Guitar Apprentice: Free / $14.95 (monthly catalog access)
There are plenty of video games out right now that can make just about anyone feel like a rock star, but how about one that actually teaches you how to play an instrument? According to its website, Guitar Apprentice“ain’t no video game,” it’s a free application that can be downloaded to a PC or Mac. Instead of a controller, players use their real guitar to play the songs that come up on the screen. There is a free song every week, and a monthly subscription gets you access to the whole catalog.
The application guides players with colors that correspond to their fingers and shows the neck of the guitar on-screen with the chords. The screen setup looks a little bit like “Guitar Hero” except, instead of rocker avatars, there are close-ups on each corner of the screen that show how the chords are being played. Classic songs are featured in the catalog with vocals, but they don’t distract from the chords. Each level allows users to play certain chords, and as they progress to higher levels, they play more of them until the whole song is being played. It takes a few tries and plenty of patience with your finger’s limitations, but once you get the hang of it, the game is a fun teaching tool.
Credit: Guitar Apprentice