Simply Guitar is an interactive app to aid you in getting the best outcome when learning how to play. It listens to your guitar playing with the use of your phone or device and gives you real-time feedback as you play. Using this app you will learn or improve your skills on guitar by using video tutorials, and exercises that you can practice to get you on your way.
Beginning with the very basics such as how to hold your guitar and how to tune it, the app advances in stages and allows you to practice each skill such as chords, strumming and picking, developing at your own pace to be in control of your own learning. But just how good is the app itself in comparison to other popular options like Guitar Tricks? That’s what we’ll be looking at today.
Simply Guitar App Review
Simply guitar is excellent for learning guitar, the video tutorials are high quality and easy to understand with on-screen pointers to highlight the strings or areas of the guitar that are being talked about. The teacher is incredibly professional and clear with explanations on how to do things, which is important when you first start playing the guitar.
The app itself is easy to sign up to, you enter an email, link your google profile or Facebook details, enter your name and age and you are into the app and can start your first lesson. The first interactive lesson is how to tune your guitar, there are two videos explaining the process and then in the third part, you actually do what you just learned in order to complete that stage of the course and progress.
This is the general layout for each stage, you learn from the explainer videos and then practice on your guitar, your phone listens and registers your timing, and whether you are doing what is asked of you, if you mess up along the way, the interactive part will start over automatically, or you can start it over yourself by tapping the screen and selecting ‘restart’ then keep going until you get it right.
This is actually how you learn if you weren’t using an app, you don’t generally feel the need to carry on if you mess up whilst playing, you tend to start again naturally and do it over and over until you get it right because that’s the fun in the challenge. At the end of learning to follow the instructor interactively, there is a stage where you put what you have learned into practice along with a song to demonstrate the skills as transferable.
Pros and Cons
One of the problems with guitar tutorials in general that I found when I first started playing was that a lot of videos labelled as ‘Beginner’ felt incomplete. In that, the teacher would rush over certain parts like you were already supposed to understand what they were talking about. Or that they didn’t need to really show you in any depth for you to understand why or how you do a certain thing.
However, the Simply Guitar app really does rectify this feeling because the videos provide a slow, calm environment to really wrap your head around a skill. This is important especially in the beginning because learning guitar can create intense frustration when not knowing how to do something that ultimately leads to people giving up before they really even start properly.
On the flip side of this though, as someone that has played the guitar for years now, I find the fact I have to sit through things I learned already monotonous. Arguably it is good to refresh your skills, but refreshing your skill and sitting through videos about how to hold a guitar and what a string is, is a little less necessary.
On sign up, I selected the option ‘I have played the guitar before so it would be great if this was taken into consideration when providing courses for an experienced person to start with. One other issue I noticed with the app, is that when the device is listening to your playing if you play at a normal guitar playing volume, it doesn’t register.
As an experienced guitar player, I know how to change the volume of my strumming to get certain effects. But this app means you have to strum very loudly in order for it to register what you are playing, which can lead to the app registering it as missed notes when you haven’t actually misplayed.
I tried to correct it by moving my device directly in front of the guitar, I took my phone case off which helped slightly and is in the instruction of one of the videos at the beginning. I still had the problem on occasion, it doesn’t ruin the experience, but it does make it sound strange to anyone that may already understand how a guitar should sound when you are playing.
Features of the app
One of the features of the app, even as part of the free content is a guitar tuner, which is accurate and easy to use. This is helpful because I have tried a lot of tuners in my time playing and some are just plain awful. It also helps you to understand the layout of the guitar and will move you on to the next string automatically when you have hit the correct pitch for a string. So you don’t have to keep going back over it.
It tells you whether your string is ‘Too High’ or ‘Too Low’ so you then know which way to turn the tuning peg because at the beginning this will be slightly confusing to you. I didn’t sign up for the premium courses so this review has been solely based on the free content available to users through the app called Guitar Basics 1 and honestly, it is excellent considering it is free. I have done several of the stages and I am yet to encounter an advertisement or any kind of product placement within the app which is basically non-existent nowadays.
The course tree lays out a progression journey and the courses available as mentioned are well laid out, but you cannot progress without completing a stage with the course, the rest are locked out. Each course has multiple stages, and you complete a stage to move to the next until you reach the end of that particular course, then you progress to the next course in the tree and repeat. The courses being locked out means I cannot just skip the stuff I already know, but it is handy for beginners to stop them from moving on before fully developing that particular skill correctly.
Does the course have a free trial?
It doesn’t have a free trial to the premium access version, for example, 7 days free access to premium. But it is not necessary as the free version is actually incredibly comprehensive.
Is it safe to use?
The app requires access to the microphone of your device but otherwise is safe in regards to access to information because it has privacy and data laws it is required to adhere to.
What kind of Guitar can I use with the app to learn?
You can use any 6-string guitar including Acoustic, electric, electric/acoustic or classical.
The app doesn’t register the sound when I play, how do I fix this?
1. Open ‘Settings’ on your device
2. Select ‘Microphone’
3. Tap the Simply Guitar app and select ‘allow access to microphone’
The Simply Guitar app is simply ingenious, it allows users a step by step journey to the world of guitar that frankly just wasn’t available when I and many others started learning. I would recommend it to any new player because it will help keep you on track of what you have learned and what you need to learn, stop bad habits that you pick up in the beginning, but you don’t realise until much later and have to retrain yourself.
As well as helping you understand the theory behind guitar which is something that is hard to find when you teach yourself using YouTube tutorials. The free content is comprehensive enough that you can test it out and see if it is something you will stick to before deciding if you want to access the premium content.
The free stuff is design in a way that you don’t miss anything until you progress beyond Guitar Basics 1 and then if you like what you have experienced you can swap to a Premium Membership Subscription are billed at £12.99 per month, £8.49 for 3 months or £6.49 for 12 months billed in a 12-month cycle at £76.99. This app is definitely worth the money and continues to grow its courses all the time so you can constantly develop your skills.