Looking to pick up a new skill with the extra time on your hands? Follow along for a look at how to learn to play guitar, bass, and ukelele with the Fender Play app on iPhone and iPad, as well as some other options.

Whether you want to pick up a new instrument for the very first time or have dabbled with guitar, bass, or ukelele in the past, Fender Play uses mini lessons to get you playing your favorite songs quickly and start building your skills with how to play chords, strum, and scales with a structured program.

Resources include lessons for both acoustic and electric instruments, a large video library to easily follow along with finger placement, and a rich glossary, progress tracking, and more.

While there are definitely a lot of free resources on YouTube, etc. that can be helpful, Fender Play brings learning guitar, bass, or ukelele together into a seamless experience with a structured curriculum and polished iPhone and iPad app.

How to learn guitar, bass, and ukelele with iPhone and iPad

  1. Download the Fender Play app for iPhone or iPad
  2. Create an account or you can sign up with Facebook
  3. Fender Play offers a free two-week trial to see how you like it (then runs from $8/month)

Fender does a good job with regular updates for the app with new content added weekly. Just last month the app got a fresh design with some handy new features:

Take a look at the NEW design!

We’ve made your learning to play a little easier.

Here’s what’s new:

  • My Path: Clean, clear design makes it easier to jump back in
  • Updated Course Layout: See what you’ll learn at a glance
  • Change Your Path: It’s easy to jump around from rock to pop, guitar to uke — and we’ll save your place

If you want to learn guitar and aren’t sure whether you want to go with acoustic or electric, Fender has some tips for beginners:

Choosing between an electric or acoustic guitar is one of the biggest decisions a new guitarist will make. There are pros and cons to both. While purchasing your first guitar is an investment, remember that learning to play guitar is also an investment — of your time. When deciding between electric or acoustic, think about what style of guitar will make you want to pick it up and practice over the long haul.

Choose acoustic guitar if:

      • Jangly folk, indie rock, or country are your genres of choice.
      • You appreciate the layered tones of chord patterns and rhythmic strumming.
      • Get to know the look, feel, and parts of an acoustic guitar in Acoustic Guitar 101.

Choose electric guitar if:

      • Classic rock, metal, funk, or blues inspire you to plug in and play.
      • You’re in awe of searing licks and string-bending lead guitar solos.

Learn about the anatomy of an electric guitar and more in Electric Guitar 101.

The company also highlights that electric will be easier for beginners:

If you’re logging a lot of practice time, it’s important to be comfortable while playing your guitar. You won’t want to play if you develop pain in your hand or if a guitar feels too heavy for you. Here are some comfort considerations to think about when making your choice.

Finger strength: Beginner guitarists have not yet developed the dexterity more seasoned guitarists build over time. Because acoustic guitar strings have more tension, you have to push down harder. While this can be difficult at first, it can help you build greater finger strength. This can make it easier to transition to an electric guitar.

Hand pain and small hands: Electric guitars have lighter strings and thinner necks. Learning to play on an electric guitar may help minimize hand and finger pain for beginners, particularly those with small hands.

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