Whether you’re a seasoned player looking to build on your library of techniques, or a total novice just starting out on your musical journey, online guitar lessons can give you a big helping hand. There are lots of high-quality platforms available, each providing its own unique set of features to help you master the instrument – and you won’t even need to leave your home to get started - all are accessible via your laptop, phone or tablet. In this guide to the best online guitar lessons, we bring you our top choices, with every budget and skill level covered. Before you know it, you’ll be licking and riffing like a true rock god.
If you want to get straight to our top choices, keep scrolling, or hit the buying advice button above for more guidance on what to look for in your online guitar lessons.
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Best online guitar lessons: Guitar World’s Choice
When it came to choosing the best online guitar lessons platform, one stands out from the rest and that is Fender Play. 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. To Fender’s credit, it hasn’t skimped on the learning experience. Everything in Fender Play is there for a reason, and the site is clean, intuitive and encourages you to stick with it.
Elsewhere, we’re happy to recommend JamPlay, because of the sheer amount of content on there, and also JustinGuitar – Justin Sandercoe’s easy-going presentation style and the large number of free lessons he offers make the platform well worth a visit.
Best online guitar lessons: Product guide
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 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, and there’s plenty for the more experienced guitar players, too.
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.
Read the full Fender Play review
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 superb 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you’ve tried any of the lessons from Guitar Guy on YouTube, you’ll be familiar with Mark McKenzie. His lessons are easy to follow, informative and well presented, and he’s especially good at guiding beginners through those first tentative steps.
The Jamorama platform can’t compete with others on this list in terms of the amount of content available, but what is there is well considered and executed, and the 120-day money-back guarantee gives you some degree of confidence that you’ll see results quickly.
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.
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.
Competition is fierce among online guitar lessons providers, particularly those targeted at beginners. Guitar Tricks focuses heavily on the beginner to intermediate learner, and delivers a credible number of video lessons that concentrate on songs, techniques and fundamental elements of learning the guitar.
There are other options if you’re looking for something hugely slick and with a roster of big-name teachers, but it’s hard to criticize Guitar Tricks for not excelling in these areas. What you do get is well presented, and will certainly help beginners as they progress. We particularly liked the large song catalogue, with tracks from huge artists across a number of genres all available for you to get stuck into.
The best online guitar lessons: Buying advice
Learning an instrument is a hugely personal experience. Some people prefer to get a gentle nod in the right direction 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 that fits 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 some 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 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. Too fast and you’ll become overwhelmed and demotivated. Too slow and you’ll get bored. Additionally, 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 do it, learning the guitar is not an easy task. 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.
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