iShred: Guitar + Effects in Review – The Quintessential Guitar App


If you know me personally (which I doubt), or you’ve happened to read my review of Guitarist– then you’d know what a guitar aficionado I am. You’d also know how few guitar simulator applications there are in the App Store that are even worth mentioning and which truly succeed at what they do best – simulate an authentic guitar. At first glance, iShred, has incredible potential with its flashy loading screen in which the guitar flies out of the rocker’s hands and embraces the iDevice screen- entrusting you with its mighty power and awesomeness. By the first strum, you realize that iShred is a virtual guitar like no other – it is in fact the tool for ultimate guitar supremacy on an MP4 player scale.


Within seconds of playing around in iShred, I felt like I was ready to go on a worldwide tour with just my iPhone, Mophie Juicepack, and of course myself. There is so much crammed into just 18.8 MB — it is nearly inconceivable. For starters, iShred comes preloaded with “over 2000 built-in chords, scales, and fret positions”. On the top portion of the screen, there are 10 spaces for you to fill with any specific chord your heart desires. Once a space has been filled by a chord, and you click it to strum, you automatically play that chord. This innovative method of being able to assign chords and easily switch between them makes iShred a sure winner when creating your own songs. Since iShred has every chord under the Sun, it’s hastle-free to find the exact chord you’re looking for- to get the genuine sound out of any song you cover or make.


The aspect that iShred has that had me jumping for joy is the 8 unique effects (stomp-boxes).

  • Adrenaline: Treble Booster for that extra shot
  • HK-2000 Delay: For fat slap sound or huge echo
  • Hot Fuzz: Get buzzed with an electrifying distortion
  • Kömpressör: Power chords just beg for it
  • Q-36 Space Modulator: Multi-pattern modulation
  • Sybil: Dual chorus pedal to hear your evil twin
  • Trembler: Get a healthy dose of Tremolo
  • Wahsabi: Tilt your iPhone to control this wah pedal!

What made all eight of the effects unique and not generic is that you don’t only trigger them on/off. If an effect is turned on it will have a “glowing aura”. By clicking an effect that is already glowing, the screen zooms into the specific effect so that you can tweak its settings. What I found so surprising about iShred is how each effect is incorporated and sounds so different from one another. You can even tweak out the amp a little bit by turning it on/off and changing the sound from “clean” to all-out “overdrive”.

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Similar to Smule’s Ocarina and Leaf Trombone apps, iShred lets you listen to other people’s songs via AirPlay. When accessing AirPlay mode, a little red airplane flies around to random world locations so you can listen to somone’s song and rate it (from both Frontier Design Group’s music apps: iShred and Guitar). Not only can you listen to other people’s work, but you can also that work to your very own Playlist (where you manage your songs as well as ones you’ve added). AirPlay also lets you filter songs and search for specific ones. Once you’ve added a song to your Playlist, you can access it anytime without WiFi or cellular internet. As seen in Leaf Trombone, you can actually see the exact notes the person played. In iShred, blue circles match the person’s fingering as they played the song- so you can continually replay it and eventually learn the song itself, note by rote.

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The Playlist not only acts as a storage house for all your songs to edit and manage but it also serves other purposes. You can easily export your songs from iShred into your computer (in .wav format) by entering a specific server URL in your internet browser. You can also backup and retrieve songs by saving them on a server from within the app. This not only protects them if you ever delete the song from your Playlist but it also lets you experiment with the song- and you can retrieve the original if you’re unhappy with your experimentation.

review-music-ishred-shred8iShred has a few settings to alter. These include a left handed guitar (I’m actually a lefty myself but I had to learn to play guitar right handed because nobody at my music school was a lefty..), pitch bend, as well as a few chord string label options.

review-music-ishred-shred9 Recording your own music is a breeze in iShred. To enable the recorder, you just hit the arrow on the bottom right side of the screen which brings up a mini menu. From the mini menu you can go right into the recorder where you can set the BPM (beats per minute) as well as enable a metronome to help you keep the beat. After recording a song, you can name it and share it with the world.


Simply stated, iShred has every feature I wanted from a guitar app including the kitchen sink. With 8 effects to choose from/ an amp to tweak, along with the effects themselves/ export to .wav feature/ AirPlay mode/ every chord imaginable and so much more – my prayers have been answered. I’m literally playing iShred for over 40 minutes a day, every day, trying to learn other people’s songs via AirPlay. The replayability is endless considering you can get ideas from other people and turn them into something new and greater. Just by tweaking the effects, you can create your own unique sound or recreate those that you have come to love from songs such as Aqualung (yes, I was even fortunate enough to stumble upon a user playing Aqualung in AirPlay mode and it sounded perfect!)

For these reasons and many more, I’m proud to give iShred an astonishing rating of Kiss It. I honestly have no complaints – it hasn’t crashed once for me and is everything I could have asked for from a guitar simulator!


App Summary
Title: iShred: Guitar+ Effects (v. 1.51) Developer: Frontier Design Group, LLC
Price: $4.99 App Size: 18.8MB
  • -fully featured guitar simulator
  • -airplay
  • export to .wav
  • manage your own Playlist
  • record and edit songs
  • 8 unique effects
  • over 2000 chords, scales, fret positions
  • intuitive UI makes it simple to change chords
  • takes a tad getting used to a guitar app with a pantheon of features


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