When researching great apps in the App Store, I try and look for them to meet at least two criteria. First, the app has to have some real functionality to me, and not just take up space on the phone or tablet's internal drive. Secondly, I look for great design. If an app passes the first test and it's something I use on a daily basis, having it look good is icing on the cake.
With Thomas Grapperon's Chord! he covers both bases. The app (which is universal for iPhone and iPad, with iCloud sync) has been around for some time, but the overall look is truly a thing of beauty. With light and dark themes, and a focus on quality fonts for readability, this is a great app to work with. I included Chord! on my list of the best guitar apps, and for good reason.
Chord! features a chord, scale and tuning finder, and also a beautiful looking songbook. The main screen is broken up into four sections. The first section houses your songbook. While no songs are included with the app, you can install demo songs to give you ideas of what's possible.
The next three sections feature an enormous library of Chords, Scales and Tunings. Chords and scales are beautifully laid out in charts, across a virtual guitar neck and sometimes feature a mini piano (for structuring chords if you're more familiar building a song that way). If you're looking for the best way to place your fingers on the neck, this app is priceless, offering multiple fingerings for a wide variety of chords. The app is very versatile, allowing you a bunch of ways to get to the information you need.
Each note can be tapped on or you can virtually "strum" the guitar neck to hear the tones of what you're currently viewing. I enjoyed going through some of the more obscure scales and looking up difficult chords to see what the easiest fingering was for them. Fans of the Guitar Grimoire series of books will certainly see somewhat of a comparison here, and the big win is that now that information is pocket-sized.
The songbook feature of the app allows you to bring in your songs so you always have them, whether that be at home or on a gig. Chord looks beautiful across the iPad but is also helpful on the iPhone as a pocket utility. You can drag and drop chords right on to the interface to structure songs, but importing them from elsewhere is also easy. The app has the ability to import songs (including lyrics) in a bunch of formats, and then allows you to print beautiful looking PDFs.
Beginner and advanced players will get a lot of use out of this app. Not only does it do guitar...but bass, ukulele, mandolin and more! Chord! is great for printing charts for your band, learning what scales to play over chords, having your songbook in your pocket at all times (especially helpful when in the studio), and so much more. All this, while being very easy on the eyes. Chord! is available in the Apple App Store right now and will be getting an update to work with iOS 11 in the Fall!