If you’re a budding guitarist or even a seasoned pro, you might have asked yourself whether you should pay for additional resources to help you on your journey as a musician. With an array of online platforms and apps offering guitar courses and tabs, Ultimate Guitar Pro is the name on everyone’s lips. But is this platform right for you?
Understanding the World of Guitar Tabs
Before diving into our Ultimate Guitar Pro review, let’s take a step back. Guitar tabs are a lifeline for guitar players around the world. Instead of traditional sheet music, which might seem daunting to beginners, tabs provide a simpler way to interpret notes and play songs. However, they’re not just for musicians just starting out. Intermediate and advanced players can and do benefit from guitar tabs, too!
Almost all guitarists cover songs from their favorite artists. But finding the right tabs for a song can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Enter the world of Ultimate Guitar, the platform that has revolutionized access to guitar tabs.
What Ultimate Guitar Offers: More than Just Tabs
The free version of Ultimate Guitar is an oasis for those searching for chords and free tabs. Ultimate guitar offers access to a myriad of popular songs, so both beginners and professional musicians can learn to play their favorite music on the guitar.
Ultimate Guitar Pro version is like stepping into a guitar utopia, heralded by many as one of the most functional and reliable tab resources on the market. Beyond just accessing chords and official tabs, the platform offers tools that help learners play along with songs, change playback speed, and even isolate specific instruments. And with the Ultimate Guitar app, you can access these resources whenever you need.
But is the Ultimate Guitar Pro worth the extra cost, especially when there are other competitors like Fender Play in the mix?
Ultimate Guitar: Keeping It Straightforward
Ultimate Guitar Pro has always maintained a user-centric approach to its design. Here’s what sets it apart:
Dark Theme Advantage
This platform predominantly uses a dark theme, which is not only easier on the eyes during extended usage but also gives a sleek, modern appeal. This becomes particularly beneficial when practicing in dimly lit environments.
Tabs are the heart and soul of Ultimate Guitar, and its interface ensures they take center stage. The layout is devoid of clutter, allowing users to focus solely on the tabs.
Accessing specific tabs, modifying account settings, or jumping between different platform tools is a breeze. The navigation has been designed keeping both beginners and advanced users in mind.
Search and Filter
Given the platform’s enormous database, the efficient search functionality paired with filtering options ensures users can quickly locate the song or artist they’re seeking.
Digging Deep: Ultimate Guitar Pro Review
Every guitarist, whether a novice plucking their first string or a seasoned strummer, is constantly searching for tools to refine their skills. Ultimate Guitar Pro stands out as a comprehensive suite designed to provide a holistic and immersive learning experience. Let’s dive into the myriad of features and Ultimate Guitar Pro offers:
Temp Control: March to Your Own Beat – Ever felt like a song is just racing ahead while you’re trying to keep up? With Ultimate Guitar Pro’s temp control, you can dictate the pace. Play songs note by note, slowing down tricky sections or speeding up as you gain confidence, ensuring you learn at a rhythm that’s comfortable for you. So whether you’re playing a traditional acoustic, an electric model, a ukulele, or the best classical guitar, you can do it with ease.
Diverse Instrument Parts: More Than Just Rhythms and Leads – Venture beyond the usual guitar parts. Ultimate Guitar Pro lets you immerse yourself in the diverse sounds of lead, rhythm, and bass. And for those looking to understand a song’s complete sonic landscape, there’s even a section dedicated to drums.
Vast Repository of HQ Tabs: Play Like the Greats – Why limit your repertoire? With access to over 23,000 high-quality tabs, you can emulate the unique styles of your favorite musicians. From legendary rock anthems to contemporary indie tracks, the library is your playground. Learn as many songs as you like.
Backing Tracks and Multi-tracking with Tonebridge™: An Ensemble in Your Room: With Ultimate Guitar Pro, you’re never playing solo. The platform provides backing tracks to accompany your sessions, ensuring you get the feel of playing with a full band. The multi-tracking feature combined with Tonebridge™ takes your practice sessions to a whole new level, replicating the original tones and atmospheres of songs.
Tab Playback: Listen as You Learn: Understanding how a song should sound is half the battle. The tab playback feature ensures that as you navigate through a tab, you can hear its precise rendition, reinforcing your learning and ensuring you’re on the right track.
Multiple Tracks: Dissect Every Song Layer: To truly master new songs, guitarists must understand each instrument’s role. With the multiple tracks feature, users can delve deep into every instrumental part of a song, from the subtle bass lines to the dominant guitar solos.
Virtual Fretboard: Visualize Your Way to Mastery: For many, visual cues are integral to learning. The virtual fretboard feature simplifies chord progressions and finger placements, showing exactly where to place your fingers on the fretboard. It’s like having a virtual tutor guiding your every move.
The Price: The elephant in the room is the Ultimate Guitar Pro cost. At $25 per month, it’s pricier than some other comprehensive websites and courses. For many, this is a significant deterrent.
Lacks Comprehensive Learning Tools: While it excels in providing tabs, the platform doesn’t offer much in the way of teaching theory or guitar techniques. True beginners might feel a bit adrift without guidance on the fundamentals.
The Shift in Pricing: Long-time users of the platform would attest to the fact that the Ultimate Guitar Pro membership used to be a steal. The recent hikes in the price points have been a point of contention among the community.
Not a Good Fit for Creatives: Guitarists wanting to write their own music will find Ultimate Guitar Pro lacking in advanced features to help them do so. Although seeing chord charts can be helpful, a few other features that offer more support would benefit creatives more.
Pitting Giants Against Each Other: Ultimate Guitar Courses vs. The Competition
The debate of guitar tab resources is like to comparing apples and oranges; each platform brings a unique flavor to the table.
Platforms like Fender Play and Guitar Tricks operate on a different premise. They aren’t just repositories of tabs. They’re comprehensive learning platforms designed to take a player from clueless to concert-ready.
Structured Learning: These platforms have courses laid out in a logical progression, ensuring that learners build a strong foundation before diving into advanced techniques.
In-Depth Video Lessons: With professional instructors breaking down techniques, theories, and song lessons, these platforms offer a more classroom-like experience.
Diverse Learning Materials: Beyond just videos, these platforms offer backing tracks, practice schedules, and even community forums for a more holistic learning experience.
However, when it comes to song-specific tabs, these platforms might not boast the exhaustive library that Ultimate Guitar Pro flaunts. If you want to learn songs, then Ultimate Guitar is your best bet. However, the resources mentioned above will give you the skills to master complex songs.
Community and Collaboration: Building Guitar Skills Together
Music, at its core, has always been a collaborative endeavor. From jam sessions in garages to grand orchestra performances in opulent halls, it thrives on shared experiences and collective growth. In the digital age, online guitar platforms have extended this sense of community into the virtual realm, making it easier than ever for learners to connect, collaborate, and cultivate their craft.
Ultimate Guitar: A Forum for Fellow Enthusiasts
Ultimate Guitar, given its long-standing presence, has fostered a robust community of guitar enthusiasts from all over the globe. It facilitates collaboration in a few ways:
Share and Discover Tabs: The platform allows users to submit their tabs, making it a thriving ecosystem of shared knowledge. Here, one can unearth a tab for an obscure song courtesy of a fellow user.
Discussions and Feedback: The Ultimate Guitar forum is a bustling space where users discuss song interpretations, provide feedback on tabs, and share their personal playing experiences. Get tips, tricks, and techniques to help you progress. Whether you’re struggling to play chords with your guitar neck’s shape or it’s plucking that’s the problem, a fellow guitarist will be willing to help.
Collaborations and Projects: It’s not uncommon to find users collaborating on specific projects, be it creating a comprehensive tab for a challenging song or collectively refining chords for an entire album.
Competitors: Beyond Just Lessons
While primarily centered around structured courses, Platforms like Guitar Tricks, Fender Play, and others recognize the importance of community. Here’s how they cultivate it:
Community Forums: Much like Ultimate Guitar, these platforms often feature forums where users can discuss lessons, ask questions, or share their milestones. Such spaces offer learners a sense of belonging and foster peer-to-peer learning.
Live Lessons and Q&A Sessions: Some platforms periodically host live lessons or Q&A sessions where members can interact in real-time with instructors, ask questions, and get instant feedback.
Challenges and Contests: Engaging the community with periodic challenges or contests can be a fun way to promote practice. Be it a riff challenge or a cover contest, such activities spark enthusiasm and healthy competition.
Shared Playlists and Recommendations: On some platforms, users can curate playlists of their favorite lessons or songs and share them with the community, paving the way for discovery and broadening musical horizons.
The Power of Collective Growth
While solitary practice has its merits, there’s an undeniable energy in collaborative learning. Feedback from a fellow learner can sometimes be more insightful than any lesson. Sharing one’s milestones, be it nailing a challenging riff or finally understanding a complex theory, becomes a source of motivation for others.
Moreover, collaborations often lead to beautiful, unexpected outcomes. A discussion about a particular song’s interpretation might lead to a duet collaboration between two users from opposite ends of the world. A shared challenge might give rise to a virtual band. The possibilities are boundless.
In conclusion, as guitar players embark on their musical journeys, online platforms serve not just as learning repositories but also as vibrant communities. They embody the spirit of collaboration and collective growth, reinforcing the age-old adage – music truly is a universal language, and when played together, it resonates even louder.
Drawing the Line: Which One Triumphs?
Deciding between Ultimate Guitar Pro and its competitors boils down to individual needs. For someone hungry for tabs and looking to dive straight into playing songs, Ultimate Guitar Pro is a treasure trove. On the other hand, for those seeking structured learning with an emphasis on foundational techniques and theory, platforms like Fender Play might be more appealing.
No matter the choice, the destination remains the same: mastering the art of guitar and relishing the joy it brings!
Final Verdict: Is Ultimate Guitar Pro Worth the Investment?
At the end of the day, the worth of Ultimate Guitar Pro is subjective. If you’re seeking a vast library of guitar tablature and tools to aid your song-learning journey, then Ultimate Guitar Pro might be the perfect fit. For those wanting a holistic learning experience with an emphasis on theory and technique, branching out and exploring other guitar courses might be beneficial.
Remember, the best tool for any guitar player is the one they’ll use most frequently. Whether you choose to invest in the Ultimate Guitar Pro membership or opt for other platforms, the goal remains the same: to enjoy the beautiful journey of making music!