Guitar World’s Lick of the Day App
Agile Partners is continuing their commitment to iOS loving guitar players. This time they have partnered with Guitar World magazine to create a universal app for both the iPhone, iPod and iPad called Guitar World Lick of the Day. The app delivers a new lick every day and promises to cater to a variety of styles and skill levels.
The interface of the iPad version combines video of Guitar World and celebrity instructors with a panel showing the standard and tab music notation for each lick that scrolls in sync with the video. Users of Agile’s Tab ToolKit will also recognize the dynamic fretboard that shows finger positions that are also synchronized with the tab and video. Lefties will be happy to know that they can invert the fretboard too.
The videos are each a few minutes long and start with the instructor playing the lick at full speed. Then they go back and play it again at half speed. Finally, the instructor digs in and shows you how to play each part of the lick in detail. Controls in the video window let you jump straight to the full or half speed section of the video and you can also toggle the video full-screen. There’s also text block for each lesson describing the techniques plus the notes and chords involved.
At the bottom of the screen you can toggle back and forth between Video and a Practice Mode. The Practice Mode has settings that let you control music notation, tempo, looping, audio synthesis and a metronome. Once you’ve watched the instructor a few times, flip over to practice mode and use the tools to help you hone your mastery of the lick.
The iPhone/iPod interface offers the same features but has to split up the individual components due to the smaller screen size.
The app itself is free and includes five sample lessons in styles ranging from Heavy Metal to Country and Jazz. In order to take advantage of the full lick-a-day capabilities, you have to purchase a subscription via an in-app purchase. Subscriptions are available for one-, three- or six-month periods. Respectively, they cost $4.99, $12.99 or $19.99.
I’m impressed with what I see in the sample videos and Agile Partners, as usual, delivers a highly polished interface sure to please guitar players. I’m curious to see how two things will pan out over time. One is the subscription model. While the content is good and a new lick a day will make it plentiful, $19.99 for only six months seems like a fairly steep price given that a year-long subscription to Guitar World, including their online content on DVD or download, is only $24.95. Second is that I’d like to see Guitar World follow through with their promise of a diverse variety of styles. I used to subscribe to the magazine but let it go about a year ago when the focus of the magazine started shifting more and more towards shredding and less about genuine playing. They have continue to include regular columns on Blues and even more esoteric styles like Gypsy Jazz though, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
Another nice thing is that the content is downloaded to your device, so if you have a Wi-Fi iPad like me you’ll still be able to take the lessons with you, even if you’re away from a network. This could, of course, lead to the app chewing up a lot of your device’s memory, but the developers have included a feature that, by default, only keeps media files for licks that you have viewed in the past month. You can change that with the “Delete Oldest” switch on the My Subscription Settings screen.
Overall, it looks like a nice addition to the guitar player’s arsenal. One really obvious addition I’d love to see Agile make is an integration with the AmpKit app so you can play and hear your electric guitar right in the same app. A rep from Agile tells me it’s already on their radar as a potential enhancement for Lick of the Day and coyly added that it would make sense for TabToolKit as well.
Download Guitar World Lick of the Day free from iTunes.
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