One of the best ways to improve your guitar playing, especially while practicing scales, arpeggios and licks, is to play with a metronome. While there are plenty of iOS apps that include metronome functionality, I haven’t always found them to be the most practical method. You have to find a spot to set up your phone so you can hear it or, at least, be able to see the screen for the visual queue. And if you plan on practicing for any significant length of time, the metronome app can be a drain on your battery.
I just found this Combination Clip-on Tuner & Metronome from GearBest that will definitely be a fixture in my guitar case from now on. Compact and convenient, just clip it on your headstock and you have not only the ability to stay in tune, but a perfect timekeeper that’s right at the end of your guitar.
Buy it today from GearBest.
WAIT!!! Have you entered our contest? We’re giving away two GuitarJack 2 guitar interfaces worth $200 each. Check out the Contest Details for more information!
If you’ve spent any amount of time on YouTube looking for lessons to improve your guitar playing, it’s a safe bet you’ve come across at least a few lessons by charismatic guitar teacher Marty Schwartz. Between his guitarjamzdotcom and martyzsongs YouTube channels, he has more than 1,300 videos covering everything from basic concepts for beginners all the way up to advanced techniques. Since first hitting YouTube about five years ago, Marty’s videos have been viewed nearly half a billion times. That’s billion with a B. His easy going style and accessible approach to playing and music theory has helped countless people improve their playing and now he’s made it even easier by releasing the app Guitarjamz – Epic Guitar Lessons for iPhone and iPad. Continue reading
IK Multimedia was one of the first hardware and software developers to embrace the iPhone and iPad as viable music creation platforms and have, since releasing their introductory instrument interface the iRig in 2010, produced a whole family of products aimed at making it easier to create music on iOS devices. They have consistently improved upon the original iRig by creating devices that offer different input options, such as the iRig Mic and iRig Keys, and by improving upon the basic design and sound quality of the iRig by creating the the iRig HD, a truly digital interface that plugged into the Lightning connector instead of the headphone jack.
The latest member of the iRig family, the iRig PRO ($149.99), improves the guitar/instrument interface yet again, by expanding upon both the device’s input and output connections. The iRig PRO comes complete with a full complement of cables to connect to all iOS devices, MIDI controllers and your Mac or PC. Continue reading
A huge thank you to my friend Marty Schwartz for sharing a link to the GuitarApps website with his Guitarjamz fans! Welcome to everyone that found your way here. We certainly hope you find some information that is helpful to you and that you will follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to keep up with the latest on apps and hardware you can use to make guitar music on your iOS devices. We’ve got more great reviews on tap, so stay tuned!
Not long after developers started to create apps for the iPhone and iPad, guitarists recognized the power of iOS devices for mobile music creation and an immediate demand was created for interfaces to help bridge the gap between a guitar and an iOS device. One of the first to market was the iRig from IK Multimedia, a relatively simple device that plugs into the headphone jack and essentially splits the guitar input and headphone signals much like an Apple headset with built in mic.
The basic iRig, and other similarly designed interfaces work just fine and tend to be priced between $20 and $40, so they are great for quick mobile creation. The main drawbacks of these simple devices, however, are sound quality. Because they are unpowered devices passing input and output signals past one another, there tends to be a lot of signal noise and they aren’t always capable of handling high gain input favored by some players. iOS recording devices are capable of much higher quality and interface designers responded by continually improving technology and creating a whole range of devices at different price points and with different capabilities.
I’ve had a few people ask me for sources for good guitar backing tracks that you can upload to the AmpKit app and use for practicing your solos. A great little source for some tasty jam along tracks is my friend Marty Schwartz’s site, Guitarjamz.com. If you go to this URL and sign up for his mailing list, he’ll give you access to the tracks for free – http://www.guitarjamz.com/mp3jamtracks/ The messages he sends out are few and far between and he doesn’t share your info with anyone else.
Jamming along to backing tracks is an awesome way to beef up your soloing and improvisation skills. If you’re not doing it already, give it a try. AmpKit makes it easy to import these tracks straight from your computer through a Web interface over your Wi-Fi network. Then you can play along with the gear modeling setup of your choice.
There’s a dramatic difference in sound quality between the GuitarJack and AmpKit LiNK iPhone interfaces.
Update: Please stay tuned for the full GuitarJack review I’m working on. An astute reader pointed out that it sounds like the GuitarJack sample below might simply be missing a big chunk of the high frequencies. That may be my inexperience with the device so I need to play with it a bit more to be certain that the comparison you hear below is a fair one. Continue reading
Watch my in-depth review on YouTube
When it rains it pours… Several different biggies in the field of guitar gear, modeling and software have released interfaces that let you plug your guitar or bass into your iPhone or iPad. There is one in particular that really stands out from the crowd. That is the combination of AmpKit from Agile Partners, developers of the popular GuitarToolkit and TabToolkit apps, and the AmpKit LiNK interface hardware from Peavey Electronics. Continue reading