The guitar is a surprisingly versatile and complex instrument. Rock stars make it look so easy, but when you get your hands on the guitar, you discover just how difficult this instrument really is. In the past, the only way to receive personalized instruction was through private lessons, but today, guitar learning software will listen to you play and critique your abilities in real time. Thanks to guitar lesson software, you can start learning the basic techniques and theory behind this complex instrument.
The best guitar software programs offer a range of theoretical lessons that give you a strong foundation and then give you the songs and practice tools you need to master the techniques. We prefer software that allows you to plug your guitar into your computer or uses your webcam microphone to listen as you play. This way, you'll get real-time feedback while you play. We also look for several basic features: a built-in tuner, metronome, chord dictionary and glossary.
Be sure to browse our reviews of the best guitar teaching software – Rocksmith 2014, eMedia Guitar Method v5 and eMedia Rock Guitar for Dummies. We also offer articles about guitar lesson software to help you in your buying decision.
Guitar teaching software should offer lessons for beginner, intermediate and advanced players. The software should have enjoyable lessons, progress tracking, familiar songs and computerized tools. We looked for the following criteria when testing guitar practice software.
The best guitar lesson software offers a variety of lessons that cover important skills. You should look for software with the basics, like explanations about types of guitars, tips for stringing and tuning your guitar, and visuals for hand positions and using a pick. However, you won't get far with only the basics, so make sure the software includes advanced lessons, including scales, hammer-ons and improvisation. The lessons need to help beginners pick up their first guitars and guide them all the way to their first concerts.
As music teachers often say, practice makes permanent, so it's important that you have the practice tools that will encourage you to use your guitar often and stop you from picking up bad habits. Look for software with an animated fretboard, tempo adjustment, interactive games and music tracking.
Although you may not adjust the settings more than once, it's important that the software caters to your needs. Look for software with video and audio resources, a wide selection of songs, and right- and left-handed views. Make sure there is a chord library and term glossary with a simple search function. You might not use all of the tools, but it's always better to have them and not need them than vice versa.
Ease of Use
A program may cover every lesson you could possibly need, but if you can't find those lessons, you'll never use the software. We look for guitar learning software with intuitive design and strong resources to help you navigate the various lessons and features.
Help & Support
Should you need help with your software, it's important to have options. We look for software with built-in tutorials and manuals. We trust the companies that offer tech support by email and phone.
Guitar lesson software can take you from a guitar fan to a guitar player for a fraction of the cost of professional lessons, and we'll help you find the best programs to help you reach your potential as a guitarist.