Best YouTube Channels for Guitarists
Published on 29 December 2023
Where do you go to learn riffs, catch up on gear news and seek opinions that match/challenge your own? Back in the day, you’d go into town and buy a guitar magazine once a month, and relish the articles, reviews and (let’s be honest) all the cool adverts that used to be in them.
Nowadays, your destination is most definitely Youtube. It’s actually kind of odd to think back to a time before YouTube’s dominion, when music shops had product catalogues printed on paper, and a star rating for an instrument or pedal in Guitarist magazine actually held some weight.
Today, we want more specific information, in more detail, and about whatever subject we feel like addressing. That said, I’ve found - and I’m sure you have too - that you tend to drift back to some familiar faces after a while, if they’ve delivered good content again and again. Why, you may well be a regular watcher of our own YouTube channel (youtube.com/@guitarguitaruk, thanks for asking) and we try to offer good ‘repeat business’ as it were, because content is only worth bothering with if you’re getting something from it: info, insight, or even just a pleasant, fun time.
All of the following YouTube accounts are ones that not only I but others here in guitarguitar agree are consistently worth checking out. We are not affiliated with any of these people, but we enjoy their content and look forward to more from them. You’ll know a few at least, but why not check out those you’re less familiar with?
Is Paul Davids the nicest guy on YouTube? His gentle tone and relaxing voice is an antidote to the usual noise connected with social media, and that gives him a real identity online.
He’s not just a soothing presence, though. His content is top notch, whether he is explaining setups, chatting about theory or visiting shops to play on Jimi Hendrix’s old Strat. There’s a wealth of different approaches on offer, all filtered through Davids’ easy narrative style.
For me, he’s a nice guy to spend a lunch break with: you’ll learn something, and it’ll be pleasant. He’ll show you riffs, compare guitars and do all of the same things that loads of guitar-based YouTubers do, but with a vibe and level of quality that’s high.
I’ve enjoyed lots of the content on creator KDH’s channel. An unassuming Irishman with exceedingly long hair, KDH (what is his real name?) is actually a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He is quite unafraid to ruffle feathers - particularly from big birds like Fender and Gibson - when taking companies or individuals to task for their seemingly dubious behaviour. He called out Chapman on their elusive range of British-made guitars, took Gibson to task over their various lawsuits (not always siding against them, I should note) and basically shining a light on the stuff within our industry that doesn’t sit right with him.
It’s bold stuff, and it’s consistently interesting because he’s not just picking fights: he is showing concern about a subject and then taking a pretty balanced look at it from a range of angles. Crucially, he wins trust because he backs his claims with a ton of fact-checked research and some very careful wording.
YouTube is full of opinionated people screaming their take at you with bluster and indignation, but it’s less full of people like KDH, who do their research, ask questions and turn over every stone on their path to a resolution. Good work!
John Nathan Cordy
John Nathan Cordy has built a reputation for being an authority on sound, more so than gear itself. A big Helix user, Cordy’s videos offer tips and tricks for those who are into modelling and IRs, as well as pedal reviews and such like.
I like his attitude of bypassing marketing speak and going directly towards how to practically achieve certain sounds, basing his practice on how the gear actually ends up sounding over whether they are the ‘correct’ brand. Cordy’s style feels particularly unscripted (I’ve no idea whether it is actually scripted or not), and some people might get a little exasperated by the ‘umms’ and ‘ahhs’ that pepper the speech throughout, but that’s not something that particularly bothers me.
Cordy’s perspective and style was a refreshing take when he first came through the ranks, and it remains one that is interesting and engaging to watch.
Justin Hawkins Rides Again
Yes, that Justin Hawkins! The flamboyant Darkness vocalist/guitarist has for a long time now had a second career as a YouTuber, using the platform to create commentary and opinion pieces on a range of music-related subjects.
Hawkins knows his stuff, is a likeable personality, and isn’t afraid to shine the critical light on himself from time to time, too. That said, it’s the reaction videos (not something I generally have any time for whatsoever) and the industry-related musings that work well here. After all, Hawkins is no armchair expert; he’s a seasoned pro who has most certainly walked the walk and can talk from experience. Some posts can feel somewhat less than essential, but overall, his hit rate is high.
That Pedal Show
This one is pretty much an institution for most of you, I’ll bet! Hosted by GigRig’s Daniel Steinhardt and ex-Guitarist journo Mick Taylor, That Pedal Show does pretty much what it says on the tin: they check out and compare vast amounts of effects pedals, with all of their content filtered through their professional experience and personal opinion.
Guest stars are invited onto the show regularly to add spice, and the appeal is in the freedom to massively geek out on details. If you want some deep dives into what Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien thinks about delay pedals, this is where to go!
Also, a big shout out to Rosie the dog!
Rick Beato’s YouTube presence is monstrous: he’s like the Joe Rogan of the guitar world! For many, Rick Beato is the first-stop shop for guitar-related content, and it’s easy to understand why. Ex music teacher Beato fills his episodes with a wide range of content, from song breakdowns to tone comparisons, theory lessons to artist interviews.
Such is the power of the internet, Beato is now at the point where top artists are clamouring to chat to him, instead of the usual routine of artists fending off requests for interviews. It’s possibly fair to say that Rick’s style isn’t always to everybody’s taste, but he has certainly hit like a meteor across the industry, even earning himself a signature guitar from Gibson in the process!
In my opinion, his most interesting content (his most ‘valuable’ would very much depend on what you’re looking for) are his long-form interviews. Routinely stretching out longer than an hour - sometimes significantly so - Beato has come to understand the power of just letting an artist speak without undue interruption. This wasn’t always the case with him, but the interview he conducted with unofficial man of the year Nuno Bettencourt is a great example of this style done really well.
Scotland’s CS guitars always delivers content that I enjoy watching, and I can’t shake the feeling that I might actually have sold him a few guitars back in my shop floor days!
CS Guitars have a nice, clear and energetic approach to their content, well presented by Colin with a blend of openness and directness that is both confident and professional. CS Guitars’ aim is to focus more on the science of tone, which is admirable, but fear not: he’s still as obsessed with pedals and gain as the rest of us!
Who’s Your Favourite YouTuber?
This list of channels here today was just a little slice of a very large cake. Guitarists are unbelievably well served when it comes to YouTube content. Whilst writing this blog, several more accounts have sprung to mind that I enjoy, so the list could well have been bigger.
Having said that, this article may have introduced you to a few new faces, or reminded you of channels that you came across and liked, but didn’t take any further.
There’s a ‘subscribe’ button for them all, so if you enjoy what you see, give that button a smash and enjoy more fresh content as it arrives!