Which of the many online guitar courses will help me learn the fastest?
Now, I started learning guitar on the internet as far back as 2002 (I know. It’s hard to believe that the internet existed back then).
There are many more high-quality lesson sites out there today than there has ever been before.
Ready To Play The Guitar? Guitar Tricks is Dominic’s favorite program. Click Here To Get Started For FREE! (14 Day Free Trial)
The 5 Websites for the Best Guitar Lessons Online
1. Guitar Tricks
There are two major online guitar courses for beginners out there: Guitar Tricks and Jamplay.
These two programs offer the largest databases of training you can possibly find online. Real training by real instructors.
The reason I prefer GuitarTricks is that they go one step further and ORGANIZE their training into an easy-to-comprehend SYSTEM.
Having a system is powerful.
A system allows you to, in the next 3 minutes, log into the free trial and start on your first lesson.
When you are done with that lesson, you click the next one on the list and learn that.
A good system is the difference between your college professor plopping three physics books on your desk and saying “Learn this”, or handing you one book with a practice test and saying “This is all you need to study to become a Physics expert”.
Their step-by-step lesson format makes Guitar Tricks the best way to learn guitar online.
Guitar Tricks teaches guitar in every style imaginable: Classical, Jazz, Blues, Rock…
And it doesn’t matter if you are wanting to master acoustic or electric guitar as the beginner guitar lessons work for both without forcing you to adapt. You just open your computer and choose your learning paths. As long as you stay on that path and practice daily, you will get to your destination.
Bottom line is, this is the most “color by numbers” method out there. With 11,000 videos, their system will take you from a total beginner to an advanced intermediate player. They even have videos to help you learn specific songs, which I’ve found to be very helpful in mastering my craft.
If you can hold a guitar, GuitarTricks can turn you into a rock star (Ok, so you might also need a manager, but they’ll teach how to play like a rock star). If you upgrade to their full access plus program you can even hire a personal coach for personal guitar lessons online. However, they often sell out of this program and start a waitlist. If face-to-face coaching is something you really want, then you might look at Jamplay below with their weekly group coaching calls.
Bottom line, I feel that they currently offer the best online guitar lessons currently available online. They also offer a 60-day money back guarantee with a 2 week trial program, which makes this one of the lowest-risk programs.
Jamplay is the other big competitor. And they have some really cool bells and whistles with some of the best acoustic guitar lessons available.
They were the first ones with high definition video-in-video training so you can see both hands of the instructor at the same time. And they have “more hours of training than anyone”.
What I don’t like about Jamplay is that they are not as organized into a system that focuses on your growth.
Instead, their guitar course is organized around their different instructors.
And they have over 90 instructors to choose from.
So you have to decide which of their many instructors you want to learn from.
This means that 30 minutes in, and you are still listening to instructors and trying to decide which one to go with. (Isn’t that what we have Youtube for?)
Meanwhile, the GuitarTricks student is already on lesson 3 and still has 14 days left in their free trial.
However, their list of instructors is also their biggest selling point. Somehow, they’ve brought in guitar players like Phil Keaggy, Kaki King, Bumblefoot (Guns ‘n Roses) and Billy Idol.
If you want to learn from the best guitarists in the world, Jamplay is the only course I’ve found that has them.
Like Guitar Tricks, Jamplay also offers songs that you can play, but their list of songs seems to be a lot of older music, indie music and other songs that I’ve never heard of.
It just wasn’t as much fun for me.
Finally, Jamplay has a lot of lessons on different styles of music. So you can dive into blues and rock riffs, or “get your Brad Paisley on” in the country genre (which, I’ve got to say, is a very well-developed part of the program).
Four months from now you could become the guy (or gal) everyone is inviting over to jam with.
The cool thing with Jamplay is that they have started offering live guitar lessons on a weekly basis. These group lessons are phenomenal for folks who feel like they need a little more attention and troubleshooting with their questions. They post these classes ahead of time so you can plan to attend them. For folks who are externally motivated, these weekly guitar lessons can help you get more consistency in your practice.
Jamplay has done an excellent job vying for top spot. Because of my learning style, I prefer Guitar Tricks, but Jamplay is a quality guitar course.
Who Is JamPlay Ideal For?
Anyone who feels like other curriculums they have taken “don’t go into enough detail” or “leaves them hanging”.
Jamplay’s multi-teacher approach guarantees that you WILL find a teacher who can relate to your learning style.
So if you feel like the guitar classes you have tried have let you down, you will likely be better served by the added depth of Jamplay.
Especially if you want to get the most out of each practice session. Jamplay also comes with a 30 day money back guarantee, making it a super-safe option.
TrueFire is one of the newer online guitar lesson websites who is beginning to steal market share from the more established guys.
It’s easy to take one look at their horribly designed logo and brush them off. But they deserve a deeper look. This lessons site offers over 35,000 lessons!
Their Guitar instructor list includes top talent such as Steve Vai and Tommy Emmanuel.
Before you get overwhelmed by that figure, keep in mind that they offer everything from beginner to pro-level advanced players. Where Guitartricks and Jamplay have some advanced lessons but mostly focused on the intermediate player, TrueFire a more varied teaching approach across every level for the ultimate learning system.
For the beginner guitarist, you get a clear progress roadmap that tracks your journey. For the intermediate and advanced guitarist, the “build your own adventure” allows you to create a custom learning track.
They also offer more features than your average guitar site, including the ability to see both of the instructor’s hands during playing, hd video in slo-mo, a built-in tuner, and jam tracks for when you want to practice.
Their advanced video player and depth of instruction make TrueFire a contender for the top spot. I’m still enjoying GuitarTricks more, but for the intermediate guitarist and above, I think TrueFire deserves a closer look
4. Artist Works
This is a fascinating new challenger to with an intriguing sales proposition: how would you like to learn from the top artists in the industry?
While Artist Works does offer a library of videos you can learn from, they also offer one-on-one instruction — something that the other programs don’t currently offer.
With Artist Works video exchanges, you send a video of your playing and have it critiqued by one of their top guitar instructors.
They also offer a wider variety of esoteric genres. For example, they are the only ones I’ve seen which offer bluegrass guitar training. You can also learn classic guitar, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, rock guitar, bass guitar, blues guitar and more.
Like TrueFire, Artist Works is a complete beginner to advanced program with something for all skill levels. They are the only ones that offer music theory courses. For singer-songwriters, a strong music theory program will make all of the difference in your ability to get to the “next level”.
The downside with their system is that it is a la carte. You are required to purchase each course separately.
This makes sense for the guitarist who wants to work on something specific. If you have worked through the basics, then it might be time to invest in Paul Gilbert’s rock guitar course or Keith Wyatt’s blues course.
However, for the beginner, one of the other programs is likely to be more attractive.
This is one that I don’t see mentioned much. However, I still like them, because Nate Savage was one of the first guitar teachers to start offering lessons online.
His courses are always insightful, and his personality is engaging. I find that I progress extremely well with his system.
As another user said, “I learned more in one week with Nate than I did over 20 years of trying to teach myself with free courses”.
Nate is a fundamentals guy and focuses more on proper technique. This might feel a little slower at the start, but, in the end, you tend to progress faster, thanks to the strong foundation he helps you build.
As much as I like Nate and appreciate all of the free youtube videos he offers, I still feel like he lacks the comprehensive A to Z system that Guitar Tricks has.
But, if you watch some of his free Youtube guitar lessons and decide that you benefit from his style, I don’t think you can go wrong giving Guitareo a try.
Why Free Guitar Lessons On Youtube Hold You Back
I mean, just hop on Youtube and you can get step-by-step instructions for learning songs. It couldn’t be easier!
But, as you have likely discovered, putting your training together in a piecemeal fashion by hopping from one Youtube video to the next is an extremely slow way to progress.
With Youtube, You waste most of your practice time, searching for your next lesson.
Each instructor has their own teaching approach. And, sometimes, they miss important points and contradict each other.
You get through the all the chord progressions in the Key of G, and 3 patterns in the Key of C… and then the blog writer disappears.
Or you find a Youtube coach that you love… and their channel has been dead for 6 months.
Not to mention, there is a lot of misinformation out there — Even when you buy your training! If you aren’t careful you can pick up some horrible techniques.
The challenge is, that once you’ve committed those techniques to “muscle memory”… you’re pretty much screwed, and you can lose months as your fingers re-train in the proper fashion.
Imagine trying to hold your fork backward to eat. Sure, you could keep yourself fed. But it would be slow going and everyone would look at you funny.
The same goes for playing the guitar. You must get it right every time if you plan on making steady progress.
Having a consistent system that you can follow will dramatically shorten the time it takes for you to confidently play guitar in front of people.
Spending all of your time on the internet trying to find a “shortcut” or a “better way” or “The Best FREE Guitar Course” is a guaranteed way to slow your progress.
Internet Research = Information Overload = No Progress
I know. I’ve tried it.
Get a good system and spend that time practicing.
You’re going to exceed your wildest expectations.
The Advantage Of Learning to Play Guitar Online Over Private Lessons
In-person lessons are a nice luxury. However, they are extremely inconvenient and expensive. Additionally, you will only have one or two lessons a week. With online guitar lessons, you can study something new every day.
Guitar schools commonly charge $15 to $30 per half-hour. On the cheap end, that is $60 for 4 lessons a month.
Online guitar lessons cost a fraction of that.
The consistency of daily practice — combined with the video player’s power of instant replay — means that you will progress much more quickly.
So, which beginner guitar lessons will help you learn the fastest?
Sometimes it seems like every person who has ever taken a lesson is now trying to roll out their own course.
There are literally hundreds of lesson systems out there. In fact, just today I just found a new one called “Guitar Dabble” that offers 100 pages of training for $50. (What a weird name, eh?)
This is why I bought and tried so many programs before writing this review.
Learn To Play Guitar In 6 Months (or less)
I Too, spent a lot of time asking the internet “How Fast Can I Learn The Guitar?”
And there are a lot of ambiguous answers.
So, if you want to know “How fast can I be playing with enough proficiency to hang out with my friends and be able to play our favorite songs” you are looking at about 6 months of practice — with a top training system.
Ready to change your destiny? Follow these tips:
#1 Practice Daily for a minimum of 30 minutes. Preferably 45 minutes.
#2 Every practice, do these 3 things: finger drills, fundamentals (chords, notes, or theory) and then work on learning a song.
#3 Master a Song. Songs are engaging. Start working on one, and you’ll be surprised at how much you want to practice.
#4 Don’t Always practice your piece of music over from the top. Practice it from where you are having the most problem. Focus on your weak spots.
#5 It won’t take much practice before you are ready to start jamming with friends and family or start that Youtube channel. Don’t be shy! Performing will push you to perfect that much faster.
#6 Remember that even after 6 years of daily practice, you will still be improving. Don’t rush it. Just stay focused on improving a little bit every day.
I know there are many different top 10 lists for guitarists all over the Internet, but I am really tired of seeing the same five guitar websites discussed over and over again. Sure there are some sites that are just absolutely amazing, and every guitarist should know about them. But there are also a lot of sites that no one ever discusses, that I have found to be impressive.
I hope you enjoy this list, and that helps you elevate your game to the next level.
Don’t forget that my favorite course also offers a free trial for those who are truly serious about learning as much as they can in the shortest amount of time possible.
Best Free Guitar Websites For Beginners
- JustinGuitar – I absolutely love how much content these guys have put out, and I have no idea how they ever plan to recoup their investment. If you want to cover the basics before you start paying for a program, this is an excellent way to go. Justin really loves music is passionate about the art and his enthusiasm is contagious. (He now has a lot of his training behind a pay-per-lesson price model)
- FretJam – while they may not have invested as much into site design as some of the other guys, I really like how clean and well – laid – out this site is. They actually have a lot more in-depth information as well, making this an excellent resource for the more intermediate player needed to research specific information. However, for the beginner, this is a valuable enough resource that you could spend half of a Saturday on it and come away feeling pretty impressed with your progress.
- Totally Guitars – these guys offer a two-week, email-based course for free. While I still think Guitar Tricks is one of the best programs you can choose if you decide to pay for training, having a new lesson emailed to you each day is a great way to start your morning and establish a disciplined practice.
- Udemy – most of their courses are overpriced, and are just an attempt to sell you something else. However, I think this free, 21-day course is pretty nice. Well, you won’t be an expert in 21 days, it is a well-rounded way for beginners to get started.
Best Guitar Lesson Websites For Learning To Play Songs
- Rocksmith – Knowing a few songs can make your playing a lot more enjoyable. And, there is an undisputed system that will help you learn to play songs faster and more proficiently than any other. And their 60-day challenge has so many fans who are seeing phenomenal success. There’s no disputing this is the best way to learn how to play pop songs.
- GuitarNoise – I personally feel that their song list is stuck in the 90s. However, they do have a lot of timeless songs to choose from, so I’m sure you’ll find a few tunes that you recognize. This one mostly focuses on chording practice and has easy to follow along with instructions, making it easy for any new player to have instant success.
- Friendly Guitar – this website is so friendly, I can’t help but smile every time I go to it. They have 10 classic songs that will have you jamming – and grinning – in no time flat. It’s not flashy, but it’s free. You can’t go wrong spending a couple afternoons here.
Best Free Resources For Intermediate and Advanced Guitarists
- Steve Vai’s 30 Hour Workout – (sometimes you can find it for free, but they keep taking it down). Steve recognized that a lot of people wanted to be professional guitarists (“Hey Steve, what does it take to go pro?” “A lot more than you are willing to give, kid”), but didn’t have the hours under their belt to cross that line. So he developed an incredible sequence of everything you need to practice to take it to the next level. The trick here is to stay incredibly focused – almost meditative – why you go these exercises. While these exercises are designed for people who can block out chunks of time to practice, they can still be beneficial – and challenging – when done in smaller segments. Even if you practice an hour a day, there’s enough here the last year the entire month.
- Guitar Master Class – if you are looking for the ultimate resource for specific techniques and practice ideas, this site is going to be your Bible. Everything from finger drills to two double stops, this resource shows you how to conquer some of the toughest techniques in the industry. I really enjoy how they not only have “intermediate” courses but also “advanced”, “extremely advanced”, and “insane” lessons.
Sure, learning to play the guitar takes effort, but it doesn’t have to take years!