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Piano Wiz – A new app to help with scales and chords

Piano Wiz is the first app from developer Henrik Larsson, and focuses on assisting with chord and scale look-ups. This app is a great learning tool, and a nice mobile utility app for when you need to know that chord on the go. There's also some nice features for ear training here as well.

If you're like me, you may not be an expert in musical theory. Admittedly, I've got about three scales memorized. And if you asked me to list the available chords in a certain scale, you would get rewarded with a blank stare. This is where Piano Wiz can help.

There are several different modes in Piano Wiz. When you first load the app, you'll be greeted with the Chord & Scales page. Here is where you can select from a big range of keys and scales, and see these represented on the virtual keyboard shown right below. Black dots on the virtual keyboard show you the correct notes in your chosen scale. Double-tapping on the keyboard will also play back the scale for you to hear. You can also choose to see and hear the 1st and 2nd inversions as well.

The lower half of the screen concentrates on the chords. Here you select any chord, and this will be represented in green on the same keyboard. The great thing here is when you toggle on the "Only Chords in Current Scale" option. Now, if you've chose "E minor Blues" scale, you'll only see chords that fit within that scale. Really nice for finding new chords for old scales. As with the scales, a single-tap on the keyboard will play back the chord for you to hear.

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Another mode in Piano Wiz is the option to create your own User Songs. You can select chords for your song, and then save these in a chord progression. You can then play these chords, at your chosen BPM, and then practice playing them back (I'll discuss this in the next paragraph). It's a nice way to create some basic chord progressions for your track while on the run.

The next section is the Practice section. This is somewhat similar to the classic Guitar Hero games, in which a chord will descend downward, and you'll need to play the chord on your piano. From what I can tell, this mode can only be used with an actual piano or keyboard. There doesn't seem to be any kind of tracking or "scoring" of accuracy, so you'll just be practicing on your own. In Practice mode. You can either choose to have random chords from a scale, or from the User Songs that you may have already created. So you can see how this ties in nicely with creating progressions in the User Songs mode, and then actually playing them in the Practice mode.

The last section is one that I really enjoyed, the Chord Quiz. In this section, a chord will be audibly played and the corresponding keys on the virtual keyboard, and you are given four multiple choice options to name that chord. I found this really helpful to train my ear for the different chord types. I actually started recognizing the sound of sus2 chords for example, much to my surprise. This was really good training, and I can definitely see myself coming back to this for a refresher.

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The sections I've mentioned above are for when your iDevice (the app is Universal) is in the Portrait mode. Flip it to Landscape, and you find the final feature of the app. Here you are presented with a virtual keyboard, and you can enter notes to learn what scale or chords those notes would be in. This is something I find myself constantly doing a Google search for a site to help me with this, so having this right on my iPhone is a nice time saver.

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Piano Wiz is definitely in the "utility app" category. Part educational tool, part ear trainer, and part practice app, this app fills a lot of needs. In my mind, it's one of those apps you maybe didn't think you need, but you'll be glad that you have it. To be sure, most of the things that Piano Wiz can do can be found on websites on the Internet. But to have it all together in one handy app seems more than worth the $0.99 that buying the app will set you back.

If you're thinking about buying Piano Wiz, please consider clicking through our App Store link below. Thanks!

[app 890391180]

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