People, Places, Moments and Music of days back I was strumming my acoustic just how I usually do on a lazy evening to relax myself. I was playing a random chord progression when suddenly in all randomness it started sounding very familiar. Even though I could not pin on the particular song that the rhythm was of, I kept feeling a place in my mind. I continued to repeat the strumming until I could remember the song but I kept remembering a place and moment instead. It was a fine evening lit up brightly by the street lights along the bay of the Singapore river. Then it hit me, the song that was coming back to me, “Ache” by James Carrington.

It’s quite amazing how you could feel a place, a person or some moment so strongly from a song. Some songs that capture you when you listen to them, bind together with your environment, the people around you and that moment when you listened to the song. How you felt when you first listened to that song, blue or euphoric you will always feel again when ever you listen again. Then again this does not seem to happen with every song. It takes the one that knock you off your socks. When I first heard “Ache” by James Carrington, I had just downloaded the song when I was in Singapore and I put on my headset while taking a walk down the street. Still remember that moment every single time I listen to this song.

Another strong moment of a song was “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles. I was on a plan to San Diago and was listening to the on flight XM radio. As the flight was on its final descend on a bright and clear afternoon, the song started playing as I stared through the little excuse of a window at the lazy San Diago. Every time I listen to the song I could feel that moment just like I could feel my friends around when I listen to “Say When” by Fray and just like I could feel the chilling water of Belihul Oya bounce of my toes when I listen to “Melt my heart to stone” by Adele and just like I can feel my girl right next to me when I listen to “Day Light” by Maroon 5.

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Quench your thirst for Tabs and Chords – Ultimate Guitar

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I’m a amateur guitarist. At least trying to be one. So from listening to a good song to being able to play the song, there is one thing short other than a guitar. And that is the chords for the song. Not to brag about, but generally when a song sticks in my head, im not too far away from playing it (something closer at least), if I get hold of the chords. Thats where Ultimate Guitar comes in to the picture.

Its not like I have solved the big mystery (mostly because is a top hit for chords search on google). Like YouTube is for videos and Google Maps is for maps, Ultimate Guitar is THE place for chords and tabs. There has not been a single instance that I didn’t find the chords for a song that I was looking for on Ultimate Guitar. Its always there!

Most of the time when you search for a song there is more than one version available, each with different chord progressions. Each of the version of the song can be guitar tabs or guitar chords. The version would have a 5 star rating and also the number of ratings, making it very easy to make up your mind.

The ratings couldn’t go wrong since they were from users like you. Rarely I have found that chords rated lower may be easier to play but less accurate.

Once you have picked a version, you could see the chord progression along with the lyrics nicely placed. Each chord is a hyperlink, you just have to move the mouse on top and it pops a small box with a diagram of how the chord is played. This contextual help lets you learn chords fast.

One other feature that I find very cool is the Auto scroller that comes on the chords page. The control sits at the top right corner of the chords page and lets you select a speed at which it will start scrolling the page. You can increase/reduce the speed using the  +/- buttons. This becomes very important when you are actually playing a song.

There is lots more on Ultimate Guitar that I dont get the opportunity to play with but it solves my problem with icing on the cake.

So when you think it couldn’t get better, they introduced a iPhone app that does all of it (confession: Yes I am a iPhone fanatic). They priced the app at $1.99 and its all worth every cent.

They included most of the important features like searching by band and song name from the same repository of chords and tabs. Selecting through the versions based on ratings. The contextual help diagrams on each chord. The auto scroller on the chords view.

One thing that I found a bit off is the auto scroller being fast for the tiny iphone screen. Generally works just great, but for some slow songs it can get quite difficult to use.

My most favorite feature is the favorite feature :-). Its the feature that lets you save selected chord page of a song as a favorite in your iPhone. This means not only you can pick the chord off a list without having to search but also the whole chord page will be saved within your iPhone making it available in a environment that does not have internet connectivity. Thats just awesome!

All in all Ultimate Guitar is one cool community site for all those guitarists out there!