Late last year Wild Chords [$24.99 (HD)] knocked my socks off. In a nutshell, it's an edu-tainment game that utilizes the microphone on the iPad to pick up the chords being played on a guitar. It works great, too. I was more than a little surprised that in a few hours of playing the game I went from never having touched a guitar before to actually being able to play a few (admittedly very basic) tunes.

Piano Dust Buster [Free] seems to accomplish the same thing, with two significant differences: Obviously, per the name, the focus is on the piano instead of the guitar. Additionally, the game features a virtual keyboard of sorts, so unlike Wild Chords where you need a guitar to play, you don't really need a piano to jump into Piano Dust Buster.

I think these music-centric edu-tainment games are seriously just fantastic, and really wish they would've been around when I was a kid. I couldn't even guess how much money my poor parents dumped into sending me to piano lessons when all I wanted to do was slam my head (and heinously under leveled party) against Gurgu Volcano in Final Fantasy. Had there been some piano gamification to be found in the 80's, well, I could potentially be a world famous concert pianist right now.

Piano Dust Buster is free, and I'm really curious to hear back from anyone out there with young kids and a piano to see how they take to the game.

  • JPhilipp

    Wasn't sure from the iTunes description -- does it use the mic to listen for which key you played on the (real) piano? Or does it just go on independent of that.

  • Dion Booth

    Just tried it without a piano. Very good for free. Really does teach you to read and play music.

  • Jeremy Groskreutz

    Will there be an iPhone version?

  • Alex

    I just downloaded it. I've been taking a Piano class for less than a year now, so I know a lot of the basics already, but I was very surprised at how easy this was! I played it with the keyboard I'm currently using, and it was pretty accurate at catching the notes for the most part. I'd definitely recommend this to a relative to help him or her learn Piano.

    I'm hoping there'll be some sort of Synthesia clone or port put onto the iPad, because this app definitely showed it's possible.

  • Noam Gat

    @JPhilipp:disqus It listens to the microphone input and recognizes which notes are being played.

    @twitter-195918038:disqus An iPhone version is a possibility.