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Want to learn a musical instrument but don’t have the time to take regular lessons? Worry not. The app age is here for the rescue.

Considering you have bought an instrument and are slowly plodding along through self-taught lessons, these innovative apps will handhold you through structured lessons and progress your skills.

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On the other hand, if you aren’t sure of which instrument to pick up or your aptitude to learn one, almost all these apps offer excellent simulation to get a feel of the instrument in question. No, there’s no point in buying an instrument and making it gather dust in your room.

1. Sitar Pro

Ever since John Lennon and the boys met up with Pt. Ravi Shankar, the Sitar has enchanted listeners worldwide with its distinctive sound. Though there are far lesser Indian students learning the instrument these days, there’s no reason to think that the Sitar’s days are long over. Just look at the number of shows Anoushka Shankar still puts up and her fan following.

It’s a tough instrument for an app to follow, but Sitar Pro allows you to try out the stringed instrument virtually before buying a real one. The app has basic lessons, a limited library of ragas that you can record over, and is a fun way to play the sitar without investing too much.

Get the Android app here.

2. Tabla

Playing the tabla requires far more dexterity, rhythm and finesse than your piteous, imperfect imitation of Ustad Zakir Hussain in the Taj Mahal Tea commercial. This app helps you get a feel of the Indian percussion instrument through playing on your phone/tablet.

Fun, light and easy to use, the app is great for those interested in learning drumming (the Indian way) without annoying your neighbours. Tabla comes with rhythm lessons, tutorials, 9 songs to play along, and has glowing reviews on the Play Store.

Get the Android app here.

3. Pianist HD

The piano was one of the earliest instruments to be adapted for e-learning. With Pianist HD, the experience of playing a piano on your device has only become better. Unlike other apps offering rigid instructions, Pianist allows you to play on your terms, at your speed.

Lessons include playing along compositions by western classical masters such as Bach and Beethoven. The app also comes with 128 MIDI instruments, the ability to load karaoke files and an extensive library of around 50,000 songs.

Get the Android app here.

4. Real Drums

Want to flay the skins like Dave Lombardo? Can’t afford a real set of drums? Your neighbours have already cursed you for practicing at night? Real Drums offers some solace to your percussive cravings. The virtual drum kit sampler has rock, jazz, ethnic and electronic drum kits with authentic sounds.

Equally built for beginner and advanced drummers, the app also features a library of rock anthems to practice on. Go ahead, it’s time to prove yourself to be better than Lars Ulrich anyway.

Get the Android app here.

5. Yousician

At last, we come to the holy grail of instruments – the guitar. There are a million apps out there that help you play the guitar, but Yousician gets our attention for being a multi-instrument app (guitar, bass, ukulele and piano included) which listens to you practice and gives instant feedback  on accuracy and clarity.

Featuring over a thousand exercises and lessons, Yousician teaches music theory, sheet music reading, strumming, fingerpicking and a bazillion tricks to up your game on the six-string.

Get the Android app here.

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