Fender Play is an app designed to help people that want to learn the guitar, it is available for iOS, Android and web browsers. Fender Play is one of many apps on the market to assist with learning an instrument, some other popular apps include Guitar Tricks, Simply Guitar and Jam Play.
Using an app to learn an instrument has become an easy and cheap way to get on your journey, you can basically learn when you want, where you want and as much as you want all using your phone or device. Apps are designed in a much better way to learn from than how I and many others learned pre-app. It seems gone are the days when you learned by using rubbish YouTube video tutorials, watching live versions of songs played by whoever you wanted to learn and squinting through the grainy picture to see what chord they were using.
And thank God, no more trying to learn tablature through guesswork and googling ‘What does X mean?’ You can’t really beat a real teacher, but who has the money for that these days? You tend to progress slower because you don’t get to move on as fast as you would directing your own learning.
But is an app really that much better? I’d say without a doubt if you are beginning to learn because it stops you from giving up as easily. How much better is Fender Play than some of the others on the market like Jam Play though?
Fender Play Review
Fender Play is super easy to log onto the first time you load the app, you are asked what instrument you want to learn and gives you a few options to choose from, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar and Ukulele; for this I chose Acoustic. The app then gives you the option to pick what genre of music you want to start off learning from a choice of fives styles, pop, rock, blues, folk and country; for this option I chose Rock.
Once you have made your choices, you are then taken to a screen that shows five different levels, each level has several courses within them made up with tutorials videos, tablature and theory of music type content. You use these elements to eventually learn songs within the genre you chose as the course progresses as you develop your skills.
Pros and Cons
Fender Play is excellent for anyone that is looking to start learning guitar at a fundamental level. The lessons are comprehensive and well laid out, clear and easy to follow. The outcome of Fender doing this so well means that no matter how quickly or slowly you learn, this app will be beneficial to you when you start learning to play. Both the theory and the practical elements of the app are well balanced giving you a good all-around base to begin your journey with.
Although Fender Play is great for beginners, it, like many other similar apps loses momentum in areas that are for more advanced players. It doesn’t maintain the same level of content for those that are beyond beginner level and this is one of the biggest downfalls of all the apps of this kind. With Fender being such a well-known brand, you would think they would do the advanced portions just as well as the beginners’ portions, maybe even better but it just isn’t the case.
It does help to some extent like in perfecting certain ways of playing like palm muting or fingerpicking, it makes you understand how and why you use these techniques were from something like a YouTube video you wouldn’t really get that level of instruction. Instead of ‘do this, just because,’ Fender Play tells you to do this, how to do this and why you do it in a certain way.
Ultimately, though if you are more advanced this is something you will have picked up already so it acts as more of a refresher than an actual teaching moment. If Fender were to improve their content for advanced players this app would be the perfect tool for everyone, but it just isn’t all the way there yet. Being relatively new on the market though it is understandable why it isn’t as well rounded so maybe in the future this will improve.
Features of the app
The app itself is very simple to use, it is like a much more streamlined version of Guitar Tricks which makes it appealing. Some of the features included in this app are:
- Progression tracking of courses completed – This app is perfect for those teaching themselves guitar, the progress feature helps you see what you have learned and what you still have to learn giving you the motivation to continue playing which is imperative as a beginner.
- 700plus popular/well-known songs to learn – The app allows you to learn the most popular songs so you actually feel like you are achieving something because I can tell you when you learn scales, it just isn’t as satisfying as learning a song you have always wanted to learn. The library has a massive array of songs and organises them into difficulty so you can be realistic about what you can learn.
- Shorter more concise lessons – Fender Play walks you through each song step by step and the lessons aren’t so long you end up getting bored. Each level gets a little more difficult so you don’t get bored because it’s all too easy, there is a challenge constantly.
- Allows you to learn bass and ukulele – This is something I haven’t seen before offered by Fender play. Usually, the apps are based solely around learning a 6 string guitar, but to have these options means that if you feel like the guitar isn’t right for you, you can check out some of the other options.
What instruments can I use on Fender Play?
With Fender Play you can choose between Acoustic, Electric, Bass and Ukulele.
I have never played the guitar before, can I use fender play?
Yes, this app will be excellent for you. You do not require any experience to start your journey on this app.
I am an advanced player, will it be useful to me?
If you want to cover some off gaps then you would most likely find something for you but it is limited in this area.
Is there a free trial?
Yes, there is a 7-day free trial you can use.
This app is great for beginners no doubt about it but if you are more advanced I’d say it really isn’t worth looking into right now because of its limited content for you guys. The lessons for beginners are fun and easy to follow which is always great and the content is comprehensive for the beginners of the guitar world.
When I first started playing I would have loved to have something like this because it would have made learning so much easier. I also may not have snapped my strings out of pure frustration that one time if I had something like this. I would recommend this app to any beginner because ultimately in this area it excels.