Since its inception around the turn of the century, social media has permeated every facet of our lives. Gone are the days of not knowing what that kid you went to high school with had for lunch, and only seeing one baby picture on your fridge after someone you know has a child. The Internet is a gathering place, and social media outlets are places where we congregate to share, celebrate, console, laugh, and/or inundate one another with cat and celebrity memes. Facebook has seemingly taken over the world, and Twitter and Instagram aren’t far behind. Guitarists, no doubt, have used these modern resources to their advantage, as it is now easier than ever to share music and let fans know when the next show will be. But—what if there was a social network specifically for guitarists? Behold: SixString!
SixString can be described as the lovechild of Facebook and a guitar fanatic with a gregarious personality. It functions in a similar manner to the social network behemoth and is completely guitar-centric—no lunch menu updates or baby pictures here. The app - which can be downloaded for free on an iOS or Android device - is straightforward and easy to use. After setting up my profile and posting a picture of my favorite guitar, I had a dozen fans almost instantaneously (sure, the first one had “creeper” in their username, but I’ll take what I can get).
You can browse your feed and “applaud” (like) posts and “fan” (friend) various users. The coolest feature about this app is the section labeled Play, marked by a red rock-hand icon. Tap the hand, then select one of four options: Picture, audio, video or text. Got a new riff you want to share with your fellow axe slingers? It’s as easy as hitting “record.” Want to impress everyone with your new git-fiddle? Take a picture and wait for the applause. I uploaded a loop from one section of a song I’m currently working on and it was met with virtual applause and positive feedback. I could get used to this.
However, this app can do much more than stroke strummers’ egos—it is an incredibly practical way to connect with other guitar players. Remember the old days when bands formed from newspaper classified ads? Think of this as the 21st century classified section. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Des Moines and they’re in Boca Raton; if you like each other’s jams, you can connect and find a way to make it happen. Even if you’re not looking to put an epic ensemble together, the Play options are a great way to record and save song ideas you’ve been kicking around.
The FanFeed is a guitar newsfeed of sorts that comes directly from SixString. You know those guitar magazine and manufacturer emails you read all day at work? If you’ve got SixString, much of that info is consolidated into one space, making it easy for your seventh trip to the bathroom in two hours to be extremely enlightened in the way of guitar news and knowledge.
The bottom line is this: there’s no reason not to have this app on your smartphone or tablet. It’s about guitars and gear, it’s cool, and it’s free. It’s a pleasant alternative to browsing through a guitar forum and reading snarky comments about this pedal maker or that amp guy. While I’m sure you can find some attitude if you dig deep enough, the community on SixString seems remarkably positive and eager to connect with fellow guitar lovers.
What we like: Cool app dedicated to guitarists and the gear they love. It’s free!
Concerns: Significant others will be jealous. Steep decline in workplace productivity is a very real possibility.