A couple of weeks ago I caved in to peer pressure and finally treated myself to a shiny new Apple iPad. Within two hours of Tweeting about my newly acquired toy I received an email from the developer of the Chordbank Pro app who very kindly sent me a free copy of his new application to review. Word spreads fast on the interwebs eh?
Chordbank Pro as the name suggests, is an application for iPhone which contains a seemingly limitless bank of chords, but as you’ll come to see – it’s so much more than that!
In its most basic functionality, Chordbank Pro can be used simply to figure out the fingering of a chord anywhere on the fretboard. This is achieved through using the three spinning menus at the bottom of the application. The first wheel selects the key, the second chooses the type of chord, and the final menu dictates the position on the fretboard. Check out the screenshots below to see this in action.
The first screenshot shows your basic E Major chord in the open position while the second image shows that same E Major chord played at the 7th fret with its new fingering. The last picture shows a more exotic Em7b5 chord located all the way up at the 17th fret. As you can see, the app also shows the fingerings for each chord, making it very beginner friendly. The chord can either be strummed to hear the sound, or each string can be individually plucked.
What sets Chordbank Pro apart from similar apps is the ‘Smart Chords’ feature found in the latest release. In the bottom right handed corner of the main window you’ll notice a little icon that looks like the iTunes Genius logo. Once you’ve selected a chord you can hit this button to bring up the smart chords interface. ChordBankPro not only finds other chords that will sound great played together with your chosen chord, but shows you what keys those chords live in. A G major chord, for instance, could be I of G major, IV of D major, or V of C major, and each of those ‘aliases’ brings with it a new set of progressions. Check this feature out in the screenshots below!
Once you find a set of chords you like you can click each one to hear them out loud, or hit the play button to hear them played in sequence. What a fantastic tool for songwriters!
Left Handed Friendly
You may have noticed that all of these screenshots feature a left handed guitar setup. In the bottom left hand corner of the main window there is a little ‘hand’ icon – click that and you have the option of flipping between a left or right handed fretboard.
Try It Out
Chordbank Pro is $4.99 on the app store. There is also a free version which you can try out first, but this option does not include left handed modes, or smart chords. Check out the developer website below for more information and a link to the product on the app store.
This is a fantastic tool for songwriters and for players wanting to learn more about chord theory. I look forward to seeing what new updates will bring to the application.
For more information:
Chordbank Pro Website