BEST ONLINE GUITAR LEARNING PLATFORMS IN 2020

Is it possible to teach yourself to play the guitar?

Traditionally the go to solution for most people who want to learn the guitar is to find a teacher and take guitar lessons in their local area. However the internet has introduced a more progressive model when it comes to learning guitar online. These days guitarist’s are considered very fortunate with the vast amount of educational materials and guitar lessons available.

Theres a plethora of guitar teaching websites and resources, both paid and free. In fact some would say the average guitarist is spoilt for choice.
As a guitar teacher and someone who makes their own online guitar lessons, I see many advantages in subscribing to these platforms. However theres a few things to consider before jumping in, such as your skill level, styles, genres, price point and of course the teachers themselves. I have purchased all of these these online programs and have analysed them from a teacher and a learner perspective. With over 30 years teaching experience (My BIO) I think I have seen it all when it comes to learning materials and what works and doesn’t work for beginners, intermediate and advanced players.
I will also share some ideas on how you can learn to play the guitar online exclusively and still have a mentor critique you’re playing without leaving your home.

WHY CHOOSE AN ONLINE PLATFORM TO LEARN THE GUITAR?

Ease of Use: It’s certainly very convenient not having to leave the house and deal with traffic and weekly classes. Making that commitment can be tricky for some, so the idea of carrying a guitar teacher with you 24 -7  is an attractive scenario.

Wider Choice: Unlike the face-to-face interaction with your local guitar teacher, learning online opens you up to various courses, instructors and genres. You will also find teachers specialising in blues, rock, jazz, country, metal and pop music to name a few.

Price: This is a major advantage of learning guitar online because whatever you decide to do will have a price attached to it. One on One lessons can range anywhere from $30 to $80 per lesson depending on the teachers qualifications. If you were to say take 40 x 1 hour classes a year that could exceed $2000. This is where online learning becomes a serious option. For $20 a month you can land yourself on some extensive learning guitar websites.

TOP 3 ONLINE PLATFORMS FOR LEARNING THE GUITAR

Before we get the ball rolling let me explain the criteria I used to assess each platform and set some basic guidelines

Guidelines:

  • Types of students (Beginners or Advanced players)
  • Design and website navigation
  • Features
  • Songs and Styles
  • Value for Money

We will look at the pros and cons and rate the overall winner based on my personal experience and other users ratings and reviews. All the sites I reviewed are tremendous in their own right and there is no major rating difference between any of them. However by the end of this article Im sure you will have a better understanding and be able to make up your own mind. Many players who subscribe to 3 or 4 platforms cherry pick the best guitar lessons for their own personal goals and aspirations. That’s ok but my one bit of advice is to try and stay focused and keep a practice diary. You may save a lot of money on private lessons over the course of a year but you have to be diligent about using your practice time wisely.

TrueFire is the oldest online guitar learning platform with 28yrs experience behind them. There’s a range of very talented instructors including Tommy Emmanuel and other touring professionals. I have had a personal subscription for the last 3yrs and I always am able to find inspiration. I particular like the depth of lessons and instructors if you want to delve into a particular style. For example if blues is your thing you can take classes with Robben Ford or Kid Anderson, who both have different approaches to playing blues. The same can be said for jazz, country, fingerpicking and rock. It’s a great platform, maybe theres more advanced materials from a beginners perspective but they still got you covered. If your looking for more of a jukebox/karaoke style learning – meaning find a particular song and learn in, TrueFire is not the place I would recommend.

PROS

  • A large number of outstanding instructors and guitar lessons
  • Perfect for intermediate and advanced level players
  • Great backing tracks and PDFs supplied
  • Uses the sound slice interface for playback
  • Great site for learning improvisation
  • My favourite for blues and jazz

CONS

  • Perhaps not the best beginners site but still has a solid intro platform
  • Not a Karaoke site if you simply want to learn songs

WEBSITE DESIGN AND ACCESSIBILITY

It has a simple yet stylish website design which is easily accessible without much fuss. The lessons are very well produced and I particularly like the way instructors use backing tracks. You can download these backing tracks and follow the transcriptions which are supplied as PDFs and onscreen via the sound slice program. Improvising or playing off the transcriptions and TABs is a breeze.

LESSONS AND OTHER FEATURES

Another feature worth mentioning is TrueFire Live – an interactive session with artists talking about their music where the learners are able to ask questions.

True Fire Review

Beginner
9.1
Advanced
9.8
Design
9
Features
9.5
Song List
5
Value
9.5
Summary

TrueFire is an outstanding platform especially for advanced players.

BEST BLUES GUITAR PLATFORM

86.5%
Excellent

PRICE

You can pay $29 for a monthly ALL ACCESS subscription or $199 meaning per year enjoy-ing two free months. A special 10 yr package can be purchased for $1999. After 10 years the membership automatically renews itself.

Lifetime Access

FREE TRIAL COUPON

With this, you can decide whether they are the right online platform to go to. There are 30 days to complete access to all their materials without paying a dime. CLICK HERE

GuitarTricks

GuitarTricks was created in 1998 and has since then been regarded as one of the best online platforms for learning the guitar. So far they have accumulated 2.8 Million regis-tered users which is quite an achievement. With about 11000 lessons and 700 courses that’s a serious amount of content.

GuitarTricks was created in 1998 and has since then been regarded as one of the best online platforms for learning the guitar. So far they have accumulated 2.8 Million regis-tered users which is quite an achievement. With about 11000 lessons and 700 courses that’s a serious amount of content.

WEBSITE DESIGN AND ACCESSIBILITY

The functionality and design of the video player is pretty slick. There is control for altering the speed of the playback of videos without a drastic change in the pitch or audio quality. The TAB is quite accessible without too much scrolling up and own and most videos are shot in 4K HD resolution. All in all I would say the presentation quality is top notch.

LESSONS AND OTHER FEATURES

Their core learning system is very well laid out and you can soon find your way based on whether your a total beginner or an advanced student. A very handy feature is the “Style Navigation” for more advanced players looking for a particular genre or style of playing.
There are many instructors at Guitar Tricks and for those starting from scratch it’s a no brainer. Lisa McCormick as an instructor and will give you all the necessary background in Her Guitar Fundamentals Level 1 Course. This includes tuning the guitar strings, how to play basic cowboy chords and the introduction to a few basic Rhythms.
For advanced players the Core Learning System is utilised, GuitarTricks features three styles which are the rock, country or blue. A style has two-course levels and new instruc-tors are always introduced.
Other features and addons can be seen in the Core Learning System and includes acoustic bluegrass, metal, rock, surf, etc. There is disappointment in the fact that there is no bass guitar lesson featured in the GuitarTricks scheme. This might change in the nearest future due to the dynamism associated with them.
Beginner
10
Advanced
9
Design
9.8
Features
9.2
Song List
9
Value
9.2
Summary
10.87
Nice!

PROS

  • There is a large database of songs and lessons
  • The lessons are very dynamic and well produced
  • They offer an interactive lesson between only the tutor and learner.
  • 60 Day money back guarantee
  • Mobile apps for Android and Apple

CONS

  • Songs missing from some bands
  • No bass guitar lessons
  • The interactive lesson between the tutor and the learner cost a little more

PRICE

When it comes to price and packages guitar tricks is quite reasonable. There is the monthly subscription which goes for $19.95 and a yearly subscription which goes for $179,99, thereby saving you $60. I feel guitar tricks is a great way to go if you want to learn songs and still get some high quality detailed instruction.

FREE TRIAL

GuitarTricks has a 14 days free trial with complete access into all their materials. With this, you can decide whether they are the right online platform to go to.

JAMPLAY

JamPlay have spent 14 years building one of the largest resources of guitar content on the planet. With more than half a million members, 450 courses and over 6,500 guitar lessons. They are right up with sites like Guitar Tricks and True Fire and art certainly are one of the big contenders when it comes to online guitar lessons.

But how do these impressive numbers translate when it comes to learning the guitar? Read on to find out everything you need to know.

WEBSITE DESIGN AND ACCESSIBILITY

The entire JamPlay website is professional, really well laid out well and just looks like the business. Some serious money has been thrown at the backend design to offer some great website functionality. It’s got a great navigation system in place to find lessons and courses quickly. An attractive colour scheme makes it easy on the eye which means a fast-er viewing experience.

NAVIGATION

If first impressions are everything these guys certainly don’t want visitors feeling over-whelmed or lost. Everything can be accessed from the dropdown menu and theres no clut-ter or confusion. Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate player looking to learn a new technique, style or complete song JamPlay is excellent

LESSONS AND OTHER FEATURES

JamPlay have all the courses and lessons most guitar players would want but how well are the courses presented?
For one the video player is intuitive and runs smoothly, with tools including speed ad-justment (allowing you to change playback rates to 10%, 25%, 50%, 75% and full speed) and A/B looping (allowing you to focus on a specific section). Very handy! The majority of videos are filmed in high-definition and produced their dedicated studio. there is nothing amateur about JamPlay’s execution! In fact, the videos for most lessons are split between a variety of different angles to aid learning – these include a student view, an instructor view, and close-ups of the picking hand.
The TABs comes as standard and printable text notation in GIF, PDF or GPX formats, but is also often present as interactive tablature, with audio playback. This allows you to hear the notes in action, as well as adjust the playback speed. Very comprehensive!

Beginner Lessons

Beginner guitar lessons are very well catered for at Jam Play, with plenty of easy-to-follow lessons. There are a variety of instructors and a wide range of foundation lessons for ei-ther electric or acoustic guitar.
Lisa Pursell offers a basic foundation course that spans a huge 68 lessons (that’s 684 minutes in total) and covers everything you need to know to start playing electric guitar, with a focus on rock and blues – from your first open chords right up to creating a solo.
Eve Goldberg has acoustic guitar covered and will take you step by step through chords, scales and strumming patterns, among many other lessons.

Kids Lessons

There is even a ‘Just for Kids’ 19-lesson series taken by the easy-going instructor Steve Eulberg, which has been created specifically for youngsters learning the instrument for the very first time. However I will have to plug Kids Guitar Dojo here which is the best course for kids aged between 5-12 yrs of age. Check out my review here

Advanced Lessons

While beginners have a huge variety of foundation courses more experienced guitarists have a plethora of materials to choose from with some very advanced songs and tech-niques to learn.

2020 Guitarists Toolkit

Their latest addition is the 2020 Guitarists Toolkit which come free with your membership. There are 8 kits in total and I have listed them below:

The Practice Plan

As guitarists, it’s easy to get sidetracked and lose focus so by organising your practice and goals is a sensible approach.

Gear, Tone & Studio

Covers guitar tone and recording at home and has some great ideas even for total begin-ners.

Modes, Melody & Theory

Almost anyone can copy what someone else has played with a high degree of accuracy. This is for anyone who want to master improvisation

Blues & Rock

The 2020 Blues and Rock Toolkit provides a smorgasboard of content that guitarists of all skill levels will love. This is a very cohesive package and they have curated some outstand-ing licks, lessons and JamTracks

Acoustic Learning

If you have been stuck at the beginner stage of acoustic guitar play ing for too long, or are just getting going with the instrument, this toolkit is exactly what you need

Electric Learning

This Toolkit provides an excellent opportunity to break out of the box and expand your electric playing to become a more well-rounded and diverse player. At some point we all fall into fretboard traps this will help you expand your knowledge regardless of skill level.

Country & Bluegrass

Explore the history of bluegrass and country music from the roots to the modern era with some of the best licks, lessons and JamTracks we’ve ever produced for the genres. Devel-op speed and build a bluegrass lick vocabulary using high quality JamTracks.

Fingerstyle & Americana

With nearly 60 lessons ranging from picking patterns and tunings to licks, you are sure to find plenty to sink your teeth into here.

PRICE

JamPlay provides access to  its content with some great packages on offer:

A standard Subscription is $19.95 a month or $159.96 a year which can save you 33%. There is also the Year Pro Subscription which goes for $295.95 

However if you would like to get a discount to jamplay make sure you get on the LearnGuitarCafe newsletter HERE  You will get the latest coupon codes as they do expire. Plus lots of other cool free stuff and offers

FREE TRIAL

You can check their whole database with unrestricted access for a 30 days free trial. Un-like other sites you know, there is no credit card required for this action.
Beginner
10
Advanced
9.4
Design
9.2
Features
9.4
Song List
8.2
Value
9.2
Summary
9.23
Nice!

PROS

  • A large number of instructors
  • Heavily laden with contents
  • Ideal for taking beginners and advanced users
  • Learn from artists of iconic songs directly.
  • Highly motivating

CONS

  • Some popular songs are missing but that’s a huge list
  • You won’t sleep again as its addictive being on this site