For guitar students, TouchChords only a beginning

Aug 28, 2009
Education

TouchChords seems like a great idea when you download it, but from the standpoint of a guitar player, this app really lacks. TouchChords is for someone interested in learning to play the guitar, not so much for someone who already knows a few chords. The developer, Curious Brain, says it is working on ways to improve […]

TouchChords seems like a great idea when you download it, but from the standpoint of a guitar player, this app really lacks. TouchChords is for someone interested in learning to play the guitar, not so much for someone who already knows a few chords.

The developer, Curious Brain, says it is working on ways to improve the interface to add more chords, which is great because this app needs improvement.

Starting is easy. The instructions are basic and should make sense even if you’ve never strummed a guitar. Still, using TouchChords to learn to play the guitar seems impractical.

I do like that the program instructs you how to play the chord with little orange dots over the strings. By touching the dots, a set of fingers appears showing the correct placement on the strings. The best thing about this app is that you could make the fingers see-through as well, which allows you to see both the strings and the fingers at the same time.

Overall, this app might best serve a new guitar student.

The app works similarly to PocketGuitar, but you can’t play any songs. Being able to actually strum your chords and play a song would have been a good learning tool. Because of this, TouchChords is more like a chord book than a guitar.

It worked best when used as a reference tool with an actual guitar by your side. If used like this, TouchChords is beneficial because it allows you to guess and check your sound. You can pick one of many chords, see the placement for your fingers and then get a sample sound of the chord being strummed. I would have found that particular feature rewarding when I first started playing, because it helps you know whether you are playing the right notes.

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Matthew Hendrickson

Matthew Hendrickson is a freelance writer and Editor and Chief of Jettison Quarterly. He lives in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood and has a degree in journalsim from Columbia College. He has written for the Chicago Journal, The Chicago Reporter, and ChicagoTalks.  His three-part story about lead poisoning rates in Chicago was featured at Propublica.org and IRE.org.

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