Scale Wizard is a useful, inexpensive app from Planet Waves – a company known for making a lot of good entry-level guitar gear and, of course, D’addario strings. The app itself is very simple: you use scrolling menus to select a scale, mode, or arpeggio. It then displays a scrollable fretboard with that scale clearly marked, and it will play the scale with a swipe of your finger.
Scale Wizard demonstrates impressive attention to detail. Root notes are marked in a darker color, making them easy to find. The list of scales and modes is impressive, including some scales many guitarists will never have heard of like the dominant pentatonic and Minor Hexatonic. No, I didn’t know what those were, either, although it must be said that the Guitar Toolkit iPhone app is still the gold standard in this area, with even more scales.
The app works nicely in either landscape or portrait orientation. The only real knock I had on this app was that on a first-generation iphone, the swipe-to-play feature was a little sluggish. I’m not sure if this would be a problem on newer devices.
At only 99 cents, this is Scale Wizard is a pretty easy purchase if you want an app to cover scales. The real question becomes is if an app is particularly useful, although, for that price, it doesn’t require a whole ton of utility to be a worthwhile purchase. As a reference, it’s definitely useful, but if you’re actually trying to learn scales you might want for a bigger screen. Therefore, this app would be more useful for iPad owners than for those of us with iPhones.