I don’t play guitar, but as a musician I’ve worked with guitarists on many different levels. Whether it’s a beginner who just picked up his first electric to a serious jazz guitarist, I can’t imagine anyone interested in guitar wouldn’t be able to get good use out of Planet Waves Guitar Tools.
Designed by Planet Waves, this app is slick in design and offers a pretty staggering about of features for the relatively low price. Honestly, the “Chords” section is enough to be an app within itself; choose a chord, anything from basic A major to C# dim 7 with the 11th, from the scroll wheel. The fret is displayed with numbered circles representing the spot your fingers should be placed. At the top of each string is the name of the note you will hear, or an “x” if that string isn’t used in the chord. You can also change the options to write the interval (3rd, 5th) in place of note names above the strings. And you can flip it into a lefty orientation – a nice touch.
Tap each string to hear the note, or swipe the board to hear the chord strummed. The sound is fantastic – very realistic. And that’s just the first section.
In “Chord Finder,” you can figure out the name of that cool chord you “discovered” by tapping it out on the fret board. Each note you played will show, along with the name of the chord itself. And the “Scales” section gives you help finding everything from your chromatic scale to a minor hexatonic, along with a great “Tips” section for scales practice. The level of customization you can play with is pretty astounding – from standard to double drop D tuning and plenty of other tuning and sound options.
Speaking of which, that’s another helpful feature of Planet Waves Guitar Tools – a pretty cool looking tuner you can set to either strobe or needle, as well as a metronome that lets you choose both by beats per minute or score marking, such as “allegro” or “adagio.”
Overwhelmed yet? I was. But there’s two more sections; this app will use your current location to find teachers on guitar and nearly any other musical instrument in your area and provide you with contact information. It will also generate a list of the music shops nearest you. At $1.99, this one is a no-brainer – an outstanding app for guitarists of all levels.
Planet Waves Guitar Tools [iTunes Link] is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Requires iOS 3.1 or later. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.