Like lots of musicians, I’m primarily self taught. While that has included some music theory (mostly enough to get me into trouble but not enough to get me out again) I’m more than aware of (and often embarrassed by) my own limitations. Thankfully, for musicians of any age or musical persuasion, there is now an abundance of tuition resources available that, if you are prepared to invest a little money – and, more importantly, your study time – can hold your hand as you grapple with whatever aspect or level of music theory you want to dip into.
As I posted a while ago, if you are just starting out on your own musical journey – and particularly if you are beginning to explore the songwriting process – then Ten Kettle’s Waay iOS music app might be just up your street.
Long-standing iOS musicians may be familiar with Ten Kettles through their hearEQ app. This is an ear training app for musicians that, with suitable practice, can improve your ability to identify specific sound frequencies and, as a consequence, improve your ability to isolate problem areas when mixing or arranging your recording projects. hearEQ is undoubtedly a very useful utility/educational app and well worth exploring….
Waay is also in the utility/educational bracket but, as the title suggests, provides an introduction to music theory. The app is built around a series of lessons and and interactive exercises, all organised into a structured pathway. There are two course elements; the ‘Melodies’ section is included within the base price of the app (UK£3.99/US$3.99) while the ‘Chords’ section is available as a further IAP (UK£4.99/US$4.99) if you want to take the learning process further.
Anyway, the Waay v.2.2.0 appeared on the App Store a couple of days ago. This brings one significant practical change; the app now has a ‘teacher mode’. This allows the user to access the lesson content in any order you like rather than work through the lessons in a linear fashion. Clearly, this would make the app more useful if you did want to use it as a teacher. However, it would also be useful for the individual learner if they knew they had specific skills that they wanted to work on.
That said, the structure of the material within Waay is really rather good and, for a ‘first steps’ introduction to music theory, I’m sure lots of users would find it an accessible starting point. The app requires iOS8.0 or later and is a 74 MB download. If you want a solid introduction to the kind of practical music theory that will get you writing songs that make harmonic sense, then Waay is a good place to start and, currently priced at UK£3.99/US$3.99 for the base app, it is a low cost entry into the basic building blocks of music theory for song construction.