The top performers in our review are Rocksmith, the Gold Award winner; eMedia Guitar Method, the Silver Award winner; and eMedia Rock Guitar for Dummies, the Bronze Award winner. Here's more on choosing a system to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of our top 10 programs.
The cost and accessibility of in-person guitar lessons can make it difficult to learn to play guitar. Guitar lessons generally cost between $20 and $50 dollars per lesson, and you usually have to travel to your teacher's school or house for your lessons. These reasons alone can keep you from accomplishing your goal of becoming a guitar player. Guitar lesson software is a great alternative to taking private guitar lessons.
There are many advantages to using guitar lesson software to learn how to play guitar. You can take lessons in the comfort of your own home, you can make your own practice schedule and you don't have to pay for each lesson. Guitar lesson software provides an entire curriculum of lessons for the price of a single lesson. They are cost effective and allow you to learn on your terms.
Guitar teaching software combines video tutorials, practice tools, audio files and structured teaching methods to teach you to play guitar. Not all of the guitar programs we reviewed are software, strictly speaking. Some online guitar lessons require you to pay a membership fee to have full access to all the available lessons. After you acquire a membership, you log into the lesson portal from the website. These programs only require an internet connection to use.
Most of the programs include video tutorials that teach you the fundamentals of guitar playing, then allow you to apply them to songs. Practice tools are also available so you can eventually master the technique. The best guitar lesson software is interactive with your playing, providing real-time feedback while you play. This means that the software will show you which notes you played incorrectly so you can see yourself improving. These guitar programs allow you to plug your guitar into the computer using an audio interface or sound card. Other programs use the webcam microphone to listen to you as you play.
For the majority of these online guitar tutorials, you pay a flat price and have the lessons available for download or have the DVDs sent to you. Other programs are subscription based. These guitar tutorials offer both monthly and yearly memberships to access all of the lesson content. The yearly subscriptions to these programs run anywhere from $50 to $80 per year while the monthly subscriptions cost between $5 and $13 per month.
Guitar lesson software should cover a wide range of topics so both beginning and advanced players will find it useful. If you are just starting to play guitar, you'll want a program that teaches you how to play chords, read music and master guitar tablature. If you are more advanced, you'll want software that covers improvising, scales and intervals to help you advance as a player. We ranked the guitar lesson programs according to their curriculum coverage and variety of practice tools that will help you hone your guitar playing skills. If you would like more information on this topic, read other guitar lesson software articles.
You want a program that is going to teach you everything from the bare essentials to more advanced concepts. The software should teach you beginning concepts such as tuning a guitar, playing chords and reading guitar tablature. If you advance through the beginning lessons quickly, you'll want your software to also teach you more advanced concepts such as improvising and scales. A broad curriculum keeps you engaged and pushes you to continue on with your lessons.
An array of practice tools will help you correctly practice the technique and methods that will turn you into a better guitar player. Tempo adjustment can help you build speed and finger dexterity as your hand becomes stronger. You'll also want your program to allow you to loop sections of your lesson. This allows you to repeat difficult sections of your lesson so you can continue practicing it until you get the hang of it.
Musical theory has many concepts and terms to learn and remember. Guitar lesson programs that help you remember these concepts will strengthen your knowledge of music and enhance your guitar skills.
A chord dictionary is where you can find all the hand and finger positions that make up various chords. There are many chords and many different variations of chords on a guitar. It can be difficult to remember the finger placement and name of each chord. The chord dictionary is a helpful resource while you're learning the basics.
A glossary is helpful to have when you hear a term and don't know what the meaning is. For instance, if you were told to play the octave of a note, you wouldn't know what note to play unless you knew what the word octave meant. Learning musical terminology not only enhances your musical theory knowledge – it also helps you improve as a guitar player.
Top Ten Reviews seeks, whenever possible, to evaluate all products and services in hands-on tests that simulate as closely as possible the experiences of a typical consumer. The developers had no input or influence over our reviews. Results of our evaluations were not provided to the companies in advance of publication.
We reviewed a handful of guitar lesson programs to bring you the best alternatives to in-person lessons. All of the programs we reviewed are priced under $80 dollars, which is much more affordable than standard in-person lessons.
Rocksmith is our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner. Rocksmith combines technical learning with gaming to keep students engaged and having fun while learning to play guitar. This software covers all the basics and fundamentals such as chords and reading tablature, but does it in a fun way with video lessons and games to help you improve. You also have all the tools you need to succeed such as tempo adjustment and section looping so you can practice at your pace until you fully grasp a concept. This guitar software is a unique take on standard guitar lessons and encourages you to learn in a fun and interactive way.
eMedia Guitar Method earns our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award. This guitar lesson software features 180 guitar lessons and over 70 songs for you to learn. This program also allows you to print off lessons so you can practice sheet music when you are away from your computer. It features video and audio lessons as well as a chord dictionary and glossary to help you learn musical theory. We found the interface slightly difficult to use compared to Rocksmith, but overall this is a good alternative to standard guitar lessons.
eMedia Rock Guitar for Dummies is our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award winner. This guitar lesson program does not have quite the lesson coverage as Rocksmith or the number of songs and lessons as eMedia Guitar Method does, but it covers the necessities for beginners such as tuning your guitar, basic chords and adjustable tempos to help you practice. This software also provides a chord dictionary, glossary and printouts to help you succeed in your guitar learning adventure.