Over the years, learning to play songs on the guitar by way of tabulature (or tab) have certainly become more interactive. What used to be an exercise of finding books and sheets of music for your favorite songs, chords and tabs rapidly made their way onto the web. Nowadays, dozens of sites host extensive libraries of tabs to help guitar players of all levels perfect that catchy riff or solo. One such site is Songsterr, which started back in 2008. Besides being an archive of over 500,000 tabs for the guitar, bass and drums, it’s highly unique in that it’s also an online tab player that lets users follow along each tab as the song (with audio) is being played. The Songsterr app for the iPhone and iPad works much like its web counterpart and practicing tabs on-the-go doesn’t get much better than this.
Justin Timberlake’s highly anticipated album The 20/20 Experience drops next week on March 19th and if you simply can’t wait to hear JT’s falsetto vocals, iTunes is now streaming the album in its entirety.
Justin Timberlake rekindles his love affair with music on The 20/20 Experience. JT brings back the sexy synergy with production gurus Timbaland and J-Roc — “Tunnel Vision,” “Spaceship Coupe” and “Don’t Hold the Wall” are at once primal and futuristic pop excursions. He pours his falsetto into soul (“That Girl”) and over Latin beats (“Let the Groove In”). The 20/20 Experience shows Justin in full focus, reunited with his first love and it feels so good.
There’s something to be said about holiday themed games, and that’s by and large I don’t care for them. When it comes to Christmas these days the games usually seem to revolve around delivering presents or destroying renegade elves, both of which might be good for one or two variants apiece. Now don’t get me wrong – Santa Rockstar is still about saving Christmas, but at least the game format is one that hasn’t been touched so far in the holiday makeover realm. Ironically enough I’m not really a big fan of Tap Tap Revenge style music games, but in this case the theme and choice of music seems to make all the difference in the world.
To help promote vjay, an iPad app that lets you mix and scratch your favorite music videos, algoriddim is now offering their highly popular djay for iPhone as a free download. First launched in 2011 for $9.99, djay is a great deejaying app that’s considered among the best in its genre.
djay transforms your iPhone or iPod touch into a full-fledged portable DJ system and seamlessly integrates with your music library, giving you direct access to all your favorite tracks and playlists. A hyper-realistic touchscreen interface and ultra-low latency converge to offer you a true professional mixing experience, right in the palm of your hand. You can perform live, record mixes on-the-go, or enable Automix mode and let djay mix your favorite playlist from your music library automatically.
Several weeks after the release of AutoRap on the App Store, Smule is now calling out to all the karaoke fans out there with their latest app Sing!. Much like other Smule apps that heavily rely on social networking, Sing! lets you choose from over 130 musical hits from various genres (Rolling in the Deep, Boyfriend, Call Me Maybe etc) for you to sing along. Your performance can then be shared with a friend (if so desired), at which point he/she can add their voice to the track and create some sweet sounding harmonies. Don’t exactly fancy yourself a crooner? Not to worry. Thanks to the ”voice enhancement technology” and special voice filters, you may not sound half bad after belting out your favorite tunes. The app is free to download, though most of the songs in-app will cost you $0.99. See how Sing! works in a video trailer after the break.
Smule, Sing! Join the global karaoke party! - Free
Fans of Smule’s trippy musical iOS apps (Magic Piano, I Am T-Pain, Ocarina and MadPad) will now be able to make more sweet music in the rap category, thanks to the release of AutoRap. A creation born out of the merger between Smule and Khush, AutoRap lets even the most rap-challenged individuals sound like an aspiring rapper. Using a patent-pending “rappification” technology, the app features a Talk Mode that turns your ordinary speech into unique sounding rap songs. With Rap Mode, you can show off your rap skills by following the lyrics that scroll across the screen. Rest assured, first timers will have their flow corrected to “snap” their syllables back to song’s beat. AutoRap (free universal download) starts you off with some Freestyle sounds, and premium songs from popular artists can be purchased via IAP. Time to watch 8 Mile again before turning the iPhone into an all-out beatbox. Videos of AutoRap in action after the break.
Smule, AutoRap - Free
There was a time when I was really into the original Diablo, and like many players I thought I was going to wear out my mouse with all the button mashing. Mad Acorn is that game for my iPod Touch. In fact, sometimes I get worried that I’m going to leave a finger indentation on the screen where my thumb is most active. Then I forget about my concerns as the next wave of bad guys roll by. I’ve never been a fan of Tap Tap Revenge style games, but when a game in an established genre tightly integrates music into the mechanics, that’s a whole different story. Not to mention that Mad Acorn is the cream of the crop in that regards.
Paul McCartney’s latest album Kisses On the Bottom released 2 days ago, and to celebrate, the iconic singer-songwriter will be giving a free Live Performance via iTunes on Thursday, Feb 9 at 7pm PST. From Guitar World:
Paul McCartney will commemorate the release of his new album, Kisses On The Bottom, with a free streaming performance that takes place 7 p.m. PST Thursday, February 9, from Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, where much of the new album was recorded.
Fans can watch the show for free through iTunes.
Kisses On The Bottom, which comes out Tuesday, February 7, via Hear Music/Concord, is a collection of standards McCartney grew up listening to, plus two new McCartney compositions — “My Valentine” and “Only Our Hearts” (which feature guest turns, respectively, from Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder).
Recorded with the aid of Tommy LiPuma and Diana Krall and her band — who will back McCartney for the Capitol live-stream event –Kisses On The Bottom is a personal journey through songs that, in some cases, a young McCartney first heard his father perform on the family piano.
Come 7pm PST tomorrow, you can catch the live stream on your computer (on iTunes) with this link, or if you have an Apple TV, you can enjoy the performance right from the comforts on your big screen TV. Watch Paul McCartney talk about Kisses on the Bottom in more detail below.
If you want radical sound from your iDevice, you could pop in Iggy Pop’s New Values. Or, if you can’t keep pace with Iggy, why not check out MF Player Pro-radical HiFi. It is a ‘radical’ break from the traditional clean-cut – and often labelled ‘sterile’ – Apple sound. It’s an HiFi app in every sense of the word, and it’s radical in all others. The most obviously radical feature of MF Player is its most radical price, a gnarly 1.999 pennies. And that’s the clincher, really.
But let’s not spoil the rave yet, my party animals. There is praise to get through first. Namely, there are too few apps that are seriously designed for iDevice audiophiles. EQu has been a favourite of mine till now, and Equalizer (TMA Review) has grown up to be nearly perfect. MF player sports some of the lovely effects of a parametric EQ, but also adds its own flavour. While there isn’t a parametric EQ built in, the effects of MF Player are only really attainable by very very expensive EQ hardware, or impeccable settings.
A little over a year ago I started using Naturespace: Relax Meditate Escape Sleep (TMA Review) – one of the best ambient nature sounds apps out there. Unique in the way it makes a fully engrossing surround sound experience even through the stock Apple earbuds, it has saved my nerve endings from countless deaths. And as we all know – nerves don’t regenerate. Well, I’m glad to say that shortly before Christmas (yes, I Know I’m a bit late on this but still) the developers informed me that they’d just rolled out a massive update, not only making an additional 15 tracks available for purchase but a few nifty features in the catalogue as well.