Friday, November 04, 2011

Amazon Appstore's Free App of the Day, 11/4/2011: Ultimate Guitar Tabs and Tools

Amazon.com has promised to make a paid app free every day in the Amazon Appstore, and today's app is Ultimate Guitar Tabs and Tools.

Ultimate Guitar Tabs and Tools is exclusive, for now, at the Amazon Appstore. It is normally priced at $7.99 in the Amazon Appstore.

















Ultimate Guitar Tabs and Tools is described as follows:
Whether you're a full-time gigging musician or a late-night bedroom shredder, Ultimate Guitar Tabs and Tools is an incredible on-the-go resource. This app for your Android device gives you access to the world's largest guitar tablature database, as well as several valuable tools--a tuner, metronome, and huge chord library. Browse more than 300,000 listings for guitar, bass, and drum tabs, learn new songs faster than ever, and use the tools to master your instrument.

A World of Music at Your Fingertips

Ultimate Guitar Tabs and Tools offers a mind-blowingly thorough catalog of guitar tablature in a package that's surprisingly easy to navigate. The home screen makes simple searches easy; additional tabs at the top of the screen reveal advanced search options, a place to keep your favorite tabs, and a useful Tab Packs section that organizes frequently-played songs into categories (such as Blues, Chart Busters, Rock and Metal, and Worship Music).

Find the Song You've Been Searching For

The quickest way to get started is by simply typing a keyword into the box on the app's home screen. If you're looking for a song by the singer-songwriter John Vanderslice, for example, just enter his name and touch the "Search" button. The app will immediately access every Vanderslice tab in the Ultimate Guitar Tabs database, and from there you can scroll through the song titles until you find the one you want.

If you know a song's title--even just part of it--type that into the search box instead. A moment later, you'll see every title that includes the keywords you entered, and it'll be easy to narrow down your search from there.

If you want to conduct a more detailed search, touch the "Advanced" tab at the top of the screen. Enter any keywords in the main search box, and narrow your results more by opening dropdown menus that sort by Type (guitar, bass, drums, or chords), Part (an intro, for example, or a mid-song solo), Rating (based on a one- to five-star system), Difficulty, and Tuning (featuring a huge variety of possible guitar tunings).

See It, Play It, Share It

Once you find the song you want, just touch the title and its tab will appear onscreen. You can scroll throughout the page to whatever part you want to scrutinize and zoom in or out if the print is too large or small. The "Auto Scroll" function is a useful feature, as well; if you choose to enable it, the screen will automatically scroll down the page slowly, making it much easier for you to follow the tab as you play the song from beginning to end.

Of course, keeping a new song to yourself is only fun for so long. Show off the latest riff you've learned (or suggest a hot lick to a fellow musician) by sending a tab via e-mail. Just remember to give credit where credit is due; even if you learn to play a song perfectly, you didn't write it! Use this tremendous educational resource to stand on the shoulders of the masters as you learn to play your instrument even better.

You've Met the Tabs, Now Meet the Tools

Along with its voluminous tablature selection, Ultimate Guitar Tabs and Tools includes a quality guitar tuner, metronome, and chords library. These give you a useful set of quality guitar tools right on your Android device--just touch the Tools tab at the top right of the screen and you'll see these three options waiting to be selected.

Tune Up

Get your guitar in tune and keep it that way with the app's guitar tuner feature. Using your device's built in microphone, play any string on your instrument; the app will hear the tone and tell you whether it's in tune, flat, or sharp.

You can also use the Brain Tuner, an accurate tone generator that plays any of the six notes in the standard open guitar tuning (E, A, D, G, B, E). Use your brain (and your ears) to compare the note of a guitar string with the tone the tuner has generated, then tune your guitar to match the tone.

Keep Time

Once your guitar's in tune, you'll still need to play in rhythm. Train yourself to keep better time with the app's metronome function. It's full of useful, high-end features: fine tune any tempo, set a tempo by tapping a rhythm on the screen, adjust the time signature and beat subdivision, and much more.

It even includes five sound packs, which allow you to hear the beats as if they're being made by such items as a classic metronome, a wood block, or (of course) the classic cowbell.

Extend Your Chords

Once you've gotten the basics taken care of, you may find that you need a resource to look up chords. No problem--you'll find a huge variety, along with a sound sample of each, in the beautifully designed and powerful chords library.

A scrollable database of hundreds of guitar chords--including variations on each chord--is right there at your fingertips, and it's truly a useful reference material for any guitarist intent on learning new ways to approach the instrument.
Ultimate Guitar Tabs and Tools has a 4.5-star rating in the Amazon Appstore.

Once again, this is an example of an exclusive to the Amazon Appstore, so we can't compare to Android Market ratings. But 65 ratings with a 4.5 seems pretty darn good, especially in the Amazon Appstore where ratings are in general, lower.

Those who are considering "buying" a Free Amazon Appstore app might want to consider what it means to developers.

Amazon.com opened up the Appstore despite a lawsuit by Apple, which has previously trademarked the term "App Store." Microsoft has filed an appeal against that trademark, saying the term is too generic. Amazon.com has responded to the lawsuit in the same manner.



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