You’ve probably heard about Guitar Pro program for learning guitar. Before you decide whether you’d use it, I recommend you to read this article.
I used Guitar Pro for years, so in this article I’m going to give away my thoughts about it. Further in the text you can read some of the advantages and disadvantages of using this program. Let’s go!
Is Guitar Pro good for learning?
Guitar Pro can be very useful for you if you’re a guitar beginner. This program can give you a motivation to improve your guitar playing. However, it is not as useful for intermediate guitar players as it is for beginners. To rely on guitar tabs forever will definitely stop the development of your guitar playing at some point.
What Does Guitar Pro Do?
Guitar Pro is a program with which you can see guitar tabs of songs you want to learn. Not only you have guitar tabs for almost every rock or metal song out there, but you can play the song you want to play along with the accompanying instruments.
What does that mean? Let’s say, for example, that you want to learn how to play Smoke On The Water by Deep Purple on your guitar. Guitar Pro will serve you not only as a source of guitar tab for that song, but also as a backing track.
You only need to hit Play button, mute the lead guitar (or rhythm guitar if you want to learn rhythm section of the song) and play along with the track.
Is Guitar Pro Free?
Guitar Pro itself is not a free program. However, the official Guitar Pro site gives you a free 30-day trial. That means you can use it for free for 30 days. After that you’ll need a license key for which you have to pay.
Newest version of Guitar Pro is Guitar Pro 7.5. You can download trial version from official page, here.
I’ve used Guitar Pro 5 for years, and personally I think it’s the best version of Guitar Pro up to this day. Unfortunately, as it says on the official website:
Guitar Pro 5 is no longer supported by our technical team.
Therefore we can not guarantee that you will able to install and use Guitar Pro 5 successfully on your computer.
However, you can try to find some license key on the internet. There are ways, but you’ll need to find out how for yourself.
What Is A GPX File?
GPX file is a Guitar Pro 6 document that contains guitar tabs created by Guitar Pro 6. Older versions have different extensions, such as .gp5 or .gp4 for Guitar Pro 5 and Guitar Pro 4, respectively.
Is Guitar Pro Worth It?
To answer this question, I’m going to present you some advantages and disadvantages of using a Guitar Pro program for learning guitar.
I’ll give my honest opinion formed from the years of experience in using this program. The decision is on you at the end. I hope I’ll make the things a bit clearer for you. So, let’s start.
As it’s been said at the beginning of this article, Guitar Pro is a great motivator for you to continue the development of your guitar technique. In learning an instrument, perhaps the most important factor is motivation and regular playing.
Whether you want to learn piano or a guitar, it is crucial to play it almost every day. But usually we feel motivated first few weeks.
After that period of time, most of us are losing that drive that makes us pick the instrument in our hands and play it. How does exactly Guitar Pro help here?
Well, if you think about it, it really stinks if you want to play something but you can’t because the lack of your guitar technique. Guitar Pro gives you a possibility of playing the whole song you want to learn with accompanying band!
Not only you have a guitar tab for something you want to learn, but you also hear drums, bass, rhythm sections, vocal lines and so on. The feeling of participation in song is really motivating, after all. That’s one of the biggest advantages of Guitar Pro.
Learning Guitar Chords, Patterns etc.
By looking at guitar tab, you can not only learn how to play the particular song you want to learn. You are also learning a lot of guitar patterns, licks, scales, chords and so on. In the long run, you are getting some really valuable information.
For example, when you learn some new song with Guitar Pro, you can at the same time see what chords are used, what licks does a lead guitar play, what kind of measures are used etc.
That is something you actually have to know in order to become a respectful guitar player.
There are many possibilities for user in this program. For example, you can change the tempo of the song. That’s really helpful in situations where you’re learning a song that’s too fast for you to play.
For example, if you want to learn Master Of Puppets, you soon will realize it is a very, very fast song. Its tempo is around 212 BPM. Let’s say you want to play that song, using downstroke guitar picking technique, but it is just too fast for you to keep up.
By the way, if you want to know how to improve your downstroke picking technique, I advise you to read the article from this page about it, here.
In Guitar Pro, you just need to lower the tempo to the level you’re comfortable with! So, in this case, you can lower the tempo down to, let’s say, 150 BPM, and play it.
After some time, you’re just going to move the tempo up. You see this is a very entertaining and interactive process of learning a guitar.
Another great possibility is the possibility of muting instruments you want to mute. So, let’s say you want to learn rhythm guitar section for some song.
In this case, you can mute the rhythm guitar, and watch the rhythm guitar tab as the song goes on. It’s almost that you’re playing with a real band!
If there is some part of the song you didn’t master quite well, you can simply loop that part and lower the tempo. By looping the bar section you chose to loop, whole learning process becomes so much quicker.
Those are the possibilities I liked the most.
If you’re into composing, Guitar Pro can serve you as great starter. You can make your own Guitar Pro files. You can compose drum sections, string sections, brass sections, and most importantly, guitar sections for yourself!
I know, there are many professional composing programs such as FL Studio or Ableton, but Guitar Pro is a great starter. I’ve used it for this purpose for years, and I definitely had a lot of fun doing it!
As it’s been said at the beginning, Guitar Pro is a great program when you’re a guitar beginner.
But soon as you become intermediate, it is better to leave it. Why? Think about it. Did any of those famous guitar players from 20th century used it?
Of course not! There weren’t any learning programs available back then. I would say that the most important thing that separates great guitar player from an average one is their ability to adapt in new situations.
What does that mean? It means that all of those great guitar player didn’t have any guitar tabs in their hands. They all used ear! Ear development is one of the most important things when it comes to playing an instrument.
If you have a bad ear (hearing), you won’t know how to play anything accept songs you’ve learned in Guitar Pro.
At that point, you’ll just have to leave Guitar Pro behind and start to transcribe the songs you hear. Transcribe songs, and soon you’ll develop the ability to play anything you hear at the moment. That’s what separates great guitar players from an average ones. They can do it, while some average Joe can’t do it.
It’s really a shame to see a guitar player who knows how to play some ridiculously challenging guitar solo, but don’t know how to play anything without guitar tabs. Don’t become that kind of a guitar player!
Let’s recap this subject. Guitar Pro is a great tool that can really help you maintain your motivation. It will also give you a valuable information in form of scales, chords, bar measures, and so on.
The bottom line is this: Guitar Pro will make your learning process much quicker.
Main disadvantage of Guitar Pro is actually not a disadvantage of Guitar Pro itself. It is rather a mistake guitar players often make. They stay in their comfort zone by getting stuck with guitar tabs forever.
Anyway, if you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it, I’m more than happy about it.
Don’t forget to check out other interesting articles I wrote on this site!
Cheers, and rock on!