Parents' Guide to

Monster Chords: Fun with Music

By Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Monster confusion and ads; not a great way to learn guitar.

App iPhone , iPod Touch , iPad Free to try Music
Monster Chords: Fun with Music Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

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Privacy Rating Warning

  • Personal information is not sold or rented to third parties.
  • Personal information is shared for third-party marketing.
  • Personalised advertising is displayed.
  • Data are collected by third-parties for their own purposes.
  • User's information is used to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
  • Unclear whether this product creates and uses data profiles for personalised advertisements.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

While there's good content scattered through the intro videos, the buggy mini-games and lack of support make this app hard to follow. For example, the videos speed through tons of important information about how to hold the instruments, how to position your hands, and how to play different chords, but there's almost too much information presented all at once and not enough time to take it in. Though you can jump backward in the videos 15 seconds at a time, there's no good way to jump to big topics in the videos like hand positioning and tuning. Plus, there's not an easy way to get back to specific videos (like the introductions for each chord) once you've watched them.

Meanwhile, the three main built-in games in Monster Chords: Fun with Music -- the tuning feature, the composing feature, and the song-playing levels -- aren't nearly as well-explained as the videos. The tuning game is buggy and inconsistently responsive, and it's timed, for some reason. You have to set the screen to "easy mode" to turn off a distracting timer that has nothing to do with developing the skill of tuning your instrument. The app also periodically features pop-up ads for a dedicated tuning app that you can purchase from the same developer. The game levels are also confusing. The objective is apparently to play chords correctly so that monsters will gather at the campfire, but that's not really explained within the game. Plus, it's hard to know what to do, as letters float out of the campfire periodically and cross a dotted line that indicates when to play. It would make more sense and be easier to follow if the screen displayed more information, like chord charts and beats, and it would be more fun if kids were playing more recognizable songs and could more meaningfully track their progress. It's hard to tell when you've gotten something right or wrong. As it is, there's not enough support here to help beginners make the jump from the intro videos to mastering their instruments. Overall, look elsewhere for an app that takes a more stepwise, supportive approach for new guitar and ukulele players.

App Details

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