IOS, iPhone, iPad
There are many guitar tablature apps for mobile devices and many more web sites that deliver varying levels of functionality, from static tab notation to scrolling interactive teaching tools. Most will serve their purpose; show you the chords and notes for songs you are trying to learn to play. Few, however, make the experience this fun and easy.
Songsterr is that rare application that offers pleasant surprises every time you use it.
Launch the app and you’ll immediately be shown a sidebar containing a scrolling list of popular songs. These songs are heavily skewed toward hard rock and heavy metal but there are several pop and alternative songs scattered around. Chances are, a song will catch your eye and you’ll end up trying something here.
Search for an artist to see available songs or search by song to see similar titles. Once you’ve selected a song it is noted and easily available from the ‘history’ panel in the sidebar. It’s equally simple to add the song to your ‘favorites’ for later.
Conveniently, Songsterr provides the tuning information for each song. Sometimes complex tunings make it very difficult to learn a song by ear, especially for a beginner. Use the built-in chromatic tuner and you’ll be off to a great start.
Depending on the song you choose, you may have a variety of instrument tracks to choose from. It seems that, by default, the main rhythm guitar is selected to start. Click on the instrument button to see what other instruments and tracks are available.
The loop control allows you to select a section of the song and repeat it for targeted practice while the half speed control lets you slow down difficult sections without changing pitch. There’s also an option to count in to help you start on time and a solo feature which removes the backing tracks and isolates guitar solos.
If you are a beginner, Songsterr will help you quickly learn simple songs, or at least parts of songs, and give you confidence to continue your efforts. Intermediate players will finally be able to conquer that tricky section or take on an Eddie Van Halen solo.
If you are luck enough to be an accomplished, gigging musician, Songster is a great way to get quickly up to speed on a cover song added to your set list.