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Miguel Monroy of Modern Drummer reviewed our app for the October edition of Modern Drummer. He even included a video with a demonstration of the 9 iOS Apps Every Drummer Should Know (see this post for a video of the new PercussionTutor version).

This is the only app in our list that’s dedicated solely to global percussion education, and it does its job wonderfully. It offers a well-organized list of rhythms from all over the world, grouped by country of origin, and there are multiple instrument options for each.

For the one-time fee you’ll get unlimited access to more than sixty rhythms, which include full transcriptions for every part, a live recording of the patterns, info about each rhythm, a metronome, and a Time Stretch feature that lets you speed up or slow down the audio examples.

Many of the rhythms also include a percussionist video demonstration. Once a specific rhythm is chosen, you’re taken to another screen that shows each instrument used to play the pattern. You then have the ability to turn the instruments on and off as you listen to the example audio. The simplicity and functionality of the PercussionTutor app is the result of a lot of work from the creators. This is a must-have for anyone wanting an encyclopedia of world percussion rhythms at their fingertips.” Miguel Monroy. Modern Drummer October 2015.

It’s a great honor to get listed along essential apps like Tempo and Groove Freedom.

20150820_Modern Drummer PercussionTutor Review October2015

PercussionTutor 4.0 update

Here is a 30 seconds video with everything you need to know about the PercussionTutor 4.0 update.

  • iPad version (PercussionTutor is now an universal app)
  • new design and user interface
  • better audio quality (compression rate is now 1/4 vs. 1/10 for the mp3 files used before)
  • new metronome playing along with every rhythm
  • time-stretching option on every rhythm & every instrument

We added a time-stretching option for all the rhythms in the app. The same lossless audio files you can find in the full book version are used to slow down or speed up the different patterns.

With the launch of our new book one of the most requested features is now available on all platforms! Time-stretching was one of the most requested feature in the PercussionTutor app and is now accessible with your regular DAW. For those who are not as computer savvy, we made a video on how to loop and slow down a rhythm with the free Audacity editor.

Get the full book package with audio, videos and loops. It is compatible with any computer, tablet or smartphone. Learn more about the book here, or buy the book on Gumroad as a digital download for $29.90

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Percussive Arts Society's Percussive Notes publication (Credit: PAS)

Percussive Arts Society’s Percussive Notes publication (Credit: PAS)

The Percussive Arts Society (PAS) is a music service organization promoting percussion education, research, performance and appreciation throughout the world. The Percussive Arts Society is the world’s largest percussion organization and is considered the central source for information and networking for percussionists and drummers of all ages.

We would like to thank the Percussive Arts Society for their review which was published in january 2014 in the Percussive Notes journal (Digital version available). Percussive Notes is the journal of the Percussive Arts Society. This journal is written for professional and student percussionists.

Here is what the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) wrote

“PercussionTutor is an iOS application designed to teach traditional world percussion styles and their transfer to drumset. The interactive application is very thorough and includes styles or “rhythms”from Cuba, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Peru, West Africa, and an in-depth collection of traditional Cuban Bata patterns.

As an example of how each style works within the application, the guaguanco page displays an image of each of the instruments that make up this traditional rhythm (clave, maraca, cascara, salidor, tres golpe, and quinto). When the play button is pressed, each of the instruments can be heard and then toggled off or on to mix a composite sound of each voice. This allows a student to isolate and learn each component of the style one voice at a time.

In addition to the mixer feature, sheet music is provided to demonstrate the rhythmic ostinatos of the given style (this is best viewed with your device turned to landscape). An “info” tab displays background and cultural details about each style, and a tempo slider is also provided to slow down or speed up each rhythm. Each style also includes a performance video that demonstrates these patterns by leading percussionists in New York City.

Navigation is simple and the layout is logical and easy to grasp. Toggles, sliders, and buttons are large, and I found no obvious bugs that prevent a solid user experience. Additional features include the ability to “star” frequently used styles so they can be quickly located, and a useful “help” section that includes tips and advice for using the app as well as specific notation guidelines. A companion book or pdf file can also be downloaded for use with the interactive playback.

The application can be purchased through the iOS App Store. The current version (2.5) comes in at 119MB and requires iOS 5 or later. It is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, although it is not optimized for the iPad’s larger screen. Since its introduction in 2012, the application has seen a few updates, one of which included the addition of five new rhythmic styles and a new user interface. This is promising, as the developers will likely continue to contribute more content in the future. There are no in-app purchases, so users receive all features with one purchase.” – Thad Anderson, the Percussive Arts Society

Don’t forget to check out what our endorsers think of the app! Read their thoughts here. If you’d like to support spreading rhythm throughout the world, please help us reach more people by sharing this page with your friends. The buttons just under this line will make it a breeze – and you’ll make us even happier!

App Review from bassist Hugh Richardson

Hugh Richardson is a bass player, arranger and composer currently living in London. During his time in London he has performed among others with musicians such as Ian Matthews (Kasabian), Marc Russo (Tower of Power, Yellow Jackets), John Cowan (The Doobie Brothers), Lara Johnston, Tolis Zavaliaris (Vanessa Mae), Carl Verheyen (Supertramp), Marin Alsop (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra), Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Chuck Sabo (Chaka Kahn, Elton John, Natalie Imbruglia), Alon Cohen (Passenger), Kimya, Amy Studt, Leon Mitchener (Rolf Hind, London Improvisers Orchestra), Ana Free, Gianluca Corona (Al Di Meola) and Cheryl Alleyne (Courtney Pine).

Here is what he writes about the app:

This is an app that has such a huge amount to offer to any musician. Whether you are a beginner or at a more advanced stage there is so much information here!

The app is incredibly easy to use and having recordings of actual musicians gives the content so much more context. Two things that struck me almost immediately about the app were (A) the level of customisation within each groove and (B) the amount of depth and knowledge packed into each groove. This is not some run of the mill play along app. Every groove has been played flawlessly, comes with a complete score, a video of the recording session, the option to add, solo or mute each individual element of the groove, and last of all, some information regarding things such as the historic origins of the rhythm and notable players from the genre.

What’s so clever about this is that it gives the consumer something beyond the app to explore. This can be anything from the mechanics of each grove to information about expanding on basic principles of each grove (variation and conversation options) and even further listening that comes in the form of historical figures mentioned in the information section on the grooves.

All of this is supplemented by the free E-book that is available to download from the website or through the app. It gives further insight into the programme and also offers the user a chance to engage with the material creatively as it states that you are welcome to ‘distribute and transmit…remix….and even make commercial use of the work’.

All in all this is a very complete programme. Something of great depth that professional musicians, educators or those who are just curious about world music will get a great deal from.

New app version launched!


Thanks to all of you for the great launch we had with PercussionTutor back in July! We updated the app with new content, improved features and a complete User Interface redesign. The new companion book is also available as a free download on our website (www.percussiontutor.com/downloads).

As you’re working on the new rhythms (I suppose…), we’re working hard on our side: expect new updates in the next months with even more rhythms, updated audio and bug fixes. There are still a lot of rhythms to be released soon – this is just the very beginning!

With the launch of PercussionTutor, two amazing musicians joined our existing endorsers (http://percussiontutor.com/endorsements/):

Thanks again for your great support.

For any questions, email us, tweet, message us on Facebook – we’re listening (and we love to hear from you)!

Jonathan, the PercussionTutor team

First review on notreble.com

The version 2 of the app was only launched a few days ago and we already got our first review by Damian Erskine. Here is in a nutshell what he has to say on a site dedicated to the bass(!):

“PercussionTutor is truly fantastic and a blast to play along with. I even found myself just reading the ebook for my own reference and education. Money well spent for anyone who wants to explore these rhythms or “the original funk music,” as Lincoln Goines put it. Check it out!”

“In other words, this will help you – as a bassist – to better understand how your bass lines should fit into the context of the groove.”

Go here for the full review on notreble.com.

Jonathan, UI designer

whatittooktobuild

I joined the Percussiontutor-Team (formerly FunkyDrumTutor) in August/September 2012. Laurent and Jerome asked me if I wanted to be a part of the app, and I agreed immediately. Both are not only passionated about playing music but also about teaching music, and in 2011 they had the brilliant idea to make an iPhone app – they wanted to communicate using technology, and revolutionize the more “traditional” way of teaching music.

During the first months my task was to keep the Facebook & Twitter pages up-to-date, make some little design tweaks, basically I had to improve our communication on social networks. The app being a very niche product, it was (and still is) very hard to get feedback online through Facebook, Twitter, so it was vital to have pages online with fresh content. I was sure that by reading articles of clever businessmen and tech experts, we’d get thousands of likes on our page in just a few days. I thought that virality and buzz for our app we’re just around the corner. Turns out, the growth I had imagined was pure fiction. We were trying to communicate, writing to lots of influential people but it just didn’t work out. Maybe the app was too niche, maybe I was naive, or perhaps we were just unprepared. But along the way, we learned a lot, and we value it.

Just after a few weeks after I joined, the idea of big update came up. There were a lot of things to improve: better audio and video quality, the so-so User Interface, you name it. But most important of all, the main idea shifted from being a Batà-specialized app to a World percussion app. Why only show you a few Batà rhythms if we can show a variety of rhythms coming from a variety of countries played by some of the most amazing percussionists we know?

We started figuring out what we needed to make a better version of the app, what it would take to build Percussiontutor. The new rhythms, musicians, and a professional studio on the content side, and new features and a re-imagined UI on the tech side. I’ve always loved technology and I’m passionated about improving people’s lives with it every day. And beautiful design is, in my opinion, very important in order to achieve that mission. You can’t write great code and just put it out there: there has to be a layer in between, in order that a “normal”, non-geeky person can understand why your product or service is great and most important of all: know how to use it. Design not only means looking good, but also teaching people how to use something. So I was interested in designing Percussiontutor, and after months of learning through websites and various tutorial-videos online, I hit the export button just a few days ago. It took hours of work, figuring out programs, lots of chocolate chip cookies and litres of coffee to finally be able to design something that looks like an app. It was a very rewarding moment.

Back to V2: after sketching out the new design, emailing with our developer and several Skype-sessions we knew what we had to work on and what V2 would approximately look like. The content-related story is a different kind of story. An amazing one.

Jerome living in New York City for 17 years, he contacted musicians and asked them if they would be interested in recording rhythms for V2. Eventually he had a list with musicians who agreed and we were starting to search for a studio that could offer high-quality audio and maybe nice walls for filming. We found the amazing Atlantic Sound Studios right next to the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn. After setting up a schedule, we were ready to go – Laurent and I would join Jerome in NYC for the session in december. I thought: How cool is this? NYC… in a studio… for an app! Everything I love was united: music, technology and New York. There was just one thing that could cancel the trip, school. I wrote a letter to the headmaster, explained him the situation and got a meeting after just a week. And what a great meeting. He was like “Yeah, go to NY, play music and make an app”. I was thrilled. So again, Mr. Trauffler, thank you for letting me go. That week was one of the best of my life.

Now here we are, April 2013, and Percussiontutor will hit the App Store soon. And this time it’s not just an app. It’s a whole ecosystem, the experience goes beyond the app, wich is only the layer for you to explore fascinating rhythms. The app is the door to a world of century-old patterns, for the foundation of the modern music styles we know today. And because it’s an app, it has many advantages:

1. you don’t have to be a musician

2. you don’t have to know anything about percussion

3. it’s just a tap away

Plus you get a booklet for free, with transcriptions and information for each and every rhythm. But it’s also important to mention the third component of our vision: you. You have to be motivated, willing to practice and listen to music. Listening is the most important part of all: it’s the key to understand and to feel the music.

This is my story, my amazing journey since I joined the team less than a year ago. I learned so much and the learning process goes on every single day, whether it’s in the musical or technological field.

Jonathan

(medium.com/@drummerjolev)