iOS apps for guitarists


Being passionate about guitars and technology I've been overwhelmed with the amount of great apps on iOS that I have integrated into my workflow (and wish I had when I started learning to play!).  I play mostly by ear but the iPad has been a great way for me to learn new songs, record ideas and share them with the community.

Being an iPad user since it was introduced I've built up quite a bit of experience with iOS also being an early adopter to integrating into my guitar workflow I thought I would write up some of my favourite apps that I take with me everywhere.

Guitar Toolkit
An essential app to have sat on your iOS devices when you need it.  I use it mainly as a tuner but it also has a chord and scale database that I use more than I thought I would. 

I used to record all of my ideas on my iPhone via the voice recorder app but since I discovered Soundcloud I've been using it exclusively.  I can record, upload, access from anywhere and share with the community.  The iPad and iPhone apps are well made and stable so shouldn't give you any problems if you are used to the in built voice recorder.

There are numerous apps that allow you to record but I've found that Garageband is the most stable and with it's integration with the Mac version I can pick up my current projects from wherever I am.  I don't use the smart instruments or in fact many other features aside from recording my guitar line in to get ideas for either saving to remember or to work on via my Mac.

Tab Toolkit
An essential app for learning new songs, tablature can be downloaded from various sites and imported into the app via your Mac, on WiFi to the app or direct to the app itself.  It accepts all the formats and allows you to slow down the song, isolate individual tracks and much more.  It's an app that's been around for a while and is a stand out performer, in fact quite a few other apps use this same technology embedded within.
I've downloaded a few lesson packs from various guitar tuition sites and I find that using iTunes on my Mac and then sending it over to the iPad the best way for me to learn when I'm travelling with work or in a different part of the house in the evening.  I download the MP4, import it into iTunes and then sync to my iPad, it's then there whenever I need it.

YouTube is by far the greatest resource that I have ever come across for a guitarist.  You can learn your favourite licks, watch a live performance of your favourite artist or watch gear demos for those GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) moments.  I started out on YouTube back in 2008 and built up a community so YouTube has become a natural part of my workflow but I really can't think of a better place to be as a guitarist.

Apogee Maestro
This is a companion app to my Apogee ONE (for iPad & Mac) that I use to record direct into my iPad or use the in built condenser MIC to record my amp or acoustic.  It's by far the best way I've found to record into an iPad and has served me well on Mac too.

Positive Grid Jam Up Pro XT
I use this app as an effects unit, I plug in my guitar then use Jam Up to add effects.  It's like having a pedal board with all the pedals you could imagine.  There is also a place where you can download other users uploaded patches and even upload your own.  Aside from using it as an effects board the standout feature that I use consistently is the looper, you can record a sample then loop to play over.  It's a great way to come up with songs and practise your solo skills.

Positive Grid BIAS
This is a modelling app that allows you to use their pre-selected set of amps through or create your own (from tubes to the cloth and writing!).  It plays nicely with Jam Up Pro XT so that can import your creations for adding effects and recording.  There is also the same tone cloud as in Jam Up Pro where you can download other users patches or upload your own.

Here is the complete list of apps that I use as part of my music workflow, they are all essential for me and I'd recommend you checking them out.

Let me know what you think.