Google, I want to learn guitar...

June 07, 2024 4 min read

Google, I want to learn guitar...

In a recent piece, I mentioned Tomo Fujita’s instructional website, Guitar Wizdom. It is a fantastic resource for learning musical and theoretical concepts from a renowned Berkley instructor. Fujita is a tremendous player and communicator when it comes to material. Everyone can benefit from his instruction.

Guitar Wizdom is one site of many offering guitar instruction to the masses. Some seem legitimate, and some seem like snake oil (i.e. “Unlock the one secret muscle that will allow you to change chords effortlessly!” C’mon, seriously!)

Having lived on the Internet since 1995-ish, I’ve been through my fair share of sites that promise instruction to make you a better player. I’ve also catalogued some of my favourites in the back of my mind that I like to go to when I need some inspiration or a swift kick in the butt with my practice routine. Here are my choices.

JamPlay + True Fire

Price: You have a choice between “À La Carte” pricing per course or $29 per month for an All-Access Pass, giving you access to their library of lessons

JamPlay + True Fire (JPTF) were once separate entities that offered similar services. A merger between the two created what could be considered the ultimate library of guitar courses, with thousands of lessons, classes, jam tracks, and tablatures. For those hungry to learn, this is the ultimate all-you-can-eat buffet.

One of JPTF’s major selling points is the masterclass-style courses featuring several big-name players spanning all genres. Remember that some players are better than others in teaching, though there is something to learn from everyone. Lessons also include an interactive tab that follows along to the video, with the option to speed up, slow down or loop sections to help you master the material.

JPTF also offers several learning paths, which are ideal for beginners and those wanting to explore a new genre. Simply put, it’s a series of curated courses that take you through the logical steps toward learning the instrument, much like having a live instructor give you lessons based on where you are and where you want to go.

What I also like about JPTF are the payment options. You get access to everything for $29 per month (with savings for an annual plan), which is excellent if you have lots of time to devote to learning. If you’re the kind of player who takes their time, you may save some money by purchasing one course at a time so as not to incur renewal fees for something you may not use as often.

Guitar Tricks

Price: Some free material is included with their free membership, but access to everything requires a $19.99 monthly subscription (with annual savings).

Guitar Tricks market themselves as the fastest and easiest way to learn the guitar, and you can believe it!

Guitar Tricks is based around its Core Learning system, which takes beginners through the fundamentals, from guitar tuning to basic chords, rhythms, and styles. Instructors who know and communicate their stuff well teach all of it. The site also features excellent student tools, such as a tuner, metronome, SMS practice reminders, and a personalized learning plan.

Much like JPTF, you can speed up, slow down and loop videos. The lesson tab is also available on screen; however, it does not follow along like JPTF.

Since this site is geared towards beginners and intermediate players, advanced guitarists may need more than this site offers. Unlike JPTF, no big-named artists teach the lessons, which may deter some players. However, this would be an excellent place to start if you are a beginner!

JustinGuitar

Price: Free! It’s a YouTube Channel. There is also an app, though a membership fee is needed for full access.

There are tons and tons of video lessons on YouTube. There’s also JustinGuitar, which is probably the only channel you need!

A popular channel for beginners, Justin Sandercoe has created a wealth of free, high-quality guitar lessons that are perfect for beginners. JustinGuitar organizes its channel logically with courses for beginner and intermediate players, genre-specific lessons, theory, and plenty of other content to keep players informed and entertained.

Beyond his YouTube channel, JustinGuitar has a second channel dedicated to song-specific lessons, and his official website has additional tools such as a metronome, chord finder, and blank tab paper that you can print.

JustinGuitar also has a free app to add some of these tools via in-app purchases. The app does require a membership fee to gain full access to its features, though it mirrors the content on YouTube. If this is useful to you, that’s great, though it may be unnecessary.

If someone were to ask me where they should look for lessons on the Internet, these would be my top three suggestions. There are dozens more, each with its pros and cons, but these would be good places to start. If you have other suggestions, please share them in the comments! In the meantime, grab a guitar, grab a lesson, and level up your playing!

By Kevin Daoust - instagram.com/kevindaoust.gtr

Kevin Daoust is a guitarist, guitar educator and writer based in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. When not tracking guitars for artists around the world, or writing music-related articles around the internet, he can be seen on stage with Accordion-Funk legends Hey, Wow, the acoustic duo Chanté et Kev, as well as a hired gun guitarist around Quebec and Ontario. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.



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