When I began playing the guitar in the mid-80s, I loved going to the record store in the mall to look at guitar tablature books. Most of the time I would look up the song I wanted to play and try to memorize the chords or main parts then go home and figure out how to play it. The internet brought the ability to look up tabs at home or even print them. The addition of tablature software has revolutionized the ability to learn large quantities of songs quickly.
The developers at Agile Partners which brought us Guitar ToolKit, have once again revolutionized the use of tablature with the iPhone with Tab ToolKit.
With TabToolkit, you can take your music tablature files with you. For the iPhone and iPod touch, TabToolkit allows you to view Power Tab, Guitar Pro, text and PDF files.
When using Power Tab and Guitar Pro files, Tab ToolKit presents both standard and tablature notation for the song. Since I am not trained, the tab is perfect for me. If a guitarist would rather read the music, that option is available on the same screen.
While viewing the screen not only is standard and tablature notations visible, but also a guitar fretboard (lefty included) or keyboard. View the tab by either sliding the music or press play and watch in real time with a synthesized instrument playing along. When each note or chord is played, the frets are displayed. I prefer watching in landscape mode as I like to look ahead as I play music.
Tab ToolKit comes loaded with some practice material, national anthems and a few artists. (Jonathan Coulton is a nice touch for us geeks!) One of the most innovative features of the app is the ability to add new content. Load tabs from a computer that shares a network with the iPhone or download from the internet. The app includes a browser so searching, downloading and viewing are seamless and does not require to leave and relaunch.
I have been using Ultimate Guitar Archive to download tabs. When looking at a Power Tab or Guitar Pro file, just simply click download and the app does the rest. I downloaded two Radiohead songs over Edge network and it literally took seconds. Once downloaded, view the tab or continue browsing. I am amazed at how easy and fast this is. I am currently building myself a library of songs. When I clicked on a text tab, the app detected the file and asked if I wanted to download. Again, it took seconds and the PDF was viewable.
Agile Partners have really outdone themselves with this app! Tab ToolKit is attractive, easy to use and fast. Being able to easily download, store, and play Power Tab and Guitar Pro files as well as view text tabs on my iPhone is awesome! I plan on not only creating a nice library of songs I want to learn, but also a collection of songs that people enjoy as we sit on the deck under the bright Texas sky.
Check out Tab ToolKit here at the app store for a well worth it price of $9.99.
What I like: Clean attractive way to view tabs on the go. The download feature is worth the money alone. This is a quality app!
What I do not like: Nothing! Well, I could always use more time to play my guitar!