A lot of us have tried to learn an instrument at some point in our lives. Maybe you took piano lessons when you were a kid? Maybe you tried learning as an adult? Whatever the case is, learning an instrument can be a very difficult and time-consuming challenge, especially in the early stages (as a person who plays several instruments, I know this all too well!). Maybe you even went hardcore and got a copy of one of those infamous instructional videos like John Petrucci's Rock Discipline. If you wanted to put your guitar down after watching the excercises from that video, I honestly don't blame you...
Fortunately in this day and age there are now plenty of apps and other computer-based aids that offer to help make the initial stages of learning how to play an instrument that little bit easier and less frustrating. I've found some of the best of those and made a list of them here so if you want to learn how to play an instrument you can find somewhere to get you started!
Yousician is one of the most well-known apps for learning how to play an instrument, mainly thanks to its aggressive (and somewhat annoying!) advertising. In fact, the advertising has become so notorious that it's generated an absolute wealth of meme material. All memes aside though, Yousician is a tried and tested app for learning how to play piano, guitar, bass, ukelele and even vocals! It gamifies the process of learning, giving you real time feedback as to how accurate your playing is. The app includes weekly challenges as well to help keep your skills sharp. It even has a pretty good guitar tuner too! You can find Yousician both on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
Simply Piano is another well-known app for learning an instrument, this one teaching you (as per the title) the basics of playing the piano. With a huge library of songs in the device that you can learn using its learning system, Simply Piano offers instant feedback on your playing like Yousician does. Simply Piano also offers short 5 minute musical workouts and will even give you tips on how to read sheet music! Like Yousician, you can find Simply Piano on both the App Store and the Play Store.
Sing Sharp is an app I stumbled across a few years ago via a video from Boyinaband where he used the app as part of an experiment to see if he could teach himself how to sing properly in 30 days. He ended up personally endorsing the app because of how much it helped him to improve his vocal abilities! Sing Sharp has a lot of functions including a meter that shows your vocal range (including a projection of how low or high you could go with enough training) and a whole library of warm-up excercises, each of which gives you a score at the end based on how well you've done. The app also gives you real time feedback about how well you're hitting the notes during the excercises. If you want to get really in depth with learning how to sing, this app is probably one of the best choices out there! You can find Sing Sharp on the App Store and on the Play Store.
Uberchord is an app that promises to help you learn guitar fast. Acting as a guitar teacher within your smartphone, Uberchord offers real time feedback on your playing and adapts to suit whatever your needs are at the time. It'll teach you all the necessary basics of playing the guitar alongside learning well-known songs, whilst providing you with new content every week and access to a song trainer for teaching you the ins and outs of specific songs. Uberchord is only avaliable via the App Store.
Whilst Ultimate Guitar isn't an app that'll help you learn the very basics of learning how to play the guitar or the bass, what it does have is an extensive database of guitar and bass tabs for pretty much any song you can think of. It's a website (and now also app) that's been around for donkeys years and pretty much any guitar player will be very familiar with it. If you already have the basics of guitar playing and/or bass playing nailed and want an easy way to get learning some of your favourite songs, you can't go that wrong by trawling through the absolutely vast database that Ultimate Guitar has built up over the years. You can find Ultimate Guitar in the App Store and the Play Store.