Back in July 2017, Fender launched its Fender Play app as a way to teach aspiring musicians to learn how to play acoustic or electric guitar.
To celebrate the launch, Tech Times sat down with Ethan Kaplan, General Manager, Fender Digital to chat about the mobile versions of Fender Play.
Fender Play Allows Musicians To Play Wherever They Want
"We know that people want to learn guitar wherever and whenever they want. Our iPhone app has been very successful in that regard, but we had a lot of requests to make the app native for iPad. iPad is the perfect platform for learning, and the bigger screen lends itself to a great visual experience for players," Kaplan told Tech Times.
"I know that when I want to get my kids to do something, I sit them down with their iPads and they are totally into it. We think that the iPad app will give kids and parents a better pathway to learn guitar, on a device most of them use for learning already," said Kaplan.
How Does The Fender Play App Work?
To get started, users are asked to select between acoustic and electric guitar. Based on their preference, users can choose to learn how to play popular songs from a variety of genres, including Blues, Country, Folk, Pop, and Rock. The app features hit songs such as With or Without You by U2, Clocks by Coldplay, Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash, Sleep on the Floor by the Lumineers, and Learn To Fly by the Foo Fighters, in addition to thousands of other songs.
As of right now, Fender Play doesn't give users the ability to search by their favorite musician; however, Kaplan said the company is always looking for new ways to organize new songs.
"We don't currently have that on the roadmap, but we're always looking at new ways to organize the songs. We aim to scale up the songs in the product over the course of the year, so we can look at doing this," said Kaplan.
Fender Play also has subsections, including Featured Artists, Just Added, Major Chords, Epic Hits, Got 5 Minutes?, and Add a Riff to Your Repertoire.
Rock Continues To Be The Most Popular Genre
"As expected, Rock is the most popular genre, but acoustic guitars are more popular than Electric by a slim margin. Since the app allows you to select a combination of instrument and genre, we even see acoustic blues, electric pop and other interesting mixes selected by users. We designed Fender Play to adapt to the player, and it's been great to see people chose paths that are directly reflective of what they want to learn and play," said Kaplan.
Pop songs have become the most popular lessons to learn via the app, but users also jump into skills and lessons that are more challenging. Fender Play's library offers new skills and techniques that players can learn.
Fender App Adding New Instruments, Genres, And Songs
Fender Play is also adding new instruments to the product, new songs, as well as new genres to learn.
"Later this year we'll add ukulele lessons, as well as bass. This summer, we're also adding Metal and R&B lessons. That includes skills, exercises, as well as songs for these two genres," said Kaplan.
Why did it take so long to add bass guitar lessons to Fender Play?
"Teaching bass is a lot different than guitar in that it is much more dependent on melodic compositions rather than chords, and needs accompaniment for practicing. We always aim to make the best product possible, so bass needed a bit more time," said Kaplan.
How much does Fender Play cost?
New users can get a free 30-day trial by signing up at https://play.fender.com. After the trial, lessons will then cost $9.99 per month, allowing cancelation at any time.