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Entries in Tutor (1)

WildChords for iPad - Guitar Tutor Meets Pied Piper

Have you ever tried learning guitar? How far did you get?

If you're like a lot of people you probably learnt a few chords, maybe even a few songs, but never really got any better and you lost motivation. If you took guitar lessons you may have a had a guitar teacher who struggled to engage you and made learning guitar a chore, not fun.

WildChords icon

WildChords from Finnish developers Ovelin has been designed specifically to dispel these problems with learning guitar.

Using a gaming approach, combined with a carefully ramped learning curve, cute cartoon graphics and bespoke, fun sounding songs to play along with, we think WildChords has a good chance at succeeding.

We were in on the beta program for this app and we have seen it develop a great deal from the early versions but the core idea of the app has remained the same: to make it fun to learn.

Here's a promo video made for WildChords that shows off the quirky European sense of humour that we love.

The story

As you will have seen in the video above, the idea behind the game is that a lot of animals have escaped from a nearby zoo and are now terrorising the locals.

You play our brave guitar hero, who takes to the streets armed with the knowledge that the escaped animals can be corralled pied-piper like by playing the corresponding chord. A for Apes, C for Crocodiles, E for Elephants, and so on.

Using a real guitar (acoustic or electric) you play the chords shown as our cartoon hero marches down the street. No plastic guitars allowed here! This is about learning to play guitar for real.

As each new chord is introduced there is a little tutorial showing you how to play the chord and where each finger should go.

The iPad's built-in microphone picks up how well you play the chord and lights up the string for each note that is sounded correctly.

Moving on

Once you have started getting used to playing the chords and as you move up through the levels you get to move on and play individual notes. The cartoon-like graphics continue here, with cute little birds sitting on telegraph wires, getting zapped if you don't play the notes correctly.

Somehow, you are suspended from a bunch of balloons, guitar in hand and you have to play the fret and string indicated or the birds get it! As the stages progress it gets trickier, requiring quite a bit of concentration.

Even though we've played guitar before, we found ourselves sweating a bit and getting quite tense on these levels.

 

What's it like to play?

WildChords really is a lot of fun to play and at the same time quite challenging. Each time you strum a chord it has to ring out correctly and you have to hit the timing bang on if you want to do well.

Far from being the trudging, demotivating type of lesson that puts so many of us off learning to play an instrument, WildChords makes learning guitar fun and keeps you coming back for more.

Rewards

Do you like collecting gold stars? We do!

WildChords rewards accuracy and timing with the oft-used three gold stars at the end of each level. Which is clever, because not getting three stars is annoying, especially when trying to learn a new skill, like playing guitar.

If you're determined to do this right, you'll want another go at the level, and another, until you get those three gold stars.

More lessons

WildChords starts as a free download and this will get you a long way towards making more recognisable sounds from your guitar.

If you have completed all these initial tutorials you can extend your skills and buy further tutorial 'packs' which include new challenges and some new chords and even scales.

These packs are currently available as in-app purchases for just $2.99 (£1.99), which is not bad at all and a great deal cheaper than a single guitar lesson.

Even if you don't want to pay for the extra lessons, the WildChords app is a free download from the App Store, and we reckon you should go and get it.

If you do grab WildChords, don't forget to leave us a comment and let us know what you think.