Waay updated – Ten Kettles apply some tweaks to their iOS musical education app

Download from iTunes App Storewaay logo 1Like 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. Over the years, I’ve done my best to plug some gaps, particularly in terms of music theory as it applied to the guitar or to songwriting but, without some formal musical education, it can often be a bit hit and miss to (pardon the pun) join the dots of the fragments of knowledge collected from various sources.

As I posted a couple of weeks 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 iPad iOS music app might be just up your street or, to give the app its full title….  ‘Waay: Music theory that matters’.

Waay - music theory in a structured course aimed at budding songwriters.

Waay – music theory in a structured course aimed at budding songwriters.

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….

The app includes both video lessons and interactive exercises.

The app includes both video lessons and interactive exercises.

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) while the ‘Chords’ section is available as a further IAP (also UK£3.99) if you want to take the learning process further.

Waay records your progress through the course.

Waay records your progress through the course.

Anyway, the first update to Waay has appeared on the App Store taking the app to v.1.0.1. This is mostly minor tweaks and bug fixes to ensure a smoother user experience but good to see none-the-less.

Since looking at the initial release, I have spent a little more time digging in to the content of Waay. The structure of the material 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. If you already have some formal music theory education, then there may be some of the material here that you are already familiar with. Waay would be particularly useful for budding songwriters and this seems to be very much the target audience for the app. There is plenty of material and the various lessons are nicely presented and easy to follow. Your progress is stored via a simple online account and this means that you can use multiple devices and things stay sync’ed.

The app is iPad-only (although other platforms are in development I believe), requires iOS8.0 or later and is a 206 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, priced at UK£3.99 for the base app, it is a low cost entry into the basic building blocks of music theory for song construction.

Waay: Music theory that matters

Waay: Music theory that matters from Ten Kettles on Vimeo.

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    1. I’ve been using this app since you first reviewed it. It’s great and it certainly highlights the importance of not relying on books or videos alone. The interactive feedback really highlights the mistakes I’ve made in music theory.

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