Developer: D'Addario & Company, Inc.
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
Planet Waves Guitar Tools for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad aims to be the only portable guitar utility kit you’ll ever need. The app has a staggering number of features, including a chord finder, scales, metronome, tuner, and guitar store locator. What’s remarkable is that this app can replace an entire guitar chord book, and for less money.
When you fire up Planet Waves Guitar Tools for the first time, you’ll notice the menus and backdrop resemble the leather-textured black plastic and fuzzy blue material of a typical guitar case. Each feature is displayed in a simple list, and represented by a colored guitar pick. The first two picks are the main attraction of this app: the list of guitar chords, and the “chord finder” utility.
The list of chords is pretty straightforward. Scroll through the list, and as each chord is selected, the app will display the name and an illustration of the frets you can emulate to play the chord. Tap the name of the chord, and a scroll-wheel will appear, allowing the user to select a specific chord by its name. Don’t know the name? This is where the chord finder comes in.
The chord finder is probably the most innovative part of Planet Waves Guitar Tools. This utility resembles the chord list, except the user can tap on the picture of the guitar to set the frets just as you want them. Once this is complete, the app will tell you the official name of that chord. It’s as cool as it is useful.
Below the chord utilities, there are scales, a tuner, a guitar teacher locator, and the rest. These features work just as advertised, and they do a nice job of rounding out the app. While there are lots of metronomes and the like on the iTunes App Store, it’s nice to know you won’t need to pay extra, or to have an entirely separate app taking up valuable space on your home screen.
Planet Waves Guitar Tools is a good, stable app, but there’s always room for improvement. As of this writing the app does not include the ability to play sound recordings of the chords and scales that are selected. For a beginning guitarist looking for just the right chord, such a feature would save a lot of hassle.
All the same, Planet Waves Guitar Tools is a solid offering and a great value, and is recommended for guitarists of all skill levels.