Funkydog guitar lessons blog
Tips, practice tools and advice to help you get learning guitar fast
There are so many websites, apps and resources out there to help musicians get better but it can be overwhelming to find out which ones are useful. I’ve put 7 free tools together which I’ve found useful when I’m teaching guitar lessons or practising at home.
1. GuitarTuna app
This is a great, simple app that’s available on all devices. When you play a string on the guitar, it’ll recognise whether you need to tune the string up or down and it’ll let you know when you’ve got it in tune. It’s a bit harder to use for different tunings but overall, it’s a great free app.
If you’ve ever used Garageband you’ll recognise this type of program. Bandlab is an online DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and you can create your own music using loops that you can easily drag and drop and put together. Bandlab is an intuitive program and within a short amount of time, you can compose your own piece of music. There are apps that you can download for free as well which works on most smartphones and tablets.
When your becoming more confident with your guitar ability, you can even buy an iRig which allows you to record directly into your phone or tablet. Then you can really get going with creating music.
Other similar sites are www.soundation.com and www.soundtrap.com
3. YouTube playback speed button
If you’ve ever tried to learn a song by ear you’ll know how frustrating it is when you can’t quite hear exactly what’s going on in the song and you can’t quite pick it out. Well, if you’re using YouTube you can click the settings button at the bottom left of the video you’re watching and click playback speed. You can slow the song down to 50%, 75% or a custom speed. This was a game changer for me and saved me a ton of time. Try it out if you haven’t already!
Ultimate guitar has been around for years. It is a massive collection of tabs or tablature (see my earlier blog for more information about how to read tabs) that users upload to the website. You can find tabs for almost any song that you can think of. A word of warning though, there can be mistakes (sometimes A LOT) in the tabs that people upload. Check the comments and reviews before using a particular tab.
If you’re wanting to know more about music theory, or maybe you need to know more for an exam or your school work then this is a great website. The website gives you lessons and exercises all for free. It’s easy to use and then exercises are totally customisable so you can make it as hard as you want.
Little Kids Rock is a music education charity based in the US. There are so many free resources on this website to help children learn any instrument or music technology. There are lessons, tools and videos which are really engaging and set at difficulty levels. I’ve used their resources in schools before and it’s always gone down well.
7. Google Metronome
As a musician, it’s essential to learn how to get used to playing with a metronome. You might be able to play that incredible guitar solo note for note but if you can’t play it in time, it’s not going to sound great. I always use a metronome when I’m teaching guitar lessons in Nottingham or practising at home. There are a ton of metronome apps and websites out there but it’s simple enough to just type metronome intro Google and it comes up straight away with no hassle. Simple, free and easy to use.
So, that’s 7 free tools to help you become a better musician. There are so many free resources, apps and websites out there so if you know any more great ones that I’ve missed, comment below!
Guitar teacher in Nottingham. Owner of FunkyDog Lessons.