Ultimate Guitar Tabs: Turn the Learning Up to Eleven


Price: $2.99
Ultimate Guitar Tabs: Written iPhone App Review

Ultimate Guitar Tabs for iPhone

Reviewed by Luke Patrick

Today’s review hits a particularly fond note within my heart. Having been a guitarist for well over a decade now, I can firmly assure you that nothing helped my development quite as much as Ultimate Guitar Tabs—an online compendium of user-submitted tablature for the bass and guitar. The app allowed me as a youngster to form a solid bedrock of knowledge, and provided me with a world of easily accessible music written out note-by-note. And today, that same experience can now be had on the iPhone thanks to the Ultimate Guitar Tabs app for iPhone. Obviously, this gets me excited. If you’re along for the ride, then go ahead and slip on down below the break for my full review!

Concept and Functionality

At its core, the Ultimate Guitar Tabs experience is built around the database that is the UGT website. That is to say, the app itself is merely pulling tablature off the site and presenting it in a way that looks good on your iPhone. Why is this helpful? Because when you’re a scrawny teenager sitting at the foot of your bed with a guitar, an iPhone is easier to handle than a desktop computer.

As stated, the app allows you to search for songs, albums, and artists you’d like to learn. Tabs are displayed neatly, and the results are sorted by versions—very important. Click the one you want, and the app will auto scroll it and even give you chord diagrams. Want to save it for later? Hit the favorite button and workshop it tomorrow. You can also save the tab for offline use. All of this simply to say that for those with concerns, the app is a near perfect approximation of the online experience, merely shrunken and prettied up for the iPhone. And it’s phenomenal.

Design and Graphics

Ultimate Guitar Tabs for iPhone

Ultimate Guitar Tabs for iPhone

For those who haven’t used the service before, Ultimate Guitar Tabs has a long history of being swamped with a ton of users, and thus becoming a bit buggy. We expected some of this in the app’s design, but it’s just not so: From top to bottom, the app is neatly laid out, very cleverly designed, and incredibly simple to navigate. All of this works in its favor, as does the kindly inclusion of such elements as a metronome and tuner for the aspiring guitarist. Not to mention all the searching and saving features we already mentioned. All in all, the app is a knockout performance. When combined with the vastly massive database of music that is the service itself, you have a solid gateway to learning here.

Overall Value

In fact, our only concern with the app is its pricing. It’ll set you back three bucks, which is hardly too much to ask for what the app is offering. Still, we imagine the pricing will put many a potential Clapton on the fence about the app. If we can persuade, go ahead and spend the money. There’s no better resource out there, especially with this attractive packaging. And should the price ever drop to our preferred $0.99, then you’d be missing one hell of an opportunity not to grab it.

Ultimat Guitar TabsUltimate Guitar Tabs requires iOS 4.3 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid to speed up the publication of this review.

The iPhone app reviews rating: 

“The best iPhone apps and the best iPad apps are reviewed by TheiPhoneAppReview.com

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