Just when I was beginning to think that MadPad would be the only brand new product we saw come out of mobile musical masterminds Smule in 2011, they’ve just squeaked one out in the final round. Not that only launching one product in a year would be a bad thing, mind you — especially since they’ve been busying themselves raising 12 million dollar rounds and snatching up others in their space.
Following up on the success of Magic Piano and Magic Fiddle , Smule’s bumping their Magic duet up to a trio with Magic Guitar.
If you’ve played either of the aforementioned predecessors, you’ll be in familiar territory here. You hold the iPhone like the neck of a guitar (at least, as much like the neck of a guitar as you could ever possibly hold an iPhone), and the notes (in the form of little balls of light) stream down toward your fingers. Tap the balls of light as they near the timing line, and the note will play. The closer you tap to the note’s on screen position, the better it sounds. It’s similar to Rock Band in some ways, albeit with a heavier focus on flexibility and creativity over predetermined precision.
Mixing things up a bit, Magic Guitar also allows players to “bend” notes by dragging your fingers up the notes as you play, and to tweak the vibrato a bit by shaking the device. Once you’re done, your performance can be shared (for better or worse) on Twitter, Facebook, or with the world at large on Smule’s signature Sonic Network.
As with the more recent releases of Magic Piano (which Smule transitioned to a freemium model earlier this year), Magic Guitar is a free product with unlockable tunes. New songs are unlocked by way of “Shred” points, which can be earned through in-game achievements, partner offers (Who wants a credit card? You get a credit card! And you get a credit card!) — or if you’ve got a bit of change, purchased outright.
While it’s not my favorite app in Smule’s armory, it’s cute, it’s fun, and it’s free. Find it in the app store here and give it a spin.