Here the app shows the chord changes and lyrics

The scroll is much better for practicing, and really that’s what Songs is all about. It’s not just a glorified reference book. It’s actually designed to play along with. And while there are simple MIDI backing tracks (which at least in the beta version are basically unrecognizable), what sets Fender’s app apart from other chord libraries is that it integrates with Apple Music. This means that you can pull up your favorite Billy Eilish track and the app will feed you the chords and display the lyrics in time with the actual song.

Now, to be clear you will need an Apple Music subscription for this to work. And, unless you’re paying for a Fender Songs subscription, the library of tunes you have to pull from is pretty limited. And I want to be clear here: Songs ain’t cheap. At $42 a year or $5 a month, it’s a pretty hefty investment for an interactive chord book.(On the plus side, a yearly subscription also nets you 10-percent off gear from Fender.)

Part of the reason it’s so expensive though, is because Fender worked with artists, labels and Apple to get everyone on board. There are definitely other chord libraries out there, but most of them aren’t endorsed by the labels, the artists don’t make any money off them and they don’t play the actual songs (and if they do, they’re probably in some sort of legal grey area). I’m not going to say that makes it worth paying for, but it at least helps explain the steep price.

In addition to showing you the chords to a song, there’s also a record mode. Here the app shows the chord changes and lyrics, but doesn’t play a backing track, and instead uses your phone’s front facing camera to capture your performance. You can also build a set list, where you collect songs to practice or perform.

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