Best Apps For Learning To Play The Viola
If you’ve recently decided to learn to play the viola, you’re in great company. Famous composers like Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven were among those proficient in the art, and modern virtuoso Michael Kugel creates sounds that simply can’t be described by any word other than masterful. However, before you can attain this type of status, you actually need to learn to play your instrument.
The viola is a wonderfully rich, warm instrument with a range that generally falls between the violin and the cello. Fortunately, because of advancements in technology, learning to play the viola is easier than ever. This list of practical apps will enhance your private instruction or schoolroom lessons by giving you fun ways to learn viola notes and basic music notation, as well as bowing and intonation skills.
My Note Games, by Appatta Ltd. This iPhone and iPad download is free, offering viola students a fun, easy way to learn music notation in their spare time. With a variety of games and additional in-app purchases that help build your intonation skills and help you learn to effectively read music, this app is a great option for young players or beginner students. Plus, you can sharpen your skills anywhere, regardless of whether or not you have your viola with you or not.
Learn Viola - Scales arpeggios melodic beginner exercises from Purely Viola, by Music Future Ltd. This app is built for iPad and iPhone users and includes a number of cool, interactive ways to improve your viola skills. For $3.99 students explore viola notes, scales, arpeggios and rhythm accompaniments with a live fingerboard and animated screens that help you follow the music. By combining accurate tones with an adaptable skill level setting, you can expand your ability and help incorporate some variety in your practice schedule. This developer also offers an Android version of this app called Learn Viola Lessons Purely.
Viola Ear Training & Sight Singing, by Short Neck Giraffe Software, LLC. This app is excellent for learning the viola because it focuses on building ear training for immediate pitch recognition. With a built in chromatic tuner, this iPhone and iPad app provides collaborative games that have you accurately “answer” using your student viola. When each musical question is presented, it also offers answer feedback so that you can easily make corrections. Multiple levels, visual fingerboards, chord diagrams, and a number of modes including Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Melodic Minor, and Harmonic Minor make this $3.99 download well worth the small investment.
Easy Viola - Viola Tuner, by Precision Musical Tuner and Tools LLC. This free android app makes tuning your viola easy. With sample notes to get you started (open string C, G, D, and A), this chromatic tuner simplifies the tuning process for beginner violists and helps prevent string breakages. Free to download at the play store.
Viola Notes Sight Read Free by kochkapps is an Android version learning tool that helps you build your sight reading and intonation skills. Play this free app anywhere. It features vivid screenshots of the fingerboard with a variety of language modes. Plus, it remembers your prowess for recognizing certain viola notes and then increases their frequency during the games so that you can enhance your aptitude. The upgraded version is free of ads and costs less than $3.
Suzuki Viola by MA SA is designed as a supplement to your Suzuki instruction for viola. By allowing you to hear the various scores included in your training method, it helps build your playing skills. This free Android app also features links to additional online teaching modules as well as videos.
Learn Viola by Music Lifeboat is a relatively new viola learning app for Android users. The app includes 25 video lessons from Michael Larco, violist virtuoso with The Los Angeles Philharmonic. The comprehensive curriculum includes step-by-step instructions that will teach you beginner viola notes and methods, and eventually advanced techniques. Free to download, in-app purchases are typically less than $3.
Bowing Fun by P. G. Robinson. Available for Android users, this app offers string crossing practice and exercises for viola, violin, cello and double bass. The adjustable difficulty settings allow you to swiftly enhance your bowing ability and sight-reading skills. Easy visual screens and fun variations make this $1.99 download a great way to learn and enhance your student viola techniques.
In addition to these apps, there are a number of free videos and viola learning software products available online for students. Learning to play the viola is a rewarding endeavor, but not one that you have to do on your own. By finding tools that can help you learn the fundamentals, your advancement will be steady (and encouraging) and before you know it, you’ll see measurable progress.