Musicians will always find themselves in a position where they question whether they hear the right pitch, chord or other element in a piece of music properly. After all, it’s not as though you can ask another musician to see whether they can hear the same thing.
Not only could their hearing be out, but there’s no way you can guarantee that you hear the same thing. This is where technology comes into play. Instead of relying on yourself or other people, there are plenty of apps out there that can help you to train and perfect your hearing.
Whether you’re a beginner who’s just starting out or an experienced musician who’s planning to retrain their ears or improve their listening skills, there are plenty of apps out there that can help you achieve pitch perfection.
Today, we’re going to explore three of them. These apps have been chosen for their ear-training ability, their ease of use, the features they include, the price, and the overall experience you’ll get from each. So, let’s jump straight into it and see what we’ve got!
What is an Ear Training App?
Just to make sure that we’re all up to date and on the same page, an ear training app is a complete application that can be downloaded and installed onto your iOS or Android device.
Once installed, you’ll be able to access a range of features that are used to help you train your ears from scratch, or to refresh your previous knowledge when it comes to listening.
Some of the main elements of music that are included with these apps are chords, intervals, scales, and melodies.
Once you’ve finished learning and training, you’ll be able to know all of the above without aids accurately and simply use your ears, which provides a huge range of obvious benefits to a musician of any skill level.
#1 – EarBeater
Our favorite pick for the best ear-training apps out there has to go to EarBeater. This iconic and world-renowned trainer is designed to help you become a better musician all around, and despite being released back in 2013, it has managed to retain its 4+ App Store rating.
What really sets this tool apart from the rest is the fact that it comes with over 200 unique and individual exercises built into the app. All elements of music production are covered, ranging from intervals and chords to individual notes and scales.
What’s more, you can even create your own custom exercises, depending on what you want to learn and test yourself on. This is the perfect feature if you’re looking for ways to test what you’ve just learned, or figuring out what you currently know, and then what you ultimately need to learn.
Just to clarify, some of the integrated training categories include;
• Interval size comparison
• Chord recognition and inversions
• Scale recognition
• Interval recognition
With EarBeater, you’ll be able to continuously and regularly train your ear, perhaps even for many years or even decades to come, ensuring that you’ll be able to become the best musician you can be.
This particular training app is compatible with both iPhones and iPad devices, but it’s worth noting that it isn’t currently available on Android devices. With a clean, simple and crisp layout and interface that requires a next-to-no learning curve and an incredibly simple method of use, what more could you ask for in your ear trainer?
#2 – GoodEar Pro
Following EarBeater, GoodEar Pro is another affordable yet highly functional ear training app that can help you train your ear to pick out notes and musical sounds perfectly, ensuring that you’re the best musician you can be.
This app is compatible with all iOS devices, including both iPads and iPhones, although it isn’t currently available on Android devices. Ideally, this app is designed with beginners in mind since you’ll start your learning journey from the beginning with the basics and then working your way up the ranks.
However, even if you’re a highly experienced and professional musician, you can still use the app to retrain your ears and to make sure that they are working and listening to sounds accurately, no matter if you’re working with instruments, vocals, or any kinds of sound.
So, the main feature you’ll have access to here is the ability to choose from a range of different musical elements. These include intervals, chords, scales, and melodies. Let’s break these sections down;
Within this section, you’ll be able to choose between two octaves and then activate what is known as a ‘backing chord,’ where you’ll then be able to train your ear to listen to the interval in between this area. You’ll also play these ascending, descending or at the same time.
When it comes to chords, you’ll have access to all possible triads and inversions, as well as all 4-note chords, meaning you’ll have the ability to explore all possibilities so you can train for all possibilities. There are even 20 unique and exclusive extended and altered chords to choose from, ensuring the full range is covered.
There are then 30 different scales to explore, including all the Ionian scales, the harmonic and melodic minors, five pentatonic, hexatonic and octatonic scales and the ability to play all of them in an ascending or descending fashion.
Finally, you’ll be able to learn from randomly generated melodies, which can be made diatonic or non-diatonic, depending on what you’re after. You can even choose the intervals you want to be included for an extra training element.
In addition to all these amazing features, you’ll also find this app gives you the ability to create your own melodies and exercises which is completely customizable depending on what you want to achieve and test yourself on. That means there are no irritating and restrictive wizard programs or processes to be found here.
There are multiple testing and answer formats to choose from, ranging from playing the answers on the integrated keyboard/piano, or by applying multiple choice answers. You can track your progress and scores using the built-in statistics, and even set high-score functions to challenge yourself.
All in all, this is one of the most complete and feature-rich ear training apps on the market. Since the software has been developed by professionals in the music industry and musicians themselves, you know that this is an app that’s built specially for what you’re looking for.
#3 – MyEarTraining – Ear Training for Musicians
While the other two leading apps are easily the best apps for training a musician’s ear, they are both specifically for iOS devices, so we’ll finish off with this app for Android tablets and smartphones.
While this app is free to download and install, some of the leading features will require a premium purchase.
As with the other apps on this list, this one will allow you to test and train yourself when it comes to both melodic and harmonic intervals (which can be ascending or descending) all the way up to the 15th double octave.
You’ll also be able to listen to your chords, including in the extended chords and a range of customizable extended chords. There is, of course, your scales as well, including the following;
• Harmonic major
• Natural, harmonic & melodic minor
• Neapolitan & pentatonic scales
• All scales with all their modes
In addition to all these features, you’ll find all the chords that exist, including inversions and progressions, an extensive range of solfege exercises and rhythm classes to help you keep rhythm. Phew, that’s a lot of features.
All in all, there’s around 90+ exercises that you can pick up and complete at your own leisure to help you train your musician’s ear, and there’s even an interactive musician’s textbook which you can read through for a detailed analysis and guide on how to train your ear most effective, and a detailed insight and information into the method and training techniques.
To help you make sure that you’re tracking your progress, this app features some of the richest statistically and reporting features out there, including a record of all the exercises you partake in, your results, and how well you’re improving over time. This ability to track your improvements means you’ll be far more motivated to be the best musician you can be.
Finally, with the ability to create your own custom exercises depending on what you want to learn and practice, accurate pitch detection technology and a professional, highly responsive keyboard integrated into the app, this is a complete ear training solution you won’t know what you did without it.
As you can see, when it comes to you as a musician trying to find the best ear training app to help you master your production skill.
When you’re able to tell a certain note, chord, interval or scale by ear, you’ll make your production tasks far easier, and you’ll have a much better ability to make more comprehensive and complete sounds.
Depending on your phone or tablet’s operating system, any of the three training apps we’ve listed above will be ideal for teaching you the necessary skills and information you need to be the best musician you can be.