Way back in the mists of Music App Blog time (OK, 2013 to be a bit more precise), I reviewed David Mead’s Guitar Gym app from developer Leafcutter Studios. I can’t speak for the USA or other parts of the world but, if you are a student of the guitar in the UK then I expect you will have heard of David Mead. As well as writing for two of the UK’s leading guitar magazine – Guitarist and Guitar Techniques – David has produced a number of excellent guitar tutor books.
Compared to when I first started playing the guitar, there is now a plethora of teaching aids available. Real, physical books (like the ones mentioned above) are still a big and very useful part of that but we now also have excellent DVD and online resources also. Of course, with the advent of the tablet computer, those teaching resources can be presented in a different fashion (and perhaps to a different audience?) – as music apps. And David Mead’s Guitar Gym music app, available for iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad (which is the version I used) and for Android, attempts to do just that.
Anyway, while the app has had regular updates to keep it up-to-date with changes in iOS itself since I first looked at it, there has been a little flurry of extra activity over the last few weeks with three rapid-fire updates and v.2.25 appeared on the App Store yesterday. The highlight of the changes – aside from the usual maintenance stuff – is that a new expansion pack IAP has been added to the app. For UK£1.99/US$1.99, this bring 48 additional exercises covering four topic areas; arpeggios, modes, cross picking and the Major scale. If you like a little structure to your guitar practice, then Guitar Gym – and the expanded exercise set – is well worth a look.
OK, so buying any guitar (or other instrument) tutorial resource is a bit like buying a gym membership. Just paying your membership fee doesn’t magically get you fit; you actually have to use the equipment on a regular basis and show some dedication to the task. David Mead’s Guitar Gym app fits that analogy particularly well as it is very much about building the accuracy of your playing at a technical level. If you put the time in, the app will help you improve your skills but, if you buy it and don’t do the work, then it will not be the app’s fault if your playing doesn’t move forward.
And, no, this might not be the most spectacular use I’ve every seen of the iPad’s amazing technology but, if you have the determination to put the time in, David Mead’s Guitar Gym, with a price of just UK£2.99/US$2.99 for the base app, is an excellent way to build your guitar-playing fitness. Check out the original Guitar Gym review here…. and if you like this one, then you might also try David’s two other iOS apps; GAGED and Chord Coach. All three apps are also available on the Android platform.
David Mead Guitar Gym
A range of David Mead’s guitar books are available from Amazon.