Scale Buddy

product design

Scale Buddy is a web app that lets you to search through musical chords and scales based on selected notes.

View Prototype

The Problem

Experienced musicians who have been classically trained in music theory for the majority of their life might have a lot of musical scales memorized by heart, but beginner, intermediate and even some advanced composers might not.

Most musical composers start out by writing a simple chord progression, melody, bassline, or whatever it might be to start off what will one day be a fully finished piece of music. But in order to write a song, you need to know what scale you are writing in, and you need to know what notes are in that scale. Musical Scales act very similar to a color palette. They are what makes a song have a specific emotion and feeling.

Currently, there are not very many places online where you can easily search through musical scales. The goal of Scale Buddy is to solve this problem.

Use Case

The typical use case for a musician wanting to find a scale depends on the composer and what they are looking for.

Most musical composers usually start off a song by jamming around on an instrument in their studio trying to come up with a first initial melody, chord progression or whatever it might be. After they have their first collection of notes, they will search online and figure out what scale their notes fall into, and from there they find the rest of the notes in that scale. Kind of like a painter who starts off a painting with the colors of purple and blue. They might think "What other colors would work well with purple and blue? What are my options?"

Competitor Analysis

Right now the only way for a musician to search up a scale is to enter the notes or the name of the scale into Google and do a quick search. The problem with this is that all of the information is scattered into Wikipedia pages and other random sites.

As far as direct competition, here are some sites that I've found after doing some research...

As you can see, there are a few competitors to what Scale Buddy does, but they do not feel refined and can be confusing to use.

Layout Design & Branding

I wanted to design a layout that was very simple, clean, and straight to the point. Since this will be just the first beta version, I stripped it from everything that is not absolutely needed and focused strictly on the task of being able to search through scales and chords based on notes.

For the visual design of the site, I wanted to give it sort of a dreamy feeling with soft tones and a sky-like color scheme.

Since most composers work from a modern studio equipped with computers, they will most likely be viewing the site on a computer screen most of the time. But I also wanted to make sure that the mobile version was clean and responsive enough to do the job just as well as the desktop version.