Get This App: Capo
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If you’re any sort of musician, you shouldn’t just get Capo—you should glue it to your primary home screen. SuperMegaUltraGroovy’s $20 app is a beautifully designed way to study songs from your music library without having to track down chord libraries or guess at drum patterns.
My personal background in music is far from professional: I know just enough to be dangerous, but I’m not releasing an album anytime soon. That said, for years I’ve loved kicking around on weekends and learning various songs by my favorite artists.
In the past, I would desperately loop snippets of songs at full speed, trying to figure out the chords struck or riffs played. Occasionally I’d even try to look up chords and attempt to transpose them to a singable range, balancing my laptop on or near my instruments as I tried to learn pieces.
Then Capo came to the rescue: Not only does the app’s availability on the iPhone and iPad mean that I can tinker around on the go without lugging my laptop, it gives me the freedom to slow down songs in real time, change the pitch, eliminate the vocal tracks, or use the equalizer to highlight the parts I want to learn.
The app is gloriously intuitive and elegantly designed, avoiding clutter and offering only the necessary toggles and buttons to mark off sections of the song, loop them, change the speed or pitch, or open up the effects pane. Songs themselves are represented by big, dynamic waveforms, which you can easily scrub through by swiping one direction or the other.
Capo on iOS doesn’t yet sport some of its Mac sibling’s fancier features, like tablature or chord detection, though developer Chris Liscio frequently updates the app with new goodies. There are also online tutorials to help you master Capo’s various tricks and turns.
In short: Capo is a brilliant option for learning, looping, and marking up songs from your iTunes library. Don’t let the price tag discourage you, either; you’ll earn it back tenfold in use.
Platforms: iPhone, iPad, OS X
Price: iPhone/iPad, $20; OS X, $50