Yousician is a software application that teaches you to play guitar. It is available for iPad, iPhone and Mac (and possibly other platforms). I have been trying out on my iPad because I imagine, and other reviewers have commented, that the iPhone screen is just too small to be practical.


It starts off slowly with a skill test, some basic notes and chords. Each “mission” starts off with a video that you have to watch, then you have to do the exercise. The app listens to your playing and checks you are playing the right note. If you hit a high enough percentage, you pass the mission and unlock the next one. If you fail, you have to retry.

A ball bounces between the notes to tell you when to play them. It falls at different rates though. It flies in an arc, and sometimes will come down steeper than others, so getting the timing spot on is very tricky. I sometimes felt like I was playing an arcade game rather than learning guitar. In the end I adopted slightly different strategies for timing my chords and my individual notes.

It is also slow to get going. I think I must have spent 2-3 hours on it just to get through the basic stuff and up to a standard that I found a challenge. This is despite the “skill tests” it recommended I took to get ahead. Also at one point it decided to remove the chord names and replace them with individual fingering, which was annoying, though thankfully disappeared after a few songs. After that I thought it got very difficult very fast, so it would be nicer to have a more adaptive curve.

Given it is so similar to Rocksmith, it is impossible not to compare it. It is not as well made as Rocksmith. You have to download each mission each time you play it – so even if you have done it before, it re-downloads it. Also all the videos are just embedded YouTube videos, so again you will need internet access for these. There is no offline mode.

It is difficult to gauge how accurate it is, because it could be me missing the notes, or it could genuinely be missing them. On the whole, it is fairly accurate. I started by playing with my guitar amp and the iPad’s microphone. This I found the timings difficult to get right. Eventually I plugged my Apogee Jam interface into the iPad and this made things much better.

It also allowed me to play chords wherever I wanted. For example it recommended I play A5 with the root note of the open 5th string. I played it on the more typical place of a closed power chord on the 6th string and it did not complain.

You are limited to about 30 minutes of game time per day on the free version. It’s not this straight forward though because you have to wait exactly 24 hours between free sessions, so you can only use this if you move your practice time back half an hour every day. This time is also interrupted by ads telling you to upgrade. The game doesn’t pause when these adds appear, so an add will finally disappear only to find you’re about to finish a song having missed all the notes.

Premium gives you unlimited access for £14.99 a month. When I first tried to upgrade to premium it failed every time, and I had to wait until the next day. It’s recurring billing and bills your iTunes account, though you can easily disable auto-renew in iTunes.


Yousician is like Rocksmith, only not as good. Given the price and the build quality, I would recommend going with Rocksmith instead, though Yousician certainly has its charms.



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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 30th, 2015 at 10:24 am and is filed under Reviews, Tech. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.