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Are you struggling to find the right tools to help you learn a guitar or piano without spending a lot? Well, we may have a suitable solution for you, right here. In this Yousician review, we’ll discuss different aspects of the app such as its usage, pros and cons, features, and so on, in detail. Our guitar experts have tried and tested the app (the basic monthly subscription) for all you guitar lovers out there; even kids.
Yousician is one of the latest apps that help you learn and master specific instruments such as guitar, piano, ukulele, bass, and so on. The app was launched in 2010 and is younger to many other instrument learning apps and training programs on the market. This is one reason why many musical instrument enthusiasts, especially guitar and piano players shy away from exploring it.
Nevertheless, Yousician’s popularity has gained an upward trend and the website now has more than 800,000 unique visits every month. Read on to read the full Yousician review.
Let’s begin by understanding what Yousician exactly is and how it can help you.
Unlike other online learning and training programs such as GuitarTricks and JamPlay, Yousician is a software that can be downloaded on your PC or Mac like any other PC games. All you need to do is install the application on your system and use it (we’ll explore the features and structure of the software later in this guide).
In simpler words, Yousician gamifies guitar learning and provides you with a variety of challenges that transform you into an experienced guitarist. You’ll be surprised to know that Yousician can even analyze songs to evaluate your live guitar-playing capabilities. Not only this but Yousician also implements a point and star-based system that can help you track your progress and segment lessons into easily manageable tasks. You’ll also find leaderboards and rankings that allow you to compete against fellow Yousician users.
However, there’s one thing that our experts did not like, i.e., the learning process becomes a little repetitive after some time.
Yousician is an engaging app that can help you learn how to play musical instruments such as guitars, pianos, ukuleles, and so on, without paying hefty fees and attending classroom sessions. You can use the app on your PC, Mac, Android device or iOS device.
Compelling features of the Yousician app:
Yousician can be a great learning app for beginners. It can also be a good learning resource for kids who want to learn about music in a fun way. Yousician’s interactive interface makes it perfect for beginners. All learning material is interactive in nature and you’ll hardly find any tutorial-type instructions.
Also, if you don’t have the budget and time to spend on high-level guitar learning courses, Yousician can be a good bet on a shoestring budget.
Our experts do not recommend Yousician for intermediate and expert guitarists as they won’t find it helpful. At some levels, Yousician can become really boring for intermediate and expert guitarists as they’ll have to go through the most basic levels.
All in all, Yousician’s unique design and teaching method motivates beginners, especially kids who can find learning through conventional courses and learning programs challenging.
As parents, you need to ensure your kids are using apps that are safe and secure. So, when it comes to Yousician, you don’t need to worry about the safety of your kids.
Yousician allows kids to access a broad range of classical and pop pieces as they learn the basics of playing songs on a guitar. While the app in free initially, your kids may not be able to access all the features until they subscribe. If they purchase the annual subscription, you won’t get an option to cancel the payment mid-way if your kids stop using the app. So, you may want to keep a check on the auto-renewal of the subscription plan and ensure your kids are purchasing the right Yousician subscription plan.
Yousician allows you to work with two different modes – Play and Practice.
Each mode greets you with an interface that’ll remind you of popular music games. The only difference you’ll notice is that you’ll be working with a real guitar here. But how?
During the initial setup, you’ll have to tune your guitar as per Yousician’s guitar tuner. This will act as a tuning check and make sure that Yousician software is able to detect your guitar playing. This is significant because the software will evaluate and score you as you play. However, before you move to the evaluation stage, make sure you get your hands dirty on the Practice mode.
The Play mode allows you to play songs at your chosen speed as many times you want. If you’re facing issues mastering a run or if you want to polish your rendition, you can even loop specific sections of a song. However, if you’re unsure about choosing the right chords and notes and confused about how they sound, you can make the most of the ‘Play for Me’ feature that will play the correct sounds to help you better understand the chords and notes.
If you’re all set to play a complete song at normal speed, you can use the ‘Auto-Play’ feature to play the song in one shot.
If you ask about the interface, our experts found it very interactive and easy to comprehend. Yousician uses multiple colors and numbers to specify fingers and frets. The strumming chords are also presented as color-coded chunks that separate them from sections requiring plucking and other different techniques. A simple progress bar will show your progress on a song.
In the Play mode, Yousician will evaluate and score your performance in real-time. The software will analyze your accuracy, pitch, rhythm, tempo and some other factors. You’ll be notified about your hits and misses during your live guitar playing sessions.
According to your quality score, you’ll then be awarded points and stars. Yousician’s rating scale comprises 3 stars and like games, mistakes can cost you ‘lives.’ If you lose all your lives, you’ll have to start all over again. And, if you successfully complete a song, you get access to more interesting challenges.
Yousician lessons are a series of missions, moving from Level 1 to Level 15.
Level 1 is for beginners and Level 5 is for expert players who are trained enough to play whatever they want. If you already have some guitar skills in your bag, you won’t have to begin from the first level.
Yousician also features competitive rankings and leaderboards that motivate you to compete against fellow Yousicians. It’s an interesting way to keep a check on your progress and keep yourself motivated while you’re learning.
Yousician also allows you to take your learning to the next level by uploading your original songs to Yousician’s song library. Once uploaded, the software will track the notes whenever you play the song and perform it on Yousician’s real-time evaluation and scoring system.
Yousician’s Learn category comprises ‘Missions’ that help you imbibe different skills and master complex techniques. As a beginner, you start from Level 1 and constantly get new tasks to unlock and master. As you pass the levels, you’ll come across more challenging tasks to master.
While most of the Yousician users prefer using the mobile version, our experts found it easier to work on the desktop version. They download the software on their Macbook Air to test different features and the installation was super quick. However, once you launch the application, you may have to wait for a few updates.
Once the updates are complete, you need to log in using the same credentials you used to purchase the product. Alternately, you can also login using your Facebook account. As soon as you enter the software, you’ll be prompted to answer some questions such as:
What kind of music do you play?
What is your favorite music genre?
And so on.
Since the software will work interactively with your guitar using the microphone of your laptop, you’ll first be prompted to tune your guitar. You can tune your guitar using Yousician’s tuner or your pedal tuner; both work well and the choice is completely yours.
The best way to start learning with Yousician is to start with an acoustic guitar that can sync easily with your laptop’s microphone as well as the software. However, if you want to use an electric guitar, you can use an audio interface to connect the guitar. It may require some more configuration, but the process is easy and quick.
You’ll find 3 types of content on Yousician. These include:
Interactive song tutorials
What sets Yousician apart from other guitar learning and training apps is the gamification factor. It feels like a video game. But, if you’re more interested in traditional learning videos, you won’t be disappointed. Yousician has a good collection of videos that cater to more theoretical topics that cannot be presented interactively such as music theory, history of music, and so on.
The content is majorly organized on the basis of topics followed by courses and learning materials that are then segregated into broader categories. You’ll come across a lot of locked, premium content too.
Course materials under the ‘Learn’ tab are distributed into paths. For instance, Level 1 is distributed into 3 paths – Lead, Knowledge, and Rhythm.
So, all in all, the content is a mix of beginner-friendly topics and a complicated structure. It’s not easy to find out where to start from. You’ll find two categories under the Learn tab – Missions and Workouts. And, at first glance, you’ll be completely confused as to what they are.
After going through all the materials and modules, our experts could finally understand the difference between ‘Missions’ and ‘Workouts.’
Missions comprise interactive, gamified learning materials that are easier to comprehend. They allow you to progress through the content interactively.
Workouts comprise traditional, standalone course materials, and interactive videos that are more topically isolated.
To be very honest, our experts did not really understand the reason behind creating these two categories. While Yousician has done a fairly good job at cutting down redundancy and building new material for users, they’ve gone a little over the top with the categorization of the learning material.
As already mentioned above, Yousician also has content that’s not very interactive in nature such as:
Tutorials with Voice-Overs
And so on.
The content is concise and easy to understand; however, our experts feel that the structuring could have been a little better. Some videos are unnecessarily divided into parts and could have been bundled together for better clarity.
Our experts also feel that learning materials cover basic things that can be easily found on the internet. Also, if you’re not a fan of voice-overs and prefer human interaction, you’ll find it somewhat challenging to finish the courses.
If you’re planning to use Yousician for a limited period, you’ll be happy to know that the software can be downloaded for free. Nevertheless, you’ll only be able to play a limited number of songs and not upload any of yours. You also won’t be able to access songs uploaded by other Yousician users. So, if your primary aim is to explore the features of the software, you’ll be good to go with the free plan. However, if you plan to use the software regularly, you can buy the ‘Premium Subscription.’
Once you buy Yousician’s Premium Subscription, you’ll be able to unlock all features. Even though Yousician has a single subscription plan, you can choose between a monthly or an annual subscription. So, if you want to learn more than one instrument, Yousician’s Premium Subscription can be a cost-effective option; premium access for multiple instruments (piano, ukulele, and bass).
Let’s quickly look at Yousician’s current subscription plans:
Don’t forget that Yousician automatically renews your subscription based on the type of subscription plan you’ve bought until you terminate it. So, if you plan to discontinue your subscription, make sure you remove the automatic renewal.
Before we conclude the Yousician review, let’s quickly look at the pros and cons of the Yousician app to see if it can be a good fit for you:
The game-based interface make it appealing for a broad range of ages
Videos and courses on Yousician’s learning platform can come across as a little redundant at times
Yousician uses your laptop’s microphone to evaluate the chords and notes you’re playing with scoring and real-time feedback on every note
Most of the courses on Yousician’s learning platform are driven by voice-overs instead of human instructors and are less impactful
Even though initially designed and developed for PC and Mac, Yousician can now be used on Android and iOS devices
Yousician is not suitable for intermediate and expert guitar enthusiasts
Yousician allows you to upload your songs and practice them for as long as you want
Yousician comprises 15 levels that allow you to explore and work on different types of guitar techniques and challenges to better hone your guitar playing skills
If you think that the Yousician app does not suit your requirements, here’s a list of Yousician alternatives that you can explore:
All in all, the core and foundation of the Yousician app is solid and the gamification aspect adds life to the software. Our experts were surprised to see how accurately the software was able to track their songs, reading each chord and note. The evaluation and scoring also seemed fair.
If you’re a beginner, the software can provide you with some great value and help you learn the basics of guitars step by step. However, if you’re an intermediate or expert guitar enthusiast, you may find the courses and learning materials somewhat redundant.
It would be fair to say that Yousician can come in handy as a supplementary tool but not as a standalone learning tool. It’s great for beginners as well as kids because of its intuitive interface.
We hope you found the Yousician review helpful in deciding whether you’d like to buy the full subscription or try Yousician alternatives. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comment section below. Our experts will ensure they answer your questions as soon as possible.
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Jodie is a trained classical guitarist. She is also a full-time blogger and loves to write about different types of guitars. Just give her 60 seconds of your time, and she’ll tell you all that you need to know about any guitar of your choice.
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