Not that you need more apps for your phone…

….but I just read a Guitar World article about “the 25 best apps”….

25 apps??



If you’ve read my e-mails you know I’m all about efficiency (25 apps is just nonsense).

So here’s what I use.  Take ’em or leave ’em.

Also… if you use other apps that you honestly think are helpful... please reply and let me know… I’m curious 🙂


Streaming Music Apps




Spotify App

Even before I switched to Republic Wireless (from Apple to Android), I used Spotify.   Granted, I was a bit resistant to it at first….

I always like the idea of owning my own copy of the music file (or just a CD).  I didn’t like the idea of paying $9.99 each month to stream music (that I actually didn’t own).

But two things converted me….

1.  Since teaching guitar I was purchasing a ton of new music (to learn for lessons) each month.

2. I could write this membership off as a business expense.

So I have been happily using Spotify for a few years now.  I like that you can access music offline if needed.

However, some songs/artists are not available… Taylor Swift, I’m looking at you. 

So…. In the event that music is missing…. I use………

Google Music App

google music app

Google Music App (for Android)

The Google Music app (iTunes would work equally well).

I like this for two reasons:

1. Several years ago I uploaded ALL OF MY MUSIC to the google music app/software.   So now I can access my music from anywhere.  Nice.

2. I can buy music from artists that aren’t cool enough to be on Spotify (ahem… Taylor Swift).

Between these two apps, I’m pretty much covered.



Evernote App

Evernote App

I’ll be honest….
….just like Spotify, it took me a long time to jump on the Evernote train.  
I just couldn’t figure out the best way to use it.
However, I’ve now turned the corner.
Here’s what I use it for:
  1. Jotting down blog post ideas
  2. Jotting down lyrics
  3. As a virtual notebook (to keep track of what we cover in my guitar lessons).
  4. To quickly bookmark/save websites that I want to remember
I know…. nothing Earth shattering…. but it’s nice to have quick and easy access to all of these things.
I definitely don’t use Evernote to its full capacity.  But I don’t care…. it works for what I need.  And if it doesn’t…..


Google Drive

Google Drive

Google drive is my online-cloud-based-saviour.  I have EVERYTHING there (but don’t worry, I back it up to my hard drive).
The best thing I ever did was begin to pull/create file after file of chords for the various songs I teach.
Now… I can quickly pull any song I’ve ever taught and it’s in the exact format I need (which is important to make sure the chords/tab line up correctly).
I house a ton of other stuff there, but as a depository for songs/chords, it is perfect.  So, where do I get a lot of those songs/chord ideas….. Tabs App

Ultimate Guitar app

Ultimate Guitar app

Love them or hate them, Ultimate Guitar has been around since basically the beginning of the internet.
They have so many songs (for free), any negative thing I have to say will be negated by that simple fact.

But I will still say some negative things.  Mainly, the way they push other features, and they freaking advertisements!

Still… they is so much free content, it’s hard to argue.

I love that you can instantly transpose a song into a different key.


As a guitar teacher this is invaluable.


As a guitar player (especially if you’re a relative beginner) this makes it easy to play songs that would otherwise be kind of difficult.  


I’ve used the songsterr app (and I know some students that like it)… it’s not bad… I just don’t use it that much.

Smart Voice Recorder

Smart Voice Recorder App

Smart Voice Recorder App

If you ever want to write your own songs… USE A VOICE RECORDER.
I document melodies, licks, lyrics, chord progressions, and any other nonsense that pops into my head. 
 I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought of a cool idea for a song….. figured I would remember it…. only to forget it FOREVER.
Now I try my best to pull up a voice memo app and note my idea.
Pretty much any voice memo app will do… for Android, I use Smart Voice Recorder.

Pano Tuner

Pano Tuner

Pano Tuner

Don’t get me wrong, I love my Snark Tuner, but sometimes I don’t have it with me (or am too lazy to walk downstairs and get it).
When laziness kicks in, it’s nice to have a tuner in your pocket.
Pretty much any guitar tuner app will do, just make sure that it uses the microphone on your phone to pick up your guitar’s strings.
I like the Pano Tuner app.
It works perfectly… every time.
It’s super simple.  And it’s definitely the best free guitar tuner app out their.
Works for IOS and Android.


Just about ANY metronome app!

Just about ANY metronome app!

I’ve never been a huge fan of metronomes, but since I started teaching guitar, I have found that some students find them helpful.
Any metronome app will do, there are a ton of free ones out there… just take your pick!

Am I missing something?


I’ve tried other apps (certain guitar pedal effects, etc), but they never really stuck.



Did I miss something that you like?


I’d love to hear about it.  Let me know in the comments below!