The GuitarParrot Story
I am extremely excited to share this unique melodic ear-training app with you!
One of the most important things that every virtuoso musician will express to you is the importance of ear training on your instrument. They are right! At some point in your development, you should reach a level where you hear a note, chord, or melody and know exactly where it lives on your instrument. It can take years. This is one of many “lightbulb on” moments that every learning musician should strive for. Simply put, it is an essential step to musical freedom and creativity. Getting there is different for each player and what works for one player may not work for another.
Hard memorization of anything loses its effectiveness after awhile. The only way you can really develop the ability to truly hear and identify a chord or melody is to practice using something you haven't heard before. Yes, learning and practicing scales and chords in all keys is super important for feeling tonal reference centers, but it's just one piece of the puzzle.
There are hundreds of apps available with the goal of helping players develop these skills. There are a couple of problems with most of them, in my opinion:
GuitarParrot presents many challenges that rapidly develop various skills, including:
Disguised as a game, GuitarParrot is a melodic musical workout that easily adjusts from Super Simple all the way to Super Impossible. A benefit and challenge for every level of player. Playing the 4-note scale at Level 1 is a 4-note melody, so it builds success and confidence by giving you an easy win. Each increase in level adds 4 notes to your challenge, up to Level 20. For an even greater challenge and a more complete workout, there are multiple scale shapes available in all 12 keys!
As your hands learn the "feel" of melodic and intervallic combinations, it becomes easier to locate new things that you hear, even if you don't know what a Minor 3rd is. If you don't know your intervals, go learn them! Like speaking without knowing how to read – you can play by ear and have a fine career, but knowing a little theory and the written form of music drastically improves your ability to retain, explain, and explore the language of music.
The melodies are always random, which develops your ability to hear any sound and quickly find it on the guitar. This develops a different part of your brain than the part that memorizes stuff. This is improvisation memory, solo memory, on-the-spot memory that is typically only developed in jam situations with little control.
GuitarParrot and is now available in the App Store and on GooglePlay. You can use the built-in mic on the device, or use your favorite A/D converter and plug directly into the device for a cleaner signal. You actually don't need a guitar, you can even play the game with another instrument or by singing!
Stay tuned! Version 1 of GuitarParrot launched on 10-14-2020, but I have more features coming. I look forward to getting input from users on how GuitarParrot can be improved. If you would like to receive email updates, please send me an email via the Credits page.