Using the iPad to teach guitar

Find out how you can teach guitar using an iPad

Technology can allow guitar teachers to add a completely new experience to their lessons to help students learn in interesting ways. The popularity of the iPad and the countless apps available have transformed it into a fantastic teaching tool. Here are a few reasons why you should consider using the iPad during your lessons to supplement other guitar lesson plans, worksheets and any other teaching materials you currently use.

Teach Guitar using an iPad

Backing tracks

The most common way guitar teachers use the iPad in lessons is to quickly bring up backing tracks for the student to jam over. Rather than having a laptop or needing to use a PC/Mac, an iPad is far easier and takes up less room. If you already have backing tracks you can simply load them up and play them as needed. Alternatively there are various apps you can use to create your own backing tracks quickly. This is a great way to teach the student to change keys, use different scales/modes etc.

Access to YouTube

Quite often a student will mention they watched a guitarist play something on YouTube or TV and want to know what was happening. For example they may have seen something like two handed tapping and not know what the technique is called. Having the ability to quickly bring up YouTube and find the relevant videos will improve the quality of your lessons. Sometimes all it takes for a student to understand what you're talking about is if they see somebody else demonstrate it. You could even bring up live performances of songs the student is learning so they can see how the artist plays the piece. It's also a great way to introduce ear training and transcribing as you can easily pause and playback the video over and over.


The key to having a rich learning environment is for your student to be engaged with what is being taught. An easy way to do this is for your student to interact with you and any materials you provide. The iPad allows your students to interact with it, unlike guitar method books which are extremely inflexible materials. For example when a student sees the Guitar Pro app play back a Guitar TAB for the first time it helps them understand TAB a little bit easier. You can even use apps to quiz your students and provide instant feedback on their progress.


If you travel to student's homes for lessons, you will know that portability is important. The iPad is a great way to bring the functionality of a laptop or desktop computer to lessons without taking up room. Being able to store backing tracks and lesson materials on the iPad as well as all the apps available will give you freedom to give high quality lessons away from your home studio.


The chances are that your student may already have an iPad. If so, you can use this to your advantage.  If you use a certain app during lessons then your student is likely to get the same app and use it outside of lessons. For example you may teach your student how to write and record their own songs in Garageband. The student may then get the app on their iPad and continue to write songs. This could lead to future lessons where you help the student analyze their songs and teach them how to improve their songwriting. The student is more likely to use a metronome when practicing at home if they use the same app that you use during lessons.

Using the iPad to teach guitar

Apps such as GarageBand are extremely helpful for guitar teachers

How to use the iPad to teach guitar

If you already have an iPad then you're all set to use it in your guitar lessons. We have guides and resources to help you out and get the most out of the whole iPad experience in lessons. There are countless apps available so we narrow down the selection to those that will have the biggest impact for you as a guitar teacher. Check out some iPad apps for guitar students we recommend.

Check out our range of teaching materials, business guides and teaching advice to create the richest learning experience possible for your students. The iPad is one of many different teaching tools we recommend using so have a read through our other guides to find out other ways you can become a better guitar teacher.