Scale and SticKey
preview video & app overview

Interactively discover music theory fundamentals with this app that integrates musical

  • modes
  • scales
  • key signatures
  • solfa
  • chord progressions

into an intuitive, playful interface.

Available for iPhone, iPad, android, and Kindle Fire devices. 

 " Finally, musical modes in a fun app! Great variety of styles and chord progressions in this thoughtfully developed app. So glad to help my young improvisers enjoy playing along with multiple chord progressions in various keys and modes ... Congrats to the developer for applying high level music theory in an accessible way. 

Rebecca Stewart 
Sight Reading Secrets

Frequently Asked Questions

The detailed app walkthrough video below shows one way to use the Scale and SticKey app. (You can walk through these steps yourself in the app by clicking on the '?' near the lower right corner.) Other ideas are listed below the video.

If you have a key signature you want to explore, for example 3 sharps:
- Using the Zig-Zag of Fifths, you know that F, C, and G are sharp
- Move the F, C and G players clockwise around the wheel to become sharp.
- Then, spin the solfa wheel one space at a time until each solfa syllable lines up with a player.

For improvisation activities:
- Select a mode and scale you wish to improvise over.
- Play a chord progression in the app.
- After listening to the chord progression one time through, either sing/hum a melody or play the scale on your piano or keyboard.

Scale and SticKey is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Amazon Appstore.

Most iPhones, iPads, android phones and tablets, and Kindle Fire devices are compatible. However, there are certain minimum software and hardware requirements.

Check the appropriate app store to verify your device meets the requirements.


The Solfa Slider lets you see which keys on the keyboard belong to a Note Team as you move 'do' to different positions.

The Note Team Builder game is the physical version of the solfa wheel and players from the app.

Many people write every scale starting on 'do.' In fact, the first prototype of the Scale and SticKey app did just that, showing scales as follows:
Major: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do
Natural minor: do, re, me, fa, sol, le, te, do
Harmonic minor: do, re, me, fa, sol, le, ti, do
Melodic minor: do, re, me, fa, sol, la, ti, do

This method essentially compares modal scales back to the major (Ionian) mode. You might have also heard people refer to a scale as having "a flatted third and sixth" (harmonic minor), which similarly compares back to the Ionian mode.

On the other hand, Scale and SticKey defines a Note Team (key signature) based on a fixed position of do, re, mi, fa, sol, la and ti. To change modes, the tonic shifts to one of these 7 solfa positions, and the scale starts and ends on that solfa syllable.

Tonic : Mode
  do   :  Ionian (major)
  re    :  Dorian
  mi   :  Phrygian
  fa    :  Lydian
  sol  :  Mixolydian
  la    :  Aeolian (minor)
  ti     :  Locrian

For example, the minor (Aeolian) mode has 'la' as its tonic. Therefore, its scale is read as "la, ti, do, re, mi, fa, sol, la".

Notice that this gives exactly the same relative pitches as the "do, re, me, fa, sol, le, te, do" version of the natural minor scale (W-H-W-W-H-W-W); however, it is a simpler representation of the underlying set of notes (solfa) that create the scale.

For more information about this way of using solfa (the movable do and tonic solfa method), see this article from Kodaly Australia.

Complement the app with printables in the Stickey Notes Etsy store.

Check out the Scale and Key Bundle, which includes the physical versions of the Solfa Slider and Note Team Builder from the app.