This app will help make your songwriting sessions simple

I've been known to geek out about guitar and apps in the past. When developer Chris Ladd, known for making the incredible note taking app Better Notes contacted me about an app that combines a simple text editor and a place to store lyrics, chords and tabs, I was excited to check it out.


TabBank is a text editor that helps you write lyrics, chords, and tabs all from your iOS device. It’s like Apple’s Notes app, built for songwriters. You can add chords to your lyrics with square brackets and use dashes for tablature, and then TabBank will format your songs in a beautiful way, with a couple of different layouts to try for how the chords and text look.

TabBank uses their own style of ChordPro formatting, which has made entering in songs a breeze. I’ve used so many apps, and this one gets chord and tab creation just right. The app intuitively knows what you’re going to do next, and provides an extra row of function keys for entering in brackets, dashes (for all 6 strings), your last chord choice, and lots more.

Another helpful feature for guitarists is that you can tap on a chord or section of tab and the app will play the chord or riff you've written, and it'll also show you how to play it on the guitar neck. This is extremely helpful if you’re trying to remember a song or particular chord you haven’t played in a while.

Once you're done with your song, you can export it to PDF or ChordPro format for sharing with other apps, or for printing. The formatting for chords and lyrics can have a serif or sans serif style, or even a handwritten "jazz chart" type of look.


The great thing about this app and other apps from Chris is that they’re sleek and simple, get out of the way, and let you create quickly.

And while TabBank is clean and polished, it's also very powerful in regards to its action extension. Similar to an app like Instapaper (for articles) or Paprika (for recipes) that takes text and parses the most pertinent information out, TabBank's extension save tabs and chord charts to your iPhone or iPad.

You’ll be able to save your entire song list, and if you’re using an iPad live it’ll help save you from digging through countless stacks of paper.

TabBank is one of the most fun music related apps I’ve tried in a long time. Creating a song on the go just made sense. It’s easy for an app like this to clog it’s user interface, but TabBank gives you the most powerful features when you need them.

Looking forward to what’s next

Knowing how well Better Notes was updated with features, I'm excited to see how TabBank progresses. What app do you use to create tabs or save chord charts? Reach out to me on Twitter or Facebook to let me know.

TabBank is available on the iOS App Store for free, with in app purchases for additional features.