Guitar Tricks is among the oldest and most well constructed online guitar lesson platforms. This platform dates back all the way to 1998! They, therefore, have a lot of content available.
There are well over 10,000 lessons covering many different styles and genres.
Many of these lessons are devoted to learning individual songs with more than 1,000 dedicated song lessons.
The lessons are delivered by top-quality teachers in pre-recorded hi-def video lessons.
If you need some one-on-one coaching this is available too. This is not included in the membership price thoug so be aware of this.
One of the biggest drawing cards for GT is the breadth of the lessons. They have an excellent beginner course to extremely niche advanced lessons and everything in between. Wherever your skills are currently at, there is sure to be something to help you improve.
JamPlay has been kicking around the internet since 2006 and since then has released over 6000 dedicated lessons by over 100 teachers.
This platform works well in the iOS or Android app and is also available in a desktop version.
The lessons are perfect for intermediate and advanced guitarists. Beginners could also use these lessons but may have trouble at the very beginning as the starting lessons are less specific than in Guitar Tricks.
Aside from the lessons, you also have access to many other learning tools with the price of a JamPlay membership. These include scale and chord charts, a metronome, and an online tuner.
One of the best online lesson options. Their apps are a little better than Guitar Tricks so it could be better for you if you plan to use your phone for learning mostly.
Check out our full review of JamPlay
TrueFire is the oldest and biggest provider of online music lessons. They have lessons dating all the way back to 1991. Between then and now, they have accumulated over 40,000 lessons into 700 courses. TrueFire leaves the competition in the dust when considering the number of lessons. Their numbers even dwarf the other big names such as JamPlay, Guitar Tricks, and Fender Play.
With such a huge range of material, it is perfect for intermediate and advanced players to drill particular skills. If you want to work on anything at all - TrueFire will have lessons devoted to it.
My favorite part about TrueFire is its focus on technique.
The teachers are very aware of creating a solid foundation to build your skills. If you are a beginner it may take you a little longer to learn your first song than other online lessons but you will definitely be pressing the strings and holding the guitar correctly.
This platform has not been around as long as some of our other top picks. However, given that it is from a well-respected industry name, the lessons are high quality and Fender has churned out quite a lot of them in a short time.
The lessons are presented in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step video format. As the lessons are set out like this, it makes them one of the best platforms for absolute beginners.
There is a free trial available for Fender Play. If you happen to be shopping for a Fender or a Squier for your first guitar, this free trial is often significantly longer so check with the music store when you buy.
There is a big focus on learning classic songs to get you started on your guitar journey but the lessons for advanced users are nowhere near as in-depth as TrueFire, JamPlay, or Guitar Tricks.
ArtistWorks is a platform that was founded in 2008. It has a more recent beginning than some of our other top picks but that doesn't mean this website is lacking in content. They have over 50,000 individual lessons available. There are lessons for absolute beginners all the way through to top-tier advanced players.
As the name suggests ArtistWorks has many successful artists to coach you through your guitar practice. Some of these big names include Paul Gilbert, Keith Wyatt, and Martin Taylor. If you would like guided lessons from famous guitarists this is one of the best platforms for it.
You can send videos of yourself playing through to the instructors to receive individual feedback. This is great to fine-tune your skills or to pick up on problems you may not have been aware of in the first place.
ArtistWorks is another technique-based learning system. It's designed to get you playing your technical best rather than churning out song after song. I wouldn't recommend artist works if you are a beginner and looking to learn a bunch of songs as soon as possible. However, if you did choose to go with Artist Works you will get a very solid foundation to do your own learning in the future.
The community of this platform is one of its strong suits. You can count on other guitarists on the platform to help you out, even if your actual guitar teacher is not available when you need them.
ArtistWorks are a solid option for any guitar student from beginners to shredders. They also have the added bonus of lessons for several other instruments. If you have an interest in learning violin, brass instruments, or even harmonica this platform stands above the others.
This is a game-based online learning platform for guitar as well as several other instruments such as piano.
This platform differs greatly from all the others we have mentioned so far as they don't use video lessons with a guitar instructor. Instead, you have an animated video that plays along with a song and shows you which fret to put your fingers on as well as a bouncing white ball to keep you in time. This will feel familiar to anyone who has been to a karaoke bar. It is also similar to timing-based computer games such as Rocksmith or Guitar Hero.
There are other skill-based videos for you to learn with, but they are still not face-to-face like most other lesson providers. You may want to look elsewhere if you want an occasional private lesson or individualized feedback.
Each song lesson can be slowed down, simplified, and looped. It is a great way to drill difficult sections and to improve your overall dexterity. It is also a lot easier to follow along with than practicing on your own due to its game-like nature.
Jamorama is a guitar lesson website that targets beginners. Its content is primarily taught through a single instructor. This is great if you try the first few lessons and love them. That way you know all the courses should suit your learning style perfectly. It also makes it easy to figure out if Jamorama is not right for you.
Jamorama is sold with a lifetime membership that is often on special for less than $100 which makes it a lot cheaper than month-to-month memberships or even yearly options from other providers. They don't offer a free trial for the full version but you have 60 days to get a no-questions-asked refund from them.
If you can trust yourself to remember to cancel your membership they are well worth trying out. If you are a beginner, it's very likely you will stay on and continue your lessons anyway. Given that all of their courses are aimed at turning a beginner guitarist into a proficient one, they are among the best at doing so.
If you would rather try a few lessons for free, they have quite a few sample lessons available to get you started.
You guessed it, this is an online guitar lesson platform with an individual coach by the name of Tom Hess. You may have seen him pop up on your social media as he does a lot of advertising for his lessons this way.
His lessons are primarily targeted one-on-one lessons supported by some video content. This is the exact opposite of many other platforms. This makes them great for getting specific advice on your playing but makes it a little harder to practice on your own.
A second point to consider is that you could go to real-life lessons for a similar cost. Although Tom is a fantastic teacher you could benefit more from a qualified instructor that you can be in a room with physically. I have had my fair share of terrible teachers when I was starting out though. If you are running into a similar problem Tom Hess could be the answer.
Although he can help you out with many different styles he is best known for working with electric guitar and moving students from mediocre to legendary status. If you’re a complete beginner, maybe start somewhere else and come back to these lessons later.
Play Guitar is a single-teacher lesson platform that covers a lot of theory as well as technical skills. They put an emphasis on understanding why you do certain things on the guitar rather than just copying.
Instead of a free trial period, this platform has a ton of free lessons available without even signing up. If you want to get regular new free lessons, you can sign up for the newsletter which includes one free lesson every week.
There are free lessons dedicated to acoustic guitar skills, solo skills, single licks, and music theory, among many others.
Outside of the free lessons, there are premium courses available as well. Each course ranges from $50 to $100 and takes a deep dive into each concept. Although the courses are great, it is easy to see how the cost could add up over time. There also doesn't appear to be an option to buy all premium options in one.
Your guitar academy is a UK-based guitar course platform. They have a range of different learning methods.
You could start off with a video lesson, use their guitar tuition service, or attend live webinars. The latter of these options is a standout feature from this smaller site and allows it to compete with the big names such as Guitar Tricks.
The live webinars cost around $6 to attend and are a good way to get a taste of the platform.
The courses are sold individually and range from $13.99 to $27.99. Just like other sites that sell by the course, the cost can add up quickly.
A standout feature from this guitar training site is the dedicated courses for famous artists. In them, you will learn how to play like some of your favorite guitarists. You will discover the expressive techniques they use in their writing as well as learning some of their most popular songs. Some of the artists covered include Brian May, BB King, Dimebag Darrel, and Eddie Van Halen.
The free lessons for beginners on this site are absolutely amazing. I would definitely give them a try if you are just starting out. They cover everything from how to hold a guitar to strumming your first chords. All for free with no signup.
If you are an intermediate to advanced guitarist, I would recommend going for one of the other platforms with a single payment. However, if the artist series of courses appeal to you they are well worth the investment. These could be an option to supplement your other learning in an artist-focused way.
This program offered by Justin Sandercore has so much to offer. This is especially true when you consider that this website is completely free. You don't even need to sign up to access every lesson so there is no reason at all to get your credit card out. Unless of course, you would like to donate or buy the DVD versions of the lessons.
**There are a couple of premium courses that are paid but you likely won't need those.
We think it's only fair to at least leave a small donation considering the wealth of content on offer if you use this platform for a while. While not quite as huge as some of the big names in paid options it even blows some of the smaller paid programs out of the water.
While Justin's lessons are a standout for beginners, there is still a lot of content for intermediate and advanced players.
You have nothing to lose trying out these lessons so pop on over to justinguitar.com and give them a go.
Guitareo is a newer platform that is growing quickly. It doesn't have as much to offer as the older and bigger names in the guitar lesson space. Yet, given its growth rate and the fact that you can buy a lifetime membership it may be worth considering.
The lifetime membership is pretty expensive at $297. You could get 3 years of Guitar Tricks for roughly the same price. So, make sure you are completely committed to learning guitar for the long haul if you decide to go with this platform.
*Guitareo seems to have switched to a by the course model recently which is cheaper than the lifetime membership per course but will add up to more over time
The lesson paths are reasonably easy to follow. Most of the current lessons are dedicated to beginners and people looking to learn new styles. The content outside of these areas is a little thin for now.
YouTube is by far the biggest platform for accessing online lessons for free. Most of the guitar learning systems we have already mentioned have a lot of content available on Youtube to entice people into their courses. Add all of that together and you have way more content than any one provider offers, especially from their free sections.
You can look up some basics on youtube, there are also thousands of song lessons, technique drills, and music theory lessons.
There is one major drawback to using Youtube as your main tool for learning guitar though. This problem is consistency. Most lessons are not organized into distinct learning paths which makes it difficult to progress effectively. Sure, it can be great if you find a lesson for the exact skill you want to work on, but where do you go next? If you are a reasonably experienced player Youtube can be a viable option but it makes it difficult for beginners.
As most of the content from the big lesson providers is used as an advertisement you will often find the subsequent lessons are missing and lie past the paywall on their own site. Nevertheless, it can give a good insight into many different platforms in a short time to help you pick which one is right for you.
There are plenty of resources available online that will help you learn to be a self-taught guitarist. Once you learn the absolute basics of holding and strumming a guitar, you can begin to read tablature to learn new songs. This is actually how I learned to play. From my experience, there are some benefits but also some huge downfalls from learning this way.
One problem is the fact that Ultimate Guitar and other tab sites are community-driven. This means that anyone can submit a tab to the sites. This unfortunately results in many of the tabs being incorrect. So, you could be learning the song completely wrong.
There is an upside to this though. If you're conscious of the fact that the tab might be wrong, it can help you to train your ear. You could play along with a song and hear that what you are playing is wrong and figure out what the actual notes/chords should be. This is a very useful skill that you must build to move into being a working musician. Your ear is often just as important as your hands, especially if you sing along while you play guitar.
A second potential problem that can occur while learning through tabs is forming bad habits. I know that I have a bunch of issues with my playing that have arisen because I didn't get lessons in the first place. I have learned plenty of songs but now I often struggle with advanced skills as my fundamentals are a little out of whack. You could avoid this by getting some lessons at the beginning of your playing and a few here and they along the way.
A huge benefit to learning through tabs is that you can learn pretty much ANY song. If your favorite song lies outside the standards covered in lessons you are much more likely to find the tab on UG.
Personally, if I had my time again, I would have gotten lessons as a beginner but still used UG to learn songs that I love at the same time.
Now that we have taken a brief look at so many different options, you may be a little overwhelmed with the choices. Let's take a look at a few things to consider that may sway your final decision.
You may only be interested in electric guitar lessons. Perhaps you have a yearning to engage with classical guitar lessons. Maybe you are just interested in improving your overall guitar playing. In any of these cases, it is important to note whether or not the online guitar course covers the knowledge you want to acquire.
You will also need to take into consideration whether the lesson site you are looking into has an easy-to-follow structure. This is especially true for beginners. Does the course cover everything you want to learn?
There are quite a few different ways that people learn. The most efficient type of learning can vary from person to person. For example, some people learn best through audio and visual materials. If this is the case for you, it would be best to go for a platform with instructor-led video lessons. Something like Yousician could also work as you take cues from the app.
Other learners work best by actually doing. These people are known as kinaesthetic learners. Kinaesthetic learners may be able to forgo video lessons and work straight from tablature. For beginners, I would still recommend some virtual lessons from one of the platforms. A few introductory pointers will boost your initial learning and prevent potential problems with your playing.
Some people learn best through discussion. In this case, there is no substitute for a live lesson. You could take physical lessons in real life, use a program like Tom Hess, or take some one-on-one lessons through Guitar Tricks or a similar program.
A Man Playing A Brown Acoustic Guitar
There are a few benefits that online lessons have over traditional lessons. Some of these benefits include cost, variety of content and teachers, self-pacing, and time management.
One obvious advantage for online lessons is that the cost of buying an online course is significantly less than the cost of paying a teacher for individual lessons. This is particularly true if you are a new guitar player and need to spend many hours practicing to nail down the basics.
For a real-life lesson, you would be looking at at least $20 for a single lesson and anywhere up to $100 depending on the experience and prestige of the teacher. $100 would get you a full year of online lessons from many of the top platforms in the industry. So, it's easy to see the humongous gap in costs over an entire year. You could even coast through several free trials to save even more money.
Unless you are willing to drive for hours to your lessons there is likely only a limited number of tutors in your area. Online there are hundreds of lesson platforms and thousands of online tutors. It is much easier to find a teacher and program that match your learning style.
It is also much easier to switch online lessons than to quit real-life lessons and find a new teacher.
Within each online lesson platform, you are likely to find many different styles accounted for. This will help you tackle many different genres without having to go out and find different teachers for each.
You're probably a busy person and may not have time in between lessons to practice and progress. Being able to move at your own pace with online lessons means you can spend that extra time on anything that you are finding tricky without wasting money on repeat lessons. On the other hand, if you find any particular skill easy to master you can move on to the next lesson quicker.
For many of us, it is hard to be available at the same time every week for a lesson. Taking online lessons means we can engage with the content whenever it is suitable for our schedule. Even if you take one-on-one lessons, they are often much more flexible than face-to-face lessons.
There is no reason not to log in to an online course whenever you feel like it to take a lesson. Can't sleep? Log in and bash out a new song. Want to learn some theory on your commute? Chuck on some headphones and go for it.
You also don't have to go anywhere for an online lesson. The time saved from not having to drive adds up over a year. It easily makes several extra hours you could spend actually practicing guitar!
Two Women Playing Guitar On A Terrace
A Guitar - Okay, this one is pretty obvious, but it is worth stating you should have your own guitar. Alternatively, you could have one you can borrow on a semi-permanent basis. It is not enough to use someone else's guitar for a lesson then go home with nothing to practice on. Consistency is key when learning an instrument.
You will need to decide if you would rather play electric or acoustic guitar and get your hands on the appropriate type. Make sure you are following a lesson path that accommodates the type of guitar you have access to.
Outside of a guitar, there are a few other bits and pieces you will need.
Guitar Picks - There are many different thicknesses and shapes of picks. Thinner picks are better for strumming while thick picks give better control when playing individual strings. It may be best to start with a variety pack so you can figure out which suits you best.
A Capo - These allow you to change the key of songs while maintaining the same chord shape. A godsend if you are singing along with your playing and can't quite reach the notes you need to hit. Using a capo will also allow you to play certain songs in their original key with much easier chord shapes.
Spare strings - You are going to break strings. It's just a part of being a guitarist that we all have to deal with. Try to get spare strings that are the same gauge as your guitar originally had. This will prevent the need for additional setup.
A Tuner - Eventually, you will be able to tune by ear. However, as you are starting out, using a tuner is much easier. Using one will allow you to spend more time practicing and less time trying to make the guitar sound right.
A Case - A gig bag is usually good enough for your first guitar. As long as you have something that can keep the guitar safe. If you have opted for a more expensive starter guitar or you do a lot of traveling, a hard case is a better option.
A Guitar Stand - Studies have shown that you are much more likely to engage with a positive habit like practicing an instrument if there are fewer hurdles to jump through. Therefore, If your guitar is out and ready to play, you are much more likely to pick it up and practice. Guitars can also be a cool centerpiece in your room. A quality stand will help you stay motivated and show off your new guitar. Just be sure to put your guitar away in its case if you know you are not going to play for a while.
6 Guitar Picks Arranged In Order From Lightest To Darkest
Most of the high-quality courses cost between $100 and $150 for a yearly membership. It can seem a little expensive but if you compare that to the amount of content available it is actually quite cheap. Traditional lessons of the same quality and coverage would cost somewhere in the thousands.
As mentioned previously in this article, many platforms have a free trial period so you can try them out before committing to the cost. There are plenty of other free options but they don't stack up to the paid material from the big-name vendors.
Having goals is important when learning any new skill. These goals should span from small goals, like learning your first chord, to larger goals such as being able to play a full song.
Be specific when thinking of what goals you want to learn. Just telling yourself you want to be "good at guitar" does not give you anything to go off. Many of the online platforms have their own goals built into their learning path. These can give you an idea of where you need improvement and keep you on track with your learning.
Your short-term goals could also be related to lessons themselves. For example, you could set the goal of playing guitar for 3 hours between lessons, or to complete 2 lessons a week, etc.
Learning an instrument can be fun, yet, it will not always be. There are going to be a lot of times when you don't feel like practicing. It is at these times where you need to rely on your self-discipline.
Having a routine will help you stay on track. If possible, you should try to take a lesson or practice at the same time every day.
If you aren't feeling keen to practice, it can sometimes be good to just make yourself play for 5 minutes then see how you feel. You will often find that once you have started it will be much easier to continue. If not, practicing for 5 minutes is still better than 0 minutes. The more often you do this, the more often you will play for longer and the easier it will become to practice consistently for long periods.
Woman In A White Shirt Playing A Brown Electric Guitar
Every one of the lesson platforms we’ve reviewed has something that makes it stand out. They are, for the most part, all quality lesson platforms. They may suit some people but others will not find them as useful.
Guitar Tricks is our favorite for newbies and intermediate players. The lesson structure is great, the teachers are amazing, and their library of content is massive. Their pricing is also very fair. On top of this, they have a 14-day free all-access trial and a huge refund window. There is nothing to lose when trying out guitar tricks. If you decide it's not for you, there are plenty of other options you could try. Jamorama and JamPlay are also solid options in the same style as Guitar Tricks.
For more advanced players, Tom Hess is great. This is especially true if you are a metal player. The individualized lessons make it possible for explosive growth.
Another fantastic option would be TrueFire. They have the most content by far and cover any musical style you could think of. In this way, they are superior to Guitar Tricks and every other platform so stand out as the best for those seeking specific lessons to improve their already decent skills.
Whichever of the online lessons you choose, the most important factors for your success are commitment, time, and patience. There are no shortcuts when it comes to learning an instrument, you just have to stick with it and spend the required hours getting your muscle memory right while learning how to play.
The online lessons will make it easier to decide what to do next and keep you on track but it is really up to you.
Good luck with your guitar lessons. Leave us a comment on this page to let us know how you're doing and which lessons you decided to try out.
Hi, I'm Duncan, the owner, creator, and head writer for InciteMusic.com
I have been a touring cover musician and a teacher for the last 10 years and take helping people to achieve their musical goals very seriously.
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