Updated by Bobby
Updated on June 16, 2021
Updated logos and home pages for Yousician, Justinguitar, and JamPlay to reflect branding changes for 2021.
Best Yousician Alternative (our top pick)
Assuming your instrument is guitar, we recommend Guitar Tricks as the top Yousician alternative as it has the highest rating of all the programs we've reviewed. You can try it for free via the button below, or checkout other options in our comparison chart.
Yousician alternative programs are the topic of this post, because Yousician is very popular. It's just not what I would consider the most complete guitar learning option out there. You can get more of a feel for what I like and don't like about the app in my Yousician review here, which focuses on the guitar portion of the site.
But, in this article, I'm simply giving you my top Yousician alternative programs and apps.
For exclusively mobile suggestions, you can checkout Guitar Chalk's list of guitar learning app recommendations.
And while I appreciate the fun and innovation of Yousician, I think it struggles to compete with other programs because there's so little in terms of textbook-style explanation of topics.
You learn how to play and memorize patterns, but you don't learn the why behind the fretboard. In that regard, Yousician feels like a bit of a ghost town with little in the way of human contact or interaction.
What Yousician Alternatives Offer
With these alternative options, you learn the fretboard and the logic (music theory) behind the movement.
Keep in mind some of these recommendations are free and some are not. If you have questions, feel free to drop them in the comments section below.
Here are the alternatives I recommend most.
Compare Yousician Alternatives
1. Guitar Tricks
Where Yousician drops off in terms of conceptual explanation, Guitar Tricks picks up the slack. They're strong on topical organization, depth of coverage, and quality of communication.
While Yousician certainly deserves credit for getting you into a lot of different movements and concepts quickly, Guitar Tricks takes you along at a slower pace, and explains things to you in a more comprehensive way. When you get through a Guitar Tricks course, you'll feel like you've thoroughly covered a narrow grouping of concepts. With Yousician, it feels like you quickly barreled through a large to-do list without really much retention.
An Imperfect Comparison
I should admit, it's hard to directly compare the two formats, because Guitar Tricks is a video and instructor-based platform that's delivered in courses, while Yousician is more of an interactive app in the same vein as Rocksmith and even Guitar Hero.
Yet, Guitar Tricks is simply the stronger of the two programs.
There's a lot of unique, in-depth content as well, like the Eric John style lesson series pictured below.
But, with the instructors and the detailed level of explanation for each topic covered, you get a lot more of the teacher-student type of interaction, even though it's delivered in a pre-recorded video format.
Of course, you don't have the Guitar Hero-style gameplay of the Yousician app, but Guitar Tricks is thorough enough with such a large body of content that you don't really feel like you need it.
Try it out for free via the orange button below:
Justin Sandercoe's program is at the top of the free-to-use charts, not even requiring an email address to access most of his content. With a recent site update he's on par with a lot of the paid options, and has one of the more personal and approachable teaching styles.
The only disadvantage to Justinguitar is that Sandercoe is the only instructor, which limits the stylistic variance of the content and the amount he's able to interact with people who use his site.
But again, it's completely free resource, with content that's particularly ideal for beginners or even intermediate players in the blues, jazz, or classic rock styles.
In a direct comparison to Yousician, Justinguitar is a completely different system. Sandercoe's content is setup more like Guitar Tricks with courses, modules, and video lessons within each course.
He doesn't have any kind of interactive app or play-along system.
Again, this isn't something I would consider a problem.
In fact, I would contend that sites like Justinguitar and Guitar Tricks are better and more effective learning tools because of this format.
JamPlay differs from Guitar Trick and Justinguitar largely in terms of what skill level they cater to. While they do have a ton of solid material for beginners, where they tend to excel is in the intermediate to advanced categories, with a lot of really specific standalone courses from individual artists.
JamPlay is also one of the most feature-rich programs with a ton of supplemental material and interactive content. In recent years it has become far more competitive with Guitar Tricks and really only falls behind them in terms of their song lessons and the sheer volume of content they provide.
They're a great Yousician alternative, especially if you feel like Yousician was too basic or perhaps juvenile for your current skill set.
JamPlay will challenge you a bit more, or at least give you the opportunity to be challenged by a lot of their material.
4. Active Melody
Though Active Melody is not a widely known platform, it's a diamond in the rough of online guitar lesson content. While it's a paid program, it's cheaper than Guitar Tricks and taught by a fellow named Brian Sherrill who is an extremely gifted blues guitar player and an excellent teacher.
He's comfortable in front of the camera, similar to Sandercoe, and is great with explaining concepts slowly, in parts.
Sherrill also provides a lot of his content for free.
Basically, anything hosted on YouTube is available as an open source lesson while the follow up lessons and supplemental material are all reserved for paying members. Though I would argue that the meager $9 a month is worth it. I should point out too that he doesn't have an affiliate program and is not paying me to say this.
He just runs a legitimately great site and is worth checking out, especially if you'd rather stay away from the "big box" places like JamPlay and Guitar Tricks.
For those interested in any level of blues or basic guitar discipline, Brian's program is a great Yousician alternative.
5. Amped Guitar Learning App
In terms of getting a Yousician alternative that functions more closely to the play-along Rocksmith app style, the Amped Guitar Learning app is the most direct comparison. It uses a similar system that listens to your guitar as you play along with interactive tabs, just like Yousician.
I'd recommend the Amped app ahead of Yousician for three basic reasons:
- Amped uses augmented audio reality
- Amped has a better song library
- Amped is significantly cheaper
Again, they're not paying me to say this and I'm not affiliated with this particular program. But, it's just a better and higher-value option than Yousician. The augmented audio is a feature that Yousician doesn't have and basically makes the playback you hear through your headphones sound better.
Also, with the song selection, the songs offered by Amped are better for guitarists because they're a more guitar-focused collection of songs.
Remember, Yousician has programs for multiple instruments, not just guitar.
As a consequence, their song choices are a bit more generic and uninspired.
And then there's the price - of course - which is far better with Amped, even though it's only available on iOS. We'd recommend it over Yousician without hesitation.
Like some of JamPlay's content, nearly all the courses on TrueFire are available as a direct download. They also have a more conventional monthly or yearly membership option, though it's nice to be able to go one course at a time and not be tied to the fee.
TrueFire's content spans the entire skill spectrum, though I'd say they're more effective at serving advanced players or those who want to study a specific area or niche.
This might be the person who tries Yousician and finds that it's not challenging enough or doesn't go into enough depth with certain topics or styles.
For this player, TrueFire will have a ton of different courses from a wide range of instructors that should be a lot more interesting and challenging. While you lose to interactive aspect of the Yousician app, you gain a lot more variety and detail in your learning system.
This is something seriously lacking in the Yousician program.
When is Yousician a good fit?
I want to be fair to Yousician:
When I tested out their program for the review I mentioned earlier, it was a surprisingly positive experience. The app responded well to my guitar and seemed to be quite good at picking out mistakes or even just notes that weren't ringing clearly.
The interface is also colorful and engaging, which comes across in the screenshot below:
It literally functions like a real-life version of Guitar Hero.
And based on what I saw there's plenty of content there for true beginners, or those that just want to practice building chops.
Weak On Details
Yet, where Yousician falls off for me is when you start needing more thorough or specified guidance.
They just don't have it.
A program like Guitar Tricks, for example, excels at the beginner content but also offers it in a thorough and comprehensive way, while still providing plenty of meat for intermediate and advanced players as well.
And while Yousician can be a good fit in limited scenarios, its weak enough on the details that I wouldn't recommend it as my primary source of guitar learning.
Do I need the Rocksmith-style lessons?
Rocksmith and Yousician were both birthed out of the Guitar Hero concept, which itself is fairly new. I would argue that while this type of play-along system can be helpful and fun, it's definitely not necessary or critical for you to be able to develop as a player.
In fact, the same effect can be had from simply playing along with songs on your phone or MP3 player.
While I'm in favor of using the internet and technology to learn more, I'm not ready to say that a platform like Yousician is an essential part of that process. It can help, but in my view it's bonus material and not crucial.
Yousician can be fun and certainly has some value for those just getting started or trying to motivate themselves to build chops. Depending on the situation, it can be a good fit. But it's overpriced considering the cost of many of the alternatives listed here, and not even the top app-based option I'd recommend.
For prospective buyers, I'd recommend the following:
- For the Yousician video-game style go with Amped
- For the more traditional tutoring/video learning approach, go with Guitar Tricks
I think if Yousician's pricing system were to become more competitive or if they could provide more guitar-focused and detailed curriculum, I would revise my opinion. My assumption is that a large part of their success has been a good marketing campaign, which I don't have a problem with, provided the product lives up to the hype.
In the case of Yousician, I would argue that it falls short of that hype by a fairly wide margin.
If you have questions about the Yousician alternatives I've listed here or about the Yousician program itself, feel free to leave those in the comments section below and I'll do my best to help out.