Use SmartMusic to play, practice, and perform a diverse range of titles. SmartMusic's assessment feature provides instant feedback to help you improve your skills as a musician.


To get started, open a title. This article will cover the different options available for playing and practicing music after opening a title. For information on how to complete an assignment, see this article instead. If you want to open titles not assigned by your teacher, you will need a Premium subscription. Otherwise, you can only open titles assigned to you by your teacher. See Purchasing a Premium subscription for more information. 


See Finding and opening music (Students & Hobbyists) for instructions on locating repertoire.


Jump to:




Play and pause music.


Once the title is open, select the play button to hear the music played back. 




Select the pause button to pause playback.  





Vocal titles only: listen to arpeggio and starting pitch.


In vocal titles, select starting_pitch_button.png to hear an arpeggio in the key of the title and the starting pitch at the cursor position before you begin practicing.





Adjust the tempo and count-off.


Adjust the tempo and number of metronome count-off beats by selecting the + or - buttons next to Tempo and Count-off, respectively. Enter a specific BPM to quickly select a new Tempo.





Adjust the volume.


Adjust the playback volume of the accompaniment, written part, and metronome at any time using the sliders under Tracks. To mute a track, select the speaker icon next to that track's slider. Select Subdivisions to hear the subdivisions of the metronome. 





Adjust the amount of swing.


Adjust the swing level for My Part playback and for assessment. Select the Tracks tab. Choose the percentage of swing you would like from the Swing drop-down menu.





View fingerings and listen to individual notes.


While practicing music you can view the fingerings and listen to individual notes. Select a single note and choose fingering_button.png to see the fingering for the selected note.




Select a single note and choose listen_to_note_button.png to hear the selected note.





Play or loop a specific region.


Select within a measure and select the playback button to start playback from that measure. If you'd like to loop a region, select the Loop tab and then select Set. The Start and Stop points appear on the barlines of the currently selected measure. Select and drag the start and stop points to adjust the region you are looping. Select the playback button to playback your looped region. By default, Use Count-Off Between Loops is selected. Deselect this option if you would like the loop to start automatically, without interruption. Select Clear to deselect the looped region and disable looping. 





Control how the music is displayed.


Choose Display to see your display options for the music. Select Color Blind Mode to enable color blind accessible visual assessment. See Understanding visual assessment for more information.




Select or deselect Highlight Current Measure to control whether the currently selected measure is highlighted or not. Use the Cursor drop-down menu to change whether the playback cursor moves along each beat, flows evenly across a measure, moves by note, or is off.




Next to Zoom, use the or buttons to zoom in or out. Select the full-screen button to enable full-screen mode.




Set the Assessment Tolerance.


Choose Assessment and select the Tolerance dropdown to change how SmartMusic will assess pitch and rhythm. Choose Lenient Tolerance to make the assessment more forgiving. Choose Average Tolerance to allow a medium assessment of pitch and rhythm. Choose Strict Tolerance to make the assessment very fine.





Tune your instrument.


To tune your instrument before playing, select tuner_button.png




The Tune Your Instrument dialog box appears. The tuner, your instrument, the Concert Pitch of the note being played, the Transposed note (if you are playing a transposing instrument), and cents of the tuning pitch are displayed. Play your instrument or sing a pitch. The dial reacts to the pitch you are playing and shows if you are flat, in tune, or sharp. When you are finished, click Done





Calibrate your microphone and record.


When you're ready to record a take, select record.png. The Prepare to record dialog box appears. Follow the onscreen instructions. Make sure your speakers' volume is loud enough so that your microphone picks up the test tone. Click Test your microphone




You can also calibrate your microphone by choosing Assessment and selecting mic_calibration_button.png.





If SmartMusic encounters a problem, follow the onscreen instructions to troubleshoot the issue or contact our Customer Success Team. 




When your microphone has been successfully calibrated, click Start practicing




Once the calibration has finished, you will automatically hear a countoff and can begin recording. The playback cursor shows where you are in the music. If at any point you want to stop the recording, click the stop button. Practice time is logged as soon as SmartMusic begins to record. You can view the amount of time you've spent on a given piece by viewing the Practice Analytics





See and listen to your performance.


Green noteheads indicate that the correct pitch was played at the correct time. Red noteheads indicate incorrect timing or pitch. The vertical placement of a red notehead on the staff indicates the pitch that was played. If you'd like to playback your recording, click the playback recording button.




If you want to hide your assessment, deselect Show Assessment under the Assessment menu. If you want SmartMusic to only assess rhythm in your next recording, select Percussion Mode.  





Review, save, or delete previous takes.


You can review your recorded takes under My Takes. Select the take under the Takes drop-down menu to see your assessment for that take. Click the Save button to download the selected take as a WAV audio file. Click the Delete button to delete the selected take.