Wild Chords – learn to play a real guitar with this fun app

This is more of a guitar playing tutorial than a game.  But it is the type of tutorial that shows what learning with the iPad can be.  They have basically taken the Guitar Hero style gameplay, but mapped it use your own real guitar.

Using the iPad’s microphone, the app listens to your guitar playing and uses that as input to the game.  So you start by tuning your guitar, then you become the guitar equivalent of the Pied Piper, walking down the street, strumming chords, to get the animals to follow you back to the zoo.

A second mode of play is more traditional guitar hero style, where there are six power lines (one for each string on the guitar) that have birds sitting on them.  As your character flies by the birds, he must play that bird’s favorite fret on the appropriate string.  So it’s like reading guitar tablature if you’re familiar with that.  But again, introduced in a fun, friendly manner.

Soon, without you knowing it, you’ve picked up a few chords and improved your finger picking confidence.

This game also encourages the good habit of not looking at your fingers while playing the chords or picking notes.  Since you need to be looking at the iPad to see what chord/note is next.  It can be frustrating a bit at first (as I witnessed first hand), but really helps build up confidence quickly.

When you play, you also feel like you’re part of something bigger, as your notes and chords fit into their soundtrack.  It’s not just you flailing away at the guitar by yourself.  This also helps get you fully engaged in the timing and rhythm of the music.

Full disclosure: our little guy has been going to classical guitar lessons for a year now.  So we already have a 1/2 size guitar and he’s comfortable with his fingering.  Chords are new though. We’ve run it by our teacher and he supports using the app – anything that makes guitar playing more fun and entertaining.

The first levels are free – and cover 4 chords.  Additional levels are in app purchases that you can make when your guitar playing gets advanced enough.  We’re not there yet, but are excited to be trying.
WildChords - Ovelin

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