ScaleMaster on iPad


Scales are at the center of much of what we are practicing on our instruments. Most of us start out with a one-octave major scale and then slowly graduate to more octaves, scale types and different scale patterns. And there is a lot of ground to cover especially for those playing a string instrument. That is because there are so many different fingerings. In any case it is always good to have a great reference handy. ScaleMaster to the rescue!


Scales are listed by name in a master list that also contains additional information like type. The notation display is automatically updated with each new selection. Light text coloring as well as the scale type indicator help easily distinguishing between different types. Scale configurations are saved in exercise documents that can be shared. Each document is set to a specific instrument and saves scale information as well as instrument position. Documents also allow for instrument recordings. These can be adjusted in speed and used as play-along exercise. Additional playback functions include count-in and auto-reverse.

Chord Matching

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.


Of course we don't just want to look up the location of those notes, but want to incorporate things into our practice schedule as well. That is where scale exercises come in. Exercises are new in ScaleMaster and like most everything else part of a scale document. So if a guitar player for example is interested in an Ab Mixolydian scale, the best way to go about it is to create a new document, set it up for Ab Mixolydian and then have ScaleMaster create an exercise. When playing back that exercise ScaleMaster highlights the fingering and of course lets you adjust the speed. There is a whole chapter on exercises in the documentation and it also shows you how to record your own custom exercises.


ScaleMaster's notation view offers a lot of valuable information. It is updated whenever a scale is changed. So - not only can we look up the fingering of a specific scale in the instrument view, but we also can review the notation details of that scale. Of particular interest here are the application of flats, sharps and other accidentals. ScaleMaster will apply these according to the laws of music theory and help in cases where there might be doubt whether a note is written as a natural or double flat for example.


What makes ScaleMaster really stand out is of course its fantastic support of music notation including double sharps or flats and indication of halftone (semitone) steps. Other things ScaleMaster can do include changing the clef and adjusting the tuning of string instruments. A full general MIDI sound library is included with 128 sounds on iOS and over 200 on macOS.

A Fantastic Tool

ScaleMaster is a tool and as with any tool, what you get out of it greatly depends on your use. Its scope keeps expanding. Providing immediate information on a large selection of scales in any key was the original use case. Today the app incorporates playback, music notation, a circle of fifths, virtual instruments and more. ScaleMaster is designed for the beginning musician as well as the professional and is an excellent means towards advancement in theory and scales in particular, making it easy to look up a scale in seconds and get a taste of its flavor by listening to it. ScaleMaster supports Family Sharing and includes nine instruments as of this writing.

Full Documentation: iOS / macOS



Available for:




    Instruments are not strictly speaking necessary but can of course be helpful for fingering, positioning and other considerations. The following instruments are currently available in ScaleMaster:
    Banjo, Bass, Cello, Double Bass, Guitar, Mandolin, Piano, Viola, Violin

    ScaleMaster has a built-in library of over 100 sounds that can be used for playback and assigned as per document.


  • Over 200 types scales listed
  • Adjustable instrument position
  • Adjustable tuning for string instruments
  • Support for left-handed players
  • Semitone indicators
  • Scale Exercises
  • Chord matching
  • All common clefs
  • Split View support on iPad
  • Extensive documentation

ScaleMaster is on FaceBook

ScaleMaster has its own Facebook page. A little bit of a diary but also a growing collection of all things surrounding the app. Check out the timeline to see the development of ScaleMaster, additional images and links to 3rd party reviews. Make sure to stop by and see what's new.