The iPad is a perfect device for piano training. It is compact, easy to mount near or at the piano, and contains countless apps for practicing and training with scales or chords. So does Piano Scales & Jam Free provide enough features and an intuitive enough design to be useful for someone learning the piano, or is it yet another simple scale trainer like so many others in the App Store? It falls somewhere in between.
Piano Scales & Jam Free is simple at first glance. When you open the app you can choose to either practice scales as outlined in the app or "jam," which allows you to practice on an open keyboard with the keys highlighted. Of course, there are some limitations. To start, there is the size of the keyboard. By providing a full-size keyboard, the app allows only 40 percent of it to be visible at any time. There is a very useful slider at the top that allows you to change which part of the keyboard is visible, but it still limits the chords you can play. Additionally, the menus are not marked and there are few indicators when practicing scales. You still need to know the keys for any given chord. However, the ability to record your playing and share it with others is a very useful feature, and one that other apps don't always provide.
Piano Scales & Jam Free offers enough unique features and a very responsive keyboard that it's worth recommending, but only for intermediate piano students. Beginners will want something more rudimentary with better hands-on teaching tools. For advanced players, a more robust keyboard and composition tool are needed. However, if you fall into the middle range, familiar with the piano but not a master of it, Piano Scales & Jam Free is a solid free app to help you practice your instrument.
From Learn To Master:
Piano app to Learn Scales, Chords and How to Improvise in any key. Learn Scales and Chords by viewing as a reference or playing back. Follow Chord progression suggestions when improvising. Improvise to backing tracks or metronome, record and save. Highly configurable piano - multitouch, glissando, highlighting, note names (standard or solfege, resizable keyboard suitable for all devices and tablets.) . Scales and Chords Games to test knowledge. Advance through levels and an area to check to progress. Best way to learn is to test yourself on a piano Play any notes and the app will recognise the scale or chord you have played. All keys, all scales, modes, chords and root notes available. 1000s available. No in-app purchases.*** Learn Scales and Chords ***Select a scale, mode or chord from the extensive list. These can be viewed as a reference or played along to or repeated.Scales can be played ascending or descending or both.Slow down / speed up the scale.*** Scales and Chords Games ***Select a level, or create your own level by choosing which scales/chords to focus.Test your knowledge by playing it back on the piano.Check your progress and win stars.*** Improvise ***Select a backing track (mp3, wav, MIDI) from your own music collection, or use the metronome.Choose a key and the recommended notes will be highlighted.Follow the suggestions of which chords to play within the key. Record and Save your favorite melody and play back your tune at a later date.*** Recognition ***Play some notes and the app recognises which scale or chord you have played.