Price: $ .99
Guitarism, by developer Rhism, offers one of the most fine-tuned and device-optimized guitar simulators available for the iPhone. The app isn’t quite ready for stage use, but the developers have done a brilliant job creating a fully useable and fantastic sounding virtual guitar for iOS. Check out our full iPhone app review of this excellent music app below.
Concept and Functionality
As a guitar simulator, Guitarism offers a similar experience to that found in other apps like Garageband: Electronic musicians are presented with a six-string, top-down perspective of a guitar that’s just begging to be strummed. By running a finger along the strings, Guitarism produces realistic guitar sounds, and even vibrates the strings like a real instrument. By strumming harder, the app gets louder, or vice-versa. Individual strings can also be plucked to produce individual notes.
All things stringy reside on the right side of the app (unless you’re using the included lefty mode) but what about the other half? By using their left thumb, users can select from the app’s grid-style list any chord they want. Chords are arranged Hollywood Squares style for easy picking, and can be edited manually via the options tab. Not only can the chords be edited, though, but users are also free to change the app’s key.
Guitarism comes with a few more features that are really designed to knock the would be guitarist’s socks off: By tilting the iPhone left or right, the app produces common variations of the listed chords, like suspended notes or sevens. Sliding from chord to chord also produces a realistic sliding sound that echoes analog play.
All in all, I was very impressed with Guitarism’s functionality. The app sounds great (dare we say realistic) and the strumming mechanic performed like a charm. The chord chart is a great way to hammer out basic melodies, and compliments vocals well. I would have liked a full fretboard to produce runs from, but for basic chord strumming, Guitarism is quite hard to beat.
Design and Layout
It’s obvious the developers have thought a great deal about Guitarism’s layout, and the end result is a fully iPhone-optimized music production tool. All of the app’s features are touch-based and easy to navigate, while the guitar itself performs exactly like its real life counterpart. I was especially happy with the tilting mechanic, as it was a tiny piece of truly useful innovation.
Guitarism is more than fairly priced at a dollar in the App Store. And though the app isn’t quite ready for professional stage use (it’s still more of a novelty than a Gibson replacement) it won’t break the bank to give its string strumming fun a go. Guitarism is simple, effective, and sounds great, earning it a full recommendation from us.
Guitarism requires iOS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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