Guitar tricks is an app that helps people that want to learn guitar start playing and it has been around much longer than most other learning tools since its creation in 1998. It teaches through the use of in-depth tutorials conducted by a teacher and allows beginners to learn songs pretty much from the get-go. It also offers areas for more experienced guitar players which is something that you don’t see as often in these types of apps.
It has a massive catalogue of tutorials, which separate it from similar apps like Simply Guitar. There are many song lessons available on the app with over 11,000 tutorials and unlike some apps, has a recognisable repertoire of some of the biggest names in music. It includes tablature, notations as well as a progressions system to name just a few of the features on this app.
Guitar Tricks review
To sign up for Guitar Tricks is an easy process, all you have to do is enter an email address. Then you are into the app where you have a couple of options;
- I am a beginner.
- I am more experienced.
- I want to learn songs.
- Gear and Tone.
Under the beginner option, you find two levels called Guitar Fundamentals 1 and 2 that cover the very basics of guitar playing including, how to hold the guitar, the anatomy of the guitar all the way to how to play basic open chords. In the second fundamental section, you learn how to play power chords, scales, barre chords and perfect timing.
To go along with these skills there are also videos on how to use the skills you have learned within different styles of music, for example, blues, pop and rock. Under the more experience options, there is a similar layout to the beginners’ sections, but it deals in more in-depth areas to hone your guitar skills beyond the very basic level. For example, there are lessons on techniques such as picking, string bending, harmonics, palm muting, strumming techniques and trills.
There are also subsequent areas within the advanced category that gives information on tone and gear guides to get the right sound for the style you want to play. The app is far more intricate than I have gone into here but it is laid out in an easy to use fashion that you can look more into if you are interested.
Pros and Cons
Guitar Tricks is a really good app to learn how to play correctly overall but the advanced knowledge of a very experienced guitar player outweighs the content on the site. This isn’t a bad thing, it just means it is only useful to master guitar up until a certain point, but it does a great job of getting you there. Some pros about the app include:
- Detailed courses, that are well structured, engaging and easy to understand.
- It is compatible with different operating systems and can be used in a browser.
- It is decent value for money for what you actually get out of it.
- Has some great song collections that you don’t tend to see with other apps trying to do the same thing.
So what you want to know is how Guitar Tricks lets you down right? Well, overall the app is respectable, the one complaint I have about it is that considering it has been around since the time of dial-up, it could be far better than what it is. Visually it could use a revamp to make it look slicker to keep interested in the app, user wise and it could be a little more smooth in its layout.
Category wise, it is clear, but you can get a little lost if you go further into the available options and as far as I can tell there is no progression system or challenges for you to complete in order to move throughout the courses. Rewarding someone for completing something to a satisfactory capacity would engage users of the app more, and there are apps out there that do that to make it more fun and give you more reason to master something.
Features of the app
Some of the features of the app include, downloadable tablature, a chord and scale finder, a tuner, fretboard trainer and metronome, the features can be found in the ‘Toolbox’ but online on the desktop version. The scale and chord finders are effectively research tools to find out how to play certain things in different ways, which isn’t always easy to do just by Googling so it is always handy to have. It also allows you to listen to the chord you are trying to find in order to compare when you try to play it yourself.
There is a tool called the Jam Station app, within which there is a complete library of all the tracks available on Guitar Tricks that you can jam along to once you become more confident. You can filter the options of a style of music and select different categories to find a style that suits you to play too.
The metronome and tuner are not anything unique just your standard tools for timing and to help tune your guitar. Finally the Fretboard trainer, the name is a bit misleading it is more in the form of a quiz to test your ability to recognise notes on the fretboard. It is a game that displays a picture of a guitar fretboard on screen.
Then it highlights areas and gives you multiple choices to pick from to match what the notes show on the fretboard. You select the correct one, or the one you believe is correct from the options and it gets progressively harder whilst keeping your score. To play this game though you would need to have some idea of how fretboard notes work so it isn’t necessarily suitable for beginners just starting out and although a nice touch isn’t all that helpful.
Is Guitar Tricks free?
You get one lesson in each section for free, and the rest of the content is only accessible by subscription.
Is there a free trial?
Yes, 14-day free trial is available.
Is this app good for beginners?
Yes, It is great for beginners with no previous experience.
Is Guitar Tricks safe?
Yes, it is completely safe and reliable.
Overall the Guitar Tricks app is good, for beginners up to intermediate players, after that, it lapses on more advanced niche guitar techniques. Considering it is one of the oldest guitar educational tools around it is not as great as I thought it would be. It falls short on the in-depth content for advanced players, and although has a lot of areas and topics that it covers, inside these topics themselves there is a lack of complete content for an overall experience into music theory.
However, the layout and categorisation of the skills have to be one of the strongest I have seen with an app of this kind. It helps to get you into learning more quickly than others on the market which is always a plus because most people that want to learn something new what to do it and they want to do it straight away.
This app would be most beneficial for people first starting out up to the lighter side of intermediate play, although the content sounds super-advanced, once you start playing a lot of the stuff will come along naturally the more you practise and you’ll be doing it without even knowing that’s what you are doing. The division of skills into different styles of music again is one of the best I have seen and makes it easy to get into if you just want to learn one style of music starting out such as metal or country.
I would recommend this app because of its beginner content. But if I knew someone that was more advanced than a beginner it wouldn’t be my first choice. It is a really good app for those people that want to learn basic guitar playing skills and it adds new content every week so it is constantly developing. Considering the sheer volume of songs on there I would say it is worth paying £18.49 per month on the deal, solely for the accurate tablature that you can download, something you can’t always find so easy online but it is slightly more expensive than some of the other apps that in my opinion offer more fun and engaging ways to learn especially if you are just starting out.