Play By Ear - Ear Training 4+, Inc.

Designed for iPhone

    • 4.4 • 68 Ratings
    • Free

iPhone Screenshots


Play By Ear is a call-and-response ear training application that helps you develop the ability to hear pitches and play them back on your instrument by ear. Unlike other applications which force you to press buttons to indicate the notes you've heard, Play By Ear uses pitch recognition so you can play the notes back on your instrument (piano, guitar, trumpet, etc). Using your instrument to play the notes allows you to practice ear training in a method that most closely matches how you'll actually play music.

- Pitch recognition so you can use your instrument to interact with the ear trainer
- Hands-free, continuous play
- Interval exercises
- Chord exercises
- Random melody exercises
- Scale pattern melody exercises
- Jazz lick melody exercises
- Melodic and harmonic note sequences
- Ascending and descending note sequences
- Microphone calibration
- Customizable tempo
- Ability to show or hide the first note
- C, Bb, Eb, F, G, and D key centers to match your instrument

Note: Your device needs a microphone to fully enjoy Play By Ear's pitch recognition features. iPads, iPhones, and the latest iTouch all have microphones built-in, however older iTouch devices will need a headset or similar external microphone.

What’s New

Version 1.17

Further work to fix issue where audio is quiet after microphone is used for pitch detection.

Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
68 Ratings

68 Ratings

RyanLayton ,

Great App - Would Love Additional Features

This app has been a great addition to my ear training. After getting a good grasp on my intervals, this has been an awesome way to apply that knowledge without getting overwhelmed. I think every musician can benefit from doing some kind of training like this, and this app makes it possible to train without needing a partner to do call and response with - you can do it on your own from anywhere.

In my opinion, two additional features would make it a perfect app. Neither are THAT crucial, but would help. 1) vary the rhythms of the randomly generated melodies, and 2) add a bass clef option. Even without those features, I’ll still continue to spend a few minutes a day with this app and I’m sure I will see benefits over time.

IDontNeedNoStupidNickname ,

A little hard for beginners

I like this app a lot, and it fills a need, but it’s a little tough for beginners (or people learning a new instrument, like me). A couple of things would make it easier:

1. Provide a “repeat” option: play the phrase, wait, play it again, wait, then give answer. Gives the student two tries. (Could even give a three-tries option.)

2. Allow limiting the scale patterns to a selected set of scales/keys. Maybe the jazz licks one, too. You can fudge this with the random notes by selecting notes to fit a scale, which is what I’ve ended up doing, for now, but it would be nice to have something more melodic.

I have not tried anything with chords, yet, because I’m using this with trumpet. Which gives me another suggestion: maybe you could provide profiles for multi-instrumentalists (it would only affect pitch recognition, I suppose, so might not be worth the effort).

dekjek ,

Stiff program, false errors

Lots of false errors. If you play the first note of a sequence too long, it will register that you played it for both notes of the interval. It is especially glitchy in chord recognition mode. You can’t play back a chord harmonically, it has to be arpeggiated, and then it often registers errors falsely, or it is listening for one note of the chord when you’ve already moved on to another. Your score ends up being frustratingly inaccurate. The program still feels pretty stiff to use. Also, I couldn’t find an option for randomizing ascending, descending, melodic and harmonic intervals, which would be more useful than only hearing one type of interval at a time.

App Privacy

The developer,, Inc., indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Collected

The developer does not collect any data from this app.

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More

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