There are countless apps for iPhone/iPad platforms, many geared towards guitar players, so it is sometimes hard to figure out which ones are worth it. I’ve tried a few, and the one that has been proven consistently useful is Guitar toolkit, so I thought it’d be helpful to share a very brief review with others here.
This app provides the following features:
- A chromatc tuner
- A metronome, with various tick sounds and optional light flash synchronized with up/down beats
- An extensive library of chords, showing suggested fingering positions on a virtual fretboard that allows you to hear how the chord sounds
- An extensive library of scales, also laid out on the virtual fretboard
- A “chord finder” feature, where you select notes on the virtual fretboard and it tells you which chord the notes make
- Configurable tuning modes (EADGBE, drop D, CGCGCD, and many others): chords and scales automatically update with respect to tuning settings
- Configurable base pitch for the chromatic tuner: choose a pitch for A from the default 440Hz to many other lower/higher frequencies in steps of 0.5 Hz
This app is quite useful, especially for beginners. I use it almost daily, as a tuner and metronome. The tuner is pretty good – sensitive enough that you can tune the guitar from the built-in microphone without being plugged into an amp (provided there’s not a lot of background sound). Also, because you can configure the pitch of the tuner, it’s easy to tune up/down from standard tuning. This comes in handy for playing many songs – for example, set the baseline A down from 440 to 427.5 Hz and you tune your guitar a quarter step down to match the tune of songs like Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be. Many times I also use it for looking up chords and scales – the Pentatonic scale boxes that are highlighted in another post here this week, for example, can be easily looked up, and if you see a finger pattern in a tab, you can look up the name of the chord easily.
There’s an ok demo video on YouTube – while it seems to be from an older version and does not show all features (like chord finder, base pitch selection, more variety of tunings) it gives a pretty good idea about the user interface – it’s nice-looking and intuitive. The app is on the more expensive side of typical Apple store apps (at $9.99) but to me it’s been well worth the price. I don’t know if this app is available for Android devices. Rather tham create my own demo, let me point you to it. Their web site also has a video, unfortunately in my browser it didn’t play.
See the demo: