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Gone are the days of needing to see a teacher in person if you want to learn how to play the guitar. Online guitar lessons can cover every aspect of learning how to play your instrument, from the basic guitar chords and shapes up to more complex music theory.
Learning how to play the guitar is tough. It’s one of those hobbies where you need to get the beginner lessons spot on to build the foundations of your knowledge. This is why it is vital that you follow video lessons closely, and that online lessons are accurate and reliable.
A lot of different teachers and channels that teach you aspects of the guitar have their own quirks and guitar tricks. Beginner guitar lessons can be really tough if you don’t find the teacher’s instructions clear, and the lessons simple to understand. It’s worth taking some time to work out which lessons are for you. In this guide, we’ve rounded up five different methods of learning guitar online. If you’re looking to take your first steps into playing this incredibly popular and versatile instrument, you can get stuck into the learning resources here.
It makes perfect sense that Fender offers its own set of online guitar lessons. They’re industry leaders in almost every other area of the guitar, so why wouldn’t they take on the learning aspect?
The Play course is a good tie-in when you buy a product made by Fender, including guitars or ukuleles. You may get a free trial membership when you buy your instrument. It does cover ukulele lessons as well, but you’ll be focusing on the guitar section. When you first load up the app, it will ask you to answer some questions about your goals and instrument to tailor the lessons for you.
Fender Play sets you up to start learning quickly. In fact, there is a crash 7-minute intro which claims to have you playing your first riff. It really works, too. A total beginner can be playing something that resembles a song more quickly than with the majority of other courses.
This knowledge is built upon with a series of very professional video lessons. They are well-made, and have multiple camera angles to show what both hands are doing. This can be a challenge with single camera setups.
The membership comes in at $9.99 a month. This includes access to a library of popular songs, and Fender is still adding to this so you can play current tunes too. Rather than go too heavily into music theory, the course shows you tablature, the most popular method for guitarists to understand and “read” music.
For a single course, it encapsulates all the aspects of fundamental knowledge. The beginner lessons move on to some more advanced techniques, and you can branch off from there and learn the songs you love. A current promotion means you can get 10% off guitars, amps and some other equipment when you sign up.
Justin Sandercoe probably had no idea what a huge website his guitar tuition site was going to become when he started out. He’s been teaching online lessons for an incredible 18 years. If you are looking for free guitar lessons online then look no further. There is nowhere else that you will find the same level of free info, all taught by the same person.
Sandercoe’s beginner course is totally free. You can get started without spending any money. His YouTube channel is also packed with free information and tutorials, and the fact that he has 1.4 million subscribers shows you just how popular this guy really is.
He’s got to make some money, and rightly so. After completing the free course, there is a lot of other information that you can buy, but some of the other courses are just $9.99 for 6-months of access. He’s also got a variety of apps, which are usually just a few dollars each, and teach you other aspects of guitar.
His added courses tend to focus on areas such as music theory, and even transcription. These are good for more advanced players.
Justin is a pretty prolific tutor. As well as hundreds of videos, there are PDFs and articles that guide you through the basics, and beyond. Did we mention that he’s also a really great teacher? He’s got the art of pacing and explanation perfected. Most beginners find that his style is easy to follow.
The production values aren’t quite as high as some of the other apps on the market, but this is to be expected. He’s a one-man band, in every sense of the word. It’s fair to say that you could learn an incredible amount from his free online guitar lessons, including song lessons and aspects of theory and technique.
Guitar Tricks is one of the more expensive courses out there. You can either pay a $19.99 monthly fee for access or save a little by going for the $179.99 annual pass. You can get a pretty decent guitar for that, so it’s a considerable sum of money to part with. Is it worth it?
Well, the Guitar Tricks course is certainly cleverly planned and maintained. It has over 11,000 lessons (yes, really). There is a huge amount of bite-sized information on there, that you can navigate through at your own convenience. This does make it hard to find exactly what you’re looking for sometimes.
Luckily, the Guitar Tricks platform has a “Core Learning System” which is where you’ll learn all the fundamentals. This is easy to follow even as an absolute beginner. You’ll gain the knowledge you need to go from 0 to 1 pretty quickly.
On top of that, there is a “toolbox” included. This has some added extras that you might find really helpful as a beginner. It includes a metronome and a tuner (two of the essentials for every guitarist’s toolbox) and it also has a clever chord finder and fretboard trainer. These tools really help you to decipher things that you’re finding a little bit difficult, and work out chords and scales more easily.
Unlike some of the other courses, it doesn’t just focus on technique and theory. Guitar tricks delves into things like tone and even equipment. As you’d expect, there is also a lot of access to popular song tuition. Over 1,000 song tutorials are available to members.
Is it worth paying a little extra for this course? If you really want to delve deep into certain areas of guitar, it probably is. The option to branch into country or blues playing is very appealing to some aspiring guitarists. There is such a colossal amount of info included, and the toolkit is an added bonus.
bring their own style and verve to the course. Mark Kroos and Lita Ford are some of the great guitarists that have submitted content.
Jamplay is another app and online course with a huge number of lessons. It’s made up of myriad teachers, who all
The production is pretty impressive, with over 7,000 lessons and 4k videos for high-definition streaming. Sounds like overkill, but it really can help when it comes to clearly see what someone is doing.
The guitar platform also includes “guest courses” where a guitarist with a certain specialty will delve into their skills. For instance, in one course, Prashant Aswani teaches his amazing hybrid-picking method.
Another thing that is very exciting about this course is the interactive tab, helping you to gain a deeper understanding of the tracks you’re playing and dive into thousands of songs. The online library of scales and guitar chords is also a great tool.
There are a couple of things that might put people off. The “Pro” version is more expensive, and though it includes 1-on-1 consultations, which are good, it all gets a bit confusing. It includes “ownership credits” for watching videos offline. Ideally, they would be available offline anyway. With the standard membership, you only get to choose one “toolkit”. Honestly, it could benefit from being streamlined and simplified. The same could be said for all of those lessons. It’s hard to know exactly where to start, and easy to get lost in a pool of lessons that you don’t fully understand.
The course is packed with loads of great information. This is undeniable. Navigating it can be a little tough.
Yousician is a platform for numerous instruments, and their guitar course is packed with loads of information, laid out in a simple way, with over 1,800 songs to delve into.
Yousician makes it onto the list of top online guitar lessons for beginners for a couple of reasons, which make it stand out from the competition, and give you a slightly different option.
Yousician is “gamified” which means that the makers have turned it into a sort of game. The audio recognition helps to determine how good your playing is. You install the app on your phone or tablet, and the device’s microphone is used to work out how accurately you are playing. The wonders of technology. It’s worth mentioning that the quality of this largely depends on the quality of your device. Modern phones and tablets will work well.
You can check out the features with a seven-day trial, but the course is actually one of the cheaper options out there at $9.99. This is around half the price of some of the others. You can also benefit from a yearly membership saving if you wish.
Because of the fact that this app works in a different way, it could be a good choice for some absolute beginners. It helps you to stay engaged, and younger users tend to love the game-like feel. It keeps it enjoyable, and also helps you to learn the very basics of finger position with ease, and with live feedback if you get it wrong.
The only real downside is that the lessons and songs focus on the basics of guitar playing, and aren’t the best choice for intermediate players. It’s definitely possible to outgrow this course, but that isn’t necessarily an issue for everyone. If it takes you from beginner to intermediate player, you can seek out more learning materials elsewhere or start another course.
How fast can a beginner learn to play guitar?
Everyone learns at a slightly different speed, but the guitar is one of the tougher instruments to get past the very beginner steps. Whereas on a piano or keyboard you can hit a key and generate the tone, the guitar relies on you building finger strength and getting used to the fretboard. Your very first online guitar lessons won’t be teaching you full songs, but they’ll teach you very basic techniques to play riffs and chords.
Within 3-6 months of playing, you can definitely expect to be able to play some basic songs and play chords as an accompaniment. This can be quicker if you’re dedicated (or if you’re just a natural).
Ask any advanced players and they will tell you that you never stop learning. The process is ongoing. By 1-2 years you’ll be playing more advanced songs, but don’t expect to be a master until you’ve spent a number of years practicing.
It all depends on the level you want to get to. If you want to be able to solo like Hendrix, it’s going to take much more time than just being able to strum a few basic chords.
How to decide which guitar course is best?
You’ve got a lot of different options if you are looking to find suitable online guitar lessons. How do you decide which is best for you?
Our reviews will help you to work out the top paid and free online guitar lessons, and all five of the options do a very good job of showing you the basics.
Your budget will come into play, as courses tend to have a price attached. Some offer monthly subscriptions.
On top of this, you should decide based on your learning style, and the areas the course focuses on.
Some people find that they enjoy video lessons more, and find it easier to follow along when watching someone. Other people might love to read and look at diagrams to work out the basics of playing the guitar. There is no right or wrong way, however, you can find a course that suits your needs.
If a course has specific lessons on lead guitar or even a style such as jazz guitar, only learn this if you want it to be your focus.
Do I need internet access to have guitar lessons?
Each course takes its own approach, but a lot allows you to download media to view offline, so you don’t have to be constantly connected. Of course, you’ll need to be connected to download any video lessons.
Some people even opt for the “old-fashioned” methods. Books and DVDs are actually still very popular in the world of learning how to play an instrument. There are still some exceptional DVD and book courses, and if your internet connection is in doubt then this sort of method could be better for you.
Some of the apps out there, particularly those that give you real-time feedback, require you to be connected to the internet to get the most out of them or to watch the videos or enjoy the lessons.
What type of guitar is the best for beginners?
There are so many guitars on the market that are aimed at beginners. A lot of people go for an acoustic guitar before electric. It’s easier to find an affordable acoustic guitar, and there is less additional equipment. You don’t need an amp, for example.
On top of this, it is far easier to switch to electric guitar having learned on an acoustic. Your fingers will be used to the heavier steel strings of an acoustic guitar. When you switch to the electric guitar it will be a breeze. If you do things the other way around and start on electric before switching to acoustic, you’ll have a longer adjustment period.
Some people get tempted by the softer nylon strings of a classical guitar. If you eventually plan to move on to steel strings, it isn’t worth starting with these. You’re going to have to make the switch eventually.
There are some really great guitars on the market that are sold as beginner sets. You’ll get everything you need including a case and strap. This is a great way to get started, and they tend to be a very good value for money.
Even the guitar powerhouse brand Fender offers something for beginners. The Fender Squier Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar comes with learning materials, access to Fender Play, and a tuner, strap and case. All of this at a really reasonable price.
It’s amazing how much choice you have when you’re looking for online guitar lessons. Some of the courses on our list have thousands of lessons included. This means there is an abundance of opportunities to learn, but it can be hard to know where to start. The best courses out there have a simple and basic beginner structure. Following Justin Guitar or Yousician as a newbie is very easy and straightforward. From here, you can move on to more advanced lessons, and the live lessons and specialisms of Guitar Tricks and Fender Play are great for that.
All of the courses on our list have either some free content to get you started, a free trial, or a money-back guarantee. This means that you can delve in and get started with peace of mind, checking that the course works well with your equipment and that you gel well with the instructors.
Learning guitar online has its pros and cons when compared to having a tutor in person, but having thousands of lessons and hundreds of instructors to choose from can only be a good thing for the aspiring guitarist. Any one of these five online courses will give you a solid grounding as a musician.