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Guitar Pro for iOS helps you practice guitar by reading tab, and more

Guitar Pro (US$7.99, universal) is a tablature player and editor with some fantastic features. In essence, Guitar Pro is a library of songs in tablature score, which reads the score in audio, while helping you play along.

When learning to play guitar, there are usually three things you need. First, of course, is a guitar. Second, you need some instruction to tell you what to play and how to play it. Third, you need to hear what you're learning to play, to make sure what you're playing sounds the way it's supposed to. I guess there's a fourth category here too: a whole lot of practice is required!

Arobas Music's Guitar Pro for iOS covers two of these bases. You bring the guitar (or bass) and the practice time and Guitar Pro will give you the instruction and the audio to practice with.

Fire up the app and you'll be presented with a sample library of included songs. Genres range from blues to classical -- easily searchable with filters. Once you've found something you like the look of, tap on it and the entire tablature for that song will open in Guitar Pro's beautiful and easy-to-use tablature player (options for rhythmic-slash notation, piano grand staff, four voices, etc. are also available).

The tablature player is where Guitar Pro really comes alive. Hit play and watch the cursor follow the tab as the song is played in MIDI audio. At the bottom of the screen, an optional virtual guitar fretboard lights up where your fingers are supposed to be, in perfect sync with the tab score and audio. The virtual fretboard is a great way to quickly see where you're fingers are supposed to be, and in doing so, shows you the best possible fingering and hand shape. If you're a left-handed player, the fretboard can be switched to accommodate you, too.

The player has some additional features to help make the learning experience even easier. Transpose the song by semi-tones to a different key, adjust the tempo, add in a metronome and solo or strip-out various instruments from the soundboard. You can easily jump to and loop sections, and even make the score size bigger or smaller. There really is a vast array of tools to aid you in your learning and practicing. It's also really easy to write your own tab in the player too.

You'll definitely want to add additional song tabs that you want to learn to Guitar Pro, which supports GP3/4/5/6 (GPX), PTB formats and can load files from iTunes, WiFi, email and the web. There's also Guitar Pro's mySongBook, a large online store of tab designed for Guitar Pro.

If you want to share your tab music, it's easy to export files by email directly from the application.

If you're learning the guitar, or wanting to learn a song in particular, Guitar Pro is a fantastic tool to aid you in that process. It's well-designed, looks great and is really easy to use. It really is a great app!

Guitar Pro is available from the iOS App Store for US$7.99.

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