iPhone Apps for Guitarists

Posted 16 Jul 2008 in Accessories, Music

One of my good friends actually camped out in the freezing winter cold for the launch of the 3G iPhone in Australia, and managed to obtain the dubious title of the first person in the city of Melbourne to get a 3G iPhone.  For his efforts, his mug was plastered all over the newspapers, interviewed by radio and TV networks, and was even harassed by some drunk guys complaining about their phone carrier.

Being the inquisitive lad I am, I thought I’d take it upon myself to find out whether this new fandangled gadget is actually useful for guitarists and the like.  It goes without saying that the 3G iPhone allows you to make calls and send messages, navigate you to places with the built-in GPS, and play your music library with its iPod interface.  What makes it cooler is that you can install add-on applications, both paid and free, ranging from games to utilities to web applications.

In the guitar and music department, I found a few worth mentioning (prices listed are Australian):

1.  Guitar Toolkit (Agile Partners LLC, $12.99)

This one is probably the pick of the bunch, with 4 utilities in one – a guitar tuner, metronome, tone machine (for manual tuning) and a 270 variation chord library.

2.  Band (MooCowMusic, $12.99)

A collection of virtual instruments that you can play using the touchscreen, with visual feedback. The instruments can be recorded, overdubbed, and mixed down into a final track.  Also has a metronome and built in rhythm/beat machine.

3.  Various Tuners (InTuna, TyroTuner, OmniTuner)

I bundled these together because they were various incarnations of tuners to help you get your instrument in tune.

4.  Pandora (free, US only)

Allows you to listen to internet radio and customise your playlist to your favourite bands.  There are a bunch of pre-canned playlists and stations available to get you started.

5.  Midomi (Melodis Corp, free)

Allows you find information about that tune in your head – just sing or hum a few seconds of the song, and it will automagically look it up!  You can also do a more boring search via typing or saying the song or artist name as well.

All these applications are installed from the iTunes store, where you can also find further information on each of them.

As the iPhone matures, there will no doubt be countless applications joining the ranks of those listed here.  I hope this list was useful to you – if you find any interesting apps, please give us a shout in the comments section so that we can take a look at them.


  1. GuitarToolkit (16 Jul 2008, 11:18)

    Thanks for the review. We’re very open to reader feedback; you can reach us on Twitter @guitartoolkit or at http://guitartoolkit.com/support/

  2. Julian Tan (16 Jul 2008, 11:21)

    No problems! Thanks for the comment!
    – Julian

  3. Josh (16 Jul 2008, 12:17)

    Thanks for the roundup of guitar-related iPhone apps. I’m waiting on my iPhone to get delivered, and I want to have plenty of apps ready to install on it 🙂

  4. Julian Tan (16 Jul 2008, 22:17)

    No worries Josh! Have fun with your new iPhone! Let us know how you go with it.

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  8. Joel Falconer (22 Jul 2008, 10:26)

    Guitar Toolkit is fantastic. It was one of the first apps I bought, and is the only app I need on the iPhone as a musician—and that’s despite the fact I’m a vocalist and only use the guitar to write new tunes. 😉 My friends at the Queensland Conservatorium are very jealous of my new tuner+kitchen sink.

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