Welcome to my pad, PitchBop! If you’re a jazz cat like me, I think you’ll feel right at home here because I’ve spiced it up with all the musical ingredients that make jazz such a tasty gumbo.
My name is Dr. Bop and I’m a cat born with perfect pitch. Once I understood what this gift could do for my music, I knew I had to find a way to help musicians around the world to hear as well as I do.
PitchBop is the product of this dream. Not only will playing it together help you gain greater command over your instrument, I’ll be tracking your progress and making adjustments to keep the game challenging and fun so eventually one day you won’t need me at all!
My ears are at your service.
8 short videos to answer all your questions!
How PitchBop works
PitchBop is based on a “Call-and-Response” model.
Each session will contain multiple calls and opportunities to respond. The first call will be preceded by a metronome count-off and then will play a two-measure phrase.
Immediately following the call, the user will respond by trying to play the same pitches and rhythms of the call.
For the remainder of the session, the app and user will alternate between call and response. There will be no count-off after the calls begin.
Dr. Bop’s Game tab
PitchBop opens in the Game mode. The top heading, “Dr. Bop’s Game” will be highlighted in orange when the app is in Game mode.
To begin a session, tap the waveform icon just below the top heading and the screen will change. Tapping the waveform will toggle the session on and off.
When tapping the waveform during a session the user will have the opportunity to tap “Continue” to resume the session or “Quit” to return to the Dr. Bop’s Game tab.
Call and Response screen
The Call and Response screen is what the app will look like when it’s playing phrases for you and listening to your response.
The animated waveform indicates the app is playing when the display is orange and listening when black.
In early levels, the first note being played is displayed. In more complex levels, this will not always appear.
PitchBop creates calls with varying levels of pitch complexity on a scale of 1 to 9. Use this slider to set the complexity level.
Use this slider to set the rhythmic complexity level between 1 and 9.
Tap the Metronome icon to set metronome options. Tap again to go back.
In Practice Mode, you can modify many of the parameters to create exercises to develop the specific skills you desire.
The first three options are the same for PitchBop and Practice modes.
Use this slider to set the tempo between 50 and 160 beats per minute.
Use the up and down arrows to set the key center.
Use the up and down arrows to select the scale or harmony area.
Lowest and Highest Pitch
Select the pitch limits of the call. These might be greater or lesser than the limits set when selecting the instrument.
Always start on root
Toggle between always starting on the root or another pitch.
Calls per session
Use the up and down arrows to set the number of calls between 4 and 32.
Use the up or down arrows to toggle between Swing and Even beat divisions.
Toggle between using chromatic notes or only diatonic notes.
The results screen shows Dr. Bop’s comments on the previous session and tells you what will happen next. Based on Dr. Bop’s evaluation, you will either move up to the next level, repeat the current level, or go back a level.
You will have the choice to proceed immediately or just wait a few seconds and the app will do it on its own.
Under the profile tab you can find information about your progress from each session. This information is only stored for Dr. Bop’s Game, not for Practice Mode.
For more details, tap the up and down arrows next to “Scale” to select the various scale and harmony types PitchBop uses for the calls.
PitchBop will list the total calls and perfect responses for each scale or harmony you have heard. In addition, it will report the success rate and the Pitch and Rhythmic Complexity of your most recent “Call-and-Response” session.
Choose Your Instrument
Tap to see a list of instrument choices. Tap again on the name of your instrument to automatically set the available range for the music.
Lowest and Highest Pitch
To adjust the Lowest and Highest pitches, use the up and down arrows on the left and right to select other pitches.
Tap the text and then use the up and down arrows to select whether the key and note names will be displayed in concert pitch or transposed for your instrument.
A few words from Lynn Baker
PitchBop is created to help you to improve the connection between your ear and your instrument.
Ear training is one of the most vital musical skills and may be the most frustrating part of development because until now, there have been few ways to connect ear training skills directly to performance.
PitchBop solves this problem by creating a real-time experience of performing short melodic phrases and receiving feedback about how well you did and how you can improve.
The basic function of the app is based on the ‘Call-and-Response’ model. PitchBop plays a short phrase for you to hear, and allows you the same amount of time to repeat the phrase. PitchBop listens to you as you perform the short phrase, and evaluates the accuracy of your performance. This ‘Call-and-Response’ repeats and you receive feedback after the “session” has finished.
PitchBop works for any instrument and any style of music. It’s a universal skill-building program for better musicianship at any level, from beginner to pro!