Ready to ditch Guitar Hero and learn to wield a real axe? You may want to pair your first guitar purchase with the iTab, a small touchscreen device that scrolls tabs, chords and lyrics while you do your best John Meyer impression.
Sure, you can do the same thing with your computer, but the handheld slate can mount right on your guitar’s head, allowing you to jump around the bed without missing a lick. Even better, it plays backing tracks to all the songs you load onto it, so you can practice with a complete rhythm section without needing to crank up the stereo or recruit a band.
The iTab sports a five-inch resistive touchscreen display, where you can access all saved songs, backing tracks and videos. It comes with a built-in speaker, headphone port and video out, allowing you plenty of options for playing the backup instrumentals and accompanying displays. Onboard 4GB storage should be good enough for thousands of tabs (or a few hundred background music), although it only comes pre-filled with 30 free songs (artists include U2, Oasis and The Rolling Stones). You can buy other compatible tabs and backing vocals via the company’s TabStore.
Billed as the “world’s first electronic songbook,” this should be very appealing to beginner and intermediate musicians, who are likely to appreciate the convenience of having an entire library of practice material available to them at all times. The current inventory is restricted to 5,000 songs, but that’s certain to grow with time, especially if the gadget’s adoption increases.
Now, why I do get a feeling that an iPhone app is bound to co-opt this same capability? If you’d rather not wait for the inevitable mobile phone clone, you can score an iTab beginning April for $199.