Five great iPhone apps for guitar players

The whole world seems to be talking about the new iPhone 3G at the moment. And with good reason: I’ve had one for just over a week now and already I’m wondering how I managed without it.

One of the great features of the new iPhone software, which comes with the iPhone 3G and is available as a free uprgrade for older iPhones, is the ability to install third party applications.

Apple’s App Store is already brimming with fantastic applications. So what, you ask, has this to do with guitars, Kenny? Well, it so happens that quite a few of the new apps are music related and a number of those are aimed at guitar players.

That’s no real surprise: the iPhone has a mic, a speaker, and a lovely screen, making it ideal as a guitar tuner. But there’s much more to it than that.

Here’s my list of five great iPhone apps for guitar players.

1. Guitar Tool Kit $9.99/ £5.99
This is a lovely looking app. It has a chromatic tuner with over 40 built-in tunings, a chord dictionary with 260 chord maps, a metronome which flashes so you can keep time by sight as well as sound, and audible tones so you can tune by ear.

2. TyroTuner $2.99/ £1.79
A one -trick pony this one, but it’s a third of the price of Guitar Tool Kit. It uses the iPhone’s mic to allow you to play a note and the rather neat interface displays whether you need to tune the string up or down.

3. OmniTuner $4.99/ £2.99
More expensive than Tyro Tuner, but more sophisticated too. The main screen displays the not you play and its relationship with the note you’re aiming for. There are also fretboard and stave views, and it can be used to tune mandolins, banjos, and other stringed instruments as well as the guitar.

4. Band $9.99/ £5.99
Ok, so it’s not just for guitar players this one, but I just couldn’t exclude it. The sheer ingenuity of building an app for the iPhone which provides a whole bunch of virtual instruments and the ability to record, overdub and mix to your hearts content makes it well worthy of a place here.

5. Karajan$14.99/ £8.99
A sophisticated learning and training tool for aspiring musicians. Karajan teaches you to recognise intervals, chords, scales, pitch and tempo. It’s easy to use and looks pretty good, too. It’s a bit pricey, so if you’re not sure, download the free version, Karajan Beginner, and give that a try first.