Best app for guitar sheet music
For all but the keenest improvisers, tracking down and interacting with materials makes up a major part of the guitar-playing experience. And that applies for players across the board. Classical guitarists need scores, jazzers need charts, pop/rock players need tabs.
nkoda has the potential to revolutionise the relationship that you have with your music, through the world’s greatest digital sheet music library on the one hand, and cutting-edge score-reading technology on the other. The former is accessed through the nkoda library and the latter through the nkoda reader - two separate apps.
The library offers instant access to the digitised copyrighted catalogues of nkoda’s 140 content partners - including major publishers of guitar music like Faber Music and Union Musical Ediciones. Signing up brings everything from Bach lute suites to Radiohead transcriptions immediately within your grasp.
The reader, meanwhile, is your means of viewing this content. It’s a brand-new interface that makes interaction with digital material intuitive and effortless. Here you can organise, annotate, and share your collection with any other nkoda user - bandmates, students, instructors. All in your very own digital music hub.
This is a completely new way to find, store, manage and play your guitar music. You can start a free trial now - the library can be downloaded from the App Store, Google Play Store and the Microsoft Store. Click here to download the reader, which requires no subscription to use.
Here’s a lowdown of the features that both apps offer. Bullet-point lists of app features are also provided for the other four apps listed. Use them to quickly find out the unique selling points of each app.
- Instant access to 140 publishers’ sales and hire catalogues, comprising 100,000+ editions and parts
- Material available for guitarists of all skill levels and styles
- Innovative score-reading facilities suitable for practice and performance, including annotation toolkits and widgets
- Manage and share personal materials through playlists, offline storage and unlimited uploads
- Access to a thriving global community of pianists and other musicians, as well as publishers, educational institutions and performing institutions
Let’s go into a bit more detail on how nkoda can enrich your guitar-playing specifically. The first thing to emphasise is that, among over 100,000 titles that the library contains, there is probably more guitar music there than you'll ever need.
This music spans a range of genres, styles and skill levels. You’ll find playbooks and studies for beginners as well as concertos and solos for virtuosos - and plenty for intermediate players, too. No matter what level you’re at, and no matter what you like to play, you will find plenty here that aligns with your personal preferences.
Most guitarists out there don’t need premium editions of the great compositions for guitar - they just need tabs, quickly and and easily. nkoda covers that base as well. ClearTabs is a publishing partner, from which nkoda has licensed a massive number of guitar tabs to the app. These aren’t amateurish versions either, but official transcriptions, which makes nkoda one of the best guitar tab apps. The real deal.
Moreover, curated instrumental playlists offer new content to discover. Check out Guitar Highlights as well as Guitar Essentials. See if this is the kind of stuff you could see yourself playing. And by personalising your nkoda experience - i.e. letting the app know what you like to play and to what standard - bespoke content will be delivered right to your homepage.
Whatever you find, you can then save it to your personal library space, where you can organise your materials, create playlists and store unlimited PDF files. So even if something you’re looking for can’t be found in the library, you can still bring it in from elsewhere.
Once you click on any title, you’ll be seamlessly rerouted to the nkoda reader app. This is how you actually engage with the content. It’s here that you view, study, annotate, play and perform your guitar music - whether that’s library material or one of your own uploads.
An ergonomic user interface, easy (and Bluetooth-friendly) page-turning, pioneering new annotation tools that can be layered and shared, a specialised performance mode, offline storage - through all these features and more, the nkoda reader strives to both simplify and improve every facet of engagement with your guitar music.
nkoda has placed a great deal of emphasis on customisation with their reader. Not only can you annotate freely with the help of a variety of specialised toolboxes and widgets, you can also add them to and remove them from your personal kit. In short, you can add guitar-specific presets to your music - string bends, chord markings and so on.
There’s even an option to configure the right screen orientation for your needs as well, so you can view your materials in the way that's best for you.
As well as the optimisation of these features that an independent e-reader app enables, a reason for the split between library and reader is so that users can utilise nkoda’s reader without a subscription to the catalogue. In other words, this tech is complimentary.
The library may be the heart of the offering, but the reader’s the tool of empowerment. This is what will play the most active part in your guitar-playing. So don’t be put off by the library subscription - nkoda can still help you. Download the reader, get a feel for what the app can give you, and see if this is a digital space that you and your guitar just might be comfortable in.