If you’ve been wanting to learn how to play the guitar but you can’t take the time to physically go to lessons, then look no further than your smartphone. You could always look into an online guitar course, or you can simply find an app that will teach you what you need to know! These days there are several different apps you can get that will give you access to thousands upon thousands of hours of lessons and instruction.
Best Guitar Learning Apps
So you've decided to take advantage of your smartphone and use a guitar learning app, but which one should you choose? Here are some of the best guitar learning apps you can download right now that will take you from beginner to performer in no time!
If there’s one guy in the whole world that you want to take guitar lessons from, its Justin. Justin Sandercoe is a UK based guitarist who started teaching guitar online way back in 2001. His YouTube channel has received over 400 million views and has almost a million subscribers.
The JustinGuitar website is a HUGE library of over 1,111 free video lessons. You can pick and choose which lessons you’d like to try or you can follow along to his pre-made paths:
- Beginner - Chords, Strumming, Intro to Music Theory
- Intermediate - Fundamentals, Music Theory, Rhythm Guitar, Riffs, Guitar Solos,
- Advanced – Scales, Arpeggios, Modes, Jazz Theory
- Much, much more!
Honestly, after watching just one lesson, you’re going to be amazed by how he teaches. Justin goes through the material in a way that’s extremely thorough but not overly technical. His method and tips are completely practical. Each lesson will feel like it was written specifically to be a one on one lesson just for you.
Specific to apps, JustinGuitar offers one called the “Beginner Song Course” (from Musopia). It contains over 200 songs that have been hand-picked by Justin from genres such as Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Traditional Music, Country, and R'n'B. With each song, he’ll show you how to play the chords, strum technique, keep proper tempo, and a whole lot more.
Price: The JustinGuitar website and app are free. It's almost ridiculous when you consider the caliber of his content.
If you could pick one company in the world to teach you about playing the guitar, none of them would have more wisdom, knowledge, and insight than the one who’s world-renown for producing them: Fender.
Fender Play is a relatively new online learning system from Fender that covers every topic of guitar playing that you could ever want to know. Their videos are designed to be just as helpful as a live instructor giving you hands-on advice. Students can skip around from lesson to lesson, or they can follow pre-made paths by picking which style of guitar they’d like to learn: Rock, Blues, Folk, Country, or Pop guitar.
In addition to the lessons, you can also find a huge library of tutorials for learning how to play popular songs such as:
- “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots
- “Way a Night Should Feel” by Jason Aldean
- “Wonderwall” by Oasis
If learning the guitar isn’t enough for you, Fender Play also offers lessons for the bass and ukulele.
Price: Fender Play is free to try for the first 3 months. Afterward its $9.99 a month (or $7.50 per month if you prepay for one year).
Guitar Tricks is a solid online learning platform that has helped many musicans to excel.
Since 1998, they’ve been giving online guitar lessons and it’s now grown to become a comprehensive library with over 11,000 lessons and over 1,000+ songs, with top-notch instructors from all over the world. It doesn’ matter if you’re an absolute beginner or you’ve been playing for years, there will be something here for you to learn.
Guitar Tricks teaches you about playing the guitar using their “Core Learning System”. The way it works is like this:
- Students will start by learning the Fundamentals Level 1 and 2.
- Then they will choose between the Blues, Country, or Rock path Levels 1 and 2.
In addition to teaching you the fundamentals of guitar playing, Guitar Tricks also offers lessons for playing popular, iconic songs such as:
- “Hotel” by California Eagles
- “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran
- “Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix
Price: Guitar Tricks is free to try for 14 days. Once it expires, you can pay $19.95 per month for a subscription or pay $179.99 for the whole year (saving you $60).
If you feel like taking guitar lessons online or through an app is impersonal and lacks that one on one feedback that you need as you’re first getting started, then Yousician is for what you’re looking for.
Yousician is a different kind of teaching technology. Not only does it teach you how to play the guitar, but it listens to your playing and gives you instant feedback on your accuracy and timing. That’s a huge advantage because you’ll know right away if what you played was in tempo, off-pitch, or just needs a little more work.
Like many of the other guitar learning apps, they’ve designed curriculums that will you no matter what your level of skill is, from complete beginners to professionals. They’ve even got weekly challenges where you can have some friendly competition with other community members for a spot on their leaderboard.
Similar to Fender Play, Yousician isn’t just limited to the guitar. You can also find similar lessons for learning how to play the bass, ukelele, piano, and even singing.
Price: Yousician starts with a 7-day free trial. After that you’ll have to pay for their premium service at $19.99 per month. The price is substantially discounted to $9.99 per month if you pay for an annual subscription.
Songsterr Tabs & Chords
When you’re just getting started playing the guitar and you’ve learned your first few basic chords, the one thing you’re going to want to do is to dive right into playing your favorite songs. And to do that, you’re going to need the guitar tabs for those songs.
That’s what Songsterr can do for you. Songster is a huge database of over 500,000+ tabs for nearly every popular song you can think of. From first-hand experience, I can tell you that the accuracy of those tabs is spot on and will have you playing exactly note for note what you hear in the actual recording.
But that’s not even the best part … Unlike other guitar tablature websites on the Internet, Songsterr tabs can be played out loud at the click of a button. That means you can strum along at any tempo of your choice and see which notes need to be played in real-time.
One thing to take note of is that this app is solely focused on song tabs. It won’t give you any of the basic lessons or instructions like you’ll get from the other apps if you’re a true beginner. However, even someone who has been playing the guitar for a couple of weeks will find Songsterr helpful for learning the songs they love.
Price: Songsterr is a subscription-based app. You can start with the free version which allows you to see the tab to any song in their database and play a short clip of it. However, if you want full unlimited access over all the features, the cost is $4.99 per month.
Final Thoughts: Best Guitar Learning Apps
If you're considering taking up guitar as your musical instrument of choice, using one of these best guitar learning apps is a simple way to become a pro. Put your smartphone to use and download an app to become a guitarist now! Go ahead and let your music flow.