What Should You Look for in a Guitar App?
Using apps is one of the ways beginners can learn to play acoustic, electric or bass guitar. It’s convenient and allows you to practice and review lessons even when you’re on the go and even when you don’t have your beginner electric guitar around (here’s a good spot to find one). But with the number of guitar apps out there, how do you know which one will meet your needs? Here are the things you should look for in a guitar app.
Compatibility with device
First and foremost is device compatibility. If an app is not compatible with the OS on your smartphone or tablet, there would be no way for you of using it, unless you download and install it on a compatible device. If you’re perfectly happy with your phone and have no wish to upgrade anytime soon, then just look for another guitar app that can be used on your device. Don’t worry, there are many!
Guitar App Features
The next factor to consider is what the app can offer you. What are its features? Does it offer instructional videos, easy-to-understand slides, animated lessons, lessons in the form of games, a guitar simulator and other features? Do these perks sound appealing to you and do you think these would fit your learning style?
The best way to explore an app’s features is to try it out to see if you like it and proves to be a helpful aide in your guitar lessons. Do take note that in some apps, you have to shell out some money to unlock features you may need. If you don’t like how an app works or you find it too difficult to use, you can always uninstall it and try something else.
Some of our Favorite Guitar App Guest-Have Features:
- Metronome – Every guitarists needs one! Make sure you have one handy on your phone.
- Tuner – This one is self explanatory but it’s so convenient to have a tuner with you everywhere.
Guitar apps, particularly new ones, can still be buggy and not make for a good user experience. In cases where you encounter problems due to having the mobile app in use, customer support is necessary. An app that provides 24/7 customer support is good to have, but of course it’s even better if you don’t encounter any issues at all.
Free apps often rely on ads, which can be annoying if you’re trying to learn to play guitar without interruptions. If you don’t mind paying a free, then check to see if the guitar app you’re considering offers ad-free options for a better user experience.
If a guitar app was last updated 3 years ago, chances are it’s too buggy and the developer didn’t want to go through the hassle of fixing things anymore. It would be best to look for something else, preferably an app that receives regular updates and bug fixes.
Regular app updates indicate that the developer is continually looking for bugs, fixing them, coming up with new features, and striving to give you the best problem-free experience when using the app. These apps are also usually the ones that have 24/7 customer support.
Ease of use
Another important thing to consider when choosing a guitar app is how easy it is to use so you can focus on the lessons instead of trying to make the app work. Now, people adapt to mobile apps differently, so you may need to try an app out yourself first to see if it’s intuitive enough for you or not at all.
Last but certainly not the least factor to consider is what other users are saying about the app. Checking out the rating and app reviews can save you a lot of time and effort actually, because if you see that an app is rated poorly, with comments such as “crashes all the time,” “confusing interface” or “drains my battery,” then you’ll have an idea of how it actually works.
Nothing’s stopping you from trying it out yourself of course, but you’ve been warned.
But really, to save yourself the frustration, it’s ideal to stick to apps that have received lots of positive ratings. An overall rating of at least 3.5 stars as well as users’ comments about how the developer fixed issues right away are signs that it’s an app worth checking out.
Did we miss anything? What other things do you think beginners should look for in a guitar app? Leave us a note below!
Craig Smith is a professional Guitarist, Teacher, and Writer living in Sanford, Florida. Craig has taught guitar lessons, performed 200+ gigs per year for nearly 30 years, and published 4 guitar instructional books. When he’s not gigging or writing, you may find him by the pool with his wife Celeste, 4 Chihuahuas, and a drink. 🎸