App Review: Musiclock

Musiclock appI’m excited to write this app review, because it is one of the most well-designed and useful apps I’ve come across lately!

Musiclock is a $2.99 app for iPad and iPhone that provides a variety of backing tracks intended to be used while practicing scales or improvising.

The first step is to select a scale. The scale choices are: major, major pentatonic, minor pentatonic, natural minor, melodic minor, harmonic minor, blues, and dominant bebop.

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The second step is to choose a backing track. Depending on the scale choice you made, there are a variety of backing tracks to choose from with varying styles and tempos. You can touch the play button to hear a preview.

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Once you’ve selected a backing track, touch the “Let’s Jam” button to begin! The app defaults to the key of C. By touching and turning the spinner, you can select any key. Clicking the play icon will start the backing track. Now, you can jam along on your instrument or using the on-screen keyboard!

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Below is a short improvisation I created through interacting the on-screen keyboard while on my iPhone. What could be better than improving your ear and practicing scales on-the-go!

[In the video below, you will notice a little bit of delay between the sound of on-screen keyboard and the backing track. This is due to the screen-recording program I used to create the video. When using the app normally, it is very responsive.]

In the video below, a student and I tried out Musiclock briefly during a lesson as he played through a C major scale. It’s a little more fun than playing along to a regular metronome!

By the way, Musiclock isn’t just for pianists. In the Settings section, you can select the guitar setting so the app will show guitar fret charts instead of the piano keyboard.

Although I’ve only just begun to use Musiclock, I highly recommend it! Check it out in the iTunes app store here or visit the Musiclock website here.

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Joy Morin is a piano teacher in Perrysburg, Ohio (United States) who enjoys keeping her teaching fresh with new ideas and resources. ColorInMyPiano.com serves as a journal of her adventures in piano teaching as well as a place to exchange ideas and resources.

Joy has blogged 1106 posts here.

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12 Comments

  1. Posted 19 January 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this review Joy! I downloaded this app just a few days ago when it was free, but hadn’t really tried it out. With your review I can see now how to make the best out of it :)

  2. Daniel
    Posted 19 January 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Great find Joy!

  3. Posted 19 January 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I have been using this app with my students in the last few weeks & it rocks! We’ve used it to compare pentascales to octave scales in the initial stages of learning a new scale. One of my students was preparing for an exam & we used this as well. Across the board, everyone has had fun playing with the backing track! I like that all the backing tracks have a BPM which let’s you choose based on the student’s mastery of the scale. Thanks for sharing, Joy!

    • Posted 19 January 2016 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      All great ideas and thoughts, Rosemarie! It’s so great to see students having more fun with their scales. Thanks for commenting!!

  4. Leigh
    Posted 19 January 2016 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Like Zoe’s comment above, I downloaded it on the free day and definitely appreciate your review to help use it and inspire me to venture into it with students. Thank you for your tips!

  5. Posted 20 January 2016 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    How cool! This is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for to spice up scales in lessons. Thank you for sharing — loved the videos!

  6. Posted 22 January 2016 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    What a cool idea! I absolutely adore this. It would totally work for kiddos learning to play on the recorder or barred instruments in the general music classroom as well! Thanks for sharing.

    • Posted 22 January 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Yes, those are more great use ideas for this app, Anne! Thanks!

  7. Posted 25 January 2016 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    We got an ipad for Christmas so I’m so excited I can finally use some of these apps in my lessons! Thanks for the review!

  8. Posted 25 March 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Very cool app. I had looked for tools like this in the past few years but hadn’t found any, so I just downloaded some mp3’s and would just play over those.

    The problem is those end eventually and you can’t get continuous practice in, which I like to do.

    I’ll try it out!

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