Building on the company's online Fender Play tuition offering, the Big F's innovative new app, Fender Songs, allows users to practise, play along with and perform songs on guitar, ukulele or piano. All you need is a subscription to Fender Songs ($4.99 per month or $41.99 per year) and to Apple Music (currently $9.99 per month).
Launching today, the app is available initially only in the US for iPhone and iPod Touch, though Fender assure us a global roll-out is in the works.
Fender CEO Andy Mooney told musicradar, "Fender Songs is for people who have essentially committed to guitar. It's a way to keep them engaged in playing, we believe, that much deeper and much longer in that it gives them the ability to easily and dramatically expand their repertoire."
How does it work? Well, the app's chord detection algorithm analyses the waveform of the source audio to provide lyrics and chord boxes to jam along to. We spent a little time with the app pre-launch, finding it to be a fun, easy way to learn. The chords scroll along in time with the music and you can even slow down the audio to 50 per cent speed. Easy!
Three modes are available: Practice, Play-along and Perform. Start with Practice mode and play at your own pace; move on to Play-along mode to, er, play along with scrolling chords and lyrics; finally, use perform mode and follow chords and lyrics while even recording yourself.
Currently 750,000 songs are available through Fender Songs, but, as Mooney explains, the app "will expand to other platforms beyond iOS and will expand into other geographies as we secure the licensing rights."
That means more songs, Android functionality, other streaming providers and a UK/EU rollout soon. Though the dates are currently TBC, it'll likely be 2020 before we see it on this side of the pond. Consider us very excited indeed!