Which website provides the best online lessons for guitar? Find out which provider fits your needs perfectly with the help of our comprehensive review!
Top 5 Online Guitar Lesson Sites Comparison Chart
|Read the Review||“Core Learning System” linear lesson plan||$19.99 per Month||(4 / 5)||Visit Guitar Tricks! >>
|Read the Review||Choose your own lesson path as you go||$19.99 per Month||(3.5 / 5)||Visit JamPlay! >>>>>
|Read the Review||Color coded lesson plan based on difficulty||$0.00 per Month||(4.5 / 5)||Visit Justin Guitar! >>
|Read the Review||“My Path” genre specific, linear lesson plan||$9.99 per Month||(4 / 5)||Visit Fender Play! >>>
|Read the Review||“Core Courses” for beginners with genre-specific lessons||$19.00 per Month||(4 / 5)||Visit TrueFire!! >>>>>
Who Really Offers the Best Online Lessons for Acoustic or Electric Guitar?
There are more online guitar lesson options than ever before, making the instrument hyper accessible for students in the 21st century.
If you’re one of the thousands of people who will learn guitar for beginners online in 2019, then you may be wondering which website or subscription is the one for you.
Look no further as we’ve compared all the major players side by side with thorough reviews to help you find which one is truly the best online guitar lesson site. The specs we’re going to zero in on for each site will be the follow four; how easy is the website to access/navigate?
How affordable are the lessons? Are the lessons and instructors engaging? And how diverse are the song or lesson video options in genre, style, or difficulty?
We’ll pit five of the most popular and well known sites against each other and analyze how they answer all four of these questions with their individual specs to help you decide which online guitar lesson site is best for you.
Each site has been thoroughly reviewed by Guitar Niche by slowly working through beginner, song, and advanced technique lessons, as well as trying out some of the extra features like tuners, chord finders, ear training, and more.
Online Guitar Lesson Reviews
1. Guitar Tricks
Guitar Tricks is one of the most complete, and user friendly lesson sites on the market featuring a wide range of tools, lessons, and add-ons. Boasting over 11,000 video lessons per their website, there is surely something for everyone on Guitar Tricks.
Before we dig in and walk through, some of the highlights include the vast number of lessons previously mentioned as well as the large volume of song lessons the site features.
(4 / 5)
Guitar Tricks Overview
At the most basic levels of review, Guitar Tricks checks a lot of boxes you should be looking for. It has an easy to navigate website and homepage in addition to one of the largest selections of diverse technique, genre, and song lessons databases online.
The linear and easy to follow “core lesson plan” starts all players off with a series of video levels split into multiple chapters. Each level is taught by the same instructor throughout and lets you branch off into specific genres as you move up in skill.
While there are no famous, “rock star” instructors like some of the other sites boast, the instructors are nonetheless engaging and informative.
One of the best features of Guitar Tricks has to be how user friendly the website is while still retaining the highest quality video lessons. The site doesn’t overcomplicate itself, and clearly labels where beginners should start while displaying the paths they will soon follow on their learning journey.
The video lessons are engaging, high definition videos featuring pop-up tablature and musical notation along with multiple screens displaying the strumming and fretting hands of the instructor.
Lessons can also be sped up or slowed down to help you follow along with the video at your own pace while the more advanced song lessons feature a more interactive set up with built in guitar tuner and recommendations for gear.
The ease of use and quality of lessons is really where the value of Guitar Tricks is fully on display. In addition to the diverse lesson toolbox, the site has great add-ons such as a diverse list of song lessons available, a jam station for improvisation practice, and forums for chatting with other students.
The Good / What We Like
While many of these sites bombard you with too many features and tools to remember, Guitar Tricks focuses on offering easy guitar lessons for beginners are easy to access and keep up with. This emphasis on making it easy to learn guitar is a more important but less glamorous selling point.
Guitar Tricks also has one of the largest and most diverse collections of song lessons, an important feature that keeps students engaged as they move past the beginner stage and begin to lose interest or the need for formal lessons.
Furthermore, these advanced song and technique lessons come with expanded tools like chord finders, scale finders, and jam stations that really increase the practice capabilities of students.
The Bad / What We Don’t Like
While it isn’t necessarily a negative, all these top notch features that make it one of the best guitar lesson sites come at a cost of $19.99 per month, in the mid to high range of the subscription options reviewed here.
For this price, some students may expect perfection, and the lack of some features like an “ask the teacher” button on video lessons or section for taking notes that other sites has been replaced by other add-ons like lyrics or external links.
However, this is generally nit picking and we feel the subscription cost is fair for the volume of lessons available to the student.
- Huge number of lessons, over 11,000 videos available
- Diverse, growing list of songs available to learn
- Easy to follow and engaging lesson plan
- High quality instructors
- No famous, guitar-hero musician instructors
- Cost ($19.99/month) may be too much for students on a budget
- Some sites have more tools linked to video lesson
JamPlay is another veteran of the guitar lesson website world and has a long history of successful guitar coaching online.
While the site has a number of appealing features such as live lessons, famous instructors, and a plethora of tools, its song selection is widely focused on the rock and metal categories.
This makes it one of the best online rock guitar lessons even though it is structured around five, somewhat redundant genre based lesson plans.
(3.5 / 5)
Once again, JamPlay provides a lot of what beginner guitar students are looking for; quality instructors, song lessons, and a lot of diversity in the lesson options.
One nice touch is that the roster of instructors features a few high profile musicians, including Tosin Abasi, Steve Stevens, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, and Kaki King.
However, the web page and lesson choices are a little harder to navigate, presenting many options as opposed to a one stop shop for beginners that then branches as you progress.
As stated before, many of the highlights of JamPlay are based around the sheer volume of video lessons for techniques, theory, and professional styles. Another great service is the diverse set of tools found with each video lesson.
Tabs for supplemental info (tablature, backing tracks, PDF documents), notes, comments, and ask a teacher functions are all easily accessed below the videos.
Furthermore, with your subscription of $19.99 per month, you get access to live lessons, their “jamchat” forum, interviews, and fun training games. Definitely a lot of bang for your buck in terms of extras.
The Good / What We Like
There are tons of awesome features packed into the subscription mentioned above, and there are so many lessons ranging from beginner to pro level options.
All these, along with access to lessons from famous musicians, make it one of the best guitar lesson sites, but again it comes at a decent monthly price.
From the step by step acoustic guitar lessons for beginners to the plethora of electric rock and metal songs, there is a lot to like about JamPlay.
JamPlay also features one of the best sets of in-lesson or in-video toolboxes that should allow you to maximize your learning experience with supplemental materials or follow-along tablature.
The Bad / What We Don’t Like
As engaging as the lessons are, there is one flaw in their beginner lesson plan in our opinion. Instead of one, streamlined beginner lesson plan that branches out as the guitarist learns, they lead students to a page with dozens of beginner lessons and ask them to choose their own.
Some people may enjoy digging through each lesson to find the best one, but it may also frustrate some students who struggle to find what they are looking for, or begin a lesson sequence only find out half way through it isn’t the one for them.
Furthermore, your song lesson options and famous instructors are mostly focused on hard rock and heavy metal, with very little diversity otherwise, which may make it one of the best online rock guitar lessons site, but not generally the best site overall.
- Famous instructors
- Huge library of lesson options
- Engaging, feature-laden video lesson
- Song selection is limited in number and diversity
- No clear, linear path for beginners
- Cost may be prohibitive ($19.99/month
3. Justin Guitar
Justin Guitar is the brainchild of popular YouTube teacher Justin Sandercoe and features an interactive and modern website. The site features all the same videos as his YouTube channel, in a more organized, user friendly package.
Justin Guitar is further unique in that he is the sole instructor and produces hundreds of videos, lessons, and content himself without the help of other instructors, famous or otherwise.
(4.5 / 5)
Justin Guitar Overview
Justin Guitar is shockingly on par with all the other sites despite being a largely solo effort and has many of the same features you find elsewhere.
Song lessons, beginner lesson plans, and advanced techniques can all be found on Justin Guitar along with some interesting extras like podcasts and advanced theory lessons.
With engaging lessons for a variety of styles and genres, Justin Guitar has something for everyone and costs exactly zero dollars for full access.
For that incredibly tempting cost of $0, what do you get with Justin Guitar? The answer is a lot more than you might expect at that price point. The site boasts 940 lessons, 554 songs, musicianship lessons, and interval ear training.
Lessons and songs are color coded to indicate difficulty, and a helpful “beginners start here” path and welcome video make it easy for new students to navigate the web page and lesson plans.
At first glance, the song selection is also incredibly diverse with everything from Tracy Chapman to Ritchie Valens. The musicianship lessons struck us as very impressive simply because they are featured or advertised so prominently on the site.
The drop down menu goes on to list really advanced lessons on production, songwriting, ear training, and transcribing, features that will surely keep students engaged long past their beginner days.
The Good / What We Like
Generally speaking, Justin Guitar has just about every major option, lesson, or section of all the other sites, but for free. That’s a huge plus that could potentially make up for any of the limitations in lesson quantity or available tools that could be hampered by the site being a one man operation.
The familiarity of having the same teacher for all lessons is valuable as students who enjoy Justin’s style and lessons will be engaged time and time again while feeling comfortable with their learning.
Furthermore, the web site is beautiful built and super accessible for beginners and experts with clearly labeled options.
The Bad / What We Don’t Like
Justin Guitar does lack some of the features that are standard on other sites such as pop up tablature that follows along or is displayed next to the video.
Other in-lesson tools such as a tuner or notepad are also missing when compared to the diverse user interface of JamPlay or Guitar Tricks. Otherwise, there is a lot to like and a ton of excess value thanks to the free membership.
- Free online guitar lessons for beginners
- Entertaining lessons from Justin
- Great webpage and easy to navigate
- Good song lesson selection and diversity
- Advanced and interesting musicianship lesson
- Few, in-video tools such as tablature or tuner available
- Only one instructor, no famous musician
4. Fender Play
One of the newest additions to this best online guitar lessons review, Fender Play was launched by the legendary guitar company just within the past few years.
Fender Play has become an important part of Fender’s attempt to preserve their legacy of excellence in all things guitar while attracting new players from an ever changing student pool.
Using a wide variety of instructors in age, gender, and race, Fender hopes to appeal to the ever diversifying musical scene with a modern update on traditional guitar lessons.
(4 / 5)
Fender Play Overview
Despite a much shorter history than competitors, Fender Play is another strong contender featuring an affordable monthly subscription cost of $9.99 per month.
Furthermore, the website has a wonderful, easy to navigate design that is integrated into Fender’s main website.
Boasting a number of instructors, interviews, and gear demos, Fender Play has something for everyone even if it lacks some of the famous instructors of other sites.
The lessons are engaging and are super accessible as every Squier and Fender guitar or bass sold comes with a free, 6 month subscription to the service.
The Fender Play lesson plan is designed around a linear progression called “My Path”, which makes it super easy for students to begin learning, get hooked, and make steady progress.
Each student chooses their path based on the genre they wish to learn and options include rock, blues, folk, country, and pop for electric guitar as well as other options for acoustic, bass, and ukulele.
Fender Play also features a diverse list of song lessons, many that they incorporate directly into your path, as well as gear demos, articles, guitar tuners, and support for their IOS app.
All of this comes included free with your monthly subscription giving you plenty of value compared to many of the $20 per month options.
The Good / What We Like
Fender’s “My Path” lesson plan is one of the most easy to use and streamlined lesson plans on the market, and is paired with an exceptional user interface that is so easy to use.
Videos have great tools comparable to other sites like playback speed options and pop-up tablature along with the song or style lessons. They also boast over 500 song lesson options which are all very diverse in style, difficulty, and range from classics to modern hits.
Lastly, one of our favorite things is how they incorporate songs and riffs into the “My Path” lesson plans early on. This puts an emphasis on how making music can be a part of learning the guitar, which is important for engaging students and motivating them to practice.
The Bad / What We Don’t Like
There isn’t much to complain about here, but while the $9.99 per month is on the cheap side, it can still create an extra monetary barrier to learning the guitar.
This is fairly mitigated by the 6 month subscription that comes with every new Squier or Fender guitar, making it more ideal for students planning on purchasing one of those specific products.
As with any new product, some people may be wary of the short history and lack of years of coverage in reviews for online guitar lessons.
- Free 6 month subscription with new Squier/Fender products
- Easy to follow lesson plan
- Diverse instructors
- Great song lesson option
- $9.99 per month may hinder budget minded learners
- Relatively new lesson site, may be prone to future change
TrueFire is a bit unique when compared to other guitar lesson sites in the sense that it comes jam packed with great features, but also has many different subscription options.
Free to sign up for, you can pay for all-inclusive access, or buy and download individual lessons or lesson plans. With over 600+ collaborating instructors and several great reviews from students and critics alike, TrueFire is one of the most dense, complete lesson sites you can learn from.
(4 / 5)
While TrueFire is home to thousands of lessons, and gives beginner students a few distinct paths. In addition to linear lesson plans based on the genre or style you wish to learn, there is also a beginner homepage with hundreds of one-off lessons available to try and practice along to.
With an easy to follow website, but somewhat hidden linear lesson plans, anyone should be able to navigate their way around and search through the site’s many, engaging lessons with ease.
For those looking to learn from the pros, you’ll be happy to know TrueFire also boasts several famous instructors such as JD Simo, Robben Ford, Alex Skolnick, and Jennifer Batten.
Basic subscription packages start at $19.99 per month for complete access to the site, players who sign up for free have access to a decent selection of free lessons or can pay per downloaded video lesson.
When compared to cheaper or free alternatives, you’re certainly getting access to a huge volume of lessons for the price. And we were impressed with the number of free courses available, over 500+ according to the site, but there were not many free online guitar lessons for beginners, so these are probably better suited for more advanced players.
One of the best services that comes with this site has to be the “In the Jam” function that lets you practice improvising over pre-recorded full band or guitar arrangements for different styles, scales, and genres.
TrueFire also have a somewhat limited number of song options to learn, but the selection is very diverse in artists and genres. Furthermore, they have a request a song function that allows students to ask for lessons for their favorite songs, which could really help grow that list in the months to come.
The Good / What We Like
We really love the “In the Jam” function and think that the volume of options it has is a great tool for students. Improvising and creating your own music can be one of the hardest things to practice or learn, especially if you’re a solo guitarist alone in your home.
The addition of famous instructors is always a cool way to learn techniques or playing styles from the people using them every single night on tour as well.
For more advanced students, access to a large number of free lessons makes this a very appealing option for those looking to continue their education, not begin it.
Another cool feature is their interactive video jam sessions with some of their top artists and instructors called “Trading Solos” which lets students learn directly from the source in an engaging manner.
The Bad / What We Don’t Like
As with some of the other sites, the $19 per month can be a financial roadblock for many students, especially younger, less independent ones.
From a value standpoint, while the site has thousands of video lessons, the limited song selection, and presence of free access to the “In the Jam” function, may not make it worth paying for. Likely, this would be a great supplementary site to others or live, in person lessons.
- 500+ Free Lessons
- Fantastic “In the Jam” feature
- Famous Instructors
- Huge diversity in lesson options
- $19 a month may be costly for some
- Limited song lesson selectio
Online Guitar Lessons Buyer’s Guide
With anything, it is important to know as much as possible before you choose what to spend your hard earned money on. In particular with lesson sites, there are plenty to choose from, all with different costs, pros, cons, and unique features.
When looking for the best online guitar lessons it’s important to remember what the end goal is; to learn the guitar. You should always be looking for ease of use, helpful features and tools, quality instructors, and tons of lesson options to keep you engaged as you grow.
Let’s take a look at all the factors you need to consider when trying to learn guitar for beginners online.
What to Look for in Online Guitar Lessons for Beginners
An Easy to Navigate Website
Regardless of your comfort with technology, you always want to easily find what you’re looking for when you’re on a lesson site. Time wasted searching for beginner’s lessons or a song page is practice time wasted.
Websites that have well labeled “Beginner’s Start Here” functions on their homepage are some of the best online guitar training sites because they make it so easy for new students to get started.
Even better, helpful features like prominently displayed drop down menus or website introductions serve as awesome tutorials and introductions to the product you’re either trying or buying.
A Large Volume of Diverse Lessons
Whether you’re a beginner or more experienced player, one of the first things you should look for on a lesson site is how numerous and variable the lessons are.
Unless you’re going there to strictly learn punk rock and that’s it, explore the song options, techniques, genres, or musicianship offerings to see if there is enough, engaging content to keep you on the site.
- Are there lessons on the same topic with different skill lessons so you can grow in a linear manner?
- Can you learn a handful of genres or playing styles on the site?
- How many of your favorite songs are featured?
All important things to consider when searching for the best beginner guitar lessons.
Engaging, High Quality Guitar Instructors
Different sites offer different instructor options and you should carefully comb through to find which suits you best. Do you want to learn from only one instructor who you can build familiarity and trust with?
Or, would you rather have numerous, diverse teachers and maybe a few recognizable touring musicians?
When it comes to guitar coaching online you need to be careful to make sure your instructors have a history of good reviews, testimonials from pros, and guitar skills that align with what you want to learn.
Lastly, you have to like the instructors, maybe they crack jokes, maybe they know a ton about gear, whatever it is, make sure you want to be watching them for minutes or hours at a time.
The Cost of the Lessons Makes Sense to You
For those students on a tighter budget than others, it is always important to maximize the value of your guitar related purchases. Similar to gear shopping, you always want to get the best quality without paying top prices.
If you’re looking strictly for free online guitar lessons for beginners that may limit your options. First off, you should decide which site you like best regardless of price, and hopefully it’s one you can afford.
If not, start going down your list or ranking of the sites, and think about all the things you absolutely need to learn guitar, this is different than what you want.
Also, consider how long you want lessons or access to the site, if it’s a short time it may be worth it to pay for access to a ton of lessons, even at premium prices.
Online Guitar Lesson FAQs
Not sure where to start when looking for online guitar lessons? Feel like you have more questions than answers? We’ve collected some FAQs (frequently asked questions) and with our best answers to each one included below.
Be sure to check here for a definitive guide on how to learn guitar online thanks to our reviews, informative articles, answers, and other resources.
How much does a membership to each site cost?
Generally, the prices range from $0 per month to $35 per month based on subscription plans and site to site differences. Justin Guitar is the only completely free offering we’ve reviewed here, while Fender Play comes in at an affordable $9.99 per month.
True Fire also features over 500+ free lessons but you will have to pay for access to the full beginner lesson plan.
A free six month Fender Play subscription also comes included with every new Squier or Fender guitar and bass purchased from licensed Fender dealers, meaning you can get a good package deal of free lessons with your first guitar.
How long does it take to get good at the guitar?
Check out our very own article on that topic! The short answer is that it is different for everyone and involves a combination of forming good habits over the first few months while also building physical muscle memory and calluses over the first few weeks.
Lastly, it also takes discipline and motivation by you, the student, to make time to pick up the guitar and practice scales, chords, and techniques. Even if it isn’t always easy or as fun as playing along to your favorite song, practice makes perfect.
What makes a guitar instructor good?
Everyone will have a different answer to this question but usually you should be looking for two things: informative lessons and an engaging personality. You’re not likely to enjoy learning from an instructor you find annoying, boring, or out of touch with your playing goals.
That’s what makes shopping around these sites important, even if one option has all the specs or subscription package you may want, are the instructors a good fit for you?
On the other hand, an engaging personality may be fun to watch, but are they also providing the best teaching and instruction possible?
Can I just learn guitar on YouTube?
Technically yes, but YouTube has a less streamlined platform and does not monitor the quality of the teachers. Essentially, you have to sift through lots of bad or amateur instructors, and even when you find the good ones you’ve likely wasted precious time.
What’s better to learn guitar on, YouTube or a lesson site?
While everyone may have different preferences, lesson sites are generally better places to thoroughly learn guitar. With thousands of lessons you can take in a linear fashion as well as built in tools, you just have access to more, quality information on lesson sites.
The real question is: What’s the best way to learn guitar online?
While many players learn through some combination of YouTube videos, forums, tablature websites, and lesson sits, the best guitar lessons for beginners can be found on these lesson sites.
With song lessons, lesson paths, tools like tuners or chord finders, and years of great ratings, these lesson sites have streamlined and improved on much of the info available on these other avenues.
While they may cost more money than the others, there is a reason you are paying, dedication and quality lessons don’t come cheaply – check out our article on the best way to learn guitar online to learn more!
Can I learn my favorite songs on these lesson sites?
For the most part you probably can, unless your favorite song is some obscure, underground single. Many of these sites feature 300+ song lessons and they’re adding more every week.
While tabs and chords can be found at a number of other free websites such as songsterr.com or ultimate-guitar.com, you get the best, most detailed lessons from lesson sites like these.
What sites features famous musicians and guitarists?
JamPlay.com and TrueFire.com feature lessons from guitar luminaries like Tosin Abasi, Steve Stevens, and JD Simo. FenderPlay.com often features live videos, interviews, or gear demos with famous musicians as well.
What site has the best beginner guitar lessons course?
Each site has their individual benefits, but one will probably stand out as the best fit for you. Read each review above to make sure you have all the information you need to make an educated decision based on your individual needs.
When you think you’ve found your winner, see below for a quick final comparison to confirm your choice.
Is it worth it to pay for online guitar lessons for beginners?
In the grand scheme of things, you’ll get so much more out of your guitar playing with the right lessons from the get-go. Pay once to get the best lessons, and you’ll never have to pay again when you need to re-learn or break bad habits.
Wrapping it Up, Our Final Verdict
We’ve covered a lot of great guitar lesson sites in our rundown of the Best Online Guitar Lessons Guide, and we’re finally at the end.
We’ve focused on four main specs throughout this article: engaging lesson plans, diverse lesson choices, affordable monthly subscription cost, and easy to navigate web pages.
When considering all four categories, the winner of best online guitar lessons provider would have to belong to Justin Guitar.
First off, lessons via Justin Sandercoe and his website are completely free, which just makes them more accessible and a greater value than any other site listed here.
Furthermore, there is little to no drop off in quality or quantity of lessons when comparing Justin Guitar’s free site to more costly $10 per month or more options.
He has the same or more song lessons, technique lessons, and a really great section dedicated to musicianship training. With all these features, We just can’t justify spending more money per month for lessons of the similar or equal quality and diversity.
Should Justin’s style or approach not appeal to you, TrueFire is a great choice thanks to their incredibly useful “In the Jam” feature that should keep students engaged longer, even after they have their beginner phase.
While their lesson selections are engaging and competitive, the price of $19 per month really limits the value when compared to Justin Guitar specifically.
However, the ability for players to practice improvising or song writing with the large selection of pre-recorded “In the Jam” tracks is a huge addition that not all sites have.
If you’re a beginner who is considering buying a Fender or Squier product to learn guitar or bass on, then Fender Play is the choice for you without a doubt.
The 6 month free trial that comes with each new instrument will save you money and give you plenty of time to get comfortable with the instrument and platform before deciding to subscribe or move on to another site.
Guitar Tricks and JamPlay are certainly two of the most well known websites out there and also represent great options, though we’re not completely convinced they contain anything that strictly justifies the cost of a subscription membership.
However, they do have a long history of success and online reviews and customer testimonials for you to dig through.
While you definitely can’t go wrong with any of the sites discussed here, we hope we made your decision making easier and showed you what features make a lesson site truly great.
|“Core Learning System” linear lesson plan||(4 / 5)||Visit Guitar Tricks! >>
|Choose your own lesson path as you go||(3.5 / 5)||Visit JamPlay! >>>>>
|Color coded lesson plan based on difficulty||(4.5 / 5)||Visit Justin Guitar! >>
|“My Path” genre specific, linear lesson plan||(4 / 5)||Visit Fender Play! >>>
|“Core Courses” for beginners with genre-specific lessons||(4 / 5)||Visit TrueFire!! >>>>>
Overall Average Score:
That wraps up our list of the best online guitar lessons reviews, do you have any experience with these sites or opinions to share?
Let us know if you agree or disagree with our choice of Justin Guitar as the top rated online guitar lessons site in the comments.