Welcome back to another installment of PadGadget’s Sound Stage. Each week, we bring news and information on apps and accessories for the iPad that are geared toward musicians and fans of music. Last week, we told you about Ultimate Ears’ Social Music Experiment and the launch of their new portable speaker, the UE BOOM.
This week, we have a fun entertainment app for those of you who have always wished you could play guitar, but don’t know how. If you were an expert at Guitar Hero, Smule has an app that will make you feel like a rock star.
Guitar! By Smule is a game with a music theme. Players strum along to guitar tracks of a handful of popular songs and earn coins to unlock new music and guitars. Strum in time to the music while holding down the proper strings. It may sound complex, but it’s not. This game is a lot like Guitar Hero.
You start out with 200 coins and an acoustic guitar. You can buy any of the songs that only cost 200 coins and then earn more coins for playing along. The better you play, the more coins you will earn.
Each song has three levels of difficulty. Easy mode only requires you to strum or tap notes, while Medium requires that you “hold down” strings by matching color coded sections of the song. There are three different color buttons on the left side of the screen. As a section of notes appear, it will be displayed with different colors. Match the blue button with the notes in the blue section, yellow with yellow, and pink with pink. In Hard mode, players must tap and strum notes and hold down strings, but there are twice as many notes.
If you don’t feel like playing along to any songs, you can switch to Freestyle mode and just play whatever notes you want to. In Freestyle, there are no premade songs. You are the songwriter now.
This app incorporates players of one of Smule’s other games. The singers featured on each song are actual users of Sing! Karaoke. So, not only are you playing along to your favorite songs, but music fans just like you are singing along with you.
You don’t have to know how to play the guitar to enjoy this app. In fact, it might actually be better if you didn’t. I personally found it difficult to properly keep time with the songs. I have the same issue with Guitar Hero, though.
Guitar! By Smule is available for free and does not include in-app purchases. Download it from the App Store today.