If you’re anything like me, guitar playing extends way beyond just playing the guitar. It’s very much a culture and way of doing things.
Whether you’re maintaining your guitar, playing guitar, writing music, listening to your favorite rock or metal tunes, or just browsing guitars online, there are plenty of guitar-based activities to keep you occupied throughout the day.
Let’s get gaming…
These activities now commonly include guitar games and applications. Over the years, guitar-based games seem to have faded. However, with mobile phones becoming a larger part of our lives, guitars have also made their way over to the platform.
So, I decided to review some excellent applications and games on different platforms to keep you entertained. Let’s get started with the Best Guitar Games and Applications…
Mobile Guitar Applications
A mobile application that works on both IOS and Android. Yousician is marketed as a way you can learn to play guitar but is so much more than that. There’s a great catalog of songs to choose and learn from. As well as some of the best guitar practice routines and methods for all levels of guitarist.
It has over 9000 guitar lessons and 1800 songs to choose from. It also boasts a large subscriber count with over 20 million monthly users. The best part is that it uses your device’s built-in microphone, which means you don’t need any extra equipment. Just a guitar and phone, and you are ready to go.
Whether you are just starting, want to keep your practice sessions productive, or maybe learn some new skills, Yousician has it all.
Fender Guitar Tuner
Need one of the best smartphone guitar tuners that won’t ever let you down and is simple to use? Fender’s mobile guitar tuner has everything you need. The best part is it is always there when you need it and works on iOS and Android.
Using the phone’s microphone or line-in if you plug your guitar into your phone, Fender’s guitar tuner can tune not only guitars but basses and ukuleles too.
It comes with a chromatic tuner, an automatic tuner with plenty of different tunings, as well as an option to change the frequency of your tuning. It also has built-in chord patterns if you forget how a specific chord is played or just looking to spice up your arsenal of chords.
GarageBand is a digital audio workstation that has been developed by Apple for all iOS, iPad, and macOS users. This means that it is not available on Android.
It is by far the best smartphone DAW. Coming with built-in automated drummers, a drum machine, and a plethora of synths and other instruments. The layout and workflow are specifically made with a touchscreen in mind and are easy to work with.
It can also record using a specially designed line-in such as IK Multimedia’s iRig HD2 or the cheaper IK Multimedia iRig 2 Guitar Interface Adaptor.
Make music on the go…
With these, you can record a guitar directly into the DAW on the iPad or iPhone and then edit it using the interface. It can then export the music into any audio format you like.
If you are a writer on the go, getting an iPad, guitar, iRig, and Garageband will keep you writing songs no matter where you are. The best part is that GarageBand is a free application with no additional costs. For this reason, it’s one of the best guitar games and applications you can buy.
Tonebridge Guitar Effects
Tonebridge is every guitarist’s dream come true. This guitar effects simulator boasts a massive arrange of guitar tones from all your favorite songs. If you have always wanted that crunchy, heavy, scooped “Master of Puppets” guitar tone, or the crushing tone of Brian Welch from Korn, look no further.
Just type in the song or band you want, plug your guitar into your mobile phone using a line-in connector like any of the iRig connectors, and play away to your heart’s content.
It’s a free app, and I can vouch that I have spent countless hours jamming my favorite songs using their actual guitar tones. The best part is that this app is integrated with the Ultimate Guitar app. This means you can also get the tablature of the song with the tones, so you can play along with your favorite tunes in no time.
Ultimate Guitar Tabs App for Android or Apple
Ultimate Guitar has been around for over a decade, bringing us the latest news and reviews of all things rock and metal related. As a guitarist, this website, now also available in app form, has provided me with countless reviews of new albums of bands I never knew, bands I loved, and bands I despised.
It has also given me hundreds of hours’ worth of guitar tabs so I could learn how to play my favorite Muse songs. Now with the application, it has never been easier.
This application works on iOS and Android and, for the most part, just looks like the website, but with quick access. Just open the app, and you will be greeted with reviews, news, and tabs of the latest songs and albums.
Rocksmith is easily the best smartphone guitar game ever made, in that it uses an actual guitar to play the game. Unlike Guitar Hero that uses a proprietary “guitar” with buttons, Rocksmith can use any guitar with an in-line guitar port.
The only extra you need is the Rocksmith in-line USB interface. This connects the guitar to the game through whichever system you choose to play. It can be found on older consoles like the PS3 but is also available on the PS4, Xbox One systems as well as PC.
Similar to Guitar Hero…
There’s a large selection of songs that you play through collecting points and leveling up. The big difference is that here, you are playing the songs for real.
Another cool feature is the custom rigs you can build using different amps and pedals to create custom tones that you can use in-game. I spent a large portion of my youth learning and playing with my favorite songs on this game. And still, jump back now and then when I just want to play guitar without thinking too much.
After the massive success of SingStar, a game that involved proprietary microphones plugged into your console and had me singing at the top of my lungs with my friends and family, RedOctane saw a market that was ripe for the picking.
Using an easy-to-play, five button system disguised as a guitar, they took all the greatest hits and mixed it with the style of rhythm games like PaRappa the Rapper, with rock-influenced aesthetics, that is. This gave birth to what we know today as Guitar Hero.
It’s still as fun to play today as it was back then. And the countless add-ons, spin-offs, and sequels leave you with a massive amount of variety to choose from.
Any guitar player knows who Jack Black is. Not only is he famous for his acting, but he has a band named Tenacious D who plays classic rock. Thus, when the opportunity was presented for him to be in a rock game singing and lending his voice acting talent, he was stoked and accepted.
Yes, Brütal Legend isn’t a “guitar game” in the sense that you actually play guitar. But it is the heaviest metal game ever made. It has a stellar soundtrack, including heavy hitters from the scene like Ozzy Osbourne, Manowar, and Motley Crüe.
Who wouldn’t like to run around beating up monsters with an Axe and use a guitar to summon awesome powers to destroy your foes? As a kid, this game cemented my love for metal and rock aesthetics and music in the same vein as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series.
Looking for more great Guitar Gear?
We have a wide selection of products for all your guitar needs. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Wireless Guitar Systems, the Best Electric Guitar Strings, the Best Clip-On Guitar Tuners, the Best Guitar Stands, the Best Guitar Pedalboard, and the Best Acoustic Guitar Strings you can buy in 2023.
Also, take a look at our comprehensive reviews of the Best Guitar Strings, the Best Guitar Strap Lock, the Best Guitar Wall Hangers, the Best Guitar Tool Kits, the Best Electric Guitar Case, the Best Guitar Cables, the Best Guitar Tuners, and the Best Guitar Humidifiers currently available.
And don’t miss our detailed guides on Everything You Need to Know About Guitar Sizes and 10 Easy Songs to Learn on the Electric Guitar for Beginners for more helpful information.
Best Guitar Games – Final Thoughts
Being a guitarist myself, I appreciate the simplicity of using a mobile phone or tablet to get a lot done. These days there is no need to carry an actual tuner around. And being able to record decent-sounding guitar on my tablet anywhere makes jamming or writing so much easier.
Sure, these won’t be replacing proper equipment anytime soon. But being able to practice, write, and play guitar anywhere has made it that much more accessible to everyone.
Until next time, let the music play.