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Best online guitar lessons 2022: remote learning platforms for guitar players, tested by us

Man holding an acoustic guitar sits in front of a laptop
(Image credit: Getty/BrianAJackson)

Whether you’re an established guitar player looking to build on your library of techniques, a total novice picking up the instrument for the very first time or maybe you're heading back to school or college and want to brush up your six-string skills, the best online guitar lessons can give you a major helping hand. There’s a huge choice of high-quality platforms out there, each providing its own unique set of features to help you master the instrument.

All online lessons services are accessible via your laptop, phone or tablet too – with some even offering up a dedicated app – so you won’t even need to leave your home to start playing and learning. In this guide to the best online guitar lessons, we’re recommending our top picks for all skill levels and budgets – you'll be pleased to learn that most platforms offer at least a 7-day free trial, enabling you to try before you buy. Commit to one of our choices and you’ll be licking and riffing like a true rock hero in no time.

If you want to get straight to our top picks, keep scrolling to the next section, or head to the end of the full list for more guidance on what to look for when choosing the right online guitar lessons platform for you.

Best online guitar lessons: Guitar World’s Choice

When it came to choosing the best online guitar lessons platform, a couple that we tried stand out from the rest; namely Fender Play (opens in new tab) and Guitar Tricks (opens in new tab). It makes sense that Fender would dive headlong into the tuition sector, because the more people who are able to play the guitar, the more potential customers the manufacturer has. But, to Fender’s credit, we found it hasn’t skimped on the learning experience for the sake of a marketing tool.

Everything you see in Fender Play is there for a reason, and the site is clean, intuitive and encourages you to stick with it. If you're a beginner, this is a particularly great option. What’s more, the site is regularly updated with new lesson content, masterclasses and tutorials.

For intermediate to advanced players, it's impossible to ignore Guitar Tricks. With over 11,000 videos on their site and 22 years in the game, they do online guitar lessons incredibly well and highlight that, whatever your playing level, every day is a school day.

Best online guitar lessons: Latest offers

Already tried a free trial and know which lessons platform you'd like to sign up to? A few of our favourites are currently offering discounted lesson plans.

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Fender Play: 50% off an annual subscription (opens in new tab)
Sorted a free trial but now you want to continue getting all the benefits of Fender Play lessons beyond your trial? Fender is offering 50% off an annual plan for all Guitar World readers, dropping the price from $99.99 to just $49.99. Just add the code guitarworld50 at checkout.

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Guitar Tricks: Save 50% off your first month (opens in new tab)
Enjoy your first month of Guitar Tricks for half price using the exclusive Guitar World code GW50MONTH at checkout. Guitar Tricks features plenty of great content for beginners, but really shines when it comes to intermediate and pro players, with over 11,000 videos across the site.

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TrueFire lessons: Save 30% with code GWTF30 (opens in new tab)
TrueFire includes 50,000 video lessons taught by industry-leading teachers, Grammy Award-winning artists and world-class touring musicians. And in case that wasn't good enough, you can save 30% off an All-Access subscription and all courses with the exclusive code GWTF30

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Simply Guitar: Save 20% at this link (opens in new tab)
If you'd prefer to learn on your smart device, Simply Guitar has a fantastic app with a fun, lively gamified approach to learning the instrument. Right now you can sign up for a year and save $30, dropping the annual cost from $150 down to just $120.

Best online guitar lessons: Product guide

1. Fender Play

Classy yet inviting beginner-friendly platform from the biggest name in guitar

Specifications

Price: 7-day free trial, then $14.99/£15.59 per month or $99.99/£109.19 per year
Key features: Bespoke paths for learning, quick lessons, loads of popular songs, a breeze to navigate and use

Reasons to buy

+
Simple to use 
+
Ideal for beginners
+
Great selection of teachers and lessons
+
Rewards regular use
+
Great app

Reasons to avoid

-
Internet connection required, as no offline content  

As one of the first names people come up with when they think of guitars, Fender needed to get it right when it came to developing an online guitar lesson platform. And we found that Fender Play is one of the highest-quality and most rewarding options available for learning the guitar online. It’s ideal for total beginners, with guided paths and lesson plans ensuring you’ll become proficient in what you want to learn. 

There’s plenty for the more experienced guitar players, too, but if you fit into the intermediate or advanced category you may want to look elsewhere for a truly comprehensive and exhaustive mix of content.

It clearly benefits Fender to start building brand loyalty right from the start of a new player’s journey, but with Fender Play there’s nothing cynical or half-hearted. It’s simply the best online guitar learning tool there is. You get even more lessons, artist content and gear chat via the weekly Fender Play Live sessions.

If you're a Guitar World reader, Fender Play is offering you 50% off the cost of an annual subscription. Just use the code guitarworld50 at checkout.

Read the full Fender Play review 

2. Guitar Tricks

One of the best for intermediate and advanced players

Specifications

Price: $19.99 monthly, $179.99 yearly, free 14 day trial
Key features: 11,000 lessons; extensive core studies; song lessons; artist and genre studies; chord and scale charts; maintenance tips; tone advice; with amp guitar settings

Reasons to buy

+
Cool genre studies available 
+
Vast lesson catalogue 
+
Suitable for intermediate and advanced players
+
Great song tutorials

Reasons to avoid

-
Pop fans will be disappointed with the song library
-
User interface could do with an update

As we all know, learning guitar is an ongoing process – you’re never truly done. This is something Guitar Tricks has obviously had in mind as they’ve developed their content over the last 22 years. 

With over 11,000 lessons and more than 900 song tutorials, Guitar Tricks has a lot more to offer intermediate players than many of its counterparts, probably because they simply have more content than most of them. That’s not to say they don’t nail the beginner material – they have an extensive core plan that takes you from learning how to hold a guitar to playing barre chords – it’s just that you get the sense their overall focus is on the intermediate crowd here.

We found the song lessons and genre studies in particular to be pretty impressive, offering not only bite sized, easy to follow tutorials, but also accurate advice on getting the tone right; including which pickups to select, amp settings, and what pedals you could use. They cover 12 genres all up, even dipping into some niche territory with the likes of surf and rockabilly. 

It has to be said though, for all this they don’t pay too much attention to pop music. Even with one of the biggest song libraries out there they don't touch many of the biggest acts, such as Taylor Swift or Billie Eilish. They may be missing a trick here – especially with younger people who may have recently been inspired to pick up the instrument – but overall, you can’t blame them for wanting to focus on more prominent guitar genres like rock and metal.

Guitar World readers can save 50% off their first month of Guitar Tricks (opens in new tab) using the code GW50MONTH at checkout. 

Read our full Guitar Tricks review

3. TrueFire

Big-name instructors and innovative learning tools lead the way

Specifications

Price: 30-day free trial, then $29/£21 per month, $249/£178 per year or $2,499/£1,800 for a lifetime
Key features: 40k lessons, 30k tabs, 20k jam tracks and new courses uploaded weekly

Reasons to buy

+
Works across different devices
+
Slow-mo and loop features are great 

Reasons to avoid

-
It’s pricey 

While many of us will have spent time on YouTube lapping up as many free lessons as we can, there are plenty of guitarists out there who would happily pay for something a bit more structured. TrueFire is a great option, with more lessons, tabs and jam tracks than you’ll ever realistically need, along with a selection of well-respected teachers to learn from.

We particularly like the slow-mo and looping features, where you can single out a tricky passage and have it repeated slowly until you nail it. It’s a simple trick but one that will work wonders on your playing. TrueFire isn’t the cheapest option here – especially the ‘lifetime’ membership – but it’s a tool that will see you far beyond those first baby steps on the instrument.

Right now you can save 30% off an All-Access subscription and all courses (opens in new tab) with the exclusive code GWTF30.

Read the full TrueFire review

Big-name instructors and the personal touch

Specifications

Price: Three-month plan $35/£25 per month, six-month plan $30/£21 per month, or annual plan $23.25/£16.50 per month
Key features: Over 50k video lessons

Reasons to buy

+
Great for honing existing skills
+
Video feedback 

Reasons to avoid

-
Relatively pricey
-
Possibly too much content?

One thing you can miss out on with online learning is the feedback you’d get from an instructor. It’s all very well plugging away on your own, but it’s handy to have an experienced player point out something seemingly insignificant in your technique – a stray finger here or a different pick angle there – that will stop bad habits forming further down the line. 

ArtistWorks goes big on this personal touch. As well as having some renowned instructors – including Paul Gilbert – it enables you to submit your own videos for assessment. Your allocated instructor will review your playing and point out places you can improve. Add in over 50,000 video lessons and you’ve got a highly comprehensive online learning resource.

Read the full ArtistWorks review

Online guitar lessons made fun and understandable, with great presenters

Specifications

Price: $15 per month, $120 per year, 7 day free trial
Key features: Loads of videos, great presenters, different sections for guitar method, lessons and courses, teaches you 500 songs in 5 days, live videos

Reasons to buy

+
Covers a lot
+
Great presenters
+
Teaches in a fun way
+
Good layout
+
Updated regularly

Reasons to avoid

-
Is there such a thing as too much choice?

Newcomer Guitareo contains a massive selection of videos and other resources that teach you how to play guitar. If you’re a complete beginner, they’ll go right from the start, covering all the basic information you need, without it ever seeming patronising. The aim is to get you playing straight away, and they’ve done a good job of making it both fun and easy to understand.

If you want to look into things like ear training and theory, then you can do – we found that there are loads of resources on Guitareo that cover these areas. The more you search through what Guitareo has to offer, the more you realise how much information is in there. There are separate sections on the website that help you in different areas; there are courses in particular genres, a section for learning 500 songs in 5 days, key guitar method lessons and more. If, however, you just want to be taught how to start playing the guitar, then you can go through the step-by-step lessons. 

It’s well laid out and easy to navigate, though you’d be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed by everything on there at first. That said, it’s worth having a look around at all that’s on offer, because the content is very good. 

Read the full Guitareo review

Addictive gaming-style tuition app that puts the fun back into practice

Specifications

Price: $/£9.99 per month or $119.99/£109.99 per year (currently 20% off), 7-day free trial
Key features: for iOS and Android devices, step-by-step tutorials, direct app feedback, contemporary song lessons

Reasons to buy

+
Learn songs on day one
+
Fun, lively learning experience
+
Strong, contemporary song library
+
Real-time feedback on your playing
+
A fast way to learn

Reasons to avoid

-
Not much for intermediate or advanced players
-
Bold, modern design not for everyone

Simply Guitar proves that learning guitar doesn't have to be complicated, and practice time need not be dull. It's a friendly iOS/Android app that holds your hand all the way, from first asking you whether you even own a guitar, right up to teaching you how to master the fretboard.

At its core is a fun gamified approach that relies on an animated fretboard. Provided you play the correct notes as the scrolling fretboard delivers them you'll unlock more, exciting content including Simply Guitar's impressive library of contemporary songs. 

Instant feedback lets you know when you mess up, and the app will return you to tricky passages that need more work. It's clever stuff.

Each level is introduced by an often-quirky explanatory video that's delivered with good humor, bad jokes and a great deal of professionalism. The rest of the content is predominantly animated but it's engaging to the point of being addictive.

If you're a beginner who treasures simple pleasures, you're going to love this app (particularly with the 7-day free trial up front). If you're an advanced player, look elsewhere for more depth.

Read the full Simply Guitar review

Interactive learning using your smartphone or tablet

Specifications

Price: Seven-day free trial, then $9.99/£7 per month or $119.99/£86 per year
Key features: Audio-recognition technology, 9k lessons, 1,800 songs

Reasons to buy

+
Simple to use 
+
Makes learning fun 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the best choice for intermediate players
-
Bright aesthetic irritating after a while
-
Initially confusing

Proving there’s more to the best online guitar lessons than a bank of videos, Yousician aims to introduce a sort of gamification into the mix. If you’ve played console games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, you’ll be familiar with the concept of Yousician. Basically, you use your smartphone or tablet to listen along to your playing, and the device listens to you and scores you based on how accurate you were. 

It’s a simple concept but it definitely works, particularly for younger players where that instant feedback and ‘one more go’ appeal is strong. If you’re already playing and looking to move to the next level, Yousician probably isn’t the best choice, but for total beginners it’s a quick and fun way to get started. 

Read the full Yousician review

One-man tuition industry hits the right notes

Specifications

Price: Packages from $9.99/£7 per month for a six-month plan
Key features: Grade system, downloadable resources, huge variety of courses for all ability levels

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible amount of content
+
Lots of it is free  
+
Great presentation style 

Reasons to avoid

-
Hard to criticize anything here 

If you’ve ever searched YouTube for guitar lessons, you will have doubtless come across Justin Sandercoe. The guy is a legend in guitar circles, so it’s only right we include him in this list. For total beginners, Justin offers one of the best introductory experiences going, and it’s all free. For more advanced players, there’s loads in the way of tutorials and downloadable practice resources, meaning there’s something for everyone. 

YouTube gave Justin the platform to spread his good word to the masses, but his premium lessons are well worth the extra outlay. 

Read the full JustinGuitar review

9. JamPlay

Big-name teachers and all the content you could ever need

Specifications

Price: $19.95/£14 per month, $49.95/£36 for three months, $159.95/£114 per year
Key features: 7k lessons, over 100 teachers, more than 450 courses, live broadcasts, interactive tab

Reasons to buy

+
So much content 
+
High-quality instructors 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the cheapest option 

For the ultra-committed learner, JamPlay offers an enormous resource of lessons, tutorials and courses. Overall, it feels like a high-quality platform, with something for everyone. We are particular fans of the one-off courses, where big names like Robb Flynn and Tosin Abasi conduct masterclasses on their playing, performing and writing expertise. It’s not often you get to hear bona fide guitar legends break down, in great detail, the chops used to play their tracks.

There are cheaper options out there than JamPlay, but there are few that can match it in terms of sheer weight of resources. If you’re committed to improving and developing your skills, JamPlay could be the right choice for you.

10. Orange Learn

Gain actual accreditation for your playing

Specifications

Price: Free to join, with monthly/annual costs charged according to desired grade level
Key features: Accredited course for learners of all levels

Reasons to buy

+
Nice to learn with a specific goal in mind 
+
Great downloadable course materials 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as much content as elsewhere 

While all the big guitar brands now offer some form of learning aid, Orange was one of the first with its Orange Learn tool. And where others focus on providing a vast barrage of content, Orange has instead gone for credibility. Here, you work through official courses with the goal of receiving an actual, graded qualification at the end. 

Lessons range from total beginner through to Grade 8, and there are even tutors online to help you whenever you get stuck on something. Orange Learn might not be the flashiest, but it’s certainly one of the best equipped to get you where you want to be. 

Orange Learn now also offers lessons for vocalists, too. 

11. JamTrackCentral

Another killer option for intermediate and advanced learners

Specifications

Price: Free version, with Premium available for $21/£14.99 per month
Key features: Personalised coaching, masterclasses, jam tracks, videos and interactive tabs

Reasons to buy

+
Great for upgrading your skills 
+
Loads of useful resources 

Reasons to avoid

-
There are better options for beginners 

Not everyone who looks for an online guitar lessons provider is at the very start of their journey. It’s quite common for intermediate and advanced players to hit a glass ceiling with their playing, and JamTrackCentral is almost entirely geared towards coaching these players to the next level.

There are some great teachers included, like Guthrie Govan and Jeff Loomis, along with a terrific selection of materials you can download so that you’re not staring at your screen the whole time.

The best online guitar lessons: Buying advice

Best online guitar lessons: Lady playing guitar at laptop

(Image credit: Getty/Westend61)

Choosing the best online guitar lessons for you

Whether it's the guitar, ukulele, bass, drums or flugelhorn, learning an instrument is a hugely personal (and very rewarding) experience. Some people prefer to get a gentle nod in the right direction from a friend or teacher and then go and put in the hard yards themselves, while others need more regular attention and guided lessons. However you prefer to learn, there will be an online guitar lessons provider to suit your needs.

You might have had a scan around at some of the best online guitar lessons platforms already. If so, you’ll probably have noticed that they are quite similar in many ways. You sign up, decide which path you want to go down, and then a thread of videos opens up to you. However, there are a number of small variations between them – plus many additional features such as direct feedback and live lessons – that could be the difference between you sticking with the lessons and giving up after a month.

The pacing of the lessons is very important. If they move too fast you’ll become overwhelmed and demotivated. Too slow, however, and you’ll inevitably get bored. What's more, some new players want to learn the chords and scales that will enable them to write their own music, while others will prefer learning famous riffs as a means of getting used to the basics.

Whichever way you want to do it, learning the guitar is not an easy task and requires plenty of effort. By making the decision to learn, you’ve signed up for months of seemingly slow process and, often, sore fingertips. Just keep in mind that it’ll all be worth it in the end.

How much do online guitar lessons cost?

Costs can vary wildly, depending on the subscription level and platform you sign up for. Monthly prices start from around $/£9.99, with annual subscriptions also commonly available – these will usually save you a little cash over a monthly sub in the long run. Some brands even offer the option to sign up 'for life' which is a one-off payment that gives you access for as long as the platform exists. It works out cheaper in the long-run, but you need to to be committed for a number of years to truly see the payoff.

A monthly or annual subscription can feel like quite a commitment, when it's a service you've not used before. This is why many online lessons providers also offer a free trial before you make a decision to go long-haul, giving you time to explore the content and the user interface to ensure it’s the right fit for your specific learning needs. Free trials can range from 7 days up to 30, depending on the current promotion – sometimes you'll see extended free trial periods around Black Friday and in the lead up to Christmas, or during the back to school season – and some don't require any credit card details so you can sign up knowing you're not going to be charged if you forget to cancel. Other sites are free to join, but you pay to open up specific types of content.

Don't forget, most online lessons subscriptions can be cancelled at any time so, if you feel you've absorbed enough content to be working on for the time being, you can always take a month or two off and save a few bucks in the process, before picking it back up at a later date. 

Compare these prices to the average cost of a face-to-face lesson – around $40-$60 per 1 hour lesson – and the cost of a monthly online lessons plan quickly pulls into focus. You can read more about online vs face to face guitar lessons here.


Is it worth paying for online guitar lessons?

Man wearing headphones and holding an acoustic guitar takes a lesson via his laptop

(Image credit: Getty/Francesco Carta fotografo)

100%. Yes, there are plenty of free resources available online but, particularly if you’re a beginner, how do you know where to start, how to you know the tutor has the credentials to deliver the lessons in an accurate and considered way, and how do you ensure you don’t miss any critical steps in your guitar playing development? This is something that only a real teacher or a carefully constructed lesson plan can deliver.

And what about direct feedback on your development, or a community of like-minded learners? Most online lessons deliver these sorts of community features.

As we've already said, with free trials available from most providers, you can try before you buy. This ensures that, once you do start paying, you can be confident you’re getting exactly what you need.

Can you really learn guitar online?

There are pros and cons to both face to face lessons and online lessons. There’s no match for the instant feedback you get with an actual tutor, but physical lessons can be cost and time prohibitive. What’s more, some online providers also include feedback from a dedicated tutor within the cost, too, meaning you get the convenience of learning remotely, with the feedback you’d get from face to face lessons.

If the content in your online lessons is delivered in a clear and professional manner then it absolutely is possible to learn via remote lessons. The key is then to build on those skills by playing with other musicians, playing live and recording. In our opinion, these are the best ways to develop your talent and forge your own voice on the guitar. You always choose the hybrid approach which is to support your online learning with semi-regular face-to-face lessons.

How we test online guitar lessons services

The Guitar World online guitar lessons review process is editorially independent and not influenced by any third parties. For the purposes of our reviews we are either supplied with a free subscription by the platforms themselves, or we purchase our own subscriptions.

We evaluate online guitar lessons platforms in the following categories:

  • Ease of registration/setup
  • Quality of content/tutors
  • Range of content
  • Other useful features

This enables us to produce accurate, well-balanced and real-life online guitar lessons reviews to help you easily figure out whether the service you’re interested in really is the best choice for you.

Our testing criteria in detail:

  • Ease of registration/setup: How easy is it to sign up for the service and find the right content for your preferences, playing style etc. If there's a free trial, is it easy to find, set up and cancel?
  • Quality of content/tutors: Is the presentation of the video content clear and does it sound good? Just as important are the tutors, so we look closely at the delivery of the content. Are the lessons easy to follow and understand, do the tutors play well and do they communicate the information in a friendly, engaging manner? If the platform offers playalong songs or downloadable PDFs, are they easy to use?
  • Range of content: Some platforms offer content for all abilities while others are more focused in a particular area. We look at the total offering and look for strengths and weaknesses. We will always aim to recommend a platform for the right type of player.
  • Other features: How easy is the content to navigate in general? Is it clearly presented and are the learning paths obvious? Does the site offer live streamed content or member feedback as part of its subscriber community? Are there any other useful features on offer such as the ability to slow down or loop video? Is the content available on multiple platforms (ie. web and mobile)? Is the content available to use offline?

Our testing team includes:

  • Expert reviewers with years of hands-on experience testing and owning a wide range of guitar products and services.
  • Industry professionals who have worked in the guitar/music industry for decades. This includes guitar tutors and writers who have held positions at guitar companies and roles at leading guitar magazines and websites.

Read more about our rating system, how we choose the gear we feature, and exactly how we test each product.  

Man holding an acoustic guitar sits in front of his laptop

(Image credit: Getty/Westend61)

Beginner player? Here’s all the gear you need to get started 

Chris Corfield is a journalist with over 12 years of experience writing for some of the music world's biggest brands including Orange Amplification, MusicRadar, Guitar World Total Guitar and Dawsons Music. Chris loves getting nerdy about everything from guitar gear and synths, to microphones and music production hardware.

With contributions from