10 of the best rock apps

For those about to rock, we salute these apps

Rock Landmarks

(iOS, £1.19)

A treasure trove of addresses where rock history was made, Rock Landmarks is like a pocketable blue plaque guide to the venues and houses where modern music was forged. There are maps, pictures and more music trivia than a Never Mind the Buzzcocks box set.

Buy now

Little Black Songbook series

(iOS, £5.99)

Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Eric Clapton and Leonard Cohen are the first artists in this series of apped-up fake books for the jobbing (or bedroom) strummer. Chords, words, biographies… all you need to do is call the Gaslight Café and book yourself a gig.

Buy now

This Day in Led Zeppelin

(iPad, £tba)

So bleeding edge it’s not even out until next week, this Zep-head compendium of tour dates, albums, tracks, trivia and pictures also has ringtones, wallpaper and a quiz (just to check you’ve taken all the above on board). [coming soon]

Blues Writer

(iOS, £1.19)

Pick a backing track, write some lyrics that start “Woke up this morning” (with a little help from the on-board rhyming dictionary) and record your foot-stomping Chicago blues classic. Then share it with the world and wait for Chess Records to come calling with your contract.

Buy now

AmpliTube Fender

(iOS, £tba)

You may remember the AmpliTube iRig which allowed you to plug your Strat straight into your iDevice. Now the same outfit invites you to turn your phone or tablet into one of five classic Fender amps, including the ’65 Twin Reverb and the ’59 Bassman.

Rock Band Reloaded

(iOS, £2.99)

It’s not new, but it is big and clever, and you don’t need to learn how to play an instrument. EA’s creditable reinvention of the console hit for iPad is your invitation to rock virtual stardom, albeit minus the sex and drugs. Yup, not even the virtual type.

Buy now

Ultimate Guitar Tabs

(Android, £1.88)

Standing in for your local pub band’s guitarist? You have two options – sweat it and see if you can still style out the eighties headband look, or boot up Ultimate Guitar Tabs and get transcriptions of the songs you’re expected to play. And we don’t see the headband look coming back any time soon.

The Muppets Animal Drummer

(iOS, £1.19)

It may not be the best advice, but this app encourages you to do as unibrowed Muppet drummer Animal does. You can even drum along to stuff on in your iTunes library. As long as it’s not The Carpenters. Animal wouldn’t like that.

Buy now


(iOS, free)

Going on the road? Pack Gibson’s nifty app that combines a guitar tuner, metronome, video tutorial and chord chart. It’s not guaranteed to turn your Les Paul noodlings into Slash-esque power solos, but you probably haven’t got the hair for it anyway.

Buy now


(iOS, £1.19)

Previous touchscreen guitar emulators have taken a prosaic approach to the conversion, and were impossible to play as a result. RIFF’s fingerboard looks nothing like a conventional guitar’s, but sounds great, lets you bend or apply vibrato and presents you with a pentatonic scale-based note choice so you don’t have to know what you’re doing. Has to be played to be believed.

Buy now

See also

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