Shred Like Slash with Guitar World Lick of the Day

Have you ever seen great guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton bust out an amazing solo or blues riff and wonder what their secret is? What amazing tricks are their fingers performing and why can’t you do that?

With today’s app, you’ll learn quick techniques that will blow your friends and fans away. We’ll be checking out Lick of the Day a new app from Guitar World that blew me away the minute I opened it for the first time. Whether you’re a seasoned six string pro or have simply always thought about learning to play the guitar, read on to see if this app can help.

What is It?

Guitar World’s Lick of the Day is exactly what it sounds like. Every single day, subscribers will receive a new and amazing quick lesson that will stretch their skills to the max in the quest for guitar greatness.

The app is a free download and comes with six free lessons. These lessons are quite brief and I expected them to be fairly run of the mill, what I found however was an excellent little collection of really impressive techniques so irresistible that I simply couldn’t wait to grab my Fender Strat and try them out.

Lick of the Day is a universal app that runs smoothly on both the iPhone and iPad. The screenshots below show the iPad version but the iPhone app has all the same great features so be sure to try it out no matter which device you own.

The Interface

When you open up the app you’ll see a screen divided up into four sections: a list of licks, the video tutorial, a tablature/sheet music section and an illustrated view of the guitar neck.

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Lick of the Day

Using the app is a no-brainer, simply select a lesson from the left to get going. From a design point of view, I think the interface is great. Not only is is highly efficient, it’s quite attractive.

The Video Lessons

Each video lesson is hosted by either a Guitar World employee of a famous guitarist. It begins with a brief introduction, then the guitarist shows you the lick at full speed. At this point you’re usually blown away and thinking that you want to hear it again, fortunately, they play it once more, much slower this time so you can see how it’s done. Though there are benefits to viewing the videos small (outlined in the next section), you also have the option to view them full screen.

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Full Screen Video

Next, the guitarist talks you through the basic concept, tells you what scale they’re playing, where they’re performing trills and vibrato, etc. Each video is only a couple of minutes in duration so you even if you’re only stealing away for a quick guitar break, you can get in a full lesson.

Each video comes with a detailed text description that often contains much more technical information than you get from the video so it’s definitely a good idea to read these entirely before the lesson.

Tabs and Guitar Neck

There are two basic modes to choose from when using the app: practice mode and video mode. When you select a lesson, you’ll start out in video mode. If you’re not in fullscreen, both the tabs and the guitar neck will come alive as the player demonstrates the lick.

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The tabs progress as the neck shows where the player is putting his fingers

Once you’ve finished watching the video, switch the app over to practice mode for much more control. From here you can tap and drag the tabs to progress through the song slowly as the fretboard updates. You can also click the little play button at the very bottom of the screen to see it played through with a guitar sound simulation.

Options

The best part about practice mode is the collection of options found by tapping the little gear icon. From here you have three different screens with various settings.

The first allows you to toggle the instrument audio, count in and looping. It also has the single most useful feature in the whole app: the speed dial. You can use this to slow down the lick so that you can play it back at a speed you’re comfortable following along with. As you get better and better you can increase the speed up to and even beyond 100%.

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Playback Options

The next set of options allows you to tweak the metronome. You can toggle the main and accent sounds, adjust the volume and choose from a number of different sounds including a shaker or bass drum.

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Metronome Options

The last set of options allow you to adjust the neck and notation previews. If you play like Hendrix or McCartney, you’ll want to switch that fretboard to left handed. Also, if you’re one of the few guitarists that actually knows how to read music, you can swap the tabs out for standard notation.

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Display Options

Subscription Pricing

If you want to continue receiving daily licks, you’ll have to cough of the cash. Subscription options are one, three or six months for $4.99, $12.99 and $19.99 respectively.

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Subscriptions

You don’t have to worry about the videos eating up your hard drive because they’re set to delete after a one month lapse in viewing (you can re-download them free).

Room for Improvement

For the most part, this is a stellar free app. I usually don’t go for free apps that are really just targeted at getting me to pay for a subscription, but this one is really great and provides enough value on its own to merit a download.

However, I have run into a single recurring problem that is quite frustrating. Every now and then the list of licks simply becomes non-responsive and doesn’t allow you to change your selection. This inevitably leads to lots of annoyed tapping but the app never recovers until you quit and restart it.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you want to learn to play the blues like B.B. King or shred it up like Yngwie Malmsteen, Guitar World’s Lick of the Day app is an excellent place to start. The lessons are brief and to the point, the content is really impressive and you can slow the solos down and learn at your own pace.

Go download Lick of the Day and let us know what you think in the comments below. Also be sure to share any other great guitar apps that you’ve come across!


Summary

Receive daily videos containing a quick but impressive lessons on how to pull off a sweet lick. The app is free and comes with a few lessons but a subscription is required to receive daily downloads.

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