How to play it by ear if you’re not gifted enough?

CASIO Chordana Viewer

Hi, I’m Jos!
I’m the manager of Japanese-Online-Store.

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Are you afraid that you’re not gifted enough to play it by ear? Don’t you wish to transcribe music more quickly? Here’s an iPhone/iPad app which supports people like you.

Many of you might be playing piano by ear, playing guitar by ear. Or any other instruments, or vocals. Because you might want to play many different songs. But there’s not always a music score. Without a score, you need to listen to a CD or iPod and pick up the melody and chords little by little. You might think only gifted people with an enviable skill can do it quickly.

Of course, we can rely on computers to do it for us today. But technically speaking, breaking a song down into its components is extremely difficult. Because you need to do complicated waveform analysis. It needs a high spec CPU and a lot of memory. It’s still too difficult for the most advanced PCs.

There are a variety of software applications on desktop computers. But as far as I know, they are expensive, not intuitive, and not perfect.

So unfortunately, if you’re looking for a complete solution, there’s no answer yet. But if you’re looking for a good starting point of your own work, Chordana Viewer is a good choice.

The Chordana Viewer is an iPhone/iPad app released from a Japanese company CASIO. It’s not a complete substitution for playing it by ear. It’s a support tool, like other softwares. But a decent support tool, when considering today’s technology level.

It’s surprising to me that a mobile app can do the job up to this level. The quality is comparable or even better than the PC softwares released so far.

The user reviews are diversed. Some say they are quite satisfied, others say it’s no use. I think it depends on your expectation. If you expect the app to do complete analysis for any type of music, better to wait till technology meets your expectation. If you look for the best possible support app as of today, it’s worthwhile giving it a try.

The Chordana Viewer analyses the sounds and displays a chord chart on the screen. It takes 10-15 seconds. The displayed chart is what the Chordana Viewer judges as most appropriate.

What I like is that it also displays up to three candidate chords for substitution. So you can change it by picking up one of these candidates. Of course you can specify the chord manually.

The success rate of the chords anaysis widely varies depending on the type of music. It is possible to change the tempo or key of the song.

That’s all as a playing it by ear app.

The Chordana Viewer has some extras. It also lets you play as the song plays. You can play the chords by selecting the piano pad or guitar pad. To play individual notes, select them on the piano keyboard. Even if you can’t play any instruments, you can enjoy it.

Cordana Viewer-Piano Keyboard
Cordana Viewer – Piano Keyboard
Cordana Viewer-Guitar Pad
Cordana Viewer – Guitar Pad
Cordana Viewer-Piano Pad
Cordana Viewer – Piano Pad
Cordana Viewer-Chords List
Cordana Viewer – Chords List

Another good point is that you can adjust the volume balance. You can adjust between the original iTune sound and the chord generated by the Chordana Viewer. You can also adjust the volume balance between vocals and accompaniment. So you can use it for Karaoke, too.

It is possible to record your performances. You can also save the resulting chords, exchange them via email, and print them out.

If you’re interested in, visit the following Casio site to find out a lot more.

Go to the Chordana Viewer

It’s not a free app, but $10.00 might be worth investing.
(Please note that I am not an affiliate of Casio)

And always remember, practice makes perfect.
Good luck!

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Author: Jos

Hi, I'm the manager of Japanese-Online-Store. Enjoy my blog about Japan and Japanese products. I appreciate your feedback !

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