Do you ever find yourself wishing you could impress your friends with your extensive knowledge of pop songs? When you’re playing guitar around a campfire and someone shouts out, “Play Stairway to Heaven,” do you have to admit that you don’t know that one? Well, you won’t have to say “no” to your fans’ requests any more.
Songful is a guitar tablature-based app that adds one feature- a guitar that plays the notes for you.
Pick a song from the top 100 list and a tab sheet pops up. For example, the first song on the list is “Hotel California” by The Eagles. The tablature window pops up when you tap the song. See the notes for the intro, verses and chorus. The song’s lyrics are also listed, so you can sing along while you play.
If you don’t know how to play guitar, or just don’t have one on-hand, you can still play the song. Hold your iPad as if it were a guitar and tap the big arrow on the left side with your left hand while strumming the guitar strings on the right side with your right hand. Sorry lefties. You don’t get a special position. Just like Jimmie Hendrix, you’re stuck with a right-handed guitar.
You can switch between a guitar sound and a ukulele sound, which is nice. Doesn’t every song sound cuter when it is played on a uke?
You can also “Hit the deck,” which means you can simulate the sound of tapping on an acoustic guitar for a rhythm sound. “More Than Words” by Extreme is the most popular song I can think of that uses that technique. To give the song vibrato, shake your iPad after a strum. It will sound like you are using a Whammy Bar.
To access songs that are not in the top 100 list, go to the search bar and type in either a band name or a song title and a list of related songs will appear.
According to the app’s description, there are 200,000 songs to choose from. The songs are compiled from UltimateGuitar, which is a tablature website that has hundreds of thousands of songs. This app does not include all of them. I use UltimateGuitar on a regular basis and many of the songs that are available online are not available within the app. According to the website, there are actually 80,000 songs that can be played, which is still a heck of a lot.
The top 100 songs, plus any song that you add to your favorites list is accessible offline, so be sure to hit the star at the bottom of the tablature whenever you find a song you like.
What I liked: There are so many songs to choose from that you’ll be a big hit at any campfire. You may need louder speakers in order to be heard over all the drunken sing-alongs.
What I didn’t like: The tablature window is too big. It gets in the way of strumming the guitar. I’m pretty sure that you could make that window smaller and still be able to show all the notes and lyrics. Plus, the “Hit the deck” feature is too close to the strings. I accidentally tapped it a bunch of times when I was rocking out to “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC.
To buy or not to buy: This is a great entertainment app for playing music with friends. You’re not going to learn how to play guitar, but you will look like a pro to people who don’t know better.
- Name: Songful
- Version Reviewed: 1.0
- Category: Music
- Developer: Ultimate Guitar
- Price: $2.99