Fret Tester is a fretboard trainer that will teach you to read music on the guitar, mandolin, or bass. From learning the names of the notes on the fretboard to reading standard music notation, Fret Tester covers it all. It was written by educator William Wilson, author of the book “Guitar Games: Learn Guitar. Read Music. Fight Space Monsters,” and is based on years of music teaching experience.
-Clear and straight forward. Buttons are easy to push with no clutter.
-Four modes of play: Name Note, Find Note, Notation, Notes on Staff
-Four instruments: Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Five-String Bass
-Instrument and game statistics to chart your progress.
-Fretboard charts for all instruments.
-Custom tunings and left-hand mode.
Modes of Play:
Name Note: A dot is shown on the neck and you name it by letter name (A, B, C#, etc.)
Find Note: A note name is shown and you pick from four locations on the neck.
Notation: A note is shown in standard notation and you must tap the onscreen fretboard in the correct location.
Notes on Staff: A treble or bass clef is shown and you must name the corresponding letter. A great first step in learning to read music.
Whether you have never read music on the guitar or are trying to improve your reading in the upper positions, Fret Tester will provide you with all you need to master the fretboard.
Updated for iPhone XS, XR, XSMax. Minor bug fixes.
Ratings and Reviews
Quite well made. Could use slight additions.
This app is very good. It's worth buying if someone wants to work on this critical skill. I would probably rate this 4.5/5. I have some recommendations to improve this app, which would make it a joy to use:
Allow chromatic notes to be practiced exclusively, and make the note bar reflect that by turning the notes into chromatic ones by default (so the chromatic button is not necessary to press).
Allow simultaneous natural/chromatic note practice (which already exists), but allow two separate note bars stacked on top of each other, for both kinds of notes. This way, the chromatic button is not necessary. This will improve reaction time since only one button press will be necessary for either note type (instead of two buttons pressed with the added chromatic button).
Allow any notes to be specifically selected in the options menu (through tapping them), so users can choose any visual pattern to practice. For instance, I could select only specific notes in a diagonal line. This challenges mental recall by forcing the brain to recognize the notes within a new pattern.
Add 7 and 8 string guitar layouts, because extended range instruments are used a lot nowadays.
It totally helps me recognize notes on the fretboard, and it was well worth the money. I know it works because I know I'm acknowledging where I am on the FB when I play the guitar. The learning comes out in my playing when I least expect it, but I know it came from using this app.
Great for quick downtime learning while waiting in line, waiting to pick up my kid, whatever. Easy to grab for a minute or 'waste' a half hour with.
Could it be better? Maybe, but it doesn't need to be. It's very useful as is. Those I've recommended it to also find it quite useful.
Fretboard knowledge: It's necessary, and knowledge is power. This makes learning the fretboard and notes on a staff easy, and I accept and appreciate the challenge. I'm only going to get faster (and effortless) recognition by using it more, and I'm stoked on that. All my frets are green and I'm motivated to get to black (master).
Best available app, one real problem
- This is by far the best app of its kind. And the price is fair for the actual value. Avoids ALMOST all the issues with similar apps, which have problems with speed, string / fret selection options, messy interfaces, etc.
- But PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pester the dev to make the guitar neck wider, AT LEAST as an option. It's FAR too easy to hit wrong notes due to the strings being so tightly spaced (especially for thick fingers). Granted, they LOOK great tight, but I can't get accurate stats on what I actually know because of being off by a hair now and then due to the interface. Especially frustrating, because the point should be learning the GUITAR fretboard, rather than establishing a separate skill on the iPad.
- Again, it should be an option... for slender fingers or lower speeds it may be fine as is for some.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.