Learning music on a palm: Bugband

I’ve been thinking about how I use PDAs for various musical purposes, and one that I hadn’t given much thought to was learning music. As I am currently learning guitar at the moment this little application is perfect. But don’t be fooled into thinking it is just a bit of fun. It can seriously help you to learn, it is just a fun way of going about it.

Here’s what the minimusic site has to say about it:

BugBand helps you practice sight reading, letter names of notes, piano, guitar and brass instruments. With a practice level for the complete beginner and ten levels of difficulty, BugBand can help anyone improve their sight reading skills. Great for teaching kids the basics of music, helping students get through music classes at school, or anyone learn to play an instrument. Lots of bugs! Lots of fun!

The new 1.1 version adds: high resolution color graphics, brass instruments, high scores and many other new features to make it easier than ever to dive into reading music. Now supports sound cards built into Tapwave Zodiac and some Clie handhelds (T, TG, NR, NX, NZ) and includes software synthesis on most handhelds running Palm OS 5 or greater for better sound.

Like all of our software, BugBand supports MIDI playback on attached hardware (like samplers, keyboards, synthesizers, etc.). You can also set BugBand to accept MIDI input from any electronic music instrument so that you can practice your sight reading on a full size keyboard or electronic wind instrument! MIDI connections require a handheld with serial capabilities (USB only handhelds like the Zire 21, 31, 72, Tungsten E and others cannot be connected to MIDI instruments).

It couldn’t be more simple, but I’ve watched my daughter play with this for at least half an hour at a time, and be really pleased when she gets up a level.

Really worth a try for children and adults too.

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