Scales are elementary to all musicianship. They provide flavor and harmonic structure, but are at the same time fairly complex. ScaleMaster is designed to help in several key areas concerning scales. It lists over 200 scale types in all keys and shows them in music notation. There are four different clefs available (treble, bass, alto and tenor). Additionally scale degrees are shown qualified by the interval to the root. To help visualization there are four virtual instruments (banjo, bass, guitar, mandolin and piano). These virtual instruments feature overlays that can show scale degrees or position of a note in the current scale and can be shifted to all available positions. Below you'll find more details and screenshots.
Make sure to click the images on this page for a full sized view.
- 211 scale types
- Virtual banjo, bass, guitar, mandolin and piano instruments
- Alto, bass, tenor and treble clefs
- Adjustable positions for all instruments
- Adjustable tuning for all string instruments
- Semitone indicators
- Scale rating
- Scale type indicator (i.e. pentatonic)
- Support for left-handed players
- Chord/scale matching
- Displays note names, scale index or degree
- Adjustable playback directions
- High quality banjo, bass, guitar, mandolin and piano samples
- History View
- Global transposition for horn players
- Presets for all common banjo, bass, guitar, mandolin tunings
- Support for 4 and 5 string banjo
- Support for 4, 5 and 6 string bass
- Hi-res graphics for Retina®
- Localized help
- Academic discounts available
- Localized into Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish
Scales are presented in a sortable list that also contains information regarding number of scale tones and rating (scales can be rated from none to a maximum of 5 stars). Selecting from this list automatically updates notation and instrument views, fingerings, interval and other selected display detail. Scale root and name as well as kind (i.e. hexatonic) are displayed in ScaleMaster's notation view. It displays scales in ascending or descending fashion with semitone inditators or combinations of the 2 directions displayed on 2 staff lines.
ScaleMaster offers 4 virtuell instruments: bass, guitar, piano and mandolin. All instruments feature their own sound and are playable with the computer's mouse. They can also be shifted into different positions. Stringed instruments like guitar are shiftable from first to 12th position and the piano instrument has a range of over 6 octaves. Custom tuning for stringed instruments as well as support for left-handed display are available via ScaleMaster's preferences.
The chord/scale realtionship is of particular importance to improvising musicians. ScaleMaster allows to filter down the existing vocabulary of 211 scales with 41 of the most common chord structures. The resulting group of scales then fully consists of only scales including all chord tones. This is reflected in the notation view which highlights chord tones in red and displays a chord symbol below the scale title. This feature allows to open up and enrich the improviser's palette and give him or her an alternative to the go-to choice.
ScaleMaster offers several persistent settings that are accessible in the application's preferences. They are grouped into General and Advanced. General settings include a choice of instruments including banjo, bass, guitar, mandolin and piano. A choice of clefs include treble, bass, alto and tenor clefs. Additionally there are settings for left-handed display of the stringed instruments and chord notation style. Tuning preferences only apply to stringed instruments like guitar and allow customization. ScaleMaster's advanced preferences allow to reset all scale ratings and to use the application in transposed mode (i.e. Eb or Bb for saxophone players.)
Via menu command or toolbar item one can bring up the history window. Every time a scale is looked up ScaleMaster takes note and updates its history. Clicking any row in the history brings up the selected scale. Selecting a scale in the history window does not create history. Sometimes it can be useful to generate history on purpose - i.e. comparions. In these cases it may be usefult to first clean the existing history via the clean history command.
All stringed instruments (banjo, bass, guitar and mandolin) have a tunings window. All common standard and open tunings for the specific instrument are available from the tunings picker at the top of the window. Using any of the slider will override the current tuning and generate a custom tuning. Strings can be tuned by 7 semitones higher or lower than the standard tuning. The tuning picker also selects alternate sets of strings for a given instrument. The bass instrument for example supports 4, 5 and 6 string variants and the banjo instrument is availabe in 4 and 5 string versions.
Designed for the beginning musician as well as the professional, ScaleMaster is an excellent tool towards advancement in theory and scales in particular, making it easy to look up a scale in seconds, getting a taste of the flavor of a particular scale by listening to it, or finding out how to play it on one's instrument.