Useful and helpful products and resources that help with learning the guitar.

A must-watch clip from Beware of Darkness by Tony Robbins. In October 2019, the California alt-rockers released their latest single, Bloodlines. It’s a track that features infectiously catchy singalong moments, an awesome electric guitar solo and most importantly, a simple, but powerful fuzz-driven main riff.

Bloodlines Tutorial – YouTube


The Fender Digital division continues with the strategy of “maintaining user engagement” to ensure a consistent market for its products. From some market research conducted some years ago, the Fender management came to the conclusion reducing the drop out rate of guitarists keeps market demand for their products strong and consistent. In order to achieve this during the last years, Fender has been looking at ways to keep guitarists inspired by producing a series of educational apps to help create awarenesses for how budding guitarist can play their favourite songs, and ultimately define their own unique sound.

Fender Songs another App to sit alongside Fender Tune, Fender Tone & Fender Play
A new APP –

Article fender-is-betting-on-machine-learning-and-apps-for-its-future Fender is reinventing itself for the future of music while holding onto its past
By Mike Murphy December 13, 2019

Sonic Youth was an American rock band based in New York City, formed in 1981 with strong influences from the Velvet Underground and the Ramons. Founding members Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon and Lee Ranaldo. Sonic Youth is considered a pioneering band in the noise rock and alternative rock genres. Their music has also been labelled experimental rock, indie rock and post-punk.

The following links demonstrate how they got their sound and their interesting usage of guitar tunings. Notice for certain songs different guitars are tuned differently but still harmonise. How much time was spent working out these guitar parts and tuning to them? dec 2019 FenderPlay feature the unique approach to the guitar Thurston Moore took.
FenderPlay – Thuhrston Moore investigate some of the pedals and tunings used by Sonic Youth to get their unique sound.
Interesting guitar tunings – Soinic Youth

An article published by Music Industries Association on iconic guitar brand Fender’s research on what impact playing the guitar has.

Fender has revealed new research, conducted in the United States and United Kingdom, which sheds light on the current state of guitar, the profiles of today’s players and what motivates them to play.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIF.  (October 16, 2018)—Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today released new research led in conjunction with Egg Strategy™, detailing the vibrant, current state of guitar playing in the United States and United Kingdom. As part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to players at every stage of their musical journey, the research was commissioned to better understand the current generation of guitar players, their needs, desires and overall lifestyle preferences. The findings revealed that… read on at

Similarly to Fenders “Digital Campaign” to address the “drop out rate” other brands are also looking towards digital applications to enhance user experience to maintain engagement.

Are digital campaigns going to produce results? It will be interesting to see how the music industry and digitalization mesh.

MUSOPIA APPS KEEP BEGINNERS ENGAGED INDUSTRY LEADERS including Yamaha, Ibanez, Kala Brand, and Little Kids Rock have joined forces with app specialist Musopia to offer personalized learning tools to their customers. With its digital learning solutions, Musopia addresses one of the industry’s most stubborn challenges: beginning players who quit in frustration. Estimates quoted by Musopia suggest that if early abandonment could be reduced by just 10%, the M.I. industry could ultimately double in size.
Musopia’s approach offers a highly personalized and engaging musical experience, allowing beginners to start playing popular songs immediately and enjoy near-instant gratification. For more experienced players, Musopia’s suite of apps offer more advanced chord progressions from a digital library of nearly 2,000 fully licensed hit songs from top artists ranging from Adele and Ed Sheeran to Clapton and Coldplay. Each song offers varying chord options based on skill level, plus embedded video learning tutorials and an intelligent “listening” feature that provides detailed personalized feedback, telling users which chords they are playing perfectly and which need more work.
In addition to customized learning tools, music companies that partner with Musopia gain access to demographic and psychographic consumer data, penetrating insights into consumer behaviour, and unique opportunities to identify and engage directly with targeted consumer segments.

Options addressed

The Internet has really opened up the doors to a lot of things not least how we can learn to play the guitar.

Today there is large YouTube guitar community offering lots of tips and tutorials for free however it might take a while to sift through things before you find something good. For a more professionally structured approach with better quality videos, you can join an online tuition community for Approx.$20 per month.

A solid Internet contender offering online video learning. Approx.$20 per month

GuitarTricks reveiw:
GuitarTricks traffic:

A recent offering from the Fender Digital campaign. Approx.$20 per month

One of my favourites for more than 10 years! Free, donations welcome!

Another popular website for online guitar lessons. is a free resource to learn guitar. is also a free resource to learn guitar. is also a free resource to learn guitar. (Thoery & Tab)

Guitar War is a website dedicated to helping its members improve in all aspects of their playing. is an online application developed to help guitar enthusiasts learn about chords, scales, notes, & arpeggios.

Truefire is a large and comprehensive selection of online guitar lessons is a large forum and education resource for guitarists.

Alternatively, tuitional Apps like Yousicain or gaming software like RockSmith also provide a fun approach to learning your favourite songs.

Fender address “drop out rate” with Fender Digital division

Can Fenders online education expand the guitar market?

Fender Digital is betting that with a team of 85 producing content designed to inspire and assist guitarists, it can keep them playing longer.

Fender’s market research claims 90% of first-time guitarists give up within a few months, putting their guitar in the closet.

Ethan Kaplan, General Manager Fender Digital has said “Ninety percent of people who pick up the guitar will drop out after one year, and we see Fender Play as a solution to that challenge. Our intuitive platform, whether used on its own or as a practice supplement to in-person lessons, allows first time players and beginners to get started.”

Andy Mooney, Fender CEO says that reducing that “drop out rate” by just 10% could double the sale of new guitars.

In addition to stimulating demand for guitars, he says the Fender Digital division can be a profitable business in its own right. He estimates that the money spent on guitar lessons and educational materials is about four times larger than the sums spent on new guitars.

Given the increased affinity for accessing information online, he sees a natural market or a digital offering, and a potentially meaningful revenue stream.

Can a high-quality online education program expand the market for guitars by inspiring guitarists of all levels to spend more time with their instrument?

Is there a profit to be made in online learning?

Fender Digital, the division of Fender Musical instruments, is attempting answer those questions, with a comprehensive suite of online educational materials launched in July 2017.

Fender Digital is an ambitious undertaking, backed by a significant investment. A team of 85 headed by Ethan Kaplan has been hard at work in Los Angeles for nearly two years, developing a guitar curriculum, creating online lessons and educational apps, and integrating them into the appealing, user-friendly “Fender Play” website. All with the goal of transforming the educational process and stimulating the market.

Accessible from laptop or mobile devices, Fender’s digital content is organized into two broad categories: Fender Play, which includes a constantly expanding library of online lessons, and Fender Tone, which serves as a gear reference, providing a wealth of information on amp and effects set ups and how to recreate specific artists’ sounds. Fender tone also includes useful tools like a free tuner.

Both the Tone and Play content are designed “so that they aren’t intimidating for the beginner, but aren’t so limited that an expert won’t use them,” says Kaplan. Full access will be offered for a $19.95 monthly fee. Ethen Kaplan is quick to point out that the Fender digital offerings have little in common with them multitude of free youtube instructional videos. “We are not using the ‘goPro and player on a couch’ approach,” he says.

Instead, a production team drawn from the ranks of local television and movie studios, using five cameras and high-resolution audio gear, has turned out educational videos with cinematic production values. From the performers to the script to the lighting, every facet has been calibrated to “address all the flaws in online learning,” adds Ethan Kaplan. In other words, Ethan is claiming Fender digitals approach to online guitar video learning is at a higher standard than average.

Multiple cameras allow for an unobstructed view of finger positions, and crystalline audio quality lets users really hear different techniques and tone settings. However, according to Ethan Kaplan, what truly sets the lessons apart is a carefully crafted song-based curriculum designed to get beginners engaged quickly. “Rather than scales or strumming techniques, we start you into your first song right away,” he says. “Within the first hour, we want the beginner to get that endorphin hit that comes when you play something that sounds like one of your favourite songs.”

The lesson site is organised by five basic genres: Rock, Pop, Folk, Country, and Blues. Within each genre, are discrete lessons on songs ranging from classics like Smoke on the Water to contemporary songs from bands like the national and Band of horses. An accompanying glossary Video section illustrates guitar terminology like “rosewood” or “humbucker,” and playing techniques like palm muting or arpeggios. The two sections allow a student to focus on a song without interruption, consulting the glossary when they encounter something unfamiliar or need a more in-depth explanation.

The Fender online offering also includes the recently acquired Riffstation, a unique digital application that allows users to import audio, learn basic guitar chords for any song, master riffs, and create custom tracks for jam sessions. The program is available in two versions. The free mobile app provides chords and play along functions for a large catalogue of popular songs. The desktop “Pro” version, available online for $34.99, has the capability of transforming any MP3 audio track into a powerful educational device. Within about eight seconds, the program can process an MP3 file and isolate the basic chords, thus helping beginners master their favourite songs. Vocal and solo tracks can also be eliminated, creating an ideal play-along backup. In addition, tempos can be altered without shifting pitch.

Kaplan says that Riffstation currently exists as an “island” within the Fender digital offerings, but will be integrated more fully into the system in the near future. Detailing Fender’s online offering is challenging because the content is being added almost daily. Plans are in the works to add worship and gospel genres, as well as lessons for bass and ukulele. In addition, the glossary section is updated every time Kaplan or one of his team members come across some guitar jargon that might need to be explained to a beginner. Whether targeted to a beginner, intermediate, or advanced players, each lesson has been scripted under the guidance of online learning specialists and accredited music educators.

“Online teaching hasn’t been done well or right,” says Kaplan. “We’ve analysed every aspect to correct what’s wrong and make something that really works.” He bases this boast on extensive field testing with absolute beginners. Working with a Fender online lesson, in most cases, they could play a passable rendition of one of their favourite songs in about 25 minutes.

There are guitar teachers in every market, not to mention enough existing instructional materials to fill several libraries. How then does the Fender online program make a material impact on the number of guitar players? Kaplan explains, “What we’ve found in our consumer research is that there are a lot of people who have played for a long time and still consider themselves beginners. Like a gym membership, they start in January and then quit by March. Then they lose their calluses and go through the pain of starting all over again. We think we can help keep these people going by giving them a realistic sense of accomplishment—learning to play their favourite songs, at the time of their choosing, like in a dorm room at 2:00 a.m.”

Unlike other online programs, Fender’s has the support of a wide range of notable artists who are excited about the prospect of their music being used to help launch a new generation of players. Kaplan says, “Every top act we’ve talked to, whether they’re 22 or 50, has vivid memories of being a beginner, putting a needle on record to decipher a riff, and struggling to master a song. They all see the potential of what we’re doing here, and are excited to be involved.” Fender’s management ranks are filled with guitar “geeks” steeped in the minutiae of pick-up windings, fret dimensions, and wood.

Developing an online educational program required a very different skillset, like the one Kaplan brings to the enterprise. As a teenager in Orange County, California, his free time was divided between playing in local coffee houses and writing computer code. While he was still in high school, his computer skills sufficiently impressed the management of the Orange County Register that they tapped him to develop an online version of the newspaper. Surreptitiously, he used the newspaper’s server to develop a website for his favorite band, R.E.M. the site quickly became a magnet for fans, brought Kaplan to the attention of R.E.M. and its management, and later led to a job offer from the Warner Music group. R.E.M.’s manager described him as a “geek who knows music.” At Warner, Kaplan developed a digital product division that presided over 600 artist websites, fan clubs, and a direct-to-consumer sales channel. He left Warner to head product, technology, and engineering at live nation Entertainment’s lab division, where he built an online platform from the ground up. “We offered more than just a ticket buying experience,” he says.

“We developed content that enhanced the fans’ concert-going experience before, during, and after the show.” Most recently, he served as senior vice president and general manager of Music at Gracenote, which provides video and music content and technology to top streaming services including iTunes.

Fender Digital represents the first time an instrument manufacturer has made a significant investment in online education. That doesn’t mean that new site is without competition: thousands of free online videos are also vying for the finite attention of players. Kaplan is confident that the linear curriculum, high production value, and absence of ads and filler, will make the Fender content a potent draw. “You can learn to do just about anything piecing together YouTube videos,” he concedes. “But, it’s hard to figure out where to start, what’s good, and what’s bad. We figure it out for you, giving you place to start and a curriculum that will take you where you want to go. It’s like you could buy parts and assemble your own Stratocaster, but it’s easier and more effective to buy one from us.”


OVER HALF OF ALL FENDER dealers in the U.S. offer some type of on-site lesson program. Fender CEO Andy Mooney says Fender Digital offerings represent a complement, not competition to these important efforts. To that end, Fender’s online learning program includes significant profit opportunities for retailers and instructors. Retailers will have the opportunity to bundle discounted Fender Play subscriptions with the sale of any Fender guitar. In addition to adding value to the instrument, Mooney says that the subscription sales also offer a “good margin” with no inventory commitment. The mechanics of the sale will be seamlessly managed by Fender Digital. In 2018, Fender Play will add an “Instructors Edition,” that Mooney describes as “closing the circle.” In-store instructors will be able to tailor elements of the Fender curriculum for their students and make use of tracking software to monitor their progress. Instructors who sign up for the program will have their bios and contact information listed on the Fender Play website. Mooney adds, “we want to share the financial success of Fender Play with our retail partners, and create a seamless learning experience for students either online or in person. We all share the same goal, reducing the abandonment rate to grow the entire industry.”

See Fender’s new online approach here…

See Fender’s news release…

Enjoy Learning

Programs like RockSmith make guitar learning software both fun and able to be taken seriously as even though they might not constitute the full curriculum within a learning process they can have a place.

Now claiming 25 million downloads Yousician is showing signs of being a popular learning aid too. Originally known as Ovelin and responsible for Guitarbots (see for a review) Yousician was founded in 2010 by some Finish scientific and guitar minded people. The company attached seed funding of $1.4m from the Silicon Valley-based early-stage investor True Ventures and during the last five years the product has been widely downloaded.

Further guitar learning concepts to look at




Jellynote (Premium)

+600k Sheet Music, Tabs & Chords
Learning Mode
Offline Songbooks on the App
Virtual Instrument Display
Half-Price Printing
Thousands of Synchronized YouTube Covers

Approx Price: Basic start is free to use – Premium from $4.99 / month




Uniquely interactive online learning. Get unlimited access to recorded lessons and submit practice videos to your world-renowned teacher when you want feedback.


Video exchange learning

Approx Price: $35 for one month




An interactive guitar course that listens as you play. Like having a personal teacher. Works with any guitar and computer microphone.

Approx Price: Basic start is free to use – later courses cost e.g. $9 – $15

Rock Prodigy



The right note, at the right time. Rock Prodigy shows you what note to play, when to play it and awards points for playing correctly. This makes practice and learning efficient.


Any guitar, acoustic or electric. The best way to learn to play guitar is to learn on your own guitar. That’s why Rock Prodigy’s patented polyphonic pitch recognition is designed to use the standard Windows, Mac, or iPad/iPhone microphone for acoustic guitars, or the standard line-in, if you have an electric guitar and any one of many common adapters.

Approx Price: Individual Courses $49.99




Rock with Technology! Guitarists, are you ready to make new friends, learn new skills, and showcase your talents? Download free practice songs from Roland, share your workout records on Twitter, and compete with guitarists all over the world. Welcome to a new, unique social network for guitarists!

System Requirements

Roland kit!!
Approx Price: Depends which Roland set up –

Learning, Composing & Compiling

There is a wide range of music notation software editors available, finding the right one might take a little time to research.
A number of the companies that provide these software packages either provide a one month free trial or a free basic version.

Here is a selection of some of the notation software editors we have identified…

Avid – Sibelius 7.5

Notation SoftwareSibelius is the world’s best-selling music composition and notation software, offering sophisticated, yet easy-to-use tools that are proven and trusted by top composers, arrangers, publishers, educators, and students alike. With Sibelius 7.5, you can express, accelerate, and promote your creativity in more ways than ever before, enabling you to deliver beautiful, professional scores faster and share audio and video versions of your work—with stunningly realistic musical phrasing—to make your talent stand out from the crowd. It’s the fastest, smartest, easiest way to write music for live performance, film and television, media entertainment, or in the classroom.

Price: Approx $720.00 / £460.00

Avid Sibelius 7.5

Finale – Music Notation Software

Notation SoftwareTo notate music is to look forward – to the performance, and beyond. Whether you’re creating a simple lead sheet, making worksheets for your students, or composing your magnum opus, Finale helps you easily capture your musical ideas, produce beautiful notation, and quickly share the results.

For 25 years, Finale’s unique ability to create anything on the printed page has remained undisputed while other music notation software has come and gone. Finale 2014 is the forward-looking choice with new innovations, making Finale’s trademark freedom and flexibility easy for everyone to use.

Price: Approx $600.00 / £380.00

Finale Notation Software

Maestro Music Software – MagicScore 7

Guitar Notation SoftwareMagicScore 7’s interface and comprehensive features make it the smart choice for musicians, composers, arrangers, teachers, students, choirs, ensembles and song writers. The MagicScore music notation software offers excellent capabilities which facilitate the creation of compositions of any complexity, including polyphonic ones. However the interface is not as intuitive or professional as some of the other music notation software but it is a fraction of the price. Some of the main features include; Quick Input a fast way to type scores, customizable layout, score your entry using a MIDI-device, the virtual guitar fingerboard or the virtual piano. Publish “live” sheet music in the Internet using built-in plug-in.

Price: Approx $60.00 / £38.00

Maestro Music Software

Forte Music Notation Software

Guitar Notation Software

With 4 editions of the Forte Notation Software, there is a Forte version that can fit into different budget areas and provide different requirements. The lower priced options are up gradable.

This Forte Home edition priced at $99 / £63 is an ideal choice for the music hobbyist, choir director or more advanced music student. This software package will provide immediate access to an advanced music notation program that is easy to learn and navigate. You will be creating beautiful scores in as little as 10 minutes. The full FORTE 5 HOME edition is an upgrade from the Basic edition, offering many more useful and creative features.

Prices Range From: A Free Version to Forte Premium Approx $229.00 / £145.00

Forte Notation

Guitar Pro 6

Guitar Notation EditorsGuitar Pro is a multilingual interface available in 19 languages on the Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. It is a multitrack editor of guitar and bass tablature and musical scores, possessing a built-in MIDI-editor, a plotter of chords, a player, a metronome and other tools for guitarists and musicians. It has versions for Windows, Mac OS X (Intel processors only), and Linux and is written by the French company Arobas Music.

Edit, visualize, and share your scores. Learn to play or improve your technique. Accompany yourself by creating the instrumental tracks of your choice. Enjoy a series of essential tools: scale-validating tool, tuner, metronome, guitar fretboard…

You’ll know how to handle the interface in a matter of minutes, easily navigating over its tabs and buttons. For optimal ease in reading, you’ll be able to display your scores as you prefer — full-screen, double-page, or parchment-like –, and also display a guitar fretboard to visualize the exact positioning of your fingers on it.

Price: Approx $73.67 / £46.65

Guitar Pro 6

PreSonus Notation 5 – Progression 3

guitar can

Notion 5 makes it easier than ever for you to write your ideas quickly and includes a new video window, new effects from PreSonus Studio One, an enhanced chord library, a custom rules editor, and many notation and publishing improvements.

Notation improvements make Notion 5 even faster and easier to use than previous versions, including an enharmonic spelling tool, cross-staff notation, layout and printing improvements, and new shortcut sets. You also get an enhanced chord library with more library chords, user-created chords, and recent-chord recall.

Presonus have a range of software including the Studio One DAW and Progression 3 a tab, notation, composition and songwriting software for guitars,bass and drums.

Price: Approx $192 / £125

Presonus – Notation 5

Presonus – Software

Quick Score

Guitar Notation EditorQuickScore Elite Level II is Sion Software’s premier software for composing music – an elegant, integrated scoring, audio and sequencing program that Electronic Magazine awarded their 1998 Editors’ Choice for notation software upon its debut and has won the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for five years running.

Start faster right off the top with one of QuickScore’s score templates. You’ve got Piano, Piano and Solo Instrument, Organ, Choir, Band, Orchestra and a bunch more. And if you need something you don’t see, just set it up yourself and it’s there for you to use from then on.

Prices: $179.95 / £114.06

Sionsoft – QuickScore

Score Cloud


“Like Google Translate for music”
ScoreCloud instantly turns your songs into sheet music. As simple as that!
Instant Score from MIDI or Audio
Arrange and Edit your Score
Print, Export and Share

Music notation software ideal for musicians, students, teachers, choirs and bands as well as composers and arrangers.

Prices: Free

Questions to solve

There are a number of things to look for when selecting a music editor…
DAW’s & Notation Editors – Compatible / Differences…

Want a better sound more suited to the sound in your mind…can a guitar synth plug-in generate the sound?

What is the ultimate composing set-up? – DAW’s, Plug-ins &/or Notation Editors?

Are DAW’s taking over the role a Notation Editor provides…?

Choosing your method

Learning guitar takes time and a lot of dedication. Enthusiasm can fluctuate especially when you arrive at a plateau and feel you are not improving. Guitar lessons can be expensive but on occasions help you develop the next set of skills you were looking for. Another approach could be to implement guitar lesson software, you can get all of the benefits of professional guitar lessons with less of a price tag.

There are a number of different software options available but which one gives you the best value for money, suits your style and teaches what you want to know?

Serious or Fun

Guitar education software products can range from serious learning to learning through a more gaming approach. Teaching hit songs in a dynamic interactive environment may have a place in the learning process but may lack some of the core fundamentals of guitar and music theory than a thorough serious learning course. We’ve tried to sort through some of the main contenders in these categories and highlight what their main features are. RockSmith is not included in this article as it received a review earlier but is very much one of the main contenders.

Learn Guitar with Apps & Gaming Software

Coach Guitar

CoachGuitar shows you how to play popular songs on acoustic guitar with videos and animated fretboard. No music theory, no tablature, no guitar chords, you can learn to play guitar following a simple video tutorial system and color coded fingering chart. Whilst this app is free the songs taught will cost $3.00 each.


Animated colored fretboard.
HD Videos.
Left or Right handed.
Step by step lessons.
Complete version of songs.
Backing track with voice.
Slowmotion / Loop Player.
Free lessons included.

System Requirements

iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Approx Price: Free to install –
purchase songs at $3.00 / £2.00 / 20kr

Guitar Apprentice

Guitar Apprentice enables a user to play a “real” guitar along with an onscreen chart that updates in real-time, it’s format is very similar to and obviously influenced by video games like Guitar Hero.

The Gisbson website feature a number of Guitar Apprentice videos – where you can get the idea of what it is all about.


Each song has 15 levels, beginning simply and increasing in difficulty with the increase in level. At the final level, a player is playing each chord contained in the song.
Using this software will cover guitar basics, tuning your guitar, how to use a pick
and other playing essentials.
Further skills taught include;
How to get the right tone for a song
Using the right effects and pedals
Alternate tunings
Slides and bends
Hammer-ons, pull-offs, and tapping
Palm mutes and using the Whammy bar

System Requirements

Broadband Internet
1.5 GHz processor or bigger
1 GB RAM or more
Available for PC, Mac, and mobile devices like the IPod, ITouch, and IPad.

Approx Price:
Purchase songs at $9.99 / £6.15 / 65kr

Rock Band

The series built on a strong foundation of local 4-player guitar, bass, drum, and vocal action, letting players live out their rock fantasies. The Rock Band franchise has gone on to sell over 18 million units worldwide and over 130 million individual song downloads, adding new fans and features along the way, including real-life pro instruments, a collaboration with The Beatles, a devoted UGC community for Rock Band Network, and a music library totaling over 4,000 songs.


Designed exclusively for the Rock Band 3 Pro mode, the Squier by Fender Stratocaster guitar and controller allows players to play the actual notes and chords of their favorite songs. Compatible with PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii For wide-ranging use. (Requires Rock Band 3 MIDI PRO-Adapter – Sold Separately)
Agathis wood body with polyester finish, 22-fret maple neck with polymer fingerboard and position-sensing electronics. Enclosed tuners. Custom bridge pickup. Custom truss rod. 1/4″ output jack.
Standard 5-pin MIDI output jack, compatible with MIDI recording software.

System Requirements

Xbox or PlayStation
Midi adapter

The Guitar: Fender Squier plus the required MIDI adapter – over $300 / £185 / 1955kr

Approx Price: Purchase DVD’s for $15.00 / £9.20 / 98kr…

Riff Station

The ultimate practice app for guitarists and musicians, load your favorite songs and unlock the fundamental structure of the song isolate parts and play along. Riffstation is what happens when software developers who play guitar decide to build the ultimate guitar app. Utilizing audio DSP to bring you the most awesome guitar app available today. It’s easy to use and there are some interesting possibilities with this software.


Get Guitar Chords For Any Song.
Chord Diagrams Synced With Your Music.
Change Key and Practice at Your Own Speed.
Practice Songs in Any Key.
Loop Riffs With Perfect Timing.
Transcribe Guitar Parts Easily.
Isolate the Guitar and Learn From the Masters.
Mute the Guitar and Play With Your Favorite Bands.

System Requirements

Windows XP & Vista, Windows 7 & 8
Mac OSX 10.6 and Higher – 64 Bit only

Approx Price: $54.00 / £33 / 350kr

Serious Learning Software

Guitar Pro 6

Guitar Pro is a musical software program offering all of the functionalism that all guitarists need.An innovative learning tool created by Arobas Music, is just one example of the many products out there designed to help people progress with their music, without the help of a traditional music school or teacher.


Edit, visualize, and share your scores.
Learn to play or improve your technique.
Accompany yourself by creating the instrumental tracks of your choice.
Enjoy a series of essential tools: scale-validating tool, tuner, metronome, guitar fretboard.

System Requirements

Administrator’s rights for installation, Internet connection for activation
Intel Pentium 4 type processor
Sound card – DVD-ROM drive
256 MB free HD space
Screen resolution 1024 x 768

Approx Price: $80 / £50 / 530kr

Guitar Method

Produced by eMedia, Guitar Method is one of the more highly rated guitar software education options. It includes over 70 songs and 165 lessons featuring Kevin Garry Ph.D. as the instructor.This program comes with a large amount of tools such as a digital recorder and an electronic chord dictionary that can aid the learning curve more effectively. From beginner to progressive guitarist this package has something to offer from it’s extensive amount of lessons it can teach new techniques and chord combinations.


Fully scalable lesson screens
70+ songs covering rock, blues, classical, country and folk genres
Music notation display options
More than 50 full motion videos with a full-screen viewing option
Interactive feedback for melodies
Animated fretboard displays fingering positions as the music plays
Variable-speed MIDI slows down the audio to any tempo
165 Step-by-Step Lessons
Automatic tuner allows you to play into your computer’s microphone and immediately get feedback to see if you’re too high or too low.
Chord dictionary with fingering charts and recorded sounds for over 250 chords.
Digital metronome allows you to set your own tempo and work on your picking speed, rhythm and timing.
Digital recorder allows you to compare your recordings with the instructor’s version, fine tune your skills and store musical ideas.

System Requirements

Sound card
VGA+ display
16 MB of free RAM

Approx Price: $50 / £30 / 310kr

Guitar Coach Deluxe

Guitar Coach Deluxe incorporates features such as an animated fretboard and recording tools, it includes a Chord Miner Professional that catalogues over 7000 chords and 41 chord types in every key. You can also build your own chord progressions, download chord sets and print arrangements. Guitar Coach contains 6 different modules it is possible to download each module individually or purchase the whole collection by mail order.No left hand facility, PC only.


6 CD-ROMs containing lots of content to help you learn.
Each lesson covers a different aspect of guitar playing.
Full screen videos to help you learn new songs.
Download lessons individually ($12.50) or purchase the whole collection ($50.00)
Start from the basics of strumming techniques and chord fingerings.
40+ interactive guitar lessons.
30+ professional instructional videos with full-screen & slow-motion.
Practice tools, including variable-speed backing tracks & repetition loops.
Animated, variable-speed fretboard and strum hand to check fingering and accuracy.
Audio accompaniment to build ensemble performance skills.
Practice loops to help you perfect difficult passages.
Recording capability so that you can hear yourself playing with the backing tracks and track progress.
60+ full-screen practice videos with adjustable speed.
7000+ chords with multiple voicings of 41 chord types in every key.

System Requirements

PC only
8x CD-ROM drive
120MB of hard drive space
64MB of RAM
16 bit sound blaster compatible sound card
Internet connection preferred for product activation

Approx Price: $50 / £30 / 310kr

Teach Yourself to Play Guitar

This guitar lesson software is based on the bestselling book, Alfred’s Teach Yourself to Play Guitar and teaches both acoustic and electric guitar lessons with interactive video clips. Although this program teaches all of the basics such as reading music notation and tablature, chords and scales it does not include rhythm lessons or have the ability to run repetitive loops.This software excels in the area of visual instruction where the combination of an animated fretboard and full motion video gives visual learners everything they need to learn to play the guitar.


336-page Essential Dictionary of Music.
Over 60 songs covering blues, country, folk, jazz & heavy metal.
Learn to read standard music notation and TAB.
Perform songs in a variety of styles, and play chords, scales and cool licks on either acoustic or electric guitar.
Exercises to reinforce your technique as you follow along with music right on your screen.
Interactive song player lets you change tempos, adjust audio levels, and record your performance.
Videos of an instructor teaching and clearly demonstrating lessons.
Bonus games reinforce concepts taught in the method.
Customizable ear training program gives you the tools to play any song you hear.
Interactive guitar tuner keeps you in perfect tune.

System Requirements

640 x 480, 16-bit color display
8x CD-ROM drive

Approx Price: $32 / £21 / 210kr

Gibson Learn and Master Guitar

This set of 20 DVDs, 5 CDs and a 100+ page book sets out a comprehensive learning guide. The set of 20 DVDs which contain the video lessons that as you follow you will build up a complete and well rounded knowledge of playing guitar. The lessons cover everything from the basics of guitar maintenance through to the important steps of learning to play from both tablature and music notation, to advanced technique and developing your own unique playing style.


20 professionally produced DVDs
Lessons divided into 20 sessions covering a huge range of playing styles, techniques and theory.
5 Jam Along CDs
Advanced training in all popular playing styles
100+ page lesson book
Free student support site.

System Requirements

640 x 480, 16-bit color display
8x CD-ROM drive

Approx Price: $249 / £150 / 1600kr

Rocksmith is owned by Ubisoft who is a French multinational video game developer and publisher, headquartered in Montreuil-sous-Bois, France. The company has a worldwide presence with 29 studios in 19 countries and has further subsidiaries in 26 countries. It is currently the third largest independent game publisher in the world, as well as in Europe and the United States. This is a big business enterprise but how does their guitar education software perform? In actuality is it something that can really help aspiring guitarists on their way? Is it better than Guitar Apprentice another contender in guitar music video education software and are either of these better options than the more conventional serious music software?

Ubisoft says that the game offers “the fastest way to learn guitar” and, while that claim is impossible to test, what’s clear is that with the right mix of talent, dexterity and dedication, Rocksmith 2014 will make a musician of you. Skills learned from this program could help an aspiring guitarist develop their playing ability onto the next stage.

The software expertly models numerous amps and effects pedals to recreate the specific guitar tones featured on six decades’ worth of tracks. If Rocksmith is not set up correctly it can suffer from a lot of lag which is the time taken between striking a note on the guitar and the output being played on screen and through your speakers. It is not sufficient to use the HDMI cable for both video and audio output but by splitting the audio signal through a separate amplifier reduces lag to an acceptable level. Ensuring minimal lag is of paramount importance. See this set-up guide Optimize Your Audio Setup

Rocksmith 2014 presents more than 50 tracks, which can be sorted after a decade or a category. Once a song is selected and you begin to play you are tasked with playing a small handful of notes, as you continue the software will introduce more notes adapting to the complexity of your skill level. Notes travel down a stave in the Guitar Hero style, but with six different coloured strings and a camera that whizzes up and down the on-screen depiction of a guitar neck, it can take a while before sight-reading becomes instantaneous. Once mastered, however, the notation reveals several benefits over standard guitar tablature: sustained notes are drawn with lines as long as the note must be held; vibrato is expressed with a wobbly mark while bends are shown as physical curves.

There is a full range of Marshall and Orange amplifiers, speakers and an assorted range of effects pedals can be used to create your own guitar sounds which can, in turn, be used elsewhere in the game. One of the useful features is ‘Session Mode’ which allows you to select a particular style of drummer, bassist and keyboard player, set a key and a musical style and play over the top of the virtual band’s backing. The band (who seem to be at their most comfortable with the 12-bar blues) will even follow your lead in terms of their energy and volume.

Rocksmith 2014 sits somewhere between instructional software and rhythm action game. Improvements have been made from the initial release with the Riff Repeater and the inclusion of Session Mode proving invaluable. Serious guitar players may be better served by more serious software such as Guitar Pro, Guitar Method and Guitar Coach but those looking for a softer, more approachable tutor will find great value in the game.

Ubisoft has done a great job balancing the game and educational elements to keep things interesting while also helping you learn.

Rocksmith website