Live Guitar is designed to support playing complex chords, arpeggios, and finger-style guitar lines on your iOS device. Because the iPhone and iPad are not shaped like the neck of a guitar, the app provides an innovative way of selecting chords, while also leaving enough room to play individual strings accurately and expressively.

Chords are organized in sets, which you can customize and change on a song-by-song basis. A single touch on the fretboard selects the first chord of a set; two touches selects the second, and so on. It's possible to move quickly and accurately between fifteen different chords without needing to look at the screen. When playing guitar, switching between chords smoothly is critical; the app has been designed so that you can play music, not just notes. By making switching between chords quick and easy, you can play complete songs, rather than just noodling around, locked into a single scale.

Single string notes and strums can be played with touches or swipes; the organic sonic texture that comes from varying note intensity is obtained by adjusting where on a string you touch. The interface orientation on the iPhone gives more space between the strings, allowing you to play individual strings more accurately.

Sets of chords can be assembled quickly within the app -- choose from standard chord constructions, with dozens of chord types, or select specific chord voicing from the standard-tuning guitar interface. Sets of chords can also be imported and shared easily using the built-in Twitter interface.

MIDI connects your playing to laptop or desktop recording tools like GarageBand, Logic, Reaper, or ProTools. CoreMIDI, Virtual MIDI, and DSMIDI are all supported; you can choose the interface that gives you the best performance on your system. Live Guitar can send MIDI to the GarageBand app, as well as most other synthesizer apps.

Each string can be mapped to a different MIDI channel, to work with guitar tablature and transcription programs. Use Jam Maestro, Progression, or GuitarPro, and others -- by using chords based on a standard tuning guitar, and a MIDI channel per string, you can capture every detail of your playing with ease.

Live Guitar has hundreds of sounds built in -- guitars, basses, pianos, organs, and more. The app uses the acclaimed General MIDI SoundFont by Christian Collins, which can be found in many of the leading music apps. With support for Audiobus and Inter-App Audio, you can integrate Live Guitar with your other music apps, to add a natural and realistic guitar sound to your music.

What's New

Version 2.1

Bug fix for the UI on the iPhone 6+.

Ratings and Reviews

3.4 out of 5

5 Ratings

5 Ratings

This Developer Gets It!


What makes LIve Guitar superior to the others? The chord buttons (frets) are located ergonomically and require very slight movement of your fingers instead of chasing around the screen for a bunch of separate chord buttons – like half the other guitar apps. There is only one other guitar app that is as good as this one (I'm not telling which one). Live Guitar has a better interface design than it's single real competitor though. There are up to 16 chords in a chord set, all accessible with barely any movement of your fingers on the same four closely placed "frets". You can create or import as many chord sets as you'll ever need.

The other half of guitar simulating apps try to recreate a guitar with finger positioning, which is just stupid on a touch screen. If I want an "authentic playing experience" I will go grab my real guitar and play it. If, on the other hand, I want an efficient, well constructed app that is easy to operate, I will use Live Guitar. This app is made for when you don't have your real guitars handy. It's built to be easy and efficient to play, not to try and replicate a guitar in a very un-guitar-like device.

This app is great for veteran guitar players, but It would be mind-blowing fantastic for a novice. The only downside I can see for them would be that they would never bother learning to play a real guitar, getting addicted to this app instead.

My phone plays like an instrument

Mississippi water dog

It's pretty great, I looove the fretboard layout to input chords. It would be cool if you could also input on a piano keyboard in a similar way. This app reminds me of an autoharp and it's quickly becoming my favorite iOS midi controller.

Great for ambient music

Caladium Fire

This app is a secret weapon of mine. It has some nice synth tones that are great for ambient music. The chord changes you can use are nice for an ambient style as well. I highly recommend it.


Patrick Madden
35.7 MB
Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© Secret Base Design


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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