Learning to play the guitar requires focus and some musical skills. You can hire someone to give you lessons, but that can be costly. It may also be hard to find a local instructor.
An alternative option is to use an app to help you learn. Apps can provide you with the same type of instruction you could get from an instructor. Some do it better than others.
If you search for guitar apps, you will get a long list of options. It can be difficult to know which one is the best. You are just a beginner, so you likely have no idea what tools or information you will need to learn.
To take some of the stress out of the process, we’ve put together a review of the most popular apps for learning guitar. These are from recognizable names, so you know you can trust they are quality products. Our learn guitar app review will cover everything you need to know to choose the right app for your needs.
Where to Start When Learning to Play the Guitar
As a new player, there is one key thing you need to keep in mind. The most important step in the learning process is practice. You have to do it often and regularly.
No matter how great of a teacher you have or how amazing the app is you are using, if you don’t practice often, you won’t make progress. Fender explains practicing is the one thing you must do when learning how to play guitar.
The other steps in the learning process are variable. You can follow whatever plan or program you wish to teach yourself to play.
Typically, learning will involve starting with learning about the instrument. You need to understand the parts of the guitar.
You can then move into learning about the strings and what notes they represent. Playing one string at a time may not seem like the type of playing you want to do, but it can be a great start as you learn note names and the general layout of the strings and fretboard.
Starting slowly can also ensure you don’t develop bad habits. You need to hold your guitar a certain way to prevent strain and to allow you to get the best sound. It is also important to maintain good posture as you play.
Once you learn the instrument better, you may relax a bit, but having this solid foundation is essential.
As you begin to learn more, you can tackle chords, learn how to read tabs, and work on different strumming patterns. You can keep building on what you already know.
This is where using apps comes in as you learn to play guitar. The apps can give you a program to follow and act as a guide to teach you what you need to know about playing this instrument.
Choosing the Right Guitar App
The best guitar-learning apps are the ones that offer the most helpful tools and content. This may be different for everyone.
Learning methods and abilities vary greatly, so what works for you may not work for someone else. However, the best apps for learning guitar are so highly rated and sought after because they appeal to the masses.
You can trust this type of app will provide you with solid instruction. These apps also come from trusted industry names and experts.
There are a few things you should note about any app you consider or try out. You need to check that it will offer you what you need as a beginner, but it should provide advanced tools as well. This way, it stays applicable as your skills improve.
Another important point is the song library. Ideally, you want a pretty big one. It makes it much easier to learn to play if you like the songs you have to practice. A larger library increases the chances you can find the music you like.
Types of Apps
There are four basic types of apps for learning guitar. They each offer different paths to learning. You should think about what would work best for you and your learning style. The four types are:
1- Teaching only: These apps teach you through videos or lessons. They provide step-by-step instructions, help you learn how to play chords, and cover other basics that make it simple to teach yourself how to play.
2- Song and chord database: These apps include songs, chords, and tabs for playing songs. They don’t include instruction. We didn’t include any of these because they are not good for beginners. You need some guitar-playing skills to use them.
3- Combination: Most of the apps we list combine teaching and databases to allow you to go through the lessons you want while also having access to playing songs you want.
4- Game-based: Game-style apps allow you to learn in a gaming environment, similar to the Guitar Hero video game. These are best for improving your technique, such as finger speed and dexterity. They can also be ideal for a beginner who wants to just learn to play songs.
6 Top Guitar Apps
Now that you have some background information, we can present to you our 6 top picks for the most popular apps for learning guitar.
This app option is from Gibson, a well-known name in the music industry. They make some of the best guitars you can buy.
The Amped Guitar app is very unique. It uses augmented audio reality to teach you to play. No other app on our list has this feature.
Augmented audio reality allows the app to listen to you play and then confirm the notes you play. It critiques you in real-time to help you get better. One of the nice things is this technique allows you to learn to play without feeling like a bumbling beginner.
You will also use headphones with the app, so it can playback what you play. You can then listen to see how well you are doing and note where you need to work more. It is a very immersive experience.
The app provides lessons for beginners through advanced users. There is a full curriculum developed by professional guitar teachers.
- Augmented audio reality feature
- Easy to use interface
- Great graphics
- Excellent material
- Requires corded headphones
Another huge industry name is Fender. They are a respected brand that created guitarists. The company also has one of the top websites to learn guitar for beginners, but you can find the majority of the information in this app.
The way the program works is you will take a quiz when starting. This helps the app customize a program for you. It will give you songs you like and focus on the specific techniques you want to learn. Fender calls these programs ‘learning paths’.
Once you have your learning path, you will use the micro-learning strategy. These are small tutorials that lead you through steps in the learning process. It gives you time to digest and focus on each topic you learn before moving on.
This Fender Play review can’t end without telling you this app is one of the easiest to use. It is also highly reliable and can teach you everything you need to learn guitar online.
The app not only has the backing of a well-known name, but the curriculum comes from Thornton School of Music and Musicians Institute educational advisers.
- The micro-learning strategy is ideal for beginners
- Highly customizable for the best experience
- Reliable and updated often
- Professional curriculum
- More expensive than other apps
- Advanced instruction is not robust
The Yousician app contains a curriculum from music teachers, people in the field who know what beginners need when learning to play the guitar. The app is best for beginners to intermediate players.
It provides step-by-step videos and exercises to help you learn. You’ll get instant feedback on your work as well, which makes this an interactive experience.
Most Yousician for guitar review posts will say this is ideal for beginners. It is not so great for more advanced users because the focus is on teaching you how to play songs with simple chords and giving you the foundation you need to grow your skills.
It also has a built-in tuner. This can be wonderful. You won’t have to hunt down your tuner and mess with another thing while practicing.
The app also has an ever-growing database of songs, many are popular hits. You should be able to find something you love to play as you learn.
- Game-like interface
- Real-time feedback
- Can upload songs you want to learn
- Redundancy in lessons
- Not for advanced users
The Justin guitar app comes from YouTube sensation and guitar teacher Justin Sandercoe. With over one million followers, he knows what he is doing when it comes to teaching guitar.
The app is ideal for beginners. Justin does an excellent job of putting together basic instruction in a way that feels personalized. The structured courses are easy to follow as well.
You will not only learn to play songs but also learn techniques, such as chords and strumming. You’ll get everything you need in the app to work up to playing independently.
On the plus side, the app also has nice features for advanced players. So, as you get better, you won’t outgrow it.
Features include an assessment system to help you track your progress and stay on the path to progress. It also has backing tracks and lyrics. You can adjust the tempo as well.
- Easy to navigate
- Works for players at all levels
- Intimate feel to videos
- Some videos have low resolution
- Song database is not as extensive as some other apps
The Guitar Tricks app has a large database of lessons ranging from beginner to expert. It is probably the most extensive library on our list. You can grow with this app. Plus, you’ll always find something new you can practice and learn.
This app is probably best if you want to get serious about honing your skills. The company behind it has been developing and providing guitar lessons since 1998. They have tried and true methods that will turn you into an excellent player as long as you put in the work.
The method they use is the Core Learning System. It trains you to play through an extensive program. If you are new, you start from the ground and work up. Your first lessons will cover general topics, such as how to hold the guitar.
You’ll move onto harder lessons as you advance through the program. All the lessons build on each other so you don’t lose skills. You just build on them.
The best part is you play songs from the very beginning. The first songs will be simple, but you can play a tune on your guitar in no time, which can help keep you motivated.
The lessons are straightforward and easy to navigate. They provide you with the foundation you need to teach yourself how to play.
- Updated often
- Extensive lesson library
- Packed with features
- Song database is lacking
- You have to pay extra for features
Rocksmith is a little different from the other apps on the list. It isn’t an app but a video game. It comes from the people who made Guitar Hero and works somewhat the same.
However, this is a teaching program. You can get a bundle that comes with a guitar, amp, and game. You can also buy just the game and use your own guitar. You should note it is for the electric guitar, not acoustic.
It plays like a video game, which is ideal if that is your thing. You may find it’s much easier to use than the traditional apps. However, you need the game system to use it, so you do have limits on where you practice.
Rocksmith review posts give it a thumbs up for using a real guitar. You get actual, practical experience playing the instrument, and consumers say it works. You will learn to play.
Plus, you’ll know all the songs you play. The virtual lessons work both technique and speed to get you where you want to be.
It’s easy to start and use. The layout is familiar, and it is easy to move through the lessons. Plus, the lessons are substantial and give you a great foundation using alternative teaching methods.
- Game-based option
- Uses a play-style learning system
- Has an amazing song database
- Fun to use
- You can’t record your playing
- Can be confusing to follow the display
- Is tricky to adapt to if you’ve had other lessons or used other methods of learning to play
If you want to learn how to play the guitar, then you should use one of our picks for the most popular apps for learning guitar. These are the best of the best. They offer something for every learning style, so you should have no trouble finding an app off the list that suits your needs.
In no time, you can be rocking out and playing songs on your guitar.