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Review: Guitar Toolkit app for iPhone/iPad

26 Nov Review: Guitar Toolkit app for iPhone/iPad

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:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeQ5RVdovsA[/youtube]
avatar
Renato Figueiredo
rjofig@gmail.com

Renato @ Florida; I bought and started learning to play guitar about two years ago, a bit late in life (I am 39). Still a beginner, but motivated and inspired by Fil and other 'bedroom rockers'. I've been posting a few videos here and sound bites on soundcloud, as sort of a logbook with snippets of how my playing (hopefully) evolves, and it may help inspire others who love music to take an instrument, practice, play, and have fun. To contact me by email, my gmail.com username is the same as my username here.

3 Comments
  • avatar
    ar2619Rob
    Posted at 20:43h, 26 November

    Excellent, thanks for sharing :)

  • avatar
    banane
    Posted at 17:50h, 26 November

    Interesting one. I have the Gibson app, but this one seems to be better. More functions and the configureable tuning mode. Nice review, thanks!

    • avatar
      rjofig
      Posted at 19:25h, 26 November

      You’re welcome; I didn’t know Gibson had an app either.

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