What Are the Different Types of Guitar Computer Software?

Jacob Queen

Guitar computer software is a fairly broad category of applications that are specifically useful for guitar players. It could include things like recording software, educational software, and simple utilities to create guitar tablature or help tune up the instrument. Many of the applications designed for guitarists are very similar to other more general music programs with only a few tweaks to make them especially useful for guitarists, while others would only be useful for those who play the guitar.

Educational software guides guitar students through a series of lessons.
Educational software guides guitar students through a series of lessons.

Some of the most popular guitar computer software packages are designed to help a guitarist master different aspects of playing the instrument. For example, there is software that shows chord diagrams, neck charts for different musical scales, and some software that actually guides the new guitarist through a series of lessons with multimedia accompaniment. A lot of this software essentially presents the same information that would normally be found in different kinds of educational guitar books. Other applications take more advantage of the multimedia potential available in computers and offer elements of greater interaction, which may help speed up learning for some guitarists.

Some types of software are designed to help guitarists tune their instrument.
Some types of software are designed to help guitarists tune their instrument.

Some pieces of guitar computer software are simple tools designed to replace common pieces of equipment. For example, there are numerous computer programs designed to replace the guitar tuner, a device that is often built into many external hardware-based effects processors, and can also be bought separately. Some of the tuning software works in a fairly simple fashion by playing back the proper notes for different tunings, while other programs are designed for computers that have a guitar plugged into them for recording purposes, and they display on-screen indicators to let the guitarist know if his instrument is properly tuned when he plucks a note. There is also a lot of software designed to create and utilize guitar tablature, which is a kind of sheet music designed especially for guitarists.

Some guitarists decide to write or record songs with their instrument, and many different kinds of guitar computer software applications exists to help them in this task. Most popular computer recording software packages work very well with the guitar and some of them allow plug-ins to be installed, which can potentially add special effects and other things specifically tailored for guitarists. Another thing guitar players usually need with their recording software is synthetic computerized accompaniment instruments. For example, most guitarists can’t play drums, so they often use software packages to generate computer-based drum patterns.

Modeling software can replicate any number of guitar sounds.
Modeling software can replicate any number of guitar sounds.

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Discussion Comments


A friend of mine has a program that allows him to load up a guitar part that he has recorded and then to put all kinds of different effects on it.

These range from straight up studio effects, the kinds of things that only exist in mixing boards, to actual recreations of vintage amps. So even though my buddy does not have an especially nice guitar or an expensive recording setup he can put lots of different production effects on his guitar and expand his sonic palette significantly.


I have a simple program on my computer that helps me to tune my guitar. I just play each of the notes and the computer picks up on the sound through the microphone. I tells you whether to tune up or down and when you have it perfectly on pitch.

It's nice because I have a cheap acoustic guitar and don't really want to invest the money in a tuner. The program was free to download and it works as well as any guitar tuner I've ever seen.


I think guitar software for PC that would help a beginner learn to read music would be the most helpful. Learning to read music and guitar tablature is something you could easily do from the comfort of your own home without another person to help you!

Plus, a lot of beginners to musical instruments struggle with this. There's just so much information to take in when you're learning an instrument. How to hold it. Where the notes are. How to tune the thing! Add learning to read music to this and it can be information overload! So reviewing with some software could be really great for beginners.


@JessicaLynn - I think you're on the right track with your idea about a guitar computer program and in person lessons to learn to play the guitar. I think it should probably be the other way around though: the software should supplement regular in person lessons. I really think that a beginner to any instrument should have some in person instruction!

I also wanted to point out that there are guitar tuning apps for most smartphones, in addition to guitar tuning software for computers. I think this would be really handy because you can use it on the go! Most people don't carry their computers around with them, but everyone usually remembers their cell phone!


The whole idea of guitar lesson software is really interesting to me. I taught myself how to play the flute when I was younger just using books, but I bet it would be much easier to teach yourself an instrument using an interactive computer program.

I wonder if this could even be a cheaper option for some kids that want to learn to play the guitar! The parents could pay for the software, and then maybe get their kids in person lessons every now and then to make sure they're on the right track!

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