Rock ‘n’ Roll on the go with the Ultimate Guitar Tabs App

By Steven Zeisler

Remember the old school days when you had to actually get on a computer to look up
guitar tablature? Well, thanks to the Ultimate Guitar Tabs app for iOS, you now have
unlimited access to thousands of guitar tablatures, bass guitar tablatures, drum
tablatures and chords on the go.

At first glance, the intuitive interface gives you three different search categories, which
allow you to type in any search term, choose from the top 100 tabs, or have a random
tab delivered to you. As soon as you type in a character, it presents a real-time list of
search results, with the results coming up fluidly and without lagging (on an iPhone 4).
There’s also an advanced search link, which presents you with a list of categories:

  • Type of tab (chords, guitar tab, bass tab, drum tab)
  • A specific part of the tab (whole song, intro, solo)
  • The user ratings of the tab (one to five stars)
  • Difficulty (novice, intermediate, advance)
  • Tuning (standard, or up to 11 semitones up or down)

The app allows you to sign in with your Ultimate Guitar account to pull up your
saved tabs from the website or you can save your favorite tabs right from within the app
as well.

When you finally get to that awesome intro (David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”) or ear-
piercing guitar solo (ACDC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long”) you’ve been wanting to learn, the app presents a number of different features that can be viewed in both landscape or portrait mode:

  • Metronome (includes fine tempo tuning, tempo taping, and an adjustable tempo signature)
  • Chromatic Tuner (enhanced for loud environments)
  • Brain Tuner (rich string sounds with a variety of open tuning options for advanced musicians who prefer to tune by ear)
  • Customized font on the tablature
  • Chords library (illustrates fingering for thousands of chords, including simultaneous chord display, with super-simple controls and playback)
  • AirPrint for wirelessly printing out your tabs
  • Playing a song from your media library

However, there are some limitations. To get these features (mentioned above) you must
make an additional in-app purchase called “Ultimate Guitar Tools” for $3.99. For those
that are serious about learning tablature, this purchase might be worth it.

Since the entire tablature can’t all fit on your iOS screen at once, the app conveniently
scrolls down the page as you play, and you can customize the scroll speed depending
on your learning curve.

Perhaps my favorite feature is the “Tab Packs,” which provides you with a list of
categories to choose from for learning tablature. Options range from “Worship Music” to “Country” to “Obscure Songs.”

Ultimate Guitar Tabs is a powerful and easy to use app that every beginner or advanced
guitarist / drummer should have in their arsenal of apps. Check it out only in the app