Musicians and especially guitarists in the modern age need apps.
An app to tune your guitar. An app to determine the tempo of a song or some tracks you picked up for your masterpiece composition. An app that gives you easy and quick access to your favorite songs to practice to hone your skills.
Fortunately, they have all those things in one handy app which you can download from Google Play known to us immortals as The Ultimate Guitar Tabs & Chords app, voted by Google as one of the best apps of 2014, and once you download it, you’ll quickly understand why.
This is a great free app for guitarists, but to get the most use out of it you’re going to want to upgrade from the free version. It costs about 5 bucks to upgrade to the regular version and it will greatly simplify your life as a guitarist or even someone who just started learning how to play guitar. It’s also probably not bad for piano players who play and sing lots of songs by chords and arpeggios now that I think of it too.
My favorite feature of the app is the auto-scroll, which allows you to set your smartphone on the window sill, music stand, on top of the piano or other flat eye-level surface and keep both hands on the guitar/instrument at all times without a need to adjust the tabs you’re playing (and the lyrics you’re singing).
Another great feature of the app is to favorite the songs you want to learn to play for later. This is helpful because let’s say you’re going camping in the mountains this weekend and your phone may not get a signal. Having your favorites already in the app means not needing the internet to practice or sing and play your current song around the campfire or in your cabin.
Here’s a great overview of the app in this video:
The Ultimate Guitar Tabs App comes with the essentials you need: a chromatic tuner and a metronome.
The chromatic tuner looks like a dial in your car. You play the E string and the E lights up on the dial and lets you know how much over or under the frequency of the note you are, thus helping you adjust to bring each string on your guitar into perfect tune and pitch. Very simple, and pinpoint accuracy to boot.
The metronome feature is another easy-to-use function of the app that comes in handy for a variety of reasons. With an option for you to manually adjust and lock in the tempo setting or to tap the tempo to match the material you’re working with, this app function could save you tons of headaches and expand your artistry at the same time.
One reason is if you’re like me and you’re a hip hop producer, and you get access to a major artist’s vocals or commission a singer/vocalist to feature on one of your songs, and all you get is the acapella verses or you get both the acapellas for import into your DAW, and maybe a reference track too. Determining the tracks’ tempo will be helpful in building up a song and instrument tracks around it. This will make the acapella vocals line up with the beat more easily than just complete guesswork.
Another benefit of the metronome is to determine if the original songs you’re producing are a little too fast, or just too slow, compared to major artist releases or just the artists you look up to most. Sometimes your songs might be a couple beats off some of the more successful songs and you may want to adjust things to see how it sounds.
Quick production tip:
As a guitarist, instrumentalist, arranger or producer, you’ll find varying the song tempo within the song from section to section will often breathe new life into parts that might otherwise seem to drag the song on monotonously with no clear direction. Reducing the tempo on refrains/bridges/pre-choruses and slightly increasing the song tempo during the hook/chorus can often add a little extra energy and gusto to keep the mind’s ear from getting bored.
Overall this is a great app (gets 4.8 stars out of 5) and really simplifies your life as an artist so you can focus on producing music and becoming a better guitar player and singer without losing precious hours of creativity to software/phone/internet/sheet music malfunctions. Initially I was hesitant to upgrade the app to the paid version because I hate it when apps prompt you for a paid upgrade, but in the end it’s worth it and their coders should probably get to eat tonight too 🙂
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tags: best apps for musicians, best apps for guitarists, musician apps, musician app, guitar apps, metronome apps, metronome app, guitar tuner app, guitar player app, guitar app