Music equipment maker Yamaha hopes to unleash your inner keyboardist in time for the Grammys with its recently released NoteStar iPad app. Featuring songs by popular artists – including Lady Gaga, Adele and Katy Perry – the interactive sheet music program provides scrolling chords and compositions that allow fans to tickle real-world ivories in sync with songs.
Providing hands-free page turning, the program's scrolling displays (resizable with a tap) are complemented by backing tracks and vocals recorded by professional studio musicians. Alternately, listeners can elect to isolate keyboard instrumentals only. Meant for use as both a digital diversion and a teaching tool, the free download aims to build skills by letting you play hits like Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" or Radiohead's "Creep."
Built-in adjustable difficulty options purport to build timing and talent, with featured selections spanning genres including pop, rock and oldies. The latest in an increasing range of high-tech learning aids, the app's mileage varies by personal interest and ability, though optional song add-ons (up to $3.99/apiece) promise to keep the party going strong for some time.