Playing Electric Guitar and Justin Lessons through Headphones

I apologize if this has been answered somewhere else. I’ve looked through several posts and got confused with all the diversions into recording, Garage Band features, etc. I have access to an electric guitar (no amp). I’d like to find a cheap, easy solution that I can listen to the JustinGuitar practice sessions and play the guitar and listen through headphones so I don’t disturb others. I see options for iRig 2, etc. Any opinions on the easiest solution? If it matters, I have a PC, iPhone, and an iPad.

My primary focus is to practice quietly. As I get down the road, I might want to record - that that isn’t my main goal at this time.

There’s plenty of options

You can get a small plug in headphone amp

Or connect to the pc, I assume you can go via phone too

I use a rocksmith cable to pc and some pc based amp simulator ( a free version of amplitude)

Hi Victor!

The Fender Mustang Micro would be my suggestion. It’s a little amp you plug right into your guitar and then use a pair of headphones with. You can stream audio from other devices to it via Bluetooth and it’s got a lot of really cool built in effects and amp models. You can even hook it up to your PC and record your playing. Highly recommended!

Since the OP is asking for an easy way to practice and play along to Justins videos I’ll assume that playing through his PC is more convenient than even a small amp and such. Therefore my recommendation would be a small Focusrite audio interface (“Solo” or “2i2”) and then use an amp sim software. There are some that are cheap or even free… Amplitude mentioned above is one option. Good luck!

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Does this allow the ability to hear the backing tracks from the JustinGuitar app to also play through the headphones?

It should do, plug into guitar and stream the sound from your phone to it over BT (I dont have it , not tried it)

I use my iPhone or iPad for Justin’s app when I learning the practice songs.

This would be useful to assess what it can do for you!


Thanks. Those videos were helpful. So, my really dumb question would be - if I plug in headphones and also connect my ipad to the input, and play a song from the JustinGuitar app, then I hear the strum from the guitar and the beat and backing track from the music app in the headphones and it is basically silent to everyone else in the house?

I’m a big fan of the Mustang Micro and from all of my research and experience I would say it is the best and simplest way to accomplish what you’re trying to do.

Plug the Micro into your guitar, plug your headphones into the Micro, connect your phone or IPad to the Micro via Bluetooth and then hear both your guitar and the app (or any music or video) through your headphones. They only thing your family will hear is the sound of your pick on the strings.

It sounds great , has a variety of amps and effects, is easy to use and is super convenient.

I have a micro, although it is not my main amp, that is a Katana mkii head, since I usually play in one place. But when I am away and bring the guitar, I bring the micro. It really could be all you need for home, until you want a looper or something.

The micro is reasonably priced, rechargeable, takes Bluetooth in with ease, and can even plug into a PC or Mac for recording and additional processing.

I have plugged mine into the auxiliary in on a stereo system and played that way as well, if you want to share with others.

Really worth having even as a secondary unit.

Thanks. That’s what I was hoping to hear. I’ll look into getting one. I just need to convince my son to let me “borrow” his since he isn’t using it now. (He’s in law school and just got married, so no time for hobbies.)

Thanks for the input. That’s really helpful.

You may already have settled on a solution, here’s something else to consider. My typical practice setup, which I usually do either very early in the morning or late at night.

It’s really straightforward:

Guitar into Katana Mk2 100 amp
Laptop (MacbookPro) into Katana via USB
Headphones into Katana

This enables me to practice quietly, and I can hear both the laptop (usually Justin giving a lesson) and the guitar in the headphones. The USB also makes it easy to record using GarageBand.

The advantage is having the amp:

  • at some point you are probably going to want to play without headphones - even if it’s just for yourself when no one is home :slight_smile:
  • an amp like the katana gives you access to lots (and lots) of virtual pedals. Drive/fuzz/wah/octave/reverb/delay etc. is all built in.

Downside is portability, and cost (maybe). I write maybe cost because 1) if you stick with the guitar you will probably end up buying an amp anyway and 2) while more expensive than the personal-headphone setups, a katana is cheaper than buying a lot of pedals (though maybe less fun than buying pedals).

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Thanks for your input. That’s certainly another option to consider and the amp doesn’t seem to be overly expensive. I’m quickly learning that there are lots of options and no shortage of ways to part with some cash with this new hobby. :joy:

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I use a very similar set up, except I use an Android pad in to control the katana and a separate old iPhone plugged in to it. No Bluetooth. With a jack splitter at the katana headphone out, I can listen to the guitar, the Android and the iPhone all at the same time!

Question for @jsgreen
There is this thread here asking about the katana and difficulty setting up with Mac. Would you consider adding your input, since you successfully installed a Mac katana driver? Thanks!

I recent got a Boss Pocket GT and it works great.
Boss Pocket GT review | Guitar World
You can use this as a stand-alone, no computer/phone/amp needed, or connect to one of these. the connection can be done over Bluetooth so no need for more wires.
After having it for a few weeks, I’m very happy with it.


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I agree with Jamolay, It’s brilliant. It has lots of amps you can play through although I tend to stick to a couple. About a £100 in UK; about the same as the cheap amp I have for my acoustic which has disappointed me. Headphones must be wired; I use Aftershokz, and connects to my iPad over Bluetooth to listen to Justin at the same time as playing.

I have an Apogee Jam+. I used it over Christmas vacation to continue with Justin’s course unabated while I was visiting my folks. The guitar and headphones plug into it, then it hooks to your phone, pc, or iPad (it includes a variety of cables, including a very long Lightning cable). It can serve as an audio interface and uses power from the device it’s connected to. In my case, I used the Lightning cable to plug it into my iPhone; I used it with Bias FX (Garageband works too) and Justin’s Beginner app without any trouble (it sounds great). It’s got a nice little overdrive mode too, which is fun to play with.

Yes, I have one of these too. It’s a little more expensive than the Fender Micro, but I think it has a lot more flexibility, with the Boss app basically giving you the same capabilities as the GT-1.

I find the Youtube importing, markers and AB looping quite useful, if a bit limited in what videos it works with.

But for a portable amp/fx unit, and recording interface it’s hard to beat.