Guitarists are constantly on the move with their instruments. To help you become a better guitarist on the go, we’ve handpicked 5 smartphone apps that will help you channel your inner Jimi Hendrix.
iOS (US$ 2.99)
For iOS users, we argue that Guitar Toolkit is compulsory, for its myriad of relevant functions. First of all, it possesses an excellent guitar tuner. We’ve found its interface very clean and simple to use, while its accuracy is on point. When you pluck on a guitar string, the app displays which note is the closest, the frequency of the sound played, and the number of cents to the closest note. WIth this app, we’ve found that we no longer need to use a traditional guitar tuner anymore.
What sets this app apart from other guitar tuners, is that it can do so much more than guitar tuning. It has a basic metronome with tap functionality (ie. you can tap the tempo you want onto your screen, and the metronome will continue beating to that speed) and can run in the background while you use other apps. The app also offers a chord finder which tells users what chord is being played, a chord library which plays chords and displays their fingerings, and a scales and arpeggios database with similar functions as the chord library.
Although this isn’t the cheapest app in the App Store, we believe that it offers very high value for money, with its diverse functions. Guitar Toolkit offers further in-app purchases that grants chord sheet creation and drum pattern creation capabilities, but most of us probably won’t need that.
Guitar Toolkit is available on the App Store for (price), with in-app purchases.
Android and iOS (Free)
For those who are on Android, or do not require the various functions of Guitar Toolkit, Guitar Tuna offers strong competition as a guitar tuner. Guitar Tuna is not only available on both Android and iOS (and Windows), but also free to download!
Ranked as the number 1 app in Education on Apple’s App Store in 119 countries, Guitar Tuna is a powerhouse in what it does- guitar tuning. It is extremely simple to use. It detects your guitar’s sounds through the phone microphone, and displays which note is being played and to what accuracy. You can select from a range of standard and alternative guitar tunings, making the app relevant to guitarists of all competencies and genres. Another useful feature is that the app works even in noisy environments, with its background noise cancelling technology.
With the Pro add-on, Guitar Tuna becomes similar to Guitar Toolkit, offering chord and scale libraries, and even games to train users to recognise chords on sight and sound. However, this comes at a steep price tag, at (price). Unless you value the games, Guitar Toolkit might offer better value. Nevertheless, Guitar Tuna is a very capable guitar tuner, and is used by many guitarists for its accuracy and accessibility.
Android and iOS (Free)
Essential for any guitarist who wants to create and share music, and collaborate with others, Songtree offers not only a capable recording function, but also a social platform to connect with other musicians.
While the quality of the recording also depends on your smartphone’s microphone, Songtree’s two-track sound recorder is intuitive and an absolute joy to use. There’s even a built in metronome to keep you playing in time. After recording, you can cut, copy, and paste tracks, loop parts, and add effects including fades, echoes and reverbs.
Once you upload a track, other musicians can play their respective instruments, to build on your recording. You can communicate with and follow other musicians whom you like to work with. Best of all, this app and its associated social platform is completely free!
Rated as the “best app for new musicians” by MusicRadar and Fact Magazine, Songtree is a must-have for any guitarist who wishes to start collaborating with other musicians.
While Songtree focuses on creating music, OnSong is all about performing. OnSong is a chord chart and lyric sheet manager for bands. With a few simple taps, you can organize and save setlists for practice and performances.
What sets OnSong apart from other sheet music managers, is that it is built for performers. OnSong offers hands free operation with popular wireless foot pedals and MIDI controllers. With that, you don’t need to awkwardly fumble with your phone to scroll to the next page.
Furthermore, OnSong can play backing tracks as you and your band members perform. There’s even a built in metronome that can help you stay in tempo for each song. OnSong is well connected to the cloud, and you can upload the tracks, chord charts, and lyric sheets through Dropbox.
There’s so much that OnSong can do for performers, that we resolutely believe that its hefty price tag of (price) is justified.
OnSong is available on App Store for (price).
Sometimes, it’s just not convenient to bring your guitar around with you. It’s also difficult to find people to jam with you 24/7. AmpliTube fills in that gap, by turning your device into the “ultimate mobile guitar and bass tone studio”.
With AmpliTube, you get access to a massive collection of virtual instruments and gear, that you can use to practice, play, and record, anywhere and at anytime. You get 17 stompbox effects, 8 amps, 10 speaker cabinets, 2 mics, and 1 drum loop. This is more than enough for anyone to create music on the go, without bulky equipment and other musicians to work with.
With an in-app purchase, you can get access to Fender Collection 2 for (price), unlocking a whole new set of realistic sounds. We recommend that you spend some time playing around with AmpliTube first, before deciding if it suits your needs. If it does, the Fender Collection 2 will be undoubtedly useful for music creation.
AmpliTube is available on App Store for (US$9.99), with in-app purchases.
When used right, smartphone and tablet apps can be helpful companions for your learning, which you can bring around in your pocket! We’ll be recommending more apps for piano and music theory learners, so keep a look out for those!
In the meantime, why not learn music on the go with our rapidly growing collection of music lessons?
Ready to learn music?
Start learning with our 30-day free trial! Try our music courses!
About Liberty Park Music
LPM is an online music school. We teach a variety of instruments and styles, including classical and jazz guitar, piano, drums, and music theory. We offer high-quality music lessons designed by accredited teachers from around the world. Our growing database of over 350 lessons come with many features—self-assessments, live chats, quizzes etc. Learn music with LPM, anytime, anywhere!