Best Online Guitar Lessons For You

Published on 16 April 2023

So you decided to pick up the guitar but you’re not quite sure where to begin your learning journey?

There’s plenty of great budget instrument options available on the market so you’re sorted for choice. Then you may want to add an amp, then start looking for a tutor or a music school and before you know it, this whole idea becomes quite an expensive hobby.

This can be off-putting, right?

But it doesn’t have to be! Today we’re here to help you make the most of your first steps without breaking the bank. With a plethora of online resources at your fingertips, we’ve picked the BEST online guitar lessons worth sticking with so that you don't waste your time browsing through hundreds of YouTube channels that would leave you more confused than you expected.

Tried and tested by us, let’s dive right in!

1. Justin Guitar

Justin Sandercoe is indisputably one of the world’s leading guitar teachers. He was a pioneer of online video guitar tuition in 2006 when there were very little resources of similar quality available. Sandercoes is both an accomplished performing artist as well as an experienced teacher. His ability to explain techniques and theory is second to none, from the very basics right through to advanced level. Justin Guitar is by far the best free online guitar lessons hub out there. With testimonials from the likes of Brian May and Steve Vai, we don’t think it needs any extra recommendations!

There are few ways you can enjoy free lessons by Justin:

  • By visiting his YouTube channel @JustinGuitar and joining fellow 1.64 million subscribers! His channel has a plethora of free lessons which you can choose as you please. Many guitarguitar employees have used JustinGuitar resources to further our skills so we know what we are talking about when placing Justin at the top of our list
  • By going onto his very own website - justinguitar.com - with over a thousand of completely free lessons, songs, modules and tools such as a metronome or chord library
  • There is an app version available which requires a payment plan. However, there is a free trial period and Justin often offers discounts for new users (currently 20% off as a 2023 Spring Sale special)
  • For those of you who prefer a good old paper form additionally, there are books with instructional DVDs on the market: Beginner’s Course and Intermediate Method

 

2. Marty Music

When he was made redundant from his job as an elementary school music teacher in California back in 2008, Marty Schwartz started utilising YouTube to try and gain a student base for himself. Little did he know his channel would soon become one of the most visited platforms for online guitar lessons. Marty’s charisma, high quality videos and of course his invaluable teaching skills all won him millions of regular views and subscriptions, spreading popularity of his teachings worldwide. Let’s have a look at just one example:

Marty is a great all-rounder and covers lessons for complete beginners on electric and acoustic as well as bass guitar. His songs offer everything from simple melodies through to pop,  classic rock and heavy metal.

Once you sit down to one of  Marty’s lessons we can guarantee you WILL come back for more. Not only does he break down the structure of a song in the most beginner-friendly way possible, he also talks to you like your best buddy! Schwartz is literally your virtual guitar friend.

If you’d rather read up on some lesson content than just watch, head over to martymusic.com. What can you find here? Lots and lots of most commonly learnt songs for guitar on sheet, of course. But also plenty of exercises, in depth gear reviews and links to Marty’s shows. You can even  request a song if it’s not already included in Marty’s galactic catalogue!

The page features a store in which you can browse through meticulously crafted course bundles tailored to your individual skill level and taste in music. Some of them are free, some have a charge. Prices start from as little as $8 with more advanced courses priced at $30 and more. These are all reasonable in our view, if you think about what a one-to-one lesson with a teacher costs you in real life.

 

3. Fender Play

The leading guitar manufacturers are not here just to get you to buy their instruments, they are also here to teach you how to use them. Fender Play is a user-friendly portal that offers step-by-step lessons on acoustic and electric guitar, bass and ukulele. Each lesson is presented in a clear, multi-angle video with highest quality audio. In case you were wondering, you don’t need to purchase a Fender branded guitar to be able to use it. Everybody’s welcome.

You can use Fender Play on your desktop or as a mobile app. It offers a free 7-day trial (14-day trial with qualifying Fender branded guitar purchases) after which you can choose your plan: 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or a full year at various prices depending on current promotions.

There are some great features available such as a tuner, personalised progress tracking, tabs, course guidance and much more!

With Fender Play you are guaranteed a professional, Fender certified teacher on each video so the worry you may have when browsing through random online lessons (is this teacher really good? Are they teaching me the correct way to play?) - is completely gone here. You learn from the professionals! Check it out today at fender.com/play

 

4. TrueFire

“Practise smart and play hard with the best in the biz!” This is a quote straight from TrueFire’s own website and we are confident enough to use it and testify to its truth. 

There are over 300 guitar tutors available in virtual form on this platform. From Grammy award winners, top session players to modern YouTube influencers, with TrueFire you can literally learn guitar straight from your favourite guitarist! Steve Vai, Jennifer Batten, Joe Bonamassa, Tommy Emmanuel, Sophie Lloyd, Paul Gilbert - have all designed lessons exclusively for TrueFire.

 

You can browse your lessons by topics (CAGED system, improvisation, applied theory, soloing, etc), by style (rarely seen elsewhere genres like R&B, rockabilly or flamenco!), by most popular ones or by series (essentials, masterclasses, etc).

Other great features include: slow motion, looping, video synced tab and notation and practice jam tracks.

TrueFire certainly is one of the most comprehensive guitar learning platforms out there.

Price: It is free to join with an instant free 30-day trial. Then your prices go at $29 for monthly plan, $249 annual, or a not-seen-elsewhere offer of a lifetime plan at $2,499! See for yourself: TrueFire. (We've kept the pricing in original currency as convertion to GBP may differ).

 

5. Gibson App

With the success of Fender Play, Gibson didn’t wait long to launch their own educational platform. Developed by expert guitar teachers, the course The Gibson App offers is optimised for beginners. It gives guitar students a whole new level of learning experience: no more playing to static videos, the app has been designed with a more natural lesson feel, where the guitar student gets engaged and receives an interactive real-time feedback to understand their personal progress and respond to the learning process accurately.

There are game-like exercises, for example an animated fretboard with highlighted notes to be played.

Aside from well explained song learning lessons (you get to pick the part of the song you want to learn instead of the whole tune all at once), Gibson App also offers a free one-to-one tech consultation on your guitar setup.

Bonus feature is that you get weekly added lessons from Gibson endorsed guitarists such as Jared James Nichols or Richie Faulkner!

The standard free 7-day trial applies, with monthly ($19.99) or annual ($119.99) subscriptions available. The Gibson App is available for iPhone and Android devices.

 

6. Guitar Tricks

Ranking highly amongst best online guitar lessons, Guitar Tricks is a step-by-step course in a bit of an old school package. You can be a complete novice and have basic computer skills and you can be sure you’ll be absolutely fine using Guitar Tricks lessons. You are also guided on every step of your learning journey with an online instructor: simply send a video of your playing and a designated tutor will send you back a private video with feedback and tips.

When using Guitar Tricks you, the guitar student, are in control of how your learning process goes: you get to choose your level as well as the style of music you want to play.

The portal is easy to navigate: you can learn by genre of music, famous riffs or chosen artist.

Those of you who are looking for more advanced lessons can benefit from Guitar Tricks artist studies and advanced techniques section  to help you achieve the sound of your guitar heroes.

Free 14-day trial with either monthly or annual subscription: Guitar Tricks.

 

7. Songsterr

Some of you may not want to spend time watching guitar tutorial videos and follow tips from virtual teachers. You just want to get on with it, get chords for your favourite song and play!

We hear you. And we’ve got something that may be just the right place for you: Songsterr.

Now, this may be the choice for players who already have a grasp of the fretboard as well as memorised their chord shapes. But Songsterr can also be a perfect place for the student who likes to learn to play by ear.

One of the most popular sites to head over to when you just want to get a song learned quickly and avoid going through hundreds of other websites which provide incomplete chords. Sonsgsterr offers over 800,000 tabs and no pop up ads interrupt your session which helps those who get distracted easily.

What’s different about Songsterr is the ease with which you can navigate through the page. You simply type in the song you’re after and boom! You get instant tablature with a midi tab player. You can see the notes and hear the track clearly without vocals. You can also choose between the rhythm guitar parts and leads, drums and bass. All with professional score notation, too!

This online guitar learning platform allows users to submit their own tabs, join guitar community hubs and it is completely free! There is an upgraded version of the website which offers advanced features such as slow down tempo of the song, play chosen part solo, loop a section and much more.

Songsterr has guitar, bass and drum tabs & chords with free online tab player. One accurate tab per song. Huge selection of 800000 tabs. No abusive ads.

 

8.  Aodán Coyne Music - DADGAD

So you’ve learned your basics and now you’re bored with yet another classic rock song that everybody tells you you should learn. Or you feel like you’re driven more towards the acoustic sound rather than electric and open chords just don't quite cut it for you. 

Try DADGAD! 

It is often called the Celtic tuning and it is widely used in the traditional music of the British Isles. We’ve found a nice little resource for you: Aodán Coyne music. Aodán is a traditional Irish guitar teacher specialising in DADGAD tuning and his YouTube channel is packed with fantastic tutorials for all your finger picking needs. There are plenty of easy to follow  lessons that focus on one thing at a time, be it a scale, backing guitar techniques or plucking at folk melodies. And as it is with YouTube, it is completely free to use! 

Aodán is a very responsive online guitar teacher who has accumulated a worldwide student base thanks to his personal engagement with his subscribers: he listens to people’s needs, replies to every comment on lesson videos and encourages regular practice. 

Most videos have a bunch of links with free downloadable chords or music sheets for the lesson (you simply supply your email and receive a Dropbox treasury full of cheat sheets!).

Aodán has his own website: aodancoyne, with further DADGAD learning resources where you can purchase a bundle of DADGAD formula courses, designed entirely by him to each level of your playing. Prices are in Euro and start from €77 for a beginner course.

 

9. Bernth Guitar - Metal Mania

Are all your heroes shredders? Then you're not going to want to waste your time playing campfire open chords. We’ve got you covered. Well, not us but Bernth! This Austrian guitarist / composer / session musician is in fact a highly trained musician who graduated with honours from the Vienna Music Institute. His passion for metal music aided his virtuosic guitar performance videos and educational YouTube content led to him receiving a Silver Creator Award for passing 100,000 subscribers in 2020.

Bernth has some exceptional teaching skills and can explain practically anything you’d ever want to ask him about metal guitar playing. Each lesson is packed with high value information, videos are filmed and edited in superb quality and his sense of humour adds an extra spark to your learning journey. Aside from routine exercises, scales, and songs, Bernth has alo got a plethora of fun videos where he experiments with guitar setups, tests new gear and openly talks about his mistakes so that YOU don’t have to trouble yourself through unnecessary learning hardships. No wonder Bernth has attracted a global audience with over 100 million views! Further shredding resources are available on Bernth's website: bernth.at

 

Final Thoughts

We hope our list of the best online guitar lessons available has got you inspired to become the next best self-taught guitarist! 

If you feel like you’re craving a little more variety again, we’d like to invite you over to further lecture in guitar lessons: have a read through our blog on 5 easy songs for beginners or essential guitar scales. If you’re after something more techy, here’s some tips on basics of a guitar setup if you’ve just acquired your first instrument: 5 things you must do with your new guitar

Good luck! 

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Anna

Marketing and Social Media Assistant, Warehouse

Obsessed with guitars, live shows & travels.

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