Gone are the days of beginning guitar and needing to purchase a $20 tuner and $20 metronome. It is no longer necessary to rely on recordings, books, and music teachers to learn songs and skills on the guitar. Thanks to the popularity of smart phones and tablets there are many resources which make it is easy to learn and get better at music.

Here are 10 essential music and guitar apps for iPad and iPhone. Many of these apps (or similar apps) are also available for Android devices.

1. Cleartune


Download from App Store

Cleartune has a clean and elegant design and is incredibly accurate. It is my go to tuner and I use it regularly on my iPad and iPhone.

2. Tempo Advance


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Tempo Advance is my go to metronome. It also has a polyrhythm mode which I talk about in this blog post and this video.

3. Time Guru


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Time Guru is another metronome I practice with regularly. It was created by guitarist Avi Bortnick (John Scofield Band) and has a random mute function which can help you to develop a solid sense of time.

4. Guitar Atlas


Download from App Store

Guitar Atlas is an interactive map of the fretboard created by guitarist Chris McQueen (Snarky Puppy, Foe Destroyer, FORQ). This app allows you to visualize scales, arpeggios, modes, and intervals on the neck in any position.

5. Amazing Slow Downer


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Amazing Slow Downer is a lot like the computer program Transcribe but for iOS. It allows you to slow down songs, loop sections, and even change the key.

6. Better Ears


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Better Ears is a great app for ear training. Test your ability to hear intervals, scales, chords, chord progressions, pitches, and tempos as well as to recognize key signatures, intervals, scales, and chords.

7. forScore


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forScore is a PDF reader optimized for music. It allows you to create setlists, make annotations using various pens and highlighters (as well as musical symbols), and even share scores via bluetooth.

8. Chromatik


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Chromatik is a free database of sheet music for all kinds of music. It is a great resource for learning songs and is updated regularly.

9. iReal Pro


Download from App Store

iReal Pro has evolved into an extensive app for viewing chord changes and practicing. Setlists of user uploaded songs are downloaded via the integrated forums. These setlists contain everything from jazz standards to pop songs. The app also has a play along feature in which you can change the tempo, key, and style of the backing track. You can even loop sections to really shed difficult changes.

10. Songsterr


Download from App Store

Songsterr is a great resource for accurate tabs with rhythmic notation. The app allows you to play the song, solo specific instruments, play at half speed, and loop sections. The tabs are also available for free on the Songsterr website.