Music Teacher's Helper Blog

Explore and Create Harmony with Tin Pan Rhythm


Count on Tin Pan Rhythm to boost your budding musicians’ understanding of harmonic progressions. Count on the app to trigger arranging skills thanks to the app’s intuitive interface. One more, you can count on students catching on to using the Tin Pan Rhythm  in seconds–I’m not exaggerating–and charge up their creative juices.

Here’s an extended tutorial provided by the developers so I won’t go into details on how the app works. You may not even need to watch the tutorial as it’s so intuitive. I know you’ll enjoy learning the app as you go.

There are two reasons why you will want to purchase Tin Pan Rhythm:

1) The simplicity and focus of the app will assist you in teaching the basics of harmony. Chords are placed in a pyramid showcasing the primary chords above secondary and borrowed chords. It’s versatile as the app allows you to change keys and create patterns to suit your preferences. In addition, there’s an option to choose chord names or scale degrees (roman numerals.) This is a terrific way to help explain the function and quality of chords within a key.


2) The app offers oodles of opportunities to explore and create with harmony. Hear are some ways I’ve asked my students to use the app:


Choose four chords from the triangle until you find a pattern you like. Then arrange a loop and determine the style of piano, guitar, bass, and percussion. Record the loop, email it to your home address and play along with the progression at home.

Backing Track

Create a chord progression of the pop song you are working on and play along with your original loop.

Here’s Matthew playing along with his backing track that he created for “Pompeii” by Bastille. Note: the background music for the video was created with Tin Pan Rhythm, too.

Composition and Songwriting

Use the app as a chord “sand box” and play around with chords until you find one that suits you. Then create an original composition or song.

This has been my favorite app of the summer. Have you been using Tin Pan Rhythm? How have you used it in your studio?

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