Hey everyone, so I’ve been thinking about designing a really neat and useful guitar chord app. It will showcase all of the possible guitar chords and scales in an easy to use way. I would like to have a skeuomorphic design where you get to see a realistic fret board. I would also like to have buttons for a chord look-up dictionary and a button that can favorite chords and another one that is a built in guitar tuner. The App would house both a complete chord book and a library of favorited chords. As a stretch goal I also would like to mock-up a “song-builder” where you can string together chords and play along to lyrics that you can either make, or download from an online source. This is the app of guitar apps — but presented in a way that is not over-the-top (like the Chord! app below).
There are thousands of these kind of apps!!!! These apps range from very simple to over-the-top complex. I want to be somewhere in between. Overall I want it to have a neat design to it. Most of these apps online are built cheaply and with either minimal UI, or poor design. They merely get the job done. I don’t want to just “get the job done”. I want to literally close the book on it and make one that is head and shoulders above the rest. I mean—with so much out there—I pretty much have to. Otherwise it would just get lost in a sea of guitar apps.
Without further ado, here are some apps online (ranging anywhere from good to bad):
Is a comprehensive guitar chord and scale book for guitarists. That’s about all it does.
What it has:
- Chords and Scales
- Visually show multiple variations of chords
- Easy to use
- You can listen to the chord.
- Not searchable, you have to thumb through from 3 categories.
- No favoriting for storing chords you like. You have to keep going back to them.
- No built in tuner. (Very simple app).
- Fretboard is small, so could get hard to read.
This is an unbelievably comprehensive chord and scale app that covers multiple instruments.
Some of the pros:
- Complete set-up of every possible chord out there
- multiple tunings and for different instruments
- visual highlights to tell you what chord you are one and a breakdown of the chord.
- notated scales in both a fret-board and music notation.
- good flat design. soft blues and grays are easy on the eyes.
- reverse chord search
Some of the cons:
- Can be overwhelming to look at at first.
- On top of overwhelming it’s also pretty complex.
- Can be hard to read.
- Doesn’t offer extra options that I would want to have in my app.
Learn Guitar Chords
This app is a simple play and learn app that features popular chords entirely free.
- easy breakdown of the chords
- You can hear the chord being played.
- You can hear both Acoustic and Electric.
- Skeuomorphic! (Ugly ass photography and design).
- Too simple.
- Only popular chords. Not all chords.
- No chord look-up
- No saving and favorting of chords.
- limited range of chords. Entire fret-board is not shown.
Guitar chords and tabs
This app actually allows you to search for chords and tabs of known songs, This one however is NOT a chord book. But I am including it because of its other features. This connects most to my stretch goal — a song builder/player.
- Easy searchbar for finding songs
- visually displays if songs are for bass, or guitar. Chords or tab.
- lists lyrics with chords, where you can even see chord fingering.
- add it to favorites, and rate the song yourself. Can send mistakes in songs too.
- auto-scroll. (VERY IMPORTANT FEATURE).
- The design is not unified — haphazard.
- No chord book (chord dictionary).
- Lyrics are small and hard to read.
- No guitar tuner. (Most of these kind of apps don’t).
Ultimate Guitar Chords:
Ultimate Guitar is perhaps the best online resource for all things guitar. This app purely contains chords in an easy to use manner.
- Easy navigation of chords
- Strong designed UI.
- Multiple tunings
- Chord look-up (Advanced tool)
- Despite being UG, it’s very rudimentary with what it has to offer.
- No scales
- No saving chords into your own library
- UG has an entirely different app for tuning. (Good marketing though, but still, lol).