Star Guitar iPhone app helps you learn guitar, write songs

Star Guitar is built around a calculator-like interface that lets you choose from 144 chords.

Updated on March 28 at 12 p.m. PDT: The developers of Star Guitar explained to me that the latency between chord changes is intentional–it’s meant to change on the first beat of the next measure. If you want to change it immediately, you can simply double-tap. Also, Star Guitar also records .WAV files–they’re hidden at the bottom of the library list, below all the .pattern files that represent the built-in rhythms (you can edit them or create new ones on your computer). Finally, they asked me to link to the demo video on YouTube, so here it is.

I’ve been playing around with a new iPhone app, Star Guitar, for the last day or so, and it’s a sophisticated piece of work that could help beginning guitar players learn how chords fit together into songs, as well as give more experienced songwriters a quick way to record their ideas when they don’t have a guitar handy.

Released last week by Amidio, the creators of the Pro synthesizer application for the iPhone, Star Guitar is based around a calculator-like interface that lets you choose from 144 chords.

The designers had to be very clever to fit that many chords on a single screen–essentially, you start by picking one of the seven natural-tone letters (A through G), then adding various modifications (flat or sharp, seventh, major, and suspended fourth). You might have to consult the help screen to figure out exactly which combination of buttons will create a particular chord–for example, a G6 is created by hitting “G” and “major”–but for the most part, if you know your chords, it’s fairly intuitive.

If you don’t know your chords, it’s a fantastic way to learn what all these cryptically named chords sound like. I’ve played for years, but still have to think for a few seconds before I could hum you the notes in a suspended fourth. With Star Guitar, I can just play it.

Originally posted at Digital Noise: Music and Tech

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