists

+1 on that. Very much “on message” for IFR and matching my thoughts too.

Absolutely. I’m sure these work for some people. There are many people, many ways, and many ways to describe & practice those ways!

However, absorption through thoughtful (mindful?) practice with real music (which includes improv, of course) seems to be the way that works best & sticks best for me. Other exercises can be interesting “excursions”, but it’s the IFR approach that seems to be the bedrock. It’s usually more fun too! :smiley:

You can do a search in Spotify for “Improvise for real” and you’ll find the profile. I have been using a couple that were referenced in one of the IFR Youtube videos, one of the ear training videos by Mireia. At the time there were just a couple of list, but now I’ve just had a look, and there are a stack more Public Playlists.

I f you can’t find them, let me know and I’ll post a link.

Link to post on IFR site with video
Link to Spotify list referenced in video

Marie-Elaine, Thanks for the direction