Learning to play the guitar can be a fun and rewarding experience. However, it’s not without its challenges.
The guitar is a very accessible instrument, in the sense that they are widely available and there are hundreds of source materials to begin your learning journey.
Although, learning any instrument takes time, dedication, and hours of practice.
It can be daunting before you start, as there are so many routes you can take to get your feet on the ground or fingers on the strings.
Thankfully, I have found that there are apps that teach you the basics, enhance your learning with handy tips, and teach me the skill set I needed to grow as a musician.
This is a guide to the ten best guitar learning apps. I have chosen 10 of the best ones.
I’m going to cover them in turn and discover their key features, pros, and cons.
Song based learning
It has been said that the best way to learn guitar is to dive on in. This is true. The Fender app lives through this philosophy. You learn by choosing a song and getting on with it.
You can start at whichever level you feel comfortable with and follow the easy, and clear tutorials.
Over 3,000 Lessons
This is a major feature. 3,000 is a lot of songs to pick from, and a lot of different levels to learn. I never got bored of the selection of lessons available, that’s for sure.
You Dictate The Pace
I’ve said already, learning a new skill can be overwhelming. Fender appealed because I could set my own pace and learn at a slow step if I needed it.
You can decide which level you start at, and continue at.
- Free Trial: Some apps don’t offer this. Some apps are free. With Fender, you do pay for lessons eventually. After seven days to be precise. But, you get to try it out for a whole week before you make any real commitment.
- Award Winning: Fender has been credited with awards from various sources. This is a sure fire way to guarantee you are getting a quality service, with impressive results. You don’t get an award for no reason, after all.
- Wide Variety: There are a good variety of songs to learn from with Fender. There is bound to be something to your taste, and something to pique the interest of an eclectic audience range.
- Different Lessons: Alongside the songs, you have access to the technical stuff as well. You can practice chord formation, and follow along easy to digest tutorials.
- Overwhelming: It can be overwhelming to have all of that information laid bare. Especially if you are a complete beginner. It can be tricky to figure out where to start. There is a risk of diving into the wrong piece, only to be put off by all the technicalities and chord changes.
Songs released weekly
There are already upwards of 1,000 songs to choose from. However, you also get the added bonus of new material added every week. I never got bored with the selection of songs available to learn from and play with.
Song based learning’
Song based learning seems to be a pretty universal approach to teaching guitar. There are a lot of advantages, it’s true.
It can feel as though you are making progress at an accelerated pace, and you get to put all the chords you learn into practice in other material too.
Skilled tutorials are tutorial videos that you can explore at your own pace. They teach you basic skills, such as how to hold your hand to make a chord, and guitar positioning.
- Fresh Material all the Time: Such a bonus! It’s too easy to get bored learning the same piece over and over.
- Free Trial: Buy before you try. It’s solid advice. Before you sign up for a monthly commitment, you can trial the app and see if it suits you.
- 11,000+ Lessons: Variety is important. The guitar has so many different technical aspects that you need to try to get the hang on. Thankfully, with Guitar Tricks, no stone has been left unturned.
- Monthly Commitment: Some people might see this as a con. Though the app is free, there is a small monthly charge for content access.
Some apps limit the number of lessons available. Yousician does not. It offers an unlimited choice of songs and lessons to pick from.
Tailored to All Abilities
No matter your skill set, beginner to veteran, there is something for every learning level. There are tutorials to learn all the basic skills, and there are more advanced lessons for people with a bit more experience behind them.
- No Ads: No one likes being interrupted by ads. I think this is especially true while learning a new skill through an online medium. There are no ads on this app, and you won’t be interrupted by anything unless you choose to pause the lesson.
- Other Instruments Available: The guitar is my main focus. However, there are lessons for ukulele, piano, bass, piano, and even singers.
- 10,000 + lessons: I found the variety on this app great. There are 10,000 and more songs and lessons to pick from. No room for boredom!
- Expensive Comparatively: This app is a good one. But that greatness comes with an attached cost. It’s up to you whether you want to splash out a bit more cash on your learning experience.
Instructor Based Learning
Jamplay offers lessons with expert guitar players and teachers. This sets them aside from other apps and offers a more personal and professional experience.
Choice Of Learning Style
Most apps offer basic tutorials to get your head around chords and techniques. Jamplay offers this and also an option to go straight in with learning songs.
There are options to suit all types of learners. So it will be easy to find something to suit your methods.
A progress report might sound a bit like being in school, but I can assure you it is quite nice to have your progress written up and displayed to you in a matter of fact way.
You can see if you’re hitting your personal targets and all the areas you have excelled in or struggled with.
- Promotional Offers: Jamplay seem to have decent promotional codes. There are frequent discounts and offers for new members and existing ones.
- Different Paths: No matter where you’re at in your guitar learning journey, there’s something for all skill levels. Start fast or start slow, it’s completely up to you and what you want to achieve.
- Less Content: Compared to other guitar learning apps, I found there to be less content available overall.
Jellynote is an app and website that has a whole selection of sheet music. The sheet music covers a number of genres and is available in different ability settings.
It covers a range of genres and interests, including Disney and other famous movie scores, Christian music, Popular songs, and Classical music.
Four Ability Levels
Whether you’re coming to this as a complete novice or a seasoned musician, Jellynote can offer you a tailored experience.
Your skill set dictates what you can play, of course. But, with Jellynote, you can work through the different levels of difficulty on one particular piece. This definitely enhances the overall playing experience.
There is always room to learn, regardless of how your talent shines. Jellynote offers learning tutorials, so you can master the basics, or build on pre-existing knowledge. You work at whichever pace suits you best.
- Personal Touch: Jellynote gives the option of learning about the creator behind the musical score you choose. This makes the app feel more personal overall. You can get to know the artist while learning their version of the song or score.
- Lots of Choices: Jellynote has a great selection of different genres. There is without a doubt something for all the different personality types and personal choices.
- Premium Content more Expensive: This might not be a major problem. There are lots of free scoresheets that are accessible by everyone, after signing up. However, there is an extra fee for what Jellynote dubs their ‘premium content.’
On the website, and the app, there are forums for you to interact with other guitar players. This gives the app a community feel. You can get real-time advice and feedback on your learning journey from fellow guitar enthusiasts.
1,000,000 + Selection
The biggest song choice that I’ve seen across guitar learning apps, for sure. There are over one million songs to pick from. This leaves very little room for boredom or lack of variety. All the famous favorites are available.
A part of guitar learning is understanding tabs. This app is based on tab knowledge, and that is how the song choices are presented for playing.
- The Biggest Selection: As I said, Ultimate Guitar really does have a mind blowing song choice count.
- Encouraging: The environment and general ethos of this app and site are friendly and encouraging. It feels as though there is a team behind you, and there’s always something to catch up on.
- Non-Traditional: This might not be a con for everyone. But, it is worth saying that Ultimate Guitar teaches by providing tabs instead of song structure, hand techniques, and other practices.
Record and Playback
Amplitube allows you to record your guitar playing. You can then play it back to yourself as and when is convenient. It is a fluid learning experience, aimed towards self growth and improvement.
You record whatever you want, and get to play around with all the cool features as and when you please. You get to hear, firsthand, how you sound and where you need to improve.
This is a top-tier brand with top-tier products. I knew, immediately, that what I was getting was going to be worth it. The service is a professional one that oozes credibility from every corner.
- Free Version Available: Even though you have to pay for premium features and extra content software, there is a solid base of things that are available for no extra cost at all. There is more than enough to keep you going as a beginner or an intermediate player.
- First Class: There is no arguing that this is a first class product from a first class company. They have so many positive testimonials, that you just can’t argue with the quality aspect of Amplitube.
- No Lessons: People often explore guitar learning apps for the tutorials and lessons that they can offer. This app doesn’t have traditional video learning features. It is a personalized approach, instead, you have the opportunity to record yourself and learn from those recordings.
A Selection of Different Video Lessons
There are lots of different pre-recorded video tutorials at your disposal. You can pick from the selection and learn either in an ordered fashion with regards to skill bases or randomly. Whatever suits you!
Learn at Your Own Pace
This is a feature heavily present across a lot of the different guitar learning apps. It is definitely, in my opinion, something worth having. When learning virtually, it is much easier to be able to do things in your own time.
You can go back over lessons, and songs as often or as little as required.
- Trial Period: I think a trial period is always an added bonus. This is the only way to make sure that you’re happy with something before you make a financial commitment to it.
- Accredited: This app has a lot of accolades. It has been written up in articles, handed awards left right, and center, and has great reviews all around.
- Only for Beginners: If you are looking to brush up on your already established guitar-based knowledge and aptitudes, this is not going to be the best app for you. Its focus is on beginners and enhancing their learning.
Hands On Learning
GuitarPro offers a different type of guitar learning experience. Unlike traditional video lessons, you get a more interactive experience. You can edit and make notes on music scores as you go along.
Technical Features Included
There is a cool range of technical features to enhance your learning experience. These include a metronome, chord accessibility, speed adjustments, and even virtual instruments to listen and grow as you proceed down your chosen path.
- Self Led Learning: There is no real external influence with this app. You do it at your pace, in your own style, and increase your abilities with your own flair.
- Set Your Own Pace and Expectations: You can learn however works for you with GuitarPro. You can make notes and write reminders to keep yourself motivated and on the right track to achieving your personal goals.
- No Traditional ‘Lessons’: Unlike other apps, there are no traditional lessons as such. It is an extremely self-led teaching and learning experience.
1800 and More Lessons
There are over 1800 lessons and tutorials to pick from. These are quite traditional lessons and will cover chord structures, how to read music, and instrumental techniques.
You can start wherever you like, and there is no set structure to the learning journey.
Something for Beginners and Experienced Players
You can use this app regardless of your prior knowledge and guitar experience. Whether you have been playing for years and are stuck on a certain skill level, or you are a complete beginner just picking up your very first guitar. It doesn’t matter.
The lessons are set at different stages, you just pick what suits you.
- 35+ Years Experience: The person who created this guitar learning experience has over 35 years of experience in the industry. He has taught thousands of students and caters to all different abilities.
- Handy App Features: The app itself is very easy to use. It has handy features such as a practice assistant who can help you set targets and beat your goals.
- Personal: This app feels very personalized. Though the lessons are generic, they are a one-to-one experience with an experienced and passionate teacher.
- Limited Content: I found, compared to other guitar learning apps, the actual content is not as varied or as plentiful.
What You Want To Learn
When choosing an app, I found it is worth doing your research.
It’s the only way to find out what you want and how you want to learn. Lots of apps offer song based learning. This can be a fun way to learn. There are also hundreds of tutorials available too to learn all of the technical stuff, should you wish to.
If you just want to learn how to play a few songs, that’s cool. If you want to get into the nitty gritty of the world of guitar, that’s cool too. There are options to suit everyone. You just have to pick the right path for you.
I’ve found that some apps are not available across all platforms.
It depends on the operating system on your phone or tablet. There’s nothing more annoying than finding the perfect app, but it not being available on your operating system.
Fortunately, when it comes to guitar learning apps, there are so many great apps for iOs and Android, and lots of them are available across the board.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Easy Is It To Self-Teach Guitar?
The answer to this really depends on how confident you feel.
Any new skill can be tricky to pick up, and learning a musical instrument is a very technical thing. Learning can be enhanced by natural ability.
That’s not to say if you’re not exactly musically gifted that you won’t be able to pick it up with hard practice and a bit of commitment to the process.
Do I Need Specialist Equipment?
All you need to learn the guitar is a guitar! Further down the road, there may be some cool equipment to play around with. But in the beginning, it’s just you and your strings.
And, that’s a wrap! In my opinion, ten of the best and most varied guitar learning apps that the world has to currently offer.
No matter your learning style or your guitar ability, I am certain that one of them will suit your needs.