3rd January, 2018

How to Learn Guitar: Top Tools You Need To Become A Riff Master

By Rachael S

Whether you're an aspiring riff master, music lover, or wannabe Hendrix, we've found the guitar tools you need to help you as you journey through the sound waves. We've included quality tuners and metronomes for every guitar perfectionist and tools to help you learn basic chords and intuitive practice apps. And treated you to all the top software you'll need when you're feeling like a pretty sweet musician.  

Browse our categories below - and happy jamming! 

Best Guitar Apps and Websites

Best Guitar Software

Best Guitar Tuners and Metronomes

Best Guitar Books

Best Acoustic Guitars

Best Guitar Apps and Websites

Real Guitar

Skill level: All

Description: Real Guitar by Gismart is an app for every guitarist. Professional and amateur guitarists can play and record music or look up for chords on the go, whilst users without any skills can instantly play songs in the guitar game available within the app. We just love the realistic look of the guitar simulator, the wide variety of guitars to choose from, and the HD high quality sound in the app.

Download now: Apple, Android

EarBeater

Skill level: All

Description: Want to become an even better musician? Ear training is essential part of any musical education. There are over 200 individual exercises on the app covering chords, scales and intervals, giving you more freedom to play, learn and improvise. 

Download now: Apple

smartChord

Skill level: All

Description: smartChord is the clever app for all musicians who want more than the 4th chord. The app is clear, offering guidance and support for playing a variety of instruments. Whether guitar, ukulele, banjo, cavaquinho, mandolin or bass, for each instrument, the specific chords, notes and pitch are shown. It is intended both for first-timers looking for basic chords, but also for seasoned pros who want to know "how to play differently, better".

Download now: Android 


Guitar Jam Tracks 

Skill level: Beginner, Intermediate 

Description: A long-standing musician favourite - the reviews really speak for themselves with this intuitive learning app. Guitar Jam Tracks makes memorising scales fun (yes, really!). The perfect practice companion for the modern age of music.  Probably the wisest £5 you'll ever spend as a guitarist. 

Anytune

Skill level: All 

Description: "The ultimate music practice app." With Anytune you can slow down the tempo and isolate the guitar or mute the vocals to help hear every nuance of how it was really played. 

Tune your songs to your guitar and organise your playlists for more efficient practice sessions. Use the loop trainer to start slow and gradually increase the tempo. Plugin and play along with LiveMix and headphones to learn, transcribe and practice anything, anytime and anywhere. The world changed. Anytune - Guitar practice perfected.

Jimi Guitar

Skill level: Beginners

Description: Jimi Guitar has a smart user interface that makes learning chords enjoyable even for non-musicians. The free play mode changes your phone or tablet into a virtual guitar with authentic sounds from acoustic and electric instruments. 

The chord mode lets you play effortlessly various chord progressions, including custom chords from a complete dictionary. The song mode accompanies you while you sing your favourite songs, displaying the chords and lyrics as you play along. Its powerful search engine will find almost any song from the internet. You will also find a handy guitar tuner, a capo, and many other options.

jamTutor

Skill level: Beginner

Description: The jamTutor app paired with the jamstik+ is the only guitar-learning system that can display your finger positions on the screen in real-time, instantly showing you right from wrong. Whether you're learning your first chords or brushing up on your guitar skills with scale practice and speed drills, there is plenty of content for different levels of players! 

The Jamstik+ Smart Guitar is an app-connected portable guitar with sensors in the fretboard that make it a great learning or music creation device. It’s also a MIDI controller, which means it can sound like almost any instrument!

tabs4acoustic

Skill level: All

Website: www.tabs4acoustic.com/en/

Description: A great website for free acoustic guitar tabs and lessons for beginners. There are 66 lessons on T4A to date. Learn to play the Guitar with free courses for all levels, beginners to advanced guitarists. Learn to strum, play chords, go improv and much more.

Other apps: MetronomeTunerChords

GuitarTricks

Skill level: Beginner

Description: Guitar Tricks has grown its comprehensive lesson library to over 11,000 lessons, and over 700 songs, with top-notch instructors from all over the world.

The website has lessons for everyone, whether you’re an absolute beginner learning guitar or an advanced guitar player looking to improve your technique. With lessons that teach you from the ground up covering every genre of guitar, you won’t get bored or lost with repetitive lessons. 

Octavia Music

Description: Keeping music real, from discovery, to nurturing, creating, writing, recording, promotion, management, distribution and merchandising - Octavia Multimedia Group offer a One Stop Shop for the Music Industry.

Their aim is to provide a platform to make music, writing, creativity and everything to do with the music industry more consistent, whereby the young generation can rely on it for their future to support their lives.

Guitar Teachers and Tuition

Skill Level: All

Description: There are thousands of proficient guitarists across the country offering online and face to face guitar tuition, who are able to cater their style of teaching perfectly to fit your needs. Guitar tuition is particularly effective for people of all ages who struggle to get the hang of the instrument, or want to become musical maestros in a short period of time. 

TrueFire

Access over 30,000 interactive video tutorials in TrueFire's library, covering a range of styles, teaching different techniques at all levels. You can access the material available anytime, anywhere, on any device (desktop, mobile, and streaming). TrueFire's team is passionate about music education and has a broad marketing and technology expertise that has earned them over 70 international creative, marketing, video and technology awards.

Best Guitar Software

n-Track Studio 

Skill level: Intermediate, Seasoned pro 

Description: n-Track Studio is a music recording app for all major desktop and mobile platforms. There’s a version for your iPhone or iPad, your Android device, your Mac and your PC. Musicians love it because it allows them to record audio - as well as play virtual instruments, mix and add effects - easily and immediately, thanks to the intuitive approach offered by the mobile apps. 

Transferring projects to the desktop versions easily lets you develop your recordings into full productions, publish them online and even find other musicians to involve in the process, without the complexity commonly found in other workstations.

Bias FX 

Skill level: Intermediate, Seasoned Pro

The experts over at Positive Grid have been at work for several years, analysing the way guitarists across the world play and record. They've made it their mission to create tools to fully maximise sound quality utilising everything today's technology has to offer.

BIAS FX is their glorious result. Cutting edge software, equipped with the most advanced DSP sound engine with a beautifully designed interface, it’s seamlessly integrated with BIAS Amp Designer. 

Progression 3 - PreSonus

Skill level: Intermediate, Seasoned Pro

Description: A must download for Mac® and Windows® for guitarists with a flare for composing! Progression makes it easy to enter parts and create guitar and bass tab, drum tab, lead sheets, and standard sheet music with ease. You can even apply effects, add audio, mix and listen to your masterpiece played back with awesome samples from international artists. 

Progression’s ease of use and great sounds make composing more fun than ever! The team at PreSonus are constantly designing, testing, and experimenting with ideas for new products. They are truly passionate about music and it really shows in their software.

AmpliTube 4

Skill level: Intermediate, Seasoned Pro

Description: A guitar and bass tone studio for both Mac and PC, working intuitively as a stand-alone recording studio or with your preferred DAW.  

The software recreates the entire guitar/bass signal chain from instrument to recording device with an awesome realistic flare. Indeed, with the 3D room, speaker and extended microphone modelling, it'll be the best money you'll invest in music this year. 

Best Guitar Tuners and Metronomes

Kliq UberTuner

Description:The KLIQ UberTuner was built with an emphasis on getting you in tune fast, accurately, and without you having to squint. The display on this versatile clip-on tuner is bright and colourful so you won’t have any issue tuning your instrument on a dimly lit stage, or in daylight.


Yamaha ME-55BE Clip-on Metronome 

Skill Level: All

Description: The Yamaha ME-55BE clip-on metronome can attach to a music stand or clothing and offers plenty of volume and a simple, one-button-per-function operation. A perfect hands-free tool to make your music sound truly mesmerising. 


JOYO JMT-9009B Backlit Metro-Tuner

Skill Level: All

Description: This accurate backlit metro-tuner is perfect for guitar, bass, violin and ukulele. With a stylish minimalist design, tuner products pick up your instrument's string frequency based on the vibration made when you pluck the string. A must have purchase for any aspiring guitarist!


Best Guitar Books

Total Guitar: How to Play Guitar 

Skill level: Beginner

Description: If you're wanting a book to take you on a journey from the very beginning of your guitar experience, to guitar mastery that'll make your friends go "ooooo," then you really need to invest in Total Guitars beginner's guide. Possibly the coolest front cover of a guitar teaching book we've seen - we definitely advise you to judge this book by it's cover. 

Written by the experts at Future Publishing, How to Play Guitar includes hundreds of diagrams and step-by-step exercises, help and advice, and even quotes from some of the great contemporary guitarists.

Guitar Aerobics: A 52-Week, One-lick-per-day Workout Program for Developing, Improving and Maintaining Guitar Technique

Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate 

Description: It's certainly not easy to just pick up a guitar and start strumming, despite how easy it may appear. Guitar Aerobics is from the former editor of Guitar One magazine, and contains enough content to take you guide you through a full year of practice. 

There's plenty of great exercises that help cover a range of styles including rock, blues, jazz, metal, country, and funk; incorporating techniques from alternate picking, arpeggios, sweep picking and rhythm guitar. 

Best Acoustic Guitars

Fender CD-60S

Price: £175

Description: By far the most popular budget acoustic guitar on the market, the Fender CD-60S is a perfect guitar for beginners and more advanced players alike. Easy to play with a fantastic sound that suits all styles, it's a safe choice for anyone looking for a guitar for learning, song writing and recording. Find out more!

Takamine GN20-NS

Price: £249

Description: Takamine is a name that has been seen everywhere from classrooms to stadium concerts. In the world of acoustic guitars, the Japanese brand has been highly rated and revered since the 70s. The GN20-NS is a perfect guitar for players who are looking for outstanding value for money. The smaller sized body lends it a brighter tone, ideal if you like finger picking styles of playing. Find out more! 

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