Review: The Chord App – A Simple Guitar Reference for iPad

Review: The Chord App – A Simple Guitar Reference for iPad

Several years ago, I started learning to play the guitar.  I had played various instruments through my young life (trumpet, piano, saxophone, french horn), but when it came to learning guitar, there wasn’t an easy way to compare it to the others. Eventually, with the help of other guitarists, I was able to learn a few basic chords.  Now, a few short years later, there are more guitar instruction apps for iPhone and iPad than I could have ever found use for.  The Chord App for iPad is simple, yet very helpful for guitarists of any level.


The Chord App ($0.99 in the App Store) is a basic guitar chord library that can turn your iPad into a great reference tool.  The Chord App isn’t just a reference sheet for chords, though, as it is also a great way to chart out a song or save your favorite progressions.

ChordApp screens

For many guitarists, the wide range of chord variations and fingerings can be one of the big challenges when learning or writing.  The Chord App includes massive collection of inversions and adjustments, as well as a full list of alternative finger positions depending on your needs.

Visually, The Chord App is quite simple.  The main focus of the screen is a paper textured workspace.  Along the bottom of the screen is the chord library.  This area is where the “magic” happens. In the center is a list of chords (alphabetical) and the various inversions.  On the right is preview of the chord, which you can scroll through for finger variations.  Once you find the chord you’re looking for, click the “Add Chord” button to move it onto the paper.

ChordApp add

If you decide something you added isn’t what you’re looking for, a simple press and hold reveals the delete “X” which lets you pull it from your arrangement. Once you’re happy with your chart you can save it for later (under a menu at the top) or send it to a friend via email or twitter.

One feature I felt was missing was the ability to create a “custom chord.”  Many songs today feature obscure, dissonant chords, and the lack of ability to program in your own chords left a small void in my experience using the app.

ChordApp Share

Verdict: [rating: 4]

The Chord App is definitely a very useful app for referencing chords and creating chord charts.  The simple interface is great, and makes it easy for anyone to start learning. While the graphics within the App are excellent and definitely retina optimized, the image compression when sharing is a bit disappointing.  With that being my only “negative,” it’s definitely something I can see improving in the future.


  • Simple to use
  • Huge collection of variations and fingerings
  • Built-in saving/sharing


  • Quality of shared images
  • No custom chord building

If you’re looking for a great guitar chord reference app, or a great way to save your progressions, the Chord App is a great option.  Pick it up for $0.99 in the App Store today!