TabToolkit: Sheet Music for Your iPad

Posted by at 2:14 pm on April 2, 2010

Agile Partners has announced a new version of TabToolkit designed specifically for iPad. Far more advanced than basic sheet music viewers that simply display PDF or image files, TabToolkit dynamically renders music notation in different sizes and formats (i.e., standard and/or tablature notation), enables multi-track audio playback with tempo control and effects (e.g., guitar bends and slides), and much more. TabToolkit for iPad is perfect for musicians who want to learn and enjoy playing their favorite songs on guitar, keyboard, drums and other instruments.

“We redesigned TabToolkit specifically for iPad to take full advantage of the unique features of iPad — its large display, Multi-Touch interface and incredible speed,” says John Berry, a principal at Agile Partners. “It’s amazing how smoothly you can scroll through music with TabToolkit on iPad or jump to any point of a song by simply tapping or dragging the music on the screen. We think musicians will really enjoy viewing crisp, sharp music notation on the high resolution iPad screen.”

TabToolkit also enables users to listen to and control the audio of individual instrument tracks. “Being able to control the audio of individual tracks makes it really fun to practice music with TabToolkit,” says Berry. “For example, you can mute the guitar part of a song you’re learning while being guided by the bass, keyboard and drum parts playing in the background. It’s like you’re playing along with an entire band.”

While other guitar tablature apps available for iPad and iPhone display only text tabs, TabToolkit fully supports “rich tabs” that include multiple instruments and the ability to hear an entire song performed. Similarly, while a few sheet music apps have appeared, these simply scroll static images or PDF pages. “TabToolkit tackles the really tough problems head-on,” notes Jack Ivers, also a principal at Agile Partners. “Because TabToolkit understands the underlying music, it accurately renders music on-the-fly in any notation, page size and orientation. TabToolkit simultaneously renders perfectly synched multi-track audio for the song, including effects like guitar bends and slides,” comments Ivers. “TabToolkit likewise tackles really tough performance issues, such as dynamic rendering of music notation even on the first-generation iPhone. TabToolkit actually renders notation on-the-fly faster than other apps can scroll static image files.”

TabToolkit supports text, PDF, Power Tab and Guitar Pro file formats (Power Tab and Guitar Pro files are required to experience TabToolkit’s full visual and audio capabilities). The app also has file upload and download features.   A universal app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, TabToolkit is available for $9.99 in the iTunes App Store. For more information about TabToolkit, visit View a video of the new TabToolkit for iPad at

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