Solo’s chord library page
YOUR PHONE CAN RECORD YOUR RIFFS, help tune your guitar, and even provide chord patterns to play against. The legion of iPhone apps is legendary, but Androidbased phones are surging—in 2Q 2010, they outsold iPhones—and you’ll now find enough free apps to warm a guitar player’s heart.
One caution: There are multiple Android variations with different operating systems, and not all apps work on all phones. These were tested on a V1.5 Motorola Backflip. Also, check the Settings and Help, as user comments in the Android Market about how an app “doesn’t work” are often due to pilot error.
This accurate and useful tuner also provides a “pitch pipe” function. Sophisticated features include optimizing for specific instruments, shifting the tuning reference (e.g., A=443 for orchestras), and adjusting mic sensitivity. Since installing this, my acoustic guitar is never out of tune. www.cohortor.org/gstrings
Yeah, you can choose chords and “strum” them on the screen’s virtual guitar (switchable to lefty), but the cool part for me is the Chord Library page. This lets you choose a chord, shows the fingering on a virtual fretboard, and the chord plays when you tap it. Can’t remember the fingering for an E9b5? No problem. www.codingcaveman.com
Chordbot Lite chord progression creator
This elegant app offers tap tempo, support for just about any time signature, choice of various metronome sounds, beat division, visual beat counter, and more. The timing is solid, too. www.mobilemetronome.gabrielsimoes.tk
gStrings chromatic tuner
You’re playing guitar, and get an inspiration— record it! This no-frills app (name file, choose sample rate, start/stop recording) can record 44.1kHz WAV files to a built-in SD card without data compression. The quality is outstanding compared to the usual apps that save as 3GPP files. For electric guitar, I tested this with Peavey’s Ampkit LiNK—it works great as an Android audio interface (although you need to adjust the input level on the guitar itself, and of course, Android can’t use the associated iPhone amp sim app). www.cl.cam.ac.uk/research/dtg/android, www.peavey.com
Mobile Metronome offers advanced features
Here’s another stellar practicing tool: Create a chord progression (with a fairly complete chord library), choose the tempo, then play back the results with various instrument sounds. The full version ($5) lets you randomize progressions, as well as export them as WAV or MIDI files. www.chordbot.com
If you like these, consider donating or buying the full versions that offer more features to encourage these people to keep developing cool apps!