An aspiring jazz trumpet player's blog about jazz improvisation and ear training.

Play By Ear - iPhone Support


Having trouble with Play By Ear? Most issues are addressed in the information below, but if you're still having problems, please don't hesitate to send me a message. If you do send me a message, be sure to include information about the version of your device (e.g. iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, etc) as well as a detailed description of the problem and the steps I can follow to reproduce the issue.


The Play by Ear iPhone ear training application will play an interval, chord, or melody exercise, depending on the highlighted button at the top of the screen. After listening to the exercise, the application will prompt you to play back what you heard on whatever instrument you play. As you play each note, the application will display the correct note and indicate whether or not you played the right note by coloring the note green for success and red for each error.


  • Be sure to set the Global Settings to match the key center to your instrument. While there, you can improve the accuracy of pitch detection by using the microphone calibration feature.
  • Put your iPhone close to your instrument. The application uses pitch detection to identify the notes you're playing so it needs to hear you at a decent volume.
  • Pause between each note you play. You don't have to pause for long, but a brief gap will help the application to differentiate between each note.
  • Center your pitch. Make sure you're hitting the center of each note. A cracked note, or wavering pitch will result in a note mismatch.
  • If you can't get pitch detection to work for your instrument, you can turn it off in the Global Settings. Without pitch detection, you'll still be able to work hands free and you'll get all of the benefits of ear training, but you won't have to worry about note mismatches


If you have an questions about using the Play By Ear iPhone ear training application, or if you'd just like to send some feedback, please send me a message.