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Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer review – Great app for practicing rhythm

And now for something completely different...

Here at iOS MARS, we usually review music-making apps. Be it synths, sequencers, drum machines, or guitar sims, most of our reviews feature apps that help in creating a song. But Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer by Rolfs Apps does none of that. No Audiobus, no IAA, no Audio Copy. What it is is a tool to help you improve your rhythm.


Over on the iPad Musician Facebook page awhile back, someone asked the question about whether we practice our instrument (iPad), or just play. The consensus answer was that we do not spend much time improving our musical skills, but rather use our time composing new tracks (or buying new apps!).

This got me to thinking about my early years, when I was just starting out on guitar. In college, I would spend at least an hour a day, tucked away in my room practicing. And it helped me become a better guitarist. But I don't ever "practice" playing the keys on my iPad synths.

Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer is designed specifically to work on timing. You are presented with a line of notes, in varying time signatures and rhythms, and you are scored on how accurately you can tap out the rhythm in time.

With over 100 fixed exercises, and countless random exercises, you will get a timing workout. And as the app can push you to improve, you'll want to strive to get your best times. With time signatures ranging from 2/4 to 9/8 and everything in between, you are sure to be challenged. There's 16th notes, syncopation, rests, triplets - the works.

The latency on this app is very low, which is crucial for a timing-based app. Your results are recorded for each tap, and upon completing an exercise (in test mode), your taps are displayed accurately, and color-coded with 5 different colors, to show how early, on time, or late you were with each tap.

What is really surprising is how deep this app is. When you open up the settings, you can see how many customizations there are, and how much control you have over the difficulty levels. You can choose to have two buttons to tap, so you can alternate your taps using both hands. Another great option is the ability to use your device's microphone. With this, instead of tapping the screen, you can clap, snap fingers, or even chug a low-E palm mute on a guitar!

One option that I really liked was the ability to change from simply tapping the note in time to having to hold the note for the duration of the note. This is a great option for students of piano. Speaking of students, this app can also be a great tool for teachers, as there is an option to e-mail exercise scores directly to the teacher after completion.

Two things I learned while reviewing Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer - I really need to work on my timing, and I need to work on my ability to spell the word "rhythm". But seriously, I had a ton of fun with this app. It feels like a game, in that you are challenged to be as perfect as you can, and you'll want to hit each note right on in order to get your best score.

If you are thinking about buying Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer (universal app), please consider clicking through our App Store link below. Thanks!

Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer (AppStore Link) Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer
Developer: Rolf Steenge
Rated: 4+5
Price: $3.99 Download

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