Magic Guitar

App review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
Magic Guitar App Poster Image
Fun way to build musicianship, rhythm; watch social aspects.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Song speed can be adjusted to slow, medium, fast, or default. There are how-to-play tutorials, and each song can be played in practice mode before trying the real thing.


Usernames may include iffy language; one user's name included "badass," for example. When kids choose to listen to other players' songs, they see their username and possibly a Facebook profile photo.


Players are prompted to share songs and results with friends on Facebook, Twitter, and email. The app itself, and a handful of songs, are free, but more must be purchased with in-game currency that can be slowly earned by playing the game a lot, or by paying real-world cash and participating in partner offers like signing up for a service's free trial.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Magic Guitar is a music app where players hold the iPhone sideways and play melodies by pressing down on beams of light as they scroll by, dragging fingers to bend notes, and shaking the device to create a vibrato effect. The game is free to play and comes with a handful of songs. Additional songs must be purchased using a premium currency called "Shred." Players can listen in on other players' performances from around the world, but there's no chatting. If players log in with their Facebook account, their Facebook profile picture will be visible to others using the app. Usernames sometimes include iffy language.

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Is it any good?

MAGIC GUITAR teaches real guitar techniques like pitch-bending and vibrato, and lets players develop their sense of melody and rhythm while playing along to familiar tunes from pop artists like Coldplay and Lady Gaga, as well as traditional and children's tunes. The songs take practice to play in tune, and players can share performances via Twitter, Facebook, email, and online leaderboards. Overall, it's a unique and enjoyable app that encourages real-life musicianship.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: December 22, 2011
  • Category: Music
  • Topics: Music and Sing-Along
  • Size: 18.20 MB
  • Publisher: Smule
  • Version: 1.0.2
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.0 or later
  • Last updated: September 26, 2018

Our editors recommend

For kids who love music

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