ScaleViz ($2.99) by ShaneHogan offers a quick way to reference every guitar chord, scale, mode, and variation you can think of.
The app’s a bit cluttered, but if you’re a serious guitarist looking for an equally serious educational utility, ScaleViz is perhaps your best bet.
Rather than focusing on techniques aimed at new players, ScaleViz attempts to hook those with a bit of guitar experience. The app does come with a lot of instructional documentation, in case you forgot how to read chord charts or scale diagrams, but the information available is certainly more useful with a little learning already accomplished.
So what exactly is offered in ScaleViz? Seven modes spread across five patterns and 15 keys, there are hundreds of note combinations available for the player’s perusal. Best of all, each of these configurations is immediately arranged on the in-app fretboard, making it simple to memorize the chord or scale layout.
The app also comes with a hefty amount of literature based around the CAGED guitar system, the cycle of fifths, the various modes used in the app’s diagrams, and the ScaleViz fretboard method itself. In this sense, ScaleViz is every bit as much an eBook as it is a reference guide for guitar scale and chords.
The app even comes with a comprehensive chord chart, and the option to turn on notes and note order diagrams within the fretboard (this includes finger placement, as well).
All in all, ScaleViz offers a stupendous amount of information.
However, the way in which this material is presented could certainly stand an overhaul. The app relies heavily on a tabbed user interface that puts all available features along the top. This makes ScaleViz easy to navigate, but often cluttered.
Likewise, there’s no way to search through the included texts for specific keywords. This is a feature that would be most useful for the session guitarist looking to quickly reference a bit of music theory.
All of the included diagrams and scale charts are also mapped out for standard tuning, which may not be a problem for most readers. However, for the dedicated open-tuning slide player, this will come as a major drag.
For the $2.99 that ScaleViz costs, though, users would be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive guitar utility. The app is packed with information, making it one of the most in-depth guitar guides available for the iPhone.