There are truly a lot of sources on the internet where you can learn how to play on the guitar nowadays. However, if your aim is to learn the guitar with maximum efficiency, speed, and benefit, all the while without breaking the wallet, the list of these sources goes down to only a few.
So, what is the best online guitar training today? How to recognize one? And what makes a guitar program GREAT instead of just “Okay”? Let's find out.
But first, let’s get one little problem that seems to be troubling a lot of fellow beginner and intermediate guitarists out of the way, and that is the problem of choosing between going for the free training, or the paid training.
Free Online Guitar Lessons or an Organized Paid Program?
We all had some “free” online guitar training in one way or another, and in different degrees. And to be honest with you there are a lot of really good free guitar lessons online.
Youtube is no doubt the biggest source of free online guitar material. Many amateur and professional guitarists post their instructional guitar videos to youtube for free, just because they want to help or promote their band or a specific brand.
For example, Cordoba Classical Guitars have quite a few free guitar lessons on youtube that showcase the capabilities and the beauty of their guitars, while benefiting beginner to intermediate guitarists with some useful tips and tricks.
One video that really stood out to me is a video about flamenco guitar techniques, which I really enjoyed and found to be useful that I had to write about it in another post talking about Flamenco music on the guitar, its history, and techniques. The post can be found below:
Another really great free lesson that can be found on youtube, is a lesson by Steve Vai himself, in what to be the “largest online guitar lesson”.
This is another lesson that I highly recommend especially for beginner guitarists to help them understand the basics and the importance of setting goals and having the right mindset for playing the guitar. He touches on so many important issues separately with good demonstration and verbal explanations. Each topic he showcases briefly but in a simple manner that makes it easy to understand and remember.
This, too, I have written about it in a different post with my own notes and analysis on each part of the lesson step by step. Find it below:
These are only a couple of good examples and you can find more on youtube by searching for guitar lessons and distinguished guitarists such as John Petrucci, Tommy Emmanuel, Paul Gilbert and more.
For example, try the following search queries in youtube and see what you get:
Because he’s a virtuoso. Anything he says about the guitar and playing the guitar is gold. Yes, I’m a big fan.
Because his alternate picking technique is his biggest strength and among the best.
Again, great player with one of the best alternate picking techniques.
And so on … You got the idea.
This site here also got a lot of awesome free information and useful guidance about the guitar, just browse our blog from the menu above or use the search to search for any topic you want and see if you can find enough information about it here first before turning to google!
The Problem With the Free Guitar Training Route …
While as we have shown above that it’s true that you can find a lot of good and free guitar lessons online mainly from youtube, this method is far from perfect or effective and has some major problems. The main problems can be concluded as below:
The information given in a free lesson might not always be correct. If you’re a total beginner, you might not be familiar with all the professional popular guitarists, and you might end up watching a video lesson by an amateur that at best cases will try to teach you how to play certain techniques wrong or in less efficient ways. At worst cases, he’ll give plain out wrong or bad tips that you are much better off ignoring.
The information given in a free lesson are almost always missing something or incomplete. Even if the free lesson is given by a professional or a well-known guitarist, a free lesson will never include everything. For example, a free lesson on alternate picking might include only some tips or a how-to demonstration. Full alternate picking training should include a step-by-step, gradual training with exercises on a regular basis that matches your current skills on the guitar, and that can’t be found in a free 10 minutes video on youtube.
Free lessons lack the planned structure of a proper guitar learning system. Free lessons typically are randomly structured, with no follow-up lessons or reference material, and aren’t part of any plan or a bigger system, a thing that can be detrimental and crucial to the effectiveness of your training and overall progress on the guitar.
Being part of a professional guitar learning system that can show you how to go from A to B to C in a simple, comprehensible step-by-step fashion, with emphasize on learning the basics for beginners, is of utmost importance to everyone who is serious about learning this instrument.
Free guitar lessons are merely free guitar lessons. They are not real guitar training. In my opinion, they are better off kept as something complimentary or as a bonus to a more serious paid learning program like the ones I’m going to show you below.
Read on …
What are the Indications of a Successful Guitar Learning Program?
Before you sign up to any online guitar lessons program and pay for a full membership and dedicate a lengthy amount of your time for their training program, you need to know what are the key aspects that make an online guitar training program a successful one. A successful program must have the following:
Money Back Guarantee/Trial Period
This is a no-brainer. A 30-60 days money back guarantee policy must be included first and foremost. Try before you buy. Even if the program is the best and most successful one on the internet, it still might not be suitable for everybody. After all, we all have different tastes and different opinions regarding various things in life. This feature will allow you to try their services and training to check if it suits you before you purchase a subscription.
A good reputation is established with years of experience, good content, and good customer support.
Testimonials are positive customers’ feedback. A good program will have lots of testimonials all over the internet and will be well-known and endorsed by many guitarists.
A good way to find quality, customer reviews is from social media.
Usually, these programs will have accounts on all the social media platforms with thousands of followers, likes, and tweets. You can easily spot comments with endorsements (Or the opposite, criticism) from real customers when they publish a new course or article for example.
Or you can join guitar-related groups on facebook, join Youtube channels, or go to guitar forums such as The Acoustic Guitar Forum and ask for other guitarists' opinions about your desired program.
It’s not enough to have 10, 100, or even 1000 lessons in a program that promotes itself as an all-guitar teaching program. 1000 lessons might be enough to learn one style of music on the guitar but to include a diverse and a wide range of styles, methods, and types of the guitar to be able to cater to the biggest audience possible, it requires thousands of different and unique guitar lessons.
Quality content is driven by quality guitar professionals. The best programs will have a highly skilled, highly professional guitar panel of instructors to build all their lessons content. The panel should be available for public to see and examine. Everybody have the right to know their teacher before signing up for a course.
In addition to regular, instructional lessons, a great program must have a fair number of licensed songs lessons. By “fair number” I mean a hundred and above.
This type of lessons will bring lots of fun and diversity to your training and will make it feel less “dull” after an intensive focus on the fundamentals or a basic technique for example.
This is important because even if learning the fundamentals is super important, without fun and learning how to actually play some songs on your beloved guitar, you will probably start losing interest and have your motivation level decreased to the point of quitting.
The Benefits of a Successful Guitar Program:
From the above information, we can already learn that there are tons of benefits to joining the online guitar learning community.
Because of the huge database content of video guitar lessons, miscellaneous tools, and being always available and accessible from your own comfort home from the internet, you will achieve progress FASTER than the conventional way of having a 1-hour lesson per week.
Money is also a huge factor. Even without counting the Coupons if available, holiday discounts, and special offer promotions, the full membership subscription will still cost less than a private guitar lesson with a guitar teacher face-to-face.
Prices can range from 7$ to 20$ a month depending on your subscription method, time of the year, coupons, and other special offers.
Another benefit that is often missed is the ability to learn from multiple guitar teachers and other members as well, and the fact that you can find different teachers specialized in different styles and genres of music, so for example if you want to learn Blues guitar then you will be matched with instructors that are specialized in Blues music, Blues chord progression, Blues music theory and so on.
So, What Programs Meet the Above Requirements and Beyond?
By now, if you are a serious student of the instrument and really desire to become a great guitarist fast and without busting the bank, you should be seeking a dedicated, well-known, good reputation online guitar lessons program.
What everybody seems to be talking about and praising today, are two huge programs called GuitarTricks and Jamplay. Luckily for you, I tried both programs with trial accounts and was able to see how the lessons really are and what it’s like to be a member in each program. The following are the full reviews with constant updates on new features, content, coupons, promotions and more:
(Attention: All COUPONS and special offer discounts are found inside each review below)
Both Jamplay and GuitarTricks are excellent online guitar teaching programs with many years of experience in this field of business, have more than two million subscribers combined, thousands of instructional and song lessons, largely praised by the vast majority of guitarists, and for a fraction of a one real life guitar lesson's price with a private instructor you will get a full all-inclusive no limits access for a whole month.
For a fast comparison between the two programs before you decide to sign up to any one of them, go to the homepage or check the following screenshot taken right from the homepage:
Guitar Tricks Jamplay
Where to Go From Here
Every serious guitar student wants to learn and progress fast, efficiently, and without damaging the wallet and having to pay a fortune in the process.
GuitarTricks and Jamplay both offer exactly that and they are considered “safe” to join because of the try-before-buy policy they have and having millions of subscribers worldwide.
What I would do if I was still a beginner or haven't touched a guitar before, I would try both programs out at the beginning and then decide which of the two suits me more. Then, I'd look for the coupons found in the reviews presented above and apply them to get the biggest discount possible on subscribing for a full membership.
I would suggest subscribing for a full year membership because a month or two or even three isn't enough to start seeing “real” progress, and you get the cheapest price per month they have to offer.
However, if in doubt, 3-months membership is still fine and if after it's finished you were very satisfied, then you should get the yearly subscription for the cheapest price ever.
If you have other online guitar teaching programs or courses that want my opinion on, contact me from the “Contact Us” page from the menu above or write a comment with your desired program/course.
I will continue reviewing guitar teaching programs among other guitar-related products so it is wise to subscribe to our mailing list for any future updates, new coupons, and new posts.
Currently, on my mind, I'm thinking of checking up on Truefire and LickLibrary as I've heard some good things about them as well. They are both good candidates for my next reviews so stay in touch if you want to read my review on these two.