Music + Tech Special: Guitar Lessons

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If you’re a beginning songwriter or guitar player, or seasoned pro looking to expand your skills or just manage your creative workflow, this app can help.

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Fender Play


Fender is famous for a lot of things, but primarily for its guitars. So it only makes sense that, in the era of Skype and YouTube lessons, Fender would offer an online instructional tool for learning to play the six-string. Fender Play is a guitar lessons web platform and iOS app that provides visual, bite-sized tutorials for players at various skill levels, including beginners. New users can sign up for a free, 30-day trial at the Fender Play website, and pay $9.99 per month to keep learning after the trial. While this isn’t Fender’s first digital guitar tool (others include Riffstation, which displays chord tabs for your favorite songs, and a guitar tuner app), it’s the company’s first product designed with introductory-level players in mind.

Fender Play is a video-centric learning platform that eschews traditional theory-based lessons in favor of instructor-guided videos. “Ninety percent of people who pick up the guitar will drop out after one year, and we see Fender Play as a solution to that challenge,” says Ethan Kaplan, General Manager for Fender Digital. “Our intuitive platform, whether used on its own or as a practice supplement to in-person lessons, helps first time players and beginners get started. It allows them to learn when, and how, they want to in a digital setting with superior production and accuracy far surpassing your average online lesson video. This is a pinnacle step for Fender Digital as we continue our progression from analog to digital, linking the offline and online experience of playing.”

Courses in these paths focus on a song-based method, teaching foundational core techniques and riffs alongside lessons for recognizable hits from some of music’s most iconic artists and bands, such as U2, the Rolling Stones, Carrie Underwood and more. The program boasts a vast catalog of songs arranged specifically for players at various skill levels. Fender Play allows users to choose the songs and genres they want to learn, putting them in control of their musical journey, and to track their progress, evolution and development in real time as they follow their progression and milestones through a user-friendly dashboard. — RICK MOORE

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