Tune, slow down, play along, practice: it can all be done with these free apps for guitarists.
Need some help tuning your guitar? A very easy and affordable way to that is with a headstock tuner. You just click it on the headstock of your acoustic or electric guitar and it uses the vibrations of the instrument to help you tune . This works very precisely because you don’t suffer from ambient noise. But you know how it goes: battery drains, you forget your tuner or someone borrowed it and it never returned. Then what? Fortunately, there are many apps available to tune your guitar.
Guitar Tuna (for Android and Apple devices) calls itself the #1 Tuner in the world and we can see why. It is free, available for any device, there's a great, easy to use, tuner, a metronome, chord schedules and some games. All for free! There is also a paid pro version that offers even more precision and possibilities for five euros per month.
There is of course the Amazing Slow Downer from Roni Music for just about all devices. This software allows you to play all songs from your Spotify playlist at the pace you want, with the ability to set loops. Only the lite version of it is free and with that you can play 25 percent of a song. If you want more, you have to pay. Pricing varies by device. On Android devices, Music Speed Changer offers something similar, but only for music that's on the device itself.
That's why we like to tip Songsterr. That app doesn't offer the ability to slow down every song on your choice. Instead, Songsterr offers its own catalog of tens of thousands of songs, often with tabs for different instruments and the ability to play a somewhat rough backing track at the desired pace. Songsterr does not offer slow playback in the web version, but it does in the (Android) app. That makes Songsterr a very nice free tool for anyone who wants to learn and play songs, including bass parts and guitar solos note by note.
Guitarists like to play guitar and that means that ear training does not always get the right amount of attention. That is a bit of a shame, because a good ear is super important to advance on any instrument. And yes: this can be trained! There are good tutorials for it and some fun apps. If you play guitar and spent some time online, you probably know that giveaway-guitar-guru JustinGuitar. This man was one of the first to start teaching guitar lessons on YouTube and now has a supercomplete guitarlesson programme online. From beginner to advanced and from acoustic to metal: Check Justin!
A lot of his teaching material are for free, except for the 'ear trainer' app. It costs you just a little less than a beer in the pub and for that small fee, you get a complete program to sharpen your hearing. The app has something of a game, but in combination with the background information on its website, this trainer is well worth the money.
Don't want to pay for an app? Take a look at Functional Ear Trainer. This app not only teaches you to recognize notes step by step, but also helps you experience the connection between notes in order to recognize and create a melody.
Did we mention that online giveaway- guitar-guru Justin? Really... except for a He has also created a handy metronome app. Again: it is not free, but for less than 2 euro’s Justin offers a super-handy metronome, which pretty much does what you might expect from it.
Are you looking for more options? Like the option to program a complete song? And what just a bit more drumsounds? Have a look at the Soundbrenner app. Soundbenner has made a name for itself with very smart portable, vibrating helpers for musicians and offers a great metronome app. Works very easy, looks slick and is completely free.
Apple, of course, has the superior Garageband for recording and editing. But there's always someone in the band who can't or won't pay for an iPhone, MacBook or iPad. Enter: Bandlab! A free app that works on all devices and makes it super easy to record music, add instruments and samples and share it with everyone in such a way that you can also work on it together.
Do you know any more free or paid apps that every Acoustic Fellow should have on his or her phone? Let us know in the comments.