Apps to help guitar beginners

Publish date: 2022-06-06

As a beginner guitarist, I'm always looking for smartphone apps that can help me out. I've compiled a small list of the apps I am currently using on my smartphone. I specifically avoid ones that have monthly fees, so you won't see some of the more popular guitar apps here. Some of the apps are also available for iOS Apple devices but as I have a Google Pixel phone, only the Android app links will be included.

To start off, my favourite app is not really meant to be used without the associate hardware, a smart practice amp. I felt I needed to include this because I think the Positive Grid Spark Amp is a brilliant product for those that are starting out and don't want to spend a lot on an amp or pedals.

App: Spark Amp (for selecting amp heads and effect pedals)

This one is really for those of you that own the Spark amp, although you can download the app and run it without connecting to an amp via bluetooth if you want to check out all the cool features. It lets you select from a large variety of amp heads and effects pedals. You can look up songs on youtube and the app will try to work out the chords for you. It also has a "smart jam" feature which I haven't really tried yet. Once you have all your settings selected, you can upload them to their sound cloud. There you can see all the other settings that people have uploaded and download them to try out. Need to sound like Slash playing Sweet Child Of Mine? Just search for it and download... and you are instantly setup with correct amp head and pedals to get the correct sound. I really can't stress how amazing this smart amp and app is to keep the beginner engaged.

App: Songsterr (for looking up song tabs)

Usually has fairly accurate tabs for most of the songs I've looked up. If you get the paid version, you also get the ability to slow down the tempo, repeat selected sections, or isolate instrument tracks. I use this app almost every day.

App: Loopz (for a backing drum beat)

Forget about using a boring metronome to keep in time. This app contains a variety of drum beats in different styles and time signatures. You can also adjust the BPM to your liking.

App: Universal Tuner (for tuning your strings)

After trying out several tuning apps, I settled on this one. It uses your phones mic to listen as you play each string and seems to be really accurate. It shows you not only the note you are playing, but at what octave. Great for standard tuning and alternate tunings.

App: ChordBank (for looking up chord shapes)

Good reference for when you can't remember a certain chord shape. The free version comes with commonly used chords, while the paid version unlocks all the rest.

App: Guitar Scales & Patterns (for looking up scale patterns)

Another good reference app that shows scales patterns for all modes at all positions on the fretboard.

App: Fretboard Learn (for memorizing note positions on the fretboard)

This one contains a few simple games that enable you to memorize the note positions. You can set which string or strings you wish to work on and at what position range on the neck. Also good to use just as a quick fretboard reference.

App: Guitar Tabs X (for jotting down music ideas)

Quickly create and save tabs when inspiration strikes you.

As I said initially, I am always looking for more apps. If you have any suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact me or leave a comment!

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