Playing the guitar does not have to be a dream that never comes true. Even if you don’t have a real guitar, you can still learn how to play a guitar using an app on your iPhone. Yes, I know that sounds too hard to be true, but it is.
Introducing Coach Guitar. It turns your iPhone into a guitar of sorts by displaying a set of strings on your device. What is really cool is that you can set it up based on whether you are right- or left-handed. A refreshing upgrade to so many app that are blind to lefties.
But I digress…what I really liked about this guitar learning app is that it launches you straight into learning where to place your fingers to create the notes you need. Lessons are based on songs you already know – think “Happy Birthday,” “Hotel California,” and “Diamonds.” There is a wide variety of songs to choose from that come with the app. Once you have mastered those or just want to choose from their in-app purchase library, you can select from an even wider set of choices. Each song for just $3.99.
I am not super musically inclined, so the feature that I really liked was the high definition videos that you can watch of someone playing the tune. You can watch their fingers as they find their placement along the strings and as the pick strikes each string at the right moment. This is shown side by side with the graphical display of strings upon which you play. You even get a pick with the app to strike your strings.
The app has different levels of learning packages for purchase, so if you are not sure of how big an investment you’d initially like to make, then opt for the Beginner level priced at $3.99/month. If you are confident to see this thing through to a more advanced stage, I recommend going straight to the Premier level to take advantage of more videos and songs right away for $7.99/month. Both are much more economical than a music teacher.
I started with the Beginner Pass, because I was in it for some basic instruction. I chose the most simplest of songs to learn from first because I like to start off slow and work my way up at a gradual pace. The videos that go alongside each song made it very easy for me to see what the finger placement would look like and helped me get started. I have to say that the videos were the highlight for me.
Another neat feature in the app is that you can find instructional songs by searching for them in various ways: by title, by artist, by level of difficulty, and more. This way you can get to what you want to play quickly.
The only downside to the app would be accessibility to songs. If you buy the Premium level, you get unlimited access to songs with unlimited time to use them. The Beginner level is not so generous and that, quite frankly, is the level at which people need more time and access to a particular song.
I still like Coach Guitar for what I do get. I couldn’t get this much instruction at this price from a live instructor; and besides, I have no interest in music theory, just in playing the strings.