Can you learn to play guitar from an app?
Learning to play the guitar today is very different to how it was twenty years ago. Arguably it is easier to learn to play today because there are more free and accessible resources to help you. Learning guitar online is now a legitimate and popular route that many beginners now consider.
There are a host of free guitar apps that have some great guitar learning software. Whether you want to learn to play crazy licks, heavy riffs or just strum along with some simple chords all your learning needs can be fulfilled by a good guitar app.
There are plenty of apps on the market. Some of them are worth your time and money but most of them won’t help you. It is important to be able to filter out the good apps from the bad ones.
Below is a quick guide to some of the best guitar apps available.
You will be able to access these apps on your phone and we have tried to include apps that are both Apple and Android compatible. We will be having a look at the accessibility of the apps, assessing the quality of the content and telling you which are the best apps for learning the guitar.
1. Guitar Lessons by Guitar Tricks
Guitar Tricks have produced a brilliant app that contains over 11,000 unique and substantial lessons that can help the beginner and the expert.
Guitar Tricks have been giving online lessons on their website since 1998. Their experience shines through in an app that is built on tried and tested methods and ample resources. Their method for easy learning is called the Core Learning System and makes guitar learning for beginners seem simple.
The app will also appeal to beginners because it teaches a variety of styles in simple ways. Whether you are looking to learn the basics in rock, country, funk or blue Guitar Tricks has the learning resources for you. Guitar Tricks have been around for a while and their experience has enabled them to produce a refined and accessible app that is suitable for beginners.
2. Songsterr Tabs and Chords
This app was featured in the Wall Street Journal as one of the “The Best Apps for Learning to Play Music”. Songsterr Tabs and Chords has a free version and a subscription-based version that offers access to a huge library of tabs and chords that will prove invaluable to a beginner.
The app boasts a huge library of tabs that are regularly and reliably updated so that your experience remains fresh and exciting. The app displays tabs on the screen and lets them scroll while the song plays. This means that you can learn to play the song in tempo and there is even a Solo Mode that isolates the guitar part, allowing you to listen and get a feel for the song.
This app is built on some of the best guitar learning software and provides a straightforward service that is intuitive. The realistic playback of songs allows you to become immersed in the learning experience and also feel a sense of accomplishment when you nail part of a tune!
3. Ultimate Guitar: Chords and Tabs
The content of this app is deserving of the title ‘Ultimate Guitar’ because it boasts one of the largest collections of chords and tabs of any app on the market. There are over 1 million songs on the app that you can learn from with easy to read chord and tabs. The impressive database is also built on a foundation of popular and easy-to-play songs that are perfect for beginners.
Ultimate Guitar: Chord and Tabs is a fantastic learning resource and one that can already boast a large subscriber base. It is reminiscent of older guitar learning resources whilst also being accessible for the guitarist learning today. The library of tabs and chords are constantly updated and are also rated by users so that the best song resources are easily found.
The app also provides a Top 100 list so that you can find your favorite songs and learn to play them. Ultimate Guitar is available for both Android and Apple stores and will be a useful addition to your guitar learning resources.
Chordbank is a great app for beginners. Chords are the foundation for all of our favorite tunes. By learning 4 or 5 chords you are able to play thousands of pop, rock and blues songs with relative ease. Chordbank is a simple app, with a simple aim.
The Chordbank app is a convenient and easy-to-use tool that shows you the fingering for a wide variety of chords. The clever interface also features handy video lessons and a useful tuner. It was one of the best apps to learn guitar from in 2018 and it looks like it will be a popular choice for beginners in 2019.
Whether you are looking to kickstart your learning with major and minor chords or you are looking to progress on to diminished and half-diminished chords, Chordbank features them all.
Yousician is a great learning app that provides resources for all types of instruments and is not guitar exclusive. It, therefore, stands out in this list as the best app for learning bass guitar as well as a standard guitar.
The app is tailored made for beginners with simple step-by-step explanations for basic guitar riffs and chords. Yousician aims to familiarise you with how to move around the guitar while also teaching you how to play basic songs with simple chords.
It is free to download and offers several paid for premium plans for those who wish to delve deeper into the Yousician library and get a broader musical experience. It is an easy app to navigate and use on a daily basis. Additionally, there are quite a few useful practice songs and a great tuner that will help make your learning experience smoother.
Justin Guitar is another great app where you can learn guitar for free. The app is born from the mind of Justin Sandercoe who is one of the leading guitar teachers in the world.
Justin has over 1 million subscribers on youtube. His popularity is a testament to his ability to communicate musical ideas is a simple and approachable way.
The app is perfect for beginners and also a great option for more advanced guitarists looking to take their skills to the next level. The app also includes a handy self-assessment system to track your guitar improvement.
All of the guitar songs are displayed in the classic play-along style. This means that you can learn easily with backing tracks and lyrics. Both the tempo and sounds are adjusted quite easily to suit your ability and tastes.
Justin Guitar is available on Apple and Android and is a widely used app across the world. It is one of the best apps to learn guitar for beginners. With celebrity endorsements and a growing database of free lessons and free songs, it is the ideal app if you want to learn guitar quickly!
The final app we recommend is JamPlay. As with the others, Jamplay boasts a huge library of chords and lessons that will make practicing easier. The app offers a range of lessons that will enable you to use it as an acoustic and electric guitar app. It is a useful tool that gives you a specific direction on a wide number of techniques.
They boast a library of 450+ On-Demand Courses offering 6,500+ lessons. These courses and lessons are taught by over 100 different teachers.
It is also a great app if you are looking to expand your music tastes. They offer lessons in over 20 genres. It is encouraging that they have been going for over 14 years now. Experience should not be underestimated when it comes to guitar lessons.
The app and accompanying website is easy to navigate. Signing up and getting going is not complicated. The focus is on learning the guitar and you don’t need to worry about being distracted by unnecessary ads or side projects.
The app also offers live video lessons which allow site members to play and interact with the instructor.
Jam Play is one of the best guitar apps for Android and Apple and is widely used across the world. It is a handy app that is easy to use with a constantly evolving database and a wide variety of guitar lessons.
Bonus: Guitar App Alternatives
As shown above, technology can be a great help when learning how to play the guitar. Most people will learn a lot from these apps but some people may be less at home with interacting with technology in this way. That is why it is important to highlight alternative methods of learning guitar.
If you are not that tech savvy you may prefer to get lessons from a local musician or tutoring company. Apps have managed to extend the reach of music education but you can also gain a lot of knowledge from personal lessons and practice.
A lot of musicians also use more multipurpose websites like Youtube to help learn guitar. There are several fantastic youtube channels dedicated to music education and in particular guitar learning for beginners.
If you want to get a thorough guitar learning experience it is worth engaging with Youtube content as well as experimenting with more traditional guitar learning apps.
Ultimately, there are a host of fantastic apps on the market that can help you learn to play the guitar. There are many free guitar apps that produce high-quality content and there are also apps you can pay for that can provide a more in-depth experience.
It is worth having a go with several apps to see which one best suits your learning needs. Your choice may depend on whether you are looking for a large chord database or a wide variety of lessons on different techniques. The best guitar apps will offer both.
If you want to get the best experience you should be prepared to sign up for the subscription service of one of these apps. There are free versions but even as a beginner you will find that you reach the limit of the song, chord or tab libraries quite quickly. The best guitar learning app will be the one that suits your own level and learning process.
Hopefully, we have given you an indication of the best apps to learn guitar from as a beginner. The next stage is up to you. We wish you all the best on your guitar learning journey!
What do you think is the best app to learn guitar for beginners?
Share with us in the comments below!