Best Android apps for guitarists and guitar players

May 31, 2012
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    If music has seduced your soul, you’ll have picked up one of the basic but iconic instruments known to humankind — the guitar. With its strings and its wood, you can produce beautiful music. It’s easy to pluck away at the strings and image yourself in a few years’ time, singing to huge crowds or just crooning to a small intimate gathering.

    Regardless of how big you want to be as a musician, you can’t always be next to your instruments 24/7. We’ve got other obligations too, such as work, school, and family. If you want to take your guitar-playing passion with you wherever you go, we’ve got your back covered. We scoured the Google Play Store to find you some of the best apps for guitarists and guitar players, regardless of how recently you just started playing  or how seasoned you are.

    Tuner – gStrings Free

    Don’t you just hate it when you find your guitar isn’t quite tuned? If you’ve got the time and the ear for it, you can tweak it to perfection, but if you’re on a tight schedule or you’re just not that good at tuning your instrument, you might benefit from a little extra help.

    Make sure that you always sound good with Tuner – gStrings Free, a chromatic tuner for your guitar. But, it isn’t just limited to just that. If you’ve got a buddy who needs help in making sure they’re not off key, gStrings can also help musicians with violins and other instruments.

    gStrings includes orchestra tuning for when you want to redefine tone frequencies, different temperaments such (e.g., just, pythagorean, meantone, comma, and more), a variable nonlinear scale, microphone sensitivity, pitch pipe, and more. Download gStrings for your Android device today and make sure that your guitar is always in tune.

    Guitar Tuner

    If you just want a tuner specifically for a guitar, then Guitar Tuner might be your best bet. Just like a pitch pipe for the guitar, Guitar Tuner is the app for the musician on the go. It helps you figure out which notes to tune the strings of your guitar to.

    The app shows you a graphical guitar on the screen, highlighting the string of your choice so you can easily locate it on your guitar. The app will then play the note for the string, allowing you to get an idea of the sound your guitar should be making.

    Guitar Tuner may be too simple for some users, as the app doesn’t detect your instrument’s sound, nor does it allow you to work off of any conventional meter or gauge to tune your guitar. If you’d like to develop your hearing and learning how to tune your guitar by ear, Guitar Tuner might be for you. Guitar Tuner is perfect for beginners and seasoned guitar players alike.

    Mobile Metronome

    If you’re concerned about having to bring a big bulky metronome with you when you’re on the road or if your friends want an impromptu jam session, make life easier with this app. Mobile Metronome is a simple-to-use, robust, and fully functional metronome that you can bring with you right on your Android device. It gives you fine tempo tuning from 10 to 20 BPM, as well as tap tempo.

    Mobile Metronome lets you save your presets and load them up when you need them again. Tempo is adjustable for simple, compound, and complex meters. Set the beat tempo by tapping on the plus or minus signs or you can tap the  tempo yourself. Adjust the time signatures to the one you want and set the beat subdivision as quarter, eighth, triplet, sixteenth, quintuplet, or sextuplet notes.

    Mobile Metronome also lets you adjust the metronome’s volume. When you’re ready, tap on Start Metronome. Don’t worry about incoming calls because Mobile Metronome automatically turns off when someone calls you. Just one note of warning: If you own an HTC Wildfire, there may be some compatibility issues with your device.

    Chordbot Lite

    Being on the go can make or break a musician. We’re not just talking about living conditions or being able to get a gig. We’re talking about getting inspiration and coming up with songs. You might be on a bus or who knows where when inspiration hits you for a potential hit.

    Seize the moment with this songwriting tool and electronic accompanist. Chordbot Lite is an app that lets you create and play advanced chord progressions easily on your phone. Whether you’re experimenting with songwriting or using Chordbot as an accompaniment for your guitar, this app is packed with features. It has 60 chord types in all keys and inversions, slash chords, transposition, automatic inversion selection, and an automatic song generator.

    If you want more features, you can purchase Chordbot’s full version for more than 50 comping styles and MIDI/WAV file export. Download Chordbot Lite for free from the Google Play Store today and songwrite on the go.

    JamBox Light Chords & Scales

    Whether you’re right-handed or left-handed, here’s an app that’ll help any guitarist in need. JamBox Light Chords & Scales is a comprehensive chord and scales app. Featuring 22 chord modes, 13 scales, dynamic scale calculation, and limited split bass/slash cords, JamBox may just be your new best friend.

    It displays and plays current chords in most popular variations and has notes display. Forget a certain chord? Look it up with JamBox and even hear it. The app also supports standard tuning and a left-handed option for left-handed guitarists.

    JamBox may not have every chord in existence but it’s handy for beginners who are still feeling their way through their guitars. JamBox is free to download from the Google Play Store but is ad-supported. If you’d like to do away with ads and unlock more features, you can purchase JamBox Pro Chords & Scales for a small fee.

    Ultimate Guitar Tabs

    Get all the tabs you ever need in one convenient place. Ultimate Guitar Tabs allows you to easily and conveniently view guitar tablatures and bass tablatures. The app boasts unlimited access to the world’s largest database of tabs, Ultimate-Guitar.com, and lets you browse the site’s collection of over 400,000 tabs.

    Learn or practice your favorite songs whether you’re at home, outdoors, or jamming with your friends. Look up a song with Ultimate Guitar Tabs’ Quick Search by entering the artist name or song title. If you still can’t find the tabs you’re looking for, make use of the Advanced Search Tool so you can specify the tab type, part of the song, difficulty level, tuning, and rating.

    Once you’ve found tabs that you love, add them to your Favorites so you can make them available for offline browsing. Ultimate Guitar Tabs offers SD card support, so users can store not just the application on their SD card for safekeeping but also the tabs that they want so they can view them offline. If you need more tools, you can purchase Tab Tools and Tab Pro right from within the app.

    GChord (Guitar Chord Finder)

    So maybe you’re not a seasoned guitar player yet. Or, maybe you’re still struggling to hold your guitar and position your fingers in the right places. It’s okay, we all start somewhere. Naturally, the only way to become the best is to practice, practice, practice. That is, after you learn to find chords.

    With GChord (Guitar Chord Finder), you’ll be able to find your chords in no time. It’s especially handy for beginners who are still learning their instrument. Look up a chord and learn where your fingers go. There are four ways of finger placements per chord.

    You can also easily conduct a reverse search and save your data. If you’re left-handed, don’t worry, because GChord also supports left-handed players. GChord is rather barebones and straightforward, but it’s perfect if you just need help learning all those tricky finger positions. Get GChord today for your Android device; it’s available for free on the Google Play Store.

    Solo

    Doesn’t it suck when the urge to play hits you when you’re nowhere near your guitar? You might be commuting, at the office, at school, or on a vacation when your musical mojo’s in full force. Don’t despair because there’s an app to save your day. Solo is an app that lets you play your favorite songs or create some of your own, right from the comfort of your Android device.

    It’s perfect for when you don’t have your guitar with you and you want to get your rockstar on. If you do happen to have your guitar with you, Solo is great as a reference or an accompaniment. Solo features classical guitar, acoustic guitar, and electric guitars, each boasting an authentic sound.

    It also sports a chord library with chord diagrams so you can hear and see how each chord is played; you can even create your own chords. Play along with any of the music tracks loaded on your phone and speed your learning process up by getting chord and lyric overlays from the web. Samsung Galaxy Note users will definitely enjoy how the S Pen works with Solo. Purchase it for a small fee today.

    Virtual Guitar

    Here’s another app that makes sure you’ve always got a guitar with you. Virtual Guitar is great for both beginners and professional players, boasting a realistic sound especially when you use headphones or external speakers.

    If you just want to play for yourself and not bother the crowd around you, plug in your headphones and practice a few songs. You’ll just look like you’re playing a game. If you want to jam with your friends, plug in external speakers and let your musical fingers fly free.

    Virtual Guitar also sports a chord library that lets you find all the important chords that you need and multi-touch support for when you need to hold down several strings. The app comes with Solo Mode, which allows you to touch a string on a selected fret to get a sound and try out that tablature you’ve found.  It also comes with Chords mode for when you want to play a song and you have its chords with you.

    For Android devices with smaller screens, users can go to the app’s settings to reduce the number of frets displayed on the screen; choose between 6, 9, and 12.

    Robotic Guitarist

    Last but definitely not the least, here’s an app that’s not just a guitar emulator but also a chord guide, a tuner, and a metronome rolled into one convenient package. Robotic Guitarist is everything you need in one app so you don’t have to switch between apps.

    You don’t have to be a seasoned guitarist to appreciate this app. You can choose a chord without having to learn the finger positions; hit the strings and hear gorgeous sounds recorded from a real instrument. Strum, play arpeggio, or try any desired technique.

    For those of you who do play the guitar seriously, you’ll definitely enjoy Robotic Guitarist’s multi-touch support. Change your chord selection on the go with the app’s easy interface and check where your fingers go with the app’s finger position diagram. Tune your guitar and keep your tempo with the app’s built-in metronome. Choose between Robotic Guitarist’s acoustic or electric guitar and if you’re starting to get bored, you can choose the sound of pianos, chorus, or flutes and map them to the whole guitar.

    Take this all in one guitar app with you wherever you go. Download Robotic Guitarist for free from the Google Play Store.

    Never despair being away from your guitar with these apps. Play on the go on your Android device or keep your stock of chords knowledge sharp with these apps. If your favorite guitar apps didn’t make it to our list, share it with us in a comment below.

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