Iconic guitar-maker Fender is hoping to inspire a whole new generation of guitar players with a new app that aims to teach the instrument by gamifying the learning process.
Fender Play is a subscription-based app from the company, available now, that offers lessons for both acoustic and electric guitar.
For the time being, the app looks to only be available on iOS in the US, though there is a desktop version available that looks to be accesible from the UK.
Users pay $20 a month to access the library of lessons, with Fender promising “quick wins to promote accomplishment and motivation.”
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Fenders’ research has reportedly shown that keeping new players playing beyond the first year is incredibly difficult, and it seems Fender Play is part of a push to keep new guitarists coming back to the instrument.
How does Fender Play hope to compete with the vast amounts of free lessons online? Well, instead of focusing on theory or sight reading, the app aims to teach by using popular songs and high-quality videos.
After teaching users basics, such as tuning, the app immediately launches into a lesson in how to play a specific song.
And Fender is hoping its library of hundreds of licensed songs will be what keeps people playing, with tracks from artists such as Bon Iver, the Rolling Stones, and the National included in the app.
The company has also managed to license songs from Disney, and has integrated lessons on technique and theory into each track’s lesson.
As a result, users’ should get a fairly personalised experience, with the app offering new subscribers the option to go down the rock, pop, country, blues, or folk route when they first fire it up.
Fender Play will also ask you to identify whether you’re on an acoustic or electric guitar, tailoring the subsequent lessons based on these choices.
It seems Fender has also paid close attention to production values, offering clear 4K closeups of specific chords and strumming patterns and generally slick instruction videos.
What’s more, you’ll be able to track your progress with statistics and graphs showing your improvement over time.
At the time of writing, the app doesn’t appear to be available on the Google Play Store in any country, or the App Store in the UK – US users can access the iOS app right now.
However, there is a desktop version of the service, which can be found over at Fender’s site, where there’s also a 30-day free trial offer to be had.
Let us know if you’ll be using Fender Play in the comments.