GuitarToolkit/TabToolkit: Agile Partners (agilepartners.com) has created a pair of incredibly handy, ingenious apps for musicians. GuitarToolkit can be a lifesaver for anyone playing a fretted instrument, from guitar to bass, mandolin, banjo or ukulele. Whether you need a tuner or quick chord guide you can slip into your pocket, this app is for you.

This little app has hidden depths to it that even seasoned musicians will really appreciate. After selecting your instrument, you can choose from dozens of alternate tunings. Tune up using the incredibly accurate automatic tuner. Then head over to the chord library to learn a chord fingering, from the most basic major chord to an m7b5 chord. Don’t like that fingering? Choose from 20 inversions up and down the fretboard. Strum the virtual strings to hear what it should sound like.

Alternately, say you stumble on a really pretty chord on your own and want to know what you’re playing. Key in the fingering on Chord Finder’s interactive fretboard and presto! GuitarToolkit also includes a metronome and scales for countless modes, so you can bone up on your music theory and work on your improvising.

Great for taking along to rehearsals, learning a new instrument or sharpening your existing skills, this multifaceted app is a steal at $9.99.

Anyone who has tried reading music in a digital format knows it can be a bit of a hassle. Trying to scroll down a webpage while playing is pretty near impossible. Even turning pages in a book will break your stride. Enter TabToolkit. Reading Guitar Pro, Power Tab, PDF and Text formats, TabToolkit is a great way to learn a song.

It automatically scrolls as you play while providing a multitrack rhythm section with customizable midi voices. You can play along with a guide track or mute your part and jam with the backing band. TabToolkit displays both tablature and standard musical notation, as well as a graphic of a guitar neck or keyboard showing the location of notes as they are played.

TabToolkit is much cheaper than Guitar Pro software, and contains all the key features. One such feature is the tempo control, which is pretty much essential in learning a lead guitar part. Sometimes while you’re busy trying to nail a solo’s correct fingering, the rhythm can become lost. By slowing down the tempo on the guide track, it’s like having your own teacher right there with you keeping you in time while you learn the song. Gradually increase the speed as you grow more confident.

TabToolkit comes loaded with some classical song arrangements as well as practice exercises, a nice touch. To add your own song files, you need a wireless Internet connection. You can then upload files from your computer to the app. TabToolkit also has a built-in Web browser so you can download files directly to your device.

Whirl Mini Notebook Laser Mouse (getsmartfish.com): Nothing gets more annoying (or tiring) on a laptop than mousing around with your index finger on the trackpad. There are a lot of mini notebook mice out there, but the Whirl is the most innovative.

The first great thing about it is the ErgoMotion design. The revolutionary pivot motion completely reinvents the mouse, doing away with the need for a flat, smooth surface to put the mouse on, greatly increasing your mobility on your laptop. The Whirl remains stationary, stabilized by a small platform at the bottom. Instead of tracking, you pivot the mouse forward and back or laterally to move your cursor. It takes some getting used to, but once you do, you’ll find it infinitely more comfortable than a regular mouse. That’s because the ErgoMotion design is calibrated to adjust to your natural hand and wrist position.

Another great perk of this wireless mouse is the Nano transceiver. Once it plugs into a USB port it’s barely visible. No chords, no bulky accessories. The mouse has a four-way scroll wheel, ambidextrous design, 800dpi, 2.4 GHz wireless and an average battery life of 10 months. It is Mac and PC compatible and comes in several sleek colors: black, silver, white, blue, red and carbon.