Learning to play the guitar is a lot harder than it looks, but it’s well worth the effort. Learning an instrument is one of the most rewarding things you can do, but it’s hard to learn on your own without outside help.
Luckily, there are plenty of free mobile apps you can use to learn to play the guitar. These Android and iOS apps will help speed up your learning and make you feel more confident with the guitar, even if you’re a complete beginner.
Real Guitar is a guitar simulator. It can simulate acoustic and electric guitars, and works on tablets and smartphones. It also supports multi-touch, which is essential for playing chords, but you’ll need a device with multi-touch capabilities for the feature to work.
What’s even cooler is that it comes with loops of songs you can play, plus a recording mode and the ability to export to MP3. This means you can compose songs, play them on Real Guitar, and record them for later.
While Perfect Ear isn’t a guitar-only app, it’s very useful for anyone who wants to learn to play the guitar (or any other instrument for that matter). In short, it aims to develop two essential skills that every musician should perform: rhythm and pitch.
Perfect Ear comes with dozens of interval, scale, pitch and rhythm exercises to help you get comfortable with and understand music. It also has trainers for sight reading, absolute pitch, and pitch singing. If you have trouble distinguishing different tones, you need this app.
And if you want to dive into the depths, Perfect Ear also includes articles on music theory, which will be useful if you intend to write your own songs.
There are many mobile apps that can help you tune your guitar, but GuitarTuna is the best. It can also handle bass, ukulele, violin, cello, banjo, and many other popular string instruments, so you won’t have to find another application the next time you pick up another instrument.
You strum a guitar string, the app listens with your device’s microphone, and it shows you the registered tonality. This makes it very easy to customize your settings as a beginner, but even as an expert it can be helpful as the app supports hundreds of alternative settings.
If you want an all-in-one app for guitarists, smartChord is a great choice. It started out as an app to learn all the different chords and fingers on the guitar fretboard but has since grown into something more comprehensive.
The reverse chord finder is helpful, but smartChord also has features for pitch determination, hundreds of predefined tunings, dozens of different scales, a basic metronome, a virtual guitar for when you can’t drag your real guitar, a precise tone generator, and more.
Most metronome applications are too basic. They get the job done when you’re a beginner, but their limit is quickly reached as you improve your skills. As soon as you get to that point, you’ll want to start using Metronomer, one of the best metronome apps.
The interface might be a little intimidating at first, but that’s only because it can do so much. It can reach eight, sixteen, triplets, quintuplets, and twins. It can accent any note down to the sixteenth or triplet, it can mute over the bar to keep you on tempo, and it can even program complex beat sequences.
If you just need a basic beat, it’s probably overkill. But when the basics aren’t good enough, Metronomerous is the only app that will give you the freedom you need.
Justin Guitar is one of the best websites to learn to play guitar. There is a reason why every novice guitar player is directed to the site. This website hosts a plethora of lessons from Justin Sandercoe, detailing the basics of the instrument in simple terms, and he’ll have you strumming a song in no time.
This app is an extension of that and provides everything you need. It has a tuner, video tutorials, interactive lessons, and over 1000 songs you can play so you can hit those chords perfectly. This app will track your progress through all your lessons and scores as you go. So you can pick up and play right where you left off.
Using an app to tune your guitar or learn some chords is all well and good, but how do you know you’re actually playing the right thing? That the sound coming out of your guitar is good and that your fingers are positioned correctly?
Although there may never be a true teacher substitute, Yousician became very close. The app has step-by-step video guides that teach you lessons designed by music teachers, covering topics like chords, strumming, melodies, fingerpicking, and more.
The best thing is that it actually listens to your play and then assesses your performance so you know what you did right and what you did wrong.
3D Basic Guitar Key
If you are trying to learn chords and maybe you are a beginner, then 3D Basic Guitar Key is a great app to help you out. It contains every chord you need to get started, but the twist here is that it shows them in 3D. This means you can quickly see where your fingers should be positioned on the guitar.
Not only that, but it shows finger transitions between chord changes, which is very important when trying to learn a song. The app also highlights the strings you need to play and offers a split-screen mode so you can see both hands clearly.
Along with these are lessons and quizzes to test your knowledge of chords. You will be a chord master in no time.
Andy Guitar is another app fronted by friendly teachers. As you might expect, the instructor here is named Andy, and he guides you through many lessons and song tutorials, along with answering the most common questions new guitarists ask.
Andy is a great and patient teacher. Lessons are clearly structured and progress is clear, so you’ll feel like you’re learning fast. One of the great things about Andy Guitar is that it teaches you modern songs too. Often guitar apps tend to focus on classical rock, but Andy mixes the likes of The Beatles and Maroon 5 with ease.
Learn Guitar: Chords – 3000+ Chords
If you want a simple app packed full of every chord you want to learn, Learn Guitar: Chords – 3000+ Chords is the one for you. It’s not as fancy as some of the other apps listed here, but it’s simple and does what it wants to do: be a powerful and free database of chord charts.
Learn Guitar: Chords – 3000+ Chords not only shows chords, but can play them for you so you can customize the sound. It also has chord and ear training games so you can learn some simple guitar theory too. Plus, and this is something that is often overlooked, in favor of left-handed guitarists.
How to Find Guitar Chords For Songs
These are some of the best apps to help you learn to play the guitar. And since you can never actually finish learning to play the guitar, you should find value here regardless of your level of experience.