Fender Play was Fender’s first foray into the world of apps, and was focused on guitar tuition. Fender’s new Songs app allows users to practise, play along with and perform songs on guitar, ukulele or piano. It’s integrated with Apple Music, loading content from there and displaying the information you need to play the song.
Fender Songs uses a chord detection algorithm that analyses the waveform of the source audio to provide you with chord boxes to play along with. Lyrics are also supported. It’s integrated with Apple Music, so if you want to actually play along to the song, you’ll need to have a subscription for that as well. Currently it covers 750,000 songs, so you should be able to find something in there you like.
Practice, Play-along and Perform
The app has three modes called Practice, Play-along and Perform. You can also make the chords scroll along in time with the music, plus you can also slow down the audio to 50 per cent speed, making it easier to get those complex licks and solos down. The app doesn’t provide guitar tabs, though, just chords. So you if you want to play along to that killer solo, you will still have to get the individual notes somewhere else on the web. The Perform mode records you with the front-facing camera playing and singing along to the chords and lyrics displayed on the screen.
The subscription rate for the new Fender Songs service is USD 4.99 per month or USD 41.99 per year. Oh, and you have to subscribe to Apple Music as well – currently USD 9.99 per month – if you want to play along with the songs. The new app is currently available only in the US for iPhone and iPod Touch. The service will be rolled out worldwide in due course and Android compatibility is planned for the near future as well.
CEO Andy Mooney says about the new app: “Fender Songs is for people who have essentially committed to guitar. It’s a way to keep them engaged in playing, we believe, that much deeper and much longer in that it gives them the ability to easily and dramatically expand their repertoire.” This could be a great tool for beginners – at least those who are willing to fork out on top of their existing music subscriptions and who don’t need detailed guitar tabs and are happy just strumming along.