The guitar is one of the most versatile and satisfying instruments to play, but learning to master this popular instrument can be an uphill battle.
Receiving good quality instruction and constructive practice are both important factors in becoming competent. The good news is that accessing quality guitar lessons and information online has never been easier.
Some of these resources are free and some will cost a few dollars, but all are available from your own home. We’ve narrowed the list down to 5 websites and apps to learn to play guitar and become a guitar god. So get ready to rock.
Yousician is one of the most advanced digital music teaching platforms available. Apps are highly automated and can provide personalized progress feedback by listening to you play through checkered microphone.
Yousician is a very structured experience, with a carefully designed curriculum. It’s worth noting that you’re not just learning guitar. It also includes piano, bass, ukulele and vocals. Many guitarists also want to learn bass or how to sing. From that perspective, Yousician offers an incredible deal. However, if you are only interested in one instrument, you can choose such a package and save some money.
The selection of songs that you can learn is respectable, there are around 1500 titles. Though that figure also seems to include lessons and exercises as worded on the website.
There’s no option to get direct human help, but there’s also an argument to be made for purely computer-based teaching, where you set the pace. It is also available for use on iOS and Androidas well as a native desktop application.
You can get full access for seven days as a trial. If you’re still unsure, you can spend up to 10 minutes of free learning per day for non-paying users. For the average person with a little exercise, those 10 minutes are still very valuable.
GuitarTricks is focused on helping you learn to play guitar and start playing the songs you love as quickly as possible. There are over 1000 songs included in their library in a variety of genres and styles.
You don’t have to pay right out of the gate. There is a basic access level that includes 24 free guitar lessons that will give you a clear idea of the quality and style of the site’s tutorials. A full access membership promises 11,000 of these video lessons.
There is material for complete beginners and advanced players. Their “Artist Study” aims to polish professional players with more in-depth material. You can pay a monthly subscription, but paying a year in advance will save you 25%. There are several add-ons available to annual subscribers.
Ultimate Guitar is not specifically a teaching website. As the name suggests, it really tries to be all things to all people. The Ultimate Guitar suite of apps offers everything from virtual amps to full-fledged interactive song tabs. For a monthly fee, of course.
There is a lot of free content, with many lessons published on the main website with high frequency. This isn’t a slickly guided course site, but it’s a good idea to peruse the archive of lessons while checking out new lessons regularly.
The main attraction of JamPlay is the variety of courses offered. There are over 450 courses taught by over 100 guitar teachers. You have two payment options to access this content. Either pay for specific courses entirely or use them all by paying a membership fee. If you purchase a course outright, you can download and view the content offline.
There are three levels of membership, with the higher tiers offering one-on-one consultations, additional tools, and many other perks. Basic paid subscription unlocks mobile apps and core content library.
JamPlay is possibly one of the most comprehensive online guitar lessons we’ve ever seen. Compared to the price of lessons with a local guitar teacher, it’s more than a bargain.
You will find many people on YouTube with loads of talent both in playing and teaching guitar. If you take some time to learn the best guitar channels on YouTube, you might be able to put together a real masterclass course from the various services YouTube has.
Many of the lessons available for free on YouTube are actually from some of the paid services mentioned above and work as advertisements for those products. However, if you just want to learn to play the guitar using specific pro tips and not the entire course, then these types of videos are perfect.
While it’s best to explore the treasure trove of guitars on YouTube for yourself, here are some great examples to get you started:
- JustinGuitar: Great lessons on YouTube, despite lots of ads for justifyitar.com.
- Fender: Lots of great personal lessons mixed in with ads for the Fender device. A taster for those who paid Fender Play communication.
- ArtistWorks: Great tips, techniques, and lessons from some of the best guitarists in the world.
Then there are great artists who don’t directly teach. Just by watching their videos, you will be inspired and learn vicariously. Rob Scallon, Andy Rehfeldt and Leo Moracchioli are three main examples.
That being said, although there is a lot of free content to learn guitar on YouTube, you are also more likely to come across bad guitar teachers. If you’re a newbie, it can be hard to tell the difference. That’s why you should take a moment in the comments of their videos to see if any more experienced players are pointing out problems with their lessons or content.
Quick fingers of joy
These state-of-the-art guitar learning resources are a big step up from the traditional ways of learning how to play guitar. The old approach would involve one or two lessons with a teacher per week and hours of self-study with books.
Not only can you now receive personalized lessons with feedback, but it all happens at your own time and pace. The modern guitar student will progress much faster using these new tools and platforms. It also means that the bar has been raised, with younger players reaching higher proficiency levels more quickly.
The most important lesson you can learn about the guitar (or any other instrument) is to only compare yourself to yourself. Practice it every day, don’t overdo it, and never be afraid to ask silly questions. Ultimately, the most important thing is to play the music you love, not what other people think.