There are a lot of good iOS tuners out there. Two we particularly like for ease of use and accuracy are the BOSS Tuner (free) and VITALtuner (free or paid). But the paid version of Fender Tune, available here, is our new go to tuner. It’s accurate, easy to use, includes alternate tunings, and has settings for guitars, bass, and ukulele. But the thing that makes it stand out is that you can store custom tunings. That’s huge since few apps that include alternate tunings allow you create custom ones. Take the tuning Nick Drake uses on several albums - CGCFCE. We’ve never seen that tuning included in a tuner app. With Fender Tune it’s not an issue. Just enter it in as a custom tuning and you’re ready to go. When you go to the tuning page you can click on the note names to play samples of each note. This is helpful to quickly get your guitar close to in tune. Then use the main tuning function for accurate, precise tuning. The paid version also includes a chord finder, scales, a metronome, some basic drum beats, and some helpful beginner videos.
Things We Like
Song Exploder is a podcast where "musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made." You get to hear isolated individual tracks while the musicians walk you through their decision making processes as they created their songs. Past episodes have included artists such as Bleachers, Nine Inch Nails, MGMT, The Killers, and Fleet Foxes. Well worth checking out.
It’s hard to play, has a limited choice of notes, and sounds like it’s been sitting in a dusty attic for half a century. But the OM-1 Cassette Synthesizer is a quirky beast with an appealing sound that’s all its own. It utilizes continuous tones on a cassette tape and 8 buttons that can change the playback speed in order to create different pitches. Each button can be individually tuned so you can create whatever scales you want, and a pressure sensitive volume control allows you to change the volume by pressing harder or softer. It even includes some basic envelope controls. The maker is currently sold out so you’re going to have to find one on eBay or Reverb. http://www.ondemagnetique.com
VinylHub is the largest database of brick-and-mortar record stores out there. You'll likely find some local shops that you didn't know existed, and it's a great resource if you'll be traveling to another city or country and want to do some record shopping while you're there. It also lists record events such record fairs, record parties, and record discounts. If you're a record collector it's a very valuable resource!
Ryan Richardson of Austin, Texas has taken it upon himself to digitize the entire catalog of Rock Scene magazine (1973-1982) and we're glad he did. Rock scene was a music rag that was a little cooler than some of its contemporaries such as Hit Parader, Creem, and Circus. It featured short articles and numerous photographs of most of the early glam, rock, and punk bands of the period; David Bowie, Roxy Music, T. Rex, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Sex Pistols, KISS, etc. Check it out!