When I was first sent ChordShaker and read that it was an app to learn guitar chords by placing your fingers on the screen my initial reaction was that I would hate it, it’s not a guitar you should practice on a real guitar! Out of curiosity I opened the app on my iPhone and gave it a try and was pleasantly surprised. Sure it doesn’t feel anything like a real fretboard but imagine this scenario, you’re sitting on the train or bus for your morning commute to work or school and use ChordShaker to memorise chord shapes. Most of what goes into learning chords is having the ability to instantly recall the chord shape with your fingers and knowing which strings to place them on, this is where ChordShaker can help you. What it can’t do is help you actually fret those notes correctly on a real fretboard but at least you won’t have the struggle of trying to remember the chord shapes while you are attempting to make each note ring out perfectly.
Once you have mastered the fingerings of a few chords you can test yourself with one of the 100 included songs which tell you when to change chord and which chord to play as you jam along. You can see a demonstration of this feature in the video above, as you can see you get instant feedback if you haven’t got the correct fingering so that you can make adjustments to place your fingers correctly.
So how much is it?
Well the good news is that ChordShaker is free! Yep, you don’t pay a cent. The only stipulation is that you need an iPhone, sorry Android users. Now for free you get a whole load of songs to jam along to which you unlock as you progress but if you want to access all 100 hit songs there is a VIP access in-app fee of $6.49, obviously this is optional and you can learn plenty of songs with the free version.
ChordShaker has been designed as the first stage in Musopia’s guitar app series, where beginners learn the chords, then progress up to the next stage with the FourChords Guitar Karaoke where you can learn to play over 500 hit songs with easy chords and lyrics. While FourChords is also a free download you do need a subscription to unlock the entire catalogue of songs which starts at $1.99 per month.
Paula Lehto, Musopia CMO said: “Tools like this can make the world of difference to learning an instrument. With over 80% of beginner guitarists quitting within the first 6 months*, we are using mobile technology to make music making more accessible. We designed ChordShaker to make learning guitar fun, rewarding and intuitive, and most importantly, to keep players playing – ChordShaker is the guitar teacher in your pocket.”
ChordShaker is free via the Apple App Store: http://goo.gl/RlMbP8