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Help for iPhone

This help file is organized by topic.


ⓘ (Information)

Top left corner of screen: Tap the , which will cause a control panel to slide out with How To Play, Online Help and Tell A Friend options. Tap to select.

How To Play

ⓘ→How To Play: Tap to display a Quick Start overlay with labels explaining each feature.

Upper right corner of Quick Start screen: Tap More Help to open online help at the Bandojo website. (If your device is not connected to the Internet, nothing will be displayed.) Tap About to learn about the particular version of Bandojo you’re running. To access Bandojo’s online help outside of Bandojo, go to

Online Help

ⓘ→Online Help: Tap to open online help at the Bandojo website. (If your device is not connected to the Internet, nothing will be displayed.) To open the FAQ for additional help, tap Support in the menu bar to open a dropdown menu, then tap on FAQ.

Tell A Friend

ⓘ→Tell A Friend: Tap the Message or Mail icon to let your friends know about Bandojo.


Upper right corner of screen: Tap the Volume icon to cause a control panel to slide out. It offers separate sliders that balance the Accompaniment and Melody volumes, and a Master control for the combined volume. Tap the Melody Palette buttons on the right to hear the new volume on your selected Melody Palette instrument. Note: The buttons on the outside of your iPhone compose a separate volume control that will not be affected by settings within Bandojo.


Left side of screen: Tap on the Accompaniments tab to open a menu of available accompaniments, then tap on your selection. If you tap a new accompaniment, the current measure will finish before the new accompaniment begins. Stop by tapping the currently playing selection or Stop. Scroll for additional accompaniments. Descriptions are on the Accompaniments page on this website. To load a different set of Accompaniments, go to Toolbox Icon→Accompaniments, tap the arrow to open a menu showing the Accompaniment Files available on this device, then tap your selection followed by Apply.


Accompaniments Tab: Tap Start or Stop to begin or end the accompaniment. When you tap Stop, the accompaniment will complete the current measure before ending.

Accompaniment Progress Indicator

Top center of screen: The Accompaniment Progress Indicator is visible only when the accompaniment plays. It consists of two parts. The first is a small dot that moves across the screen from left to right; it indicates how far the current accompaniment has progressed through a cycle. To its left is a series of three numbers separated by colons in the form Cycle:Measure:Beat. The first number indicates how many cycles have been played of the current accompaniment, including the one in progress. When the dot returns to the left, the cycle number increases and the tonic changes (if Auto Change Tonic is on). The second number indicates which measure of the accompaniment cycle is currently playing, while the third number indicates the beat within the current measure. The Measure and Beat values change synchronously with the blinking of the dots near the center of the Melody Palette, which compose the Measure Indicator and Rhythm Beat Indicator.

Melody Palette

Center of screen: To play melodies, sweep one or more fingers across the Melody Palette or tap it with one, two, five or more fingers.

Tap buttons within a row from left to right to play the consecutive notes of a scale. Start on a red button (“Do”) to lead with the current tonic. The scale will automatically match the chosen accompaniment, even if it is not playing. Scales and modes include Major, Minor, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, and Mixolydian. There are also a few examples of non-Western scales or modes, such as Melakarta Marva (India) and Byzantine hard chromatic (Greece). The current scale type is displayed on the Tonic Controller.

Most accompaniment names reference the mode; a few do not. For example:

Island Sun Major
Minor Mystery Minor
Dorian Dots Dorian
Phrygian Chase Phrygian
Lydian Lights Lydian
Banjo Mix Mixolydian


Either three or four octaves are available (depending on Pitch Map selection), arranged diagonally from bottom right to top left. Some diagonal rows have two, three, or four identically colored notes. These notes sound the same. The next diagonal row up plays one octave higher.

Button color indicates scale note. For instance, red is always the first note of the scale (known as the tonic or key). Go to Toolbox Icon→Scales & Tuning, and set Solfege Display to Full to see the mapping of buttons to scale notes, scale degree numbers, or pitch names. This will also cause some number of dots to be drawn above or below each button’s label, indicating that button’s octave register, and making it easy to tell whether buttons of the same color play the same or different notes.

See Tonic Controller, Melody Range and Pitch Map in this help file for additional information.


Rhythm is defined by many layers of cycles. One such layer is the measure, which is defined by a cycle of n beats.

Each Bandojo accompaniment has a time signature or meter, which describes its rhythm structure at the level of the measure. The measure is subdivided into beats. Each beat is further subdivided into some number of pulses, where the duration of each pulse is the same. For this discussion, think of a pulse as being an eighth note.

In many time signatures, each beat has the same number of pulses. For example, in the 6/8 time signature, there are two beats per measure and each beat is divided into three pulses. That is, each beat is a dotted quarter note whose duration is 3 eighth notes. In the 3/4 time signature, on the other hand, there are three beats per measure and each beat is divided into two pulses. That is, each beat is a quarter note whose duration is 2 eighth notes.

Some time signatures, however, vary the number of pulses per beat. The Chase In 7 accompaniment demonstrates just such an asymmetrical time signature. Its 7/8 time signature has three beats per measure, the first two of which divide each beat into two pulses, while the third beat divides into three pulses. That is, its three beats are, respectively, a quarter note, a quarter note, and a dotted quarter note.

Rhythm Beat Indicator

Center of Melody Palette: The central blinking dot represents the Rhythm Beat; it blinks the underlying beat of the selected accompaniment, regardless of whether the accompaniment is currently playing.

Measure Indicator

Center of Melody Palette: The beginning of each Measure is indicated by four blinking dots forming a square around the Rhythm Beat dot. All five dots blink on the first beat of a measure.

For smaller Melody Palette array sizes, the number and layout of Rhythm Beat and Measure dots may differ from this, but their roles should be apparent.

Toolbox Icon (Options)

Bottom left corner of screen: Tap the Toolbox Icon to cause a control panel to slide up with Accompaniments, Group Play, Scales & Tuning, App Settings and Cancel. Tap your selection to open a screen offering controls for that group of Options. See below for help on each Options topic. Tap Cancel to close the control panel without making any changes.


Toolbox Icon→Accompaniments: Select an Accompaniment File, making that set of musical textures available to play. Set whether the changing of accompaniments will be manual or automatic, the number of cycles to complete before automatically changing, and whether the order in which accompaniments are played will be random or as listed.

Accompaniment File

Toolbox Icon→Accompaniments: Tap the arrow to open a menu showing the Accompaniment Files (sets of accompaniments) available on this device. Tap the name of an Accompaniment File and then tap Apply to replace the current set of accompaniments with the selected one. Tap More in the upper right corner of the screen to go to the online store where you can purchase additional Accompaniment Files. Bandojo currently comes with two Accompaniment Files.

  • Bandojo: Complex musical textures in a variety of scales and time signatures, suitable for letting play as ambient music or for using as an accompaniment.
  • Classy: Simpler musical textures suitable for music education, playing melodies and singing along. These include 16 simple textures, which cover each combination of four basic time signatures (2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 6/8) with four popular scales (Major, Minor, Dorian, Mixolydian), plus four supplemental textures.


Auto Change Accompaniment

Toolbox Icon→Accompaniments: Tap the minus or plus to change the number of cycles completed before the accompaniment changes to a new accompaniment.Tap switch to off for manual-only change of accompaniments.

Auto Play On Launch

Toolbox Icon→Accompaniments: Tap switch to off for manual-only start of accompaniments on the next launch of Bandojo.

Random or Sequence Cycles

Toolbox Icon→Accompaniments: Tap to select the order in which accompaniments from the currently loaded set will be played.

  • Random = plays all in random order (surprise!)
  • Sequence = plays all from first to last as listed in Accompaniments menu


Group Play

Toolbox Icon→Group Play: Tap one of the three player modes.

  • Solo: network connection for Bandojo is turned off
  • Maestro: leader of networked collaborators
  • Member: collaborator networked to Maestro


Set up a Group Play session:

  1. Connect all computer devices running Bandojo to the same local area network (LAN) or wireless area network (WAN). Ideally, the Maestro device will be connected directly to the network router through an Ethernet cable.
  2. On the host device, set the player mode to Maestro and the Group ID to a number (1-20) not already in use by another Bandojo group on the same network.
  3. On all remote devices, set the player mode to Member and the Group ID to the same number as the Maestro. All devices of a group must use the same Group ID.
  4. (Only in Maestro mode) Allow Band Members to set accompaniments: If this is switched off (slide button to left), only the Maestro will be able to choose or change accompaniments during play. Select (slide to right/green) to allow Members also to set accompaniments.
  5. Select Apply.

Member devices do not produce any sound. The Maestro’s device will emit the combined audio for the group. The group will share one accompaniment, which will provide the beat for Rhythm Lock, allowing all ensemble members to synchronize rhythms. The group will also share a single scale, which is determined by the accompaniment, and a single tonic (key), which players can change using the Tonic Controller.

Laptop and desktop computers (running BandojoPlus) make better Maestros. They have more powerful audio synthesis, richer sound, and a larger set of instruments, and can support Bandojo groups of up to 16. iPhones and iPads (running Bandojo) make great Members. If you use an iPhone or iPad as Maestro, you may only be able to host one or two other Members, depending on the accompaniment.

Using Maestro/Member mode, you can use your iOS device running Bandojo as an extra controller for BandojoPlus on your laptop or desktop. It’s the best of both worlds—the superior audio quality and greater variety of instruments of BandojoPlus on a laptop or desktop combined with the touchscreen interface of an iPad or iPhone running Bandojo.

Scales & Tuning

Toolbox Icon→Scales & Tuning: Display/hide Solfege button labels on the Melody Palette. Set the displayed Solfege type. Control the scale tuning.

Solfege Type

Toolbox Icon→Scales & Tuning: Tap the desired type of button labels to be displayed.

  • Modal Movable-Do Solfege: Do Re Mi
  • Modal Movable-La (Kodaly) Solfege: La Ti Do
  • Indian Solfege: Sa Re Ga
  • Byzantine Solfege: Ni Pa Vu (Νι Πα Βου)
  • Scale Degree Numbers: 1 2 3
  • Pitch Names: C D E


Solfege Display

Toolbox Icon→Scales & Tuning: Tap Off to hide Solfege button labels. Tap Follow to display Solfege for the last note played; it will appear below the Melody Palette. Tap Full to display Solfege labels on the buttons of the Melody Palette. Then tap Done to close the screen.

The button colors correspond to the Solfege syllables and scale degree numbers as follows. (The La Ti Do Kodaly Solfege follows a different pattern that depends on the scale mode.)






Red Do Sa Ni (Νι) 1
Gold Re Re Pa (Πα) 2
Green Mi Ga Vu (Βου) 3
Teal Fa Ma Ga (Γα) 4
Blue So Pa Thi (Δι) 5
Purple La Da Ke (Κε) 6
Magenta Ti Ni Zo (Ζω) 7

The number of dots above or below a button’s label indicates the octave register, that is, how many octaves that button’s pitch is shifted up or down, respectively, from the middle register. Note: The Pitch Names will change whenever the tonic changes, while the other types of Solfege will not.

Equal Tempered Tuning Only

Options→Scales & Tuning: Tap switch to Off to allow non-equal-tempered tuning appropriate to the culture of the current accompaniment’s scale. Tap switch to On to force the tuning to be equal tempered. The equal tempered tuning system, developed for keyboard instruments such as the piano, uses a constant frequency multiple between the notes of the scale, so that you can shift keys without having to re-tune the instrument. For Major and Minor heptatonic scales, the non-equal-tempered tuning used by Bandojo is called harmonic (or just).

App Settings

Toolbox Icon→App Settings: Set the overall color scheme, the shape or skin (image set) of the Melody Palette buttons, and the number of columns and rows in the Melody Palette’s button grid, or reset the application to its Factory Settings.


Toolbox Icon→App Settings: Tap on Light to set the color scheme to be pastels on white, or on Dark to set it to jewel tones on black. When the Skin is set to Plain, the button shape will be circles for the Light setting and octagons for Dark.


Toolbox Icon→App Settings: Tap switch to On to shift the button colors to brighter tones.

Array Size

Toolbox Icon→App Settings: Tap on the desired grid array size for the Melody Palette, indicated as number of columns x number of rows. The available choices are 8 x 6, 5 x 4, or 3 x 3. The fewer the buttons, the larger they will be. Note: The Harmony buttons will be hidden for the smaller array sizes.


Toolbox Icon→App Settings: Tap the arrow to open a menu showing the Skins (sets of button images) available on this device. Tap the name of a Skin and then tap App Settings to replace the current set of Melody Palette button images. In the future, you will be able to tap More in the upper right corner of the screen to go to the online store where you can purchase additional Skins. The default “Plain” Skin causes pastel circles on a white background to be displayed when the Appearance is set to Light, and jewel-tone octagons on black to be displayed when the Appearance is set to Dark. Other Skins that come with Bandojo are “Monsters” and “Shapes”.

Restore Defaults

Toolbox Icon→App Settings: “Tap to Reset Application to Factory Settings” if desired.

Cogs Icon (Music Settings)

Bottom right corner of screen: Tap the Cogs Icon to cause a settings panel to slide out with Tempo, Melody Range, Pitch Map, Emphasis, and Rhythm Lock. Tap your selections. See below for help on each of these controllers.

Tempo Slider

Cogs Icon→Tempo: Tap and drag the Tempo Slider to the right to speed up the accompaniment, left to slow it down. The vertical line at the center of the Tempo Slider marks the original tempo.

Melody Range

Cogs Icon→Melody Range: Tap the images indicating SubLow, Medium or High on the Melody Range selector to shift the range of the Melody Palette. Sub is indicated by a bass clef with an 8 below it, Low by a bass clef, Medium by a treble clef, and High by a treble clef with an 8 above it. High shifts the Melody Palette up one octave from the Medium setting. Low shifts it down one octave, while Sub shifts it down two octaves. When Solfege Display is set to Full, the number of dots above or below a button’s label indicates the octave register, that is, how many octaves that button’s pitch is shifted up or down, respectively, from the middle register.

Examples of use: Flute sounds most realistic at High, Violin mimics Viola or Contrabass when set to Medium or Low, and Distortion Guitar is gnarliest set to Low or Sub.

Pitch Map

Cogs Icon→Melody Pitch Map: Tap an image on the Pitch Map selector to change the number of scale steps (the interval) between vertically adjacent buttons on the Melody Palette.

Thirds (left): Move vertically to play consecutive thirds (“skipping” one note in the scale). Move diagonally from bottom right to top left to play a scale, that is, to play consecutive seconds. Move diagonally from bottom left to top right to play consecutive fourths (“skipping” two notes).

Fourths (right): Move vertically to play consecutive fourths (“skipping” two notes in the scale). Move diagonally from bottom right to top left to play consecutive thirds (“skipping” one note). Move diagonally from bottom left to top right to play consecutive fifths (“skipping” three notes).

The bottom row of the Melody Palette is not affected by changing the Pitch Map.

Go to Toolbox Icon→Scales & Tuning, and set the Solfege Display to Full to see the mapping of buttons to scale notes. Set the Solfege Type to Scale Degree Numbers (“1 2 3”) to easily see the intervals between buttons.

Emphasis Slider

Cogs Icon→Emphasis: Tap and drag the Emphasis Slider to the right to make the melody instrument louder, left to make it quieter. In Group Play, this slider affects only the melody of the group member who controls it. This allows separate volume control of each group member’s melody.

Note: The whole story about emphasis is more subtle. The volume change is not guaranteed to be uniform across the frequency spectrum, but the particular effect varies from instrument to instrument.

Rhythm Lock

Cogs Icon→Rhythm Lock: Tap the Rhythm Lock switch to on to force notes played on the Melody Palette to align with beats, pulses, and subdivisions of the pulse, and to synchronize with other Bandojo players during Group Play.

Tap one of the images showing musical notes to set the Rhythm Lock granularity. Selecting the quarter note (the leftmost image) will snap the playing of notes to beat boundaries. The eighth note (one flag) will snap to the next pulse, the sixteenth note (two flags) to the next half pulse, and the thirty-second note (three flags) to the next quarter pulse. The eighth-note triplet (one beam connecting three notes) and the sixteenth-note triplet (two beams connecting three notes) will snap to boundaries of triples superimposed over duples.

When Rhythm Lock is on, there may be a delay before a note sounds if it doesn’t rhythmically align with a boundary at your chosen granularity. To reduce delays, try tapping a finer granularity (farther right). To play freely, turn off Rhythm Lock by tapping or dragging the switch to the left.

Test drive Rhythm Lock: Slow down the tempo, tap the quarter note (the leftmost image) on the rhythm subdivision bar, and slide a finger rapidly and continuously around the Melody Palette. The delay in the sounding of played notes to synchronize with the Rhythm Beat should be apparent.

Bandojo provides two visual cues for the start of beats and measures: the blinking of the dots near the center of the Melody Palette (known as the Rhythm Beat Indicator and Measure Indicator), and the changing values of the Cycle:Measure:Beat label to the left of the Accompaniment Progress Indicator, which appears above the Melody Palette when an accompaniment is playing.


Right side of screen: Tap on the Instruments tab to open a menu of the available musical instruments, then tap on your selection to play the melody on the Melody Palette. Scroll for additional instruments. Most are melodic instruments whose pitch is determined by which button on the Melody Palette is played, where that mapping is controlled by the Melody Range and Pitch Map as described below.

Bandojo provides two non-melodic instruments, which are exceptions to this behavior:

  • Power Drums: a set of percussion instruments
  • SFX Kit: a set of sound effects

For these, each button plays a different percussion instrument or sound effect, as indicated by the button’s text label. This mapping is independent of the Melody Range and Pitch Map settings.

Tonic Controller

Upper right side of screen: Tap the Tonic note name to cause a control panel to slide out containing a Tonic Selector and an Auto Change Tonic switch.

The Tonic Selector has two rows of numbers above and below the letter name of the current tonic (key) followed by the name of the current scale (e.g., “F Dorian”, “B Major”). Tap a number to raise or lower the tonic by the corresponding number of half steps. The letter name of the key, appearing in blue in the center, will change accordingly.

Tap the Auto Change Tonic switch to Off to enable manual-only change of the tonic of the selected accompaniment. Tap switch to On for automatic change.

To hide the Tonic Controller, tap on either the tonic/scale string on the Controller panel or the tonic note name on the right side of the main screen.


Lower right side of screen (only visible when the Melody Palette button array size is 8×6): Tap the Harmony Icon (which is followed by a number indicating the current chord root) to replace the bottom row of the Melody Palette with a row of square Harmony buttons. Tap a Harmony button to set the chord root of the Accompaniment to the scale degree number shown on that button. The number next to the Harmony Icon on the main screen will be updated. Through the Harmony buttons, control the chord progressions of the accompaniment, allowing Bandojo to be used much like an auto-harp. The Dorian Waltz accompaniment is a good choice for hearing the effect of the Harmony setting.

Note: The Harmony buttons will be hidden whenever the Melody Palette’s button array size is set to 5 x 4 or 3 x 3. Setting the array size to 8 x 6 will cause the Harmony buttons to again be revealed if Harmony was already switched on.


Available only on BandojoPlus for desktop or laptop computer. To record the music you are playing with Bandojo on your iPhone, use the iPhone as a controller for BandojoPlus running on a Mac or PC; that is, set up a Group Play ensemble in which your iOS Bandojo is a Member and the Maestro is running BandojoPlus, then record from BandojoPlus.