Play By Ear - Ear Training

4.4 (62)
24 MB
Age rating
Current version
Seller, Inc.
Last update
2 years ago
Version OS
12.0 or later
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User Reviews for Play By Ear - Ear Training

4.37 out of 5
62 Ratings
5 years ago, RyanLayton
Great App - Would Love Additional Features
This app has been a great addition to my ear training. After getting a good grasp on my intervals, this has been an awesome way to apply that knowledge without getting overwhelmed. I think every musician can benefit from doing some kind of training like this, and this app makes it possible to train without needing a partner to do call and response with - you can do it on your own from anywhere. In my opinion, two additional features would make it a perfect app. Neither are THAT crucial, but would help. 1) vary the rhythms of the randomly generated melodies, and 2) add a bass clef option. Even without those features, I’ll still continue to spend a few minutes a day with this app and I’m sure I will see benefits over time.
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1 year ago, IDontNeedNoStupidNickname
A little hard for beginners
I like this app a lot, and it fills a need, but it’s a little tough for beginners (or people learning a new instrument, like me). A couple of things would make it easier: 1. Provide a “repeat” option: play the phrase, wait, play it again, wait, then give answer. Gives the student two tries. (Could even give a three-tries option.) 2. Allow limiting the scale patterns to a selected set of scales/keys. Maybe the jazz licks one, too. You can fudge this with the random notes by selecting notes to fit a scale, which is what I’ve ended up doing, for now, but it would be nice to have something more melodic. I have not tried anything with chords, yet, because I’m using this with trumpet. Which gives me another suggestion: maybe you could provide profiles for multi-instrumentalists (it would only affect pitch recognition, I suppose, so might not be worth the effort).
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1 week ago, David Cutter29
The Best, It’s a Wow!
I’m a piano teacher and I still practice 3 hours a day or more. I think this is the best of all the ear training apps that I’ve used and seen. I tell all my students to get this app and use it daily. It’s been a game changer for me because not only does it make you sing your answers but somehow it knows whether you are hearing the note before you sing it. Don’t get anything else. Play by Ear is the real deal. And don’t be fooled by the name. In order to sightread effectively you have to be hearing the notes before you play them. Ply by ear is the best app for developing that hearing ability.
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6 years ago, dekjek
Stiff program, false errors
Lots of false errors. If you play the first note of a sequence too long, it will register that you played it for both notes of the interval. It is especially glitchy in chord recognition mode. You can’t play back a chord harmonically, it has to be arpeggiated, and then it often registers errors falsely, or it is listening for one note of the chord when you’ve already moved on to another. Your score ends up being frustratingly inaccurate. The program still feels pretty stiff to use. Also, I couldn’t find an option for randomizing ascending, descending, melodic and harmonic intervals, which would be more useful than only hearing one type of interval at a time.
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14 years ago, Ima.P.Cee
Pretty good, with potential
This has potential, however I would make a few suggestions: 1. Add a playable keyboard to the to the 'Play' UI, for those (frequent) times when we have our phone and wish to practice, but don't have an actual instrument handy. Walking, commuting, at work, at lunch, etc... pretty much most of the time. 2. It needs a setting which prevents sleep mode. Put those features in and this has a shot at being a 5-star free app. 3. Tighten up the instrument listening functionality; it's too sensitive at the moment, and too many correct keypresses result in credited mistakes.
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1 year ago, 284848sdhfk
Play by Ear
Fantastic app for ear training. I am a piano teacher and I am using it personally and giving it to my students. I have not found anything better.
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8 years ago, Wyobirder
Easy app to use
This app is helping me with intervals. It also won't register a correct pitch if I chip it slightly on my horn. Easy to use too.
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8 years ago, Tongatim
Very Useful
Simple and well-functioning portable ear trainer. Holds you to accurate intonation. All apps should function this well.
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4 years ago, String 6
Works for me
Excellent. Random root notes good. Would like to test from the same root note sometimes.
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8 years ago, Asdfghjklrueiwbdjejbef
The absolute best
I hope this app never stops being developed. It's absolutely perfect!!
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5 years ago, Archangel768
Use it
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14 years ago, Koodra
Needs a Mic - but iPod Touch (not the new version) can
Looks like a great app. I like the online version at his website - very useful and is assigned to use for Jazz Musicianship Class @ CSUN. BUT, it cannot both hear you (there is no mic, you have to get one and when you do, the app can't both hear you with the mic and play out on it's speaker @ the same time.) and playback at the same time. I've even tried pulling the mic out and putting it back in in rapid succession in order to have it be able to both hear and play, but it doens't recognize the mic in or out that fast. The online version does not hear you either, but it is very cool and I am using that instead. I'll either have to get the newest iPod Touch which does have a built-in mic as well as the speaker or move onto another ear training program to use the iPod version.
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11 years ago, boldstandard
Great app
This is a fantastic app for ear training. I use it on guitar. One complaint is that it doesn't hear if you play in a low octave. But if you play in the octaves it actually plays in, or an octave below or two above, it seems fine. I like the look of the app. And I find it helpful that it displays the first note on the staff, because I am trying to learn to read music at the same time I am trying to learn to play by ear, so it helps in both. It would be cool if it displayed the clef, though, or if you could change the clef in which the notes are displayed. Overall, an indispensable tool for learning musicians, or seasoned ones who want to keep up their chops.
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12 years ago, e123eeee
best ear training app
This free app is better than the paid options! I love how the emphasis is playing what you hear, rather than naming intervals/chords. This is far more practical. I've been using it every morning for 30 minutes for the past week and it's quite an enjoyable way to practice. Being able to set intervals/chords harmonically or melodically is really cool. The best feature is probably the random melody play-along, I'm only doing 4 note melodies, but the options on the app allow you to make things REAL hard if you've got good ears already. I use this app with an unamplified electric guitar, and the iPhone does have some issues recognizing notes from the lower octave, but that doesn't really matter to me. One feature I would LOVE to have would be the ability to have the app mix ascending and descending intervals/chords so I can practice them both ways without having to play around with the settings. As it stands, this is the best ear training app and I have no idea why the author isn't charging for it. Download this now.
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9 years ago, ExtravagantTraveller
Great for free but....
Would be 5 stars except it almost never picks up the low E and F and sometimes G on my guitars. This is an annoyance when doing intervals because it counts it as incorrect even though I'm playing the correct note. Perhaps because it was designed for a trumpet? I've tried calibrating multiple times to no success. Still a good app though and the only free one I could find.
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12 years ago, VladtheChicken
Still working on single notes with my trumpet
Excellent app. I second the idea of having a keyboard option for public places practice. Also, would love having a super easy version when it plays the note, then gives you time to try a few notes before you push a button to have it tell you if the final note you choose is right. Not sure that explanation made sense...
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9 years ago, The Ghost of Paul Butterfield
Practice Must Have
This is a great little app. It has a lot of options for what it will play (single notes, riffs, chords) and has a lot of variable options as well. And it’s not just for ear training. Try turning the sound off and set it to show notes and you can use it to practice reading too! When I’m feeling uninspired or am not sure what to practice, this app is always a good way to get warmed up.
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12 years ago, mmmmmehhhhh
Great ear training
I am Originally a fan of iwasdoingallright for ear training and will admit that's where my expectations are grounded. I use this app to practice singing, and it seems to struggle only slightly with tone recognition. Sometimes it will surprise you by recognizing a correct note that wasn't clearly articulated, but sometimes it is unforgiving in that it does not explain why a note was incorrect.
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12 years ago, Imsoproudofyou
Best app I've used yet.
All the other apps I've used have lacked pitch detection and they cost money. This app is the exact kind of ear training I need for singing. It's adjustable in every way I need it to be. Being able to hear the chords and intervals stacked and/or sequentially is a great option to have. Download it you won't be disappointed.
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14 years ago, valenake(my mums computer :)
Free!? A gratuitous grace for the ear ;)
Of course there Is room for improvement- but I feel it has much more value than the other ear apps (that I bought but don't use) The fact that u play the notes back makes all the difference in the world I like the layout and menu too- nice and clean, great work!
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12 years ago, AsaneH
Best free ear training app on the market.
So good it's worth paying for. With website supplemental articles and online java app it has almost everything needed to become an ear training master. I would pay $$ to see the rhythm feature added to the iPhone app. Would be nice if keyboard response was allowed for ear training in public places (subway) w headphones.
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12 years ago, adam junisz
Very good
Very useful app. The ability to train on phrases, not just intervals is a huge plus and can really help bridge one's ear training from an disconnected endeavor to it actually relating to real music. Pitch recognition is great function though sometimes it doesn't work very accurately. Overall, a great app!
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14 years ago, Bebeskid87
Man I really liked this app until I finally updated my phone to version 4.0 now when I use the app and try and play the keys back with my keyboard my phone doesn't pick up what keys I am playing anyone know how to solve this problem please tell of you do
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9 years ago, Cyrde
Great App
Great stuff. Perfect app for musicians looking to train their ears. Great customization in addition to a very user friendly UI. The only issue I have is with the intervals section. The app allows you to choose between ascending or descending, but not both, which, in itself is not a terrible tragedy, but a minor annoyance nonetheless.
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14 years ago, 1 9 5 8
Well thought out app.
Works great for an electric guitar if you have the correct adaptor to plug a guitar and headphones in at the same time. Would be nice if one could change the octave to match that of the guitar, like your web based one has. Thanks for the app.
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10 years ago, TWWoolsey
Awesome Ear Trainer!
This is the best ear trainer I've found yet. What a find. The only issue I had was that it would pick up noises as 'notes' when using an acoustic guitar into the external microphone on my iPod touch. But when I use an electric through an iRig adapter it reads perfectly. Awesome. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
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11 years ago, NickWestHollywood
Not bad/not great
The tonal memory exercises are okay, but the app doesn't seem to "hear" very well below bass-clef D, and the app only plays treble clef melodies, so if you're taking a melody down an octave with your voice or instrument, it can be a little frustrating. Also, the tonal memory melody exercises create very non-musical lines for you to repeat back; this makes for good ear-training, but the melodies are not realistic.
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12 years ago, appgenyus
Great App
Great app. This could become seriously killer with the ability to input my own phrase, which then gets randomly transposed to various keys, expanded, etc. One could have hundreds of custom jazz patterns, ii v i's, etc, ready to practice. Would gladly pay for it.
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13 years ago, Jaketroy
Very practical
Has its glitches but very useful - so grateful I found out about it. I have good ears and needed something more challenging than just naming intervals. It would be cool to have more options for chords. For free it definitely gets 5 stars.
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12 years ago, Fggbvgbvhbb
Doesn't save calibration anymore
I have a 4s and I just upgraded to ios6 like an idiot. This is my favorite app to practice my vocals but I now have to try to recalibrate it every time. Also calibration only works 20 percent of the time. Thanks for making this app!
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12 years ago, Fire Tock
Very Impressive
This is a great app. You would miss out as a musician not to have it. A little practice each day and you'll improve your ears ridiculously. I enjoy everything about it. It would easily be worth $5. Thank you.
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13 years ago, bjazzk
This is a really fun app to practice with. After just 15 minutes of practice, I could already tell a difference in my ability. This app has a awesome interface. Thanks for bringing this to the iPhone!
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9 years ago, Saxman8837
Not working with iOS 9
After updating to iOS 9 app does not work just plays single tone! Even before the upgrade there was a problem with app if you used timer on phone or if got call then you lose sound! Sent message no response or updates!
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14 years ago, Chris Houser
Works great!
Very nice! Plays a few notes, either as an interval, chord, or melody, and rates your ability to sing them back, or play on your own physical instrument. Free without ads or nags!
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14 years ago, Elidor50
Good try not a guitar app
It's a great idea yet it doesn't pick up my electric guitar and it only picks up half of the notes of my acoustic guitar. I haven't tried my piano yet but If you could update to better pick up guitars 5/5. Being a free app I'll give you three stars for the effort but I'm a guitar player :/.
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12 years ago, Breathe. Music.
This app is wonderful--by far the best ear training app ever created. The design and accuracy are flawless. There are no ads! I finally feel more comfortable with my musical ear, all thanks to this app and its extremely talented designer. Ah, it's just so beautiful...
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14 years ago, Wilktone
Nice app
Not a bad app, particularly for the price! It picks up my trombone just fine. I will definitely recommend this to my students who want a little extra ear training practice.
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11 years ago, Chesster22
Great App
This is an incredibly useful ear training tool and something that I've convinced all of my peers to download. You should too!
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13 years ago, ephetic
Maddening lack of feedback
Playing notes for me to sing back is exactly what I am looking for. This would be a five star pay app if it told me why (it thinks) I'm wrong; something like a super-imposed pitch graph. It wouldn't have to be real-time, just something to let me know if I was even close!
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13 years ago, samuelwilliams
Good app, too many crashes
Great app idea, I plan on using it while traveling. However, the app crashes after one or two exercises, and occasionally does not play the pitch as it should. 5 stars if updated.
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14 years ago, Yarbdr
Good potential
This app has good potential. As a student of voice, my criticism is regarding the program's sensitivity of hearing overtones instead of the fundamental pitch, and tendering results. Though, the error isn't aided by the small mic in an iPod, I suppose. Otherwise, a usable tool.
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14 years ago, ETFanatic
Great App!
If you get creative this app can be a really cool ET program. I love the random melodies, so sweet for ET. Works best when you use it with a simple MIDI piano out of your PC.
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10 years ago, socalguitar
Excellent tool for ear training
Most musicians interested in improving their ear can benefit from this terrific app. It's easy to use and effective.
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12 years ago, dfcastillo
For performance ear training, there is not an app that can touch this. His website is great too. Thank you!
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12 years ago, rodneykinney
Pitch recognition makes it better than all the rest.
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14 years ago, DanteKast
Still need fixes!!
It's a wonderfull app. But since I've made os4 upgrade it crashes. I've hoped that this new version will solve those bugs, but...... still waiting. Fix this bugs and rating will be 5 stars.
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11 years ago, CocoCoustics
Verrrrrry Useefuul!
All three training excercices work GREAT and after a while u start actually getting some right :D
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11 years ago, Madame Wu
A great app that really works
Put in the time and it will bring you along
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11 years ago, arithipathic
So glad this exists!
This app is wonderful - love how customizable it is. Great for beginners or those who just need to warm up their ears.
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12 years ago, IPhone Blues
IPhone App?
Tried this app on my phone to learn ear training on-the-go. The notes were very clear but the interaction on the scale was non existent. For iPhone use I didn't find the app very useful. Two stars are for the tones.
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