Guitar Software and Online Resources

In this article I will share with you a listing of guitar related software and online resources that I feel will greatly assist you in learning to play the instrument. I've personally used the following software and would vouch for the quality and stability of the products. I am not affiliated with any of these products so my opinions are based on personal experience.

If you've come across an interesting piece of software that should be listed here, I would be interested in hearing from you to discuss things further.

Software

Guitar Pro 6 - by Arobas Music

I personally LOVE Guitar Pro 6 from Arobas Music (a French company [France, not Quebec] - don't worry, the software is multi-lingual). It's sold for Windows, Mac and Linux.

I have used this product since version 5 and I must say that version 6 takes things to a completely different level. It's amazing and if I had this software when I first started learning to play the guitar, I'd be a rockstar today! OK, maybe not but still, I would highly encourage you to check out the demos online and hear the quality of the software. It's not always convenient to call up your buddies to jam with on short notice, but with this software, you can do just that whenever you wish. Demo Video and Product Details

Guitar Pro 6 enables one to either follow (practice) or create & author music. There are thousands of free .GTP (file format) scores out there, just Google "Guitar Pro Tabs" or "GTP tabs" and you'll be sure to find some. It plays other instruments besides guitars too like piano, drums, horns etc. Seriously, it's like your own personal band in a box.

All this awesomeness is not free however, though a 30-day trial can be downloaded from their web site. The full purchase cost is $59.95 USD or $29.95 USD as an upgrade. As a bonus, you get five install licences to use. However each un-install and re-install counts as one use of the product so use them wisely. You earn back an additional install "life" each year though. What I am getting at is that I have this one piece of software installed on my two computers laptop and desktop) and that is perfectly legal and I still have three install "lives" left. I will get one of those back once a year elapses from the date of install.

If you buy the retail package from a retail store like Futureshop or Best Buy you get a single DVD that contains Windows, Mac and Linux installs. There is nothing else in the box though except air so don't hope for a printed manual. Those come in PDF format from the site. If you download it from their site, you can often save some money through a promotion but the download of the much needed "instrument voices" (RSE packs - realistic sound engine) is HUGE! It doesn't come on a DVD for nothing...

Online Tablature Player/Editor - songsterr.com

Songsterr.com InterfaceSongsterr.com is an excellent Adobe Flash based online tab player with links to thousands of songs in all genres.

It is free to use but for the good features (printing out scores for example or using the online tuner) you need to subscribe to a membership (prices are fairly reasonable however - 3 month access is $29 USD, 6 months is $55 USD and one year is $99 USD). This is a breakdown of the free versus paid membership features and prices.

The image below shows the free interface (real estate wise it is kind of "squished" compared to the paid version - full page) showing the Eric Clapton song I'm Tore Down. It is still QUITE functional still and you can easily learn full songs very quickly. In the full size screenshot I note that there is a very important interface item that is not exactly intuitive that one needs to click on to isolate tracks or specific instruments (lead, rhythm, drums etc.)

Earlier in this article I talked about Guitar Pro 6 and though this is similar in concept it is very stripped down. The audio quality is not in the same ballpark as GP6 either but its still quite decent. Songsterr is MIDI based and not as realistic but it is a very good introduction into the tablature world. For free though, this can't be beat.

I would highly recommend you check it out. Then also check out Guitar Pro 6, you'll see the difference...

Amazing Slow Downer - Roni Music

Amazing Slow Downer InterfaceAmazing Slow Downer enables you to slow down, loop, export and transcribe music without distortion and quality loss (CD, WAV, MP3 etc). It enables me to figure out those hard parts of songs with ease (trial and error - note by note). It lets you export the segments of songs you wish to practice saving an in-point and out-point loop in WAV, MP3 or other audio formats. Amazing Slow Downer costs $52 CAD.

This is a VERY GOOD purchase and I use it often. Well worth the money!

By the way, there is another transcription piece of software out there called Transcribe! from Seventhstring.com and it has matured a lot since I first tried it. In fact it looks really in-depth, perhaps a bit too complicated now but it's price is $50 USD. Screenshot

I went with Amazing Slow Downer instead because of its simplicity, but seeing as Transcribe! has grown up, it might be worth checking out too.

Advanced Fretpro 2

Advanced Fretpro 2Advanced Fretpro 2 - Is FREE ($0) fretboard learning software that allows you to quickly learn chords/scales and the notes on the fretboard in a fun, game like fashion. I love this software because it enables you to concentrate just on one string at a time when memorizing the note locations. Or when you want to challenge yourself, you can turn them all on and blow your mind.

There are over 1000 chord diagrams and scale patterns in the second "tabbed" interface area so be sure to click on that to check it out. I use it all the time to look up alternative fingerings of chords.

It is adware supported but it just links back to their own site. You can see the advertisement at the bottom of the screenshot. It will work offline too however when you don't have Internet access.

GuitarCourses.ws Fretboard Training Software

GuitarCourses.ws Fretboard Training SoftwareGuitarCourses.ws - This is an excellent FREE ($0) fretboard training software package that will assist you in learning scales/chords/note layout using the CAGED method (visual shape diagrams).

It leads you through things step by step in the same way a guitar teacher sitting beside you would do. In fact, you'd pay a guitar teacher several hundred dollars to learn the techniques this software package will teach you.

I'd have to say that this is awesome software and it is something I use quite often for practice or when I want to learn advanced topics.

It too is adware supported but again, it merely links back to its own web site. It also functions fine when you don't have an Internet connection.

Online Guitar Tuner - howtotuneaguitar.org

Online Guitar TunerThis is a very useful and FREE ($0) online guitar tuner that is Adobe Flash based. It also has several alternate tunings which are incredibly useful. You can even select the sound type of the instrument you wish to use to match the type you are using yourself.

There are settings you can adjust to alter note delay, auto advance to the next note and more. It is very well done but you need a web browser and an Internet connection to use it and, as mentioned, the Adobe Flash plug-in installed. However, in a crunch, this tool could come in handy and it sure looks awesome.

Digital Guitar Tuner

Digital Guitar TunerDigital Guitar Tuner - FREE ($0) guitar tuning software. You can use alternative tunings either in MIDI or Fourier formats (through a guitar patch kit or microphone).

The GUI of the interface is terrible (someone got filter happy in Photoshop), but it is extremely simple to use and very accurate, fast and of course free!

If you can get past its ugliness, you'll love it.

Free Metronome Timer

Free Metronome Timer - A FREE ($0) digital metronome for practicing timing. Very easy to use, very well done. Timing is one of the hardest things to be consistent at. A metronome helps you learn this skill.