Play Guitar Hits Review
Summary of Our Favorite Features
Here are our favorite features of this interactive app:
- Customizable. The interactive tutorial that goes beyond a simple tab is where this app excels. You have an actual video lesson that goes along to a synced interactive tab.
- Professional videos. The example videos are clear and allow you to follow along with both the chords, the fretboard, and the picking hand. The videos are usually divided into two sections. The left side will show the picking hand, while the right side is the video of the fretting hand. Once again, you can customize this to fit your needs. You can choose to watch only the fret hand, the picking hand, or just the tabs.
- Tempo control. With the option to increase or decrease the speed of the video and the lesson, it makes it easier for beginners to nail down the tricky parts of the songs. Over time, you can slowly increase your tempo until you have mastered the song.
- Sheet Music Choices. Everyone learns differently. Play Guitar Hits understands that and gives its users four different types of sheet music: tablature, standard staff, slash staff, and fretboard. As a beginner, standard tablatures or the fretboard view might be the simplest options for you. Standard notation is also a perfect way for any beginner to figure out how to read notes.
- Simplicity. It’s so simple even a child could pick up a guitar and start jamming along.
What Is Play Guitar Hits?
Play Guitar Hits is a new app (released in 2019) that helps make learning guitar easy. You can learn at your own pace as the app teaches you how to play popular songs like Wonderwall, Stand by Me, Summertime Sadness, Image, Back in Black, Hysteria, and dozens more.
It’s now available on both the Google Play Store for Android users and Apple’s App Store for iPhone users. You can also choose to use the app on your phone or a tablet. I would recommend you try it out on a tablet; the bigger screen makes it easy to keep track of the videos and chords.
The app is free to download, but you can upgrade if you want access to the full collection of songs, which are available for both acoustic and electric guitars in a multitude of musical genres. With songs ranging from beginner all the way to hard, you are sure to find the right skill level for your (hopefully) growing talents.
The app comes with a pretty clear interface that’s rather easy to figure out. The collection of songs is easy to filter, and there is a special search that assists you in finding what you need. Here are some of the other main features of the app.
Individual Lessons on Songs
It’s not only about the songs but the individual lessons for these songs. For example, each song might have different levels of difficulty based on your skill level or what part of the song you want to play.
As you can see here, “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry is available at a beginner, easy, and hard level. You can also choose between learning the rhythm portion of the song or the solo part.
Next to the “rhythm” or “solo” label, we have the lesson’s difficulty level. All the lessons are labeled either as beginner, easy, medium, or hard. When you search for the song or just want to look for a new one, it’s pretty easy to scroll up and down and find what you need.
When you come up with a song that you want to learn, and whether it’s rhythm or lead section, just tap on it, and a new window will open. There will be an option to download the interactive tutorial to your device. Luckily, this doesn’t take up a ton of space on your phone, and you can delete any songs you have mastered if you are running out of space.
Additional Options To Customize Your Experience
On the right-hand side, there’s an icon for additional options in the song lesson window. When you click on this particular icon, you get audio settings, metronome volume, and even the video type.
First, the audio settings have two sliders for backing track volume and guitar volume, while the metronome volume determines the intensity of the sound of a ticking beat to keep you on track with your chords as your practice. Then within the video type section, there are options to choose whether you want to see the left or the right hand in the video, as well as the option to have both. You can play around with the settings to discover which is right for your learning style.
Put The Songs On Loop
Just hold down your device’s screen, and you’ll get an option to select the section that you want, and the app will only play that part. Then select the loop icon, and the section will loop indefinitely. This is yet another feature that helps you nail a tricky bit of finger work if you need the extra help. Of course, all of these functions work along with the video, and you’ll be able to see what’s going on in perfect sync.
It’s also worth noting that each song lesson is divided into several parts, giving you the option of playing just one part or the entire song. Of course, this all goes for any lesson, both solo and rhythm, and for any difficulty level.
That’s one of the biggest drawbacks of the app; because it is so new, the library of songs is more limited than other apps. However, the Play Guitar Hits app developers are constantly working on adding new songs and difficulty levels, so you’ll still be able to find fresh material.
Some of the popular songs include:
- Knocking on Heaven’s Door by Bob Dylan
- Let It Be by The Beatles
- Like a Hobo by Charlie Winson
- Like a Rollingstone by Bob Dylan
- Losing My Religion by REM
- No Woman No Cry by Bob Marley
- Rolling in the Deep by Adele
- Should I Stay Should I Go by The Clash
- Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin
- Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day
- We Will Rock You by Queen
- Zombie by The Cranberries
- And many more
We spent a few days testing out the app and trying out a different of the songs to see how easy it is to use and any glitches that pop up (if any).
While we were using it, it surprised us how well the video and sheet music stayed in sync. By tapping the tab and selecting any part of an individual song lesson, the video played exactly how it should. And even when you move it left and right in search of a specific section, the video plays along with it with no lag.
There’s one downside that we think is worth mentioning here. While the loop option is most certainly a great addition to this app, it doesn’t work quite perfectly. At the beginning of each loop, you’ll have a small lag, just enough to notice it. While you can’t play the perfect loop in perfect tempo, it isn’t too big of an annoyance to deter you from checking out this app.
The app, in general, is very customizable, allowing you to set the volume the way you want and nearly all of the features working as intended. The videos are clear with no fuzziness, and the overall quality of the videos is flawless as well. After three days of using the app, we didn’t come across any huge problems or unexpected errors, and we got significantly better at playing the guitar!
Is It Free?
Play Guitar Hits does offer some of its songs for free and at various levels of difficulty. However, if you want to access every song, you will have to pay a small fee.
Do we recommend Play Guitar Hits?
Yes, we do recommend Play Guitar Hits. Over the course of our trial period, we thought the overall function of the app was well-designed and thought-out, making it easy to use. While this app might be better for a beginner, there are still tons of songs available for more intermediate and advanced acoustic or electric guitar players.
Our favorite part of the app is that it helps you to learn how to play music by ear. By mastering this essential skill, you can go on and tackle all of your favorite songs. Overall, we think Play Guitar Hits should be one of your go-to apps if you want to learn how to play the guitar.