Playing a musical instruments to any degree of competency requires years and years of practice and (most likely) tuition before you can persuade an audience not to throw fruit during your performances.
Virtual Instruments is not a shortcut to musical prowess. Instead, it’s a basic musical instrument app with aspirations of something grander, managing to pack in both a free-play, mess-about option as well as the ability to either learn or play along with some pre-written tunes.
There’s one major flaw with the program from the outset – you can only play in C Major – or A Minor, if you want to get fancy with your root notes – as there’s no option of pressing a sharp or flat for any of the keys.
While the upshot of this is the buttons themselves are easy to hit, as opposed to a number of other music apps on other platforms, it considerably reduces the playing options and actual usefulness of the app.
Should you try to play along with some of the exclusively C Major songs like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, it becomes quickly obvious that the app’s simple setup isn’t even capable of following the most basic of songs, with the lack of octave changes particularly hurting its versatility.
Hold down a note for longer than a tap and another shortcoming becomes apparent. Despite offering five different musical instruments to play with – ranging from the classic piano to steel drums – there’s no way of sustaining notes, or playing chords.
This may not be so bad when playing the drums, but it once again severely limits the range of options available to the user.
All these issues make us wonder who exactly this app is aimed at, because it seems pretty much useless as a serious application, and extremely limited even as a ‘fun, throwaway’ app thanks to the lack of options.
The size of buttons may be a relief, especially for those with larger fingers, but Virtual Instruments needs to implement more features before it’s worth checking out.