Wouldn’t it be great if learning a musical instrument was as fun and addictive as playing a video game or dickering around with your phone? Now it is, thanks to Rock Prodigy, an app that teaches you to play guitar. It’s like Guitar Hero, but with real guitars.
Rock Prodigy guides you through lessons and listens to your efforts, giving feedback just like a real teacher. It works with acoustic and electric guitars (acoustics don’t need to be plugged in), and runs on both the iPhone and the iPad. It even integrates with iOS’s Game Center to keep score of how you do.
Once you have tuned up (there’s a built-in tuner) the fun starts. A teacher’s voice guides you, and then numbers start moving down a virtual fretboard, just like Guitar Hero, and you have to pluck the right note on the right string whilst keeping time. Basic lessons come with the app, but for anything more advanced you’ll need to start paying (the app itself is free). An in-app store lets you buy songs, chords and scales to learn. Prices go from free through 99 cents up to $2. This could add up, but is still cheaper than paying a real teacher.
If you’re learning the guitar, and you can get past the chintzy, Lawnmower Man-style interface, you should check it out. It’s almost as much fun as playing a video game.