10 Best Online Guitar Lessons – Apps, Courses & Software

If you’ve finally decided to learn how to play this iconic instrument or you want to brush up on your skills, why not do it in a simple and affordable way?

Virtual guitar lessons have existed in one form or another since the late ’90s. But, it has only really been in recent years that the format has developed to a point where it competes with traditional lessons.

With the freedom to choose songs you want to play, wonderful (and famous) teachers, and modern learning resources, you can easily achieve your music goals.

We have rounded up 10 of the best online guitar learning platforms. Regardless of your level or reason for seeking an online course, you’ll be sure to find something for yourself.

So, sit back, relax, put some music on, and explore our list of the best guitar lessons online.

Disclosure: We are a professional review website that may receive compensation for the products we reviewAll recommendations are genuine and/or verified by myself!

Best Guitar Lessons Online

  1. Guitar Tricks – Best for beginners (free trial)
  2. TrueFire – Best for intermediate and more advanced players
  3. JamPlay
  4. Fender Play
  5. ArtistWorks
  6. Jamorama
  7. JustinGuitar – Best if you’re on a budget
  8. Marty Music
  9. Andy Guitar
  10. Rock Like the Pros

1. Guitar Tricks

Guitar Tricks has been around for a long time. It’s an award-winning online guitar course that provides a fast and fun way to learn guitar.

Features and Benefits

The interface is very user-friendly and easy to navigate. It offers lessons for beginners and more advanced guitar players.

A series of videos will teach you how to play the guitar through simple songs. So, lessons range from guitar theory practice to full-length song play-throughs, while teaching techniques along the way.

This Core Learning System is very effective and once you complete the Guitar Fundamentals Level 1 course, you’ll have a solid foundation to build on.

The video lesson quality is excellent – you can see two camera angles at all times. You can also loop videos and change settings, which will allow you to learn at your own pace.

Another Guitar Tricks benefit is the versatility of genres and an extensive song library. There are more than 1,000 songs available with new releases weekly. Some of the songs you can learn are My Sharona by The Knack, Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix, and Perfect by Ed Sheeran.

You’ll also have access to live group lessons with a dedicated group coach. You’ll get regular check-ins and lesson plans suited to what you need to work on individually. The Pro full-access offers one-on-one live lessons which is a great opportunity to receive instant feedback.

What Sets Guitar Tricks Apart From Other Platforms?

Guitar Tricks offers private coaching. You can schedule a live online lesson with a guitar coach and get valuable feedback and suggestions.

You can choose a coach that fits your style and goals. They’re all very experienced and talented.

Who is Guitar Tricks for?

Guitar Tricks has a lot of content for all abilities, but it has one of the best online guitar courses for beginners.

Through step-by-step lessons, you will easily learn basic guitar skills and progress to more advanced techniques. It’s also great for anyone who wants to learn new songs and expand their repertoire.

Pros

  • Private coaching
  • A wide range of lessons
  • A variety of genres
  • A good core learning system

Cons

  • Might be overwhelming (due to the large amount of content)

Start your free trial of Guitar Tricks here!

2. TrueFire

As one of the oldest surviving guitar lesson platforms, TrueFire has plenty to offer. With over 40,000 lessons/courses available to users it is one of the most extensive options out there.

Add to that the 200+ Grammy-award-winning contributing tutors and you have something pretty exclusive.

It is competitively priced in line with Guitar Tricks but some of the names on the books might leave you a little more star-struck. With lessons from the likes of Steve Vai and Larry Carlton, you will learn to pluck, pick, and shred in no time.

Features and Benefits

TrueFire offers quality video lessons. It has been active since 1991, but the site has seen plenty of revisions and the content is fresh-looking.

You can follow different Learning Paths like the Jazz Learning Path or Acoustic Learning Path and track your way from beginner to advanced levels.

Or, browse through specialized courses like Scales & Modes, Arpeggios, and Improvisation and choose what you want to work on.

There is a vast amount of technique videos available and the library is extensive and updated all the time.

What Sets TrueFire Apart From Other Platforms?

TrueFire offers guitar lessons for all skill levels.

It has a ton of useful material for serious and more advanced players, which many other guitar platforms lack.

Who is TrueFire For?

TrueFire has plenty to offer for players of all levels of experience. However, intermediate and advanced players will find it especially beneficial due to its detailed video lessons on techniques and different playing styles.

Pros

  • A lot of content
  • Downloadable courses
  • Learning paths
  • Private lessons

Cons

  • Might be too much for casual players
  • Pricey

Learn more about TrueFire here!

Read our full TrueFire review here.

3. JamPlay

JamPlay has been on the scene for a fair while, though it has a smaller set-up than some of those we have already discussed, the 5,500 lessons available are still pretty substantial. There are more than 120 tutors contributing.

Features and Benefits

JamPlay is an excellent learning platform because you can follow a structured learning path or create your own based on the songs and styles you prefer.

Lessons are divided into four categories and phases. With Phase 1 you’ll get to grips with the basics while Phase 2 is focused on genres and skills. Phase 3 is a song-based library of lessons and Phase 4 is aimed at songwriting and teaching you to use your skills creatively.

There is also a master-class area for the more experienced players, where you can learn from touring and studio pros.

Apart from high-quality videos, JamPlay provides learning tools like interactive tabs, notation, progress reports, and ask-a-teacher functionality.

You can also participate in daily live Q&A sessions and weekly workshops.

What Sets JamPlay Apart From Other Platforms?

JamPlay covers a good variety of genres.

You’ll come across some genres that many other platforms don’t offer such as Hawaiian Slack Key, Flamenco, and Surf.

Who is Jamplay For?

JamPlay is literally for anyone who wants to learn guitar online or improve their skills. The website offers a structured course for beginners and masterclasses for advanced players.

Pros

  • A ton of material
  • A variety of genres
  • Accessible teachers
  • Great video quality

Cons

  • A somewhat small selection of actual songs to learn
  • A bit pricey

Learn more about JamPlay here!

Read our full JamPlay review here.

4. Fender Play

If money doesn’t stretch to the $19.99/mo of Guitar Tricks then another great web-based platform for learning guitar you could try is Fender Play.

It is another beginner-friendly option with a plentiful playlist that can provide you with custom lesson plans for half the price.

Features and Benefits

The platform asks users to fill out a short questionnaire upon sign-up to help determine the best course of action for their learning.

You can choose your style (acoustic or electric) and a path (rock, pop, blues, folk, or country). The difficulty level progresses as you would expect with any learning tool.

You’ll be going through a well-rounded curriculum and lessons focused both on songs and theory. The level 1 lessons cover guitar fundamentals and also offer a brief bit of guitar set-up advice which is a nice touch.

The genres covered in the library are pretty extensive, with simple and difficult songs available in each category. You can choose from popular hits to indie gems.

The app is easy to use and has a few welcome extras. There is an integrated tuner for your instruments and you can use their Fender Tone Amp Control App from within as well.

They have two newer features, practice mode, and streaks, to help encourage practice habits and track your progress.

What Sets Fender Play Apart From Other Platforms?

Fender play lessons are very comprehensible and easy to follow.

The dashboard is streamlined, and the whole program will provide you with clear guidance which is ideal for beginners.

Who is Fender Play?

Fender Play is a great choice for guitar beginners. However, due to the extensive song library and renowned skilled instructors, players with experience will also benefit from the program.

Pros

  • You can use it on all devices
  • Excellent video quality
  • Great instructors
  • Features a customized path

Cons

  • Could have more advanced material
  • Lacks some additional tools

Learn more about Fender Play here!

Read our full Fender Play review here.

5. ArtistWorks

ArtistWorks might just have some of the most exclusive content available online. The roster of celebrities gets bigger every year.

The site caters to a whole host of instruments so the content for guitars specifically is trickier to navigate. The platform is a little more academic in lesson delivery.

It is geared towards theory and technique so you won’t find a library of songs to jam along to but the course content is professionally designed to help any level progress.

Features and Benefits

With ArtistWorks, you can go through the course content at your own pace or you can take a tailored 12-week course on a range of topics and receive a certificate of completion.

Video lessons cover the most basic guitar classes all the way up to the complex techniques for the advanced guitarist. The videos are shot in the studio and the quality is great.

You can play the video in slow motion and utilize video looping. You’ll also get sheet music with each lesson.

The website is very community-driven and students can exchange videos, so you learn from one another and not just from the tutors who are, by the way, really amazing. Bryan Sutton, Paul Gilbert, and Guthrie Trapp are just some of the names you’ll come across.

What Sets Artistworks Apart From Other Platforms?

Artistworks features a video exchange library. If you submit a video, you’ll get feedback from a teacher.

The video exchange library is also a great source of playing tips and tricks.

Who is ArtistWorks for?

ArtistWorks offers courses suitable for all kinds of guitar players. The platform also offers a 12-week course which is great for anyone who is looking for quality structured learning.

Pros

  • Suitable for all levels
  • Video exchange library
  • Emphasis on theory
  • Great tutors

Cons

  • Lack of lesson descriptions
  • There could be more useful tools

Learn more about ArtistWorks here!

Read our full ArtistWorks review here.

6. Jamorama

Jamorama began life as a free guitar lesson resource led by Mark McKenzie running a one-man-ship. You may recognize him as The Guitar Guy from YouTube where he has built a substantial fanbase of subscribers.

With 20 years of teaching under his belt, his video lessons are very informative, chock-full of advice and tips. There are technique-based and song-based lessons to choose from.

It’s a very clear, step-by-step program perfect for beginners.

Features and Benefits

There are technique-based and song-based lessons to choose from. They are shot in high quality and Mark explains the material in a patient and informative manner.

There are many beginner tutorials that progress to more complex content, but they don’t reach a very advanced level.

Mark teaches with an acoustic guitar although most of the techniques are transferable and will help you progress on an electric guitar as well.

You’ll learn a lot about strumming, scales, progressions, lead guitar, fingerstyle guitar, and practice routines.

You can also choose from a variety of song tutorials too – although the song library is not as extensive as on some other sites, you’ll find a lot of good stuff like Phil Collins, Mumford and Sons, and Damien Rice.

What Sets Jamorama Apart From Other Platforms?

Jamorama offers a free and paid version.

A free Jamorama version is great for anyone on a budget. It’s limited though, but it provides a great Beginner’s Kick Start course and quality video guitar lessons.

Who is Jamorama For?

Jamorama is a great learning tool for beginners. It can provide you with guitar fundamentals and teach you how to play familiar songs.

Although you’ll find intermediate and advanced content too, it’s not as thorough as it should be.

Pros

  • A free version
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Great song selection

Cons

  • Lack of personalized instruction
  • Lack of more advanced content

7. Justin Guitar

Another popular online guitar course is JustinGuitar. The website is created by Justin Sandercoe, a guitarist and teacher who is dedicated to sharing his knowledge with students around the world.

The website is mostly free, so it’s great if you’re searching for free guitar lessons. You can get exclusive extras if you become a member.

Features and Benefits

Justin has created a lot of YouTube content, so you can watch his videos there, but the website keeps them well organized and allows you to find the level or genre you’re looking for. The recently updated (2019) layout is modern and uncluttered.

There are over 1,000 lessons available. They are broken down into grades with separate modules. Each module has an introductory video and the steps are linked at the side so you can skip if you are more familiar with the content.

The video quality is great – there are also chord diagrams displayed. Videos can be marked with a check on his site as completed to keep track of your progress.

Moreover, you can also choose from more than 600 free songs to learn – from Dire Straits and Pink Floyd to modern bands like Coldplay.

Justin Guitar also offers different apps such as the Ear Trainer, Blues Licks, and One Minute Changes app.

What Sets Justin Guitar Apart From Other Platforms?

The Justin Guitar website is created by a teacher and musician Justin Sandercoe, so everything feels very personal and friendly.

He also has a lot of free content on Youtube.

Who is Justin Guitar For?

Justin Guitar is suitable for players of all levels. The website is free, so it’s great if you’re on a budget.

The website also offers useful apps that are great for people who prefer that type of learning.

Pros

  • Free content
  • Personal touch
  • Lots of songs to learn

Cons

  • Not enough content for advanced players
  • Some genres are not included

8. Marty Music

Marty Music is another YouTube face you might have stumbled across. 

Marty’s channel is stacked with videos, that include the breakdowns of simple chord progressions as well as complex famous riffs.

Features and Benefits

With over 350 million viewers, Marty’s simplified explanations and friendly demeanor make him a great tutor whether you are starting out or looking to improve. He has a relaxed, methodical approach to teaching.

Marty breaks the song into bite-size chunks or focuses on one notoriously tough part (in his more advanced videos).

He uses YouTube time-stamp skip to put whole songs into chapters so you can repeat sections and skip parts. It isn’t as flawless as some videos on other websites, but it’s convenient nonetheless.

On his official website, he also offers in-depth courses comprising of videos grouped by the bundle. There are different styles and genres to choose from, such as essential blues and rock, beginner acoustic, and so on.

What Sets Marty Music Apart From Other Platforms?

Marty has a really good approach to teaching. If you take this course, you will feel like you’re in a music school, which is not always the case with online programs.

Who is Marty Music For?

Marty Music is for anyone who is looking for reliable free guitar lessons online. 

Pros

  • Good approach
  • Free content  
  • Extensive, linear lessons   

Cons

  • Less structured than some other programs
  • Some things could be better explained

9. Andy Guitar

A great alternative one-man band with a well-structured online guitar course is Andy Crowly of Andy Guitar.

He offers almost 700 free tutorials and individual premium courses (for a fee).

Features and Benefits

In his videos, Andy has a very positive and motivating approach. He is teaching both acoustic and electric guitar.

His website is very streamlined and the courses are well-structured. You can take several routes or approaches to learning, as well as the fundamental path for total beginners.

Within the main syllabus, there are beginner, improver, intermediate, and lead 1, 2, and 3 courses (stated as intermediate-plus).

There are also rock-oriented or finger-style pathways to choose from, each containing popular songs as well as technique-style videos that teach the rudiments and progress from there.

Some of the songs you’ll learn from Andy are Angie by The Rolling Stones, Man on the Moon by R.E.M, and Levitating by Dua Lipa. As you can see, there’s a variety of genres to choose from.

There’s also a free Android app version of Andy’s lessons.

What Sets Andy Guitar Apart From Other Platforms?

Andy makes learning guitar very easy. For example, Marty Music lessons sometimes seem a bit overwhelming, but Andy’s lessons are very easy to follow. They are great for absolute beginners.

Who is Andy Guitar For?

Andy Guitar is great for anyone wishing to learn how to play guitar through laid-back but thorough lessons.

Andy Guitar has plenty of free content so it’s perfect if you’re searching for free guitar lessons.

Pros

  • Great approach
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Comprehensible

Cons

  • Could have a better structure
  • Lack of advanced content

10. Rock Like the Pros

Rock Like the Pros has a bit of a different approach to teaching guitar.

The platform is app-based and allows users to learn via their mobiles. Each course requires a separate purchase and all are priced individually according to their content.

Features and Benefits

Terry Carter started Rock Like the Pros as the result of his many years of teaching his immersive curriculum in L.A. With the modern developments of technology, he saw the potential for turning his methodology into a digital format.

The courses are very well-structured and cover everything from foundation ability to experienced player techniques. You can select from styles, theories, and masterclasses.

The ultimate Beginner Chord and Strumming course are comprised of 20 units with lessons that focus on 6 main chords. There are also units with examples in the style of popular songs so you can put what you’ve learned into action. That way the course also stays dynamic.

The strumming and rhythm get revisited on an intermediate level, and there are many more song-based examples. This goes right up to rhythms with rests.

Sheet music and TAB’s are supplied alongside each unit.

On top of that, Rock Like the Pros has a very active forum-based community. You can also sign up for weekly Zoom video call-based Q&A’s.

What Sets Rock Like the Pros Apart From Other Platforms?

Rock Like the Pros’ live Q&A sessions are a great feature. They will make you feel involved and give you a chance to learn new tricks.

Who is Rock Like the Pros for?

Rock Like the Pros is for guitar players of all levels. Although it has a great beginner course, you can find more advanced specialized lessons too.

The program has live Q&A sessions, so it’s great for anyone who has a specific question or wants advice.

Pros

  • Live Q&A sessions
  • Well-structured
  • Specialized lessons

Cons

  • No direct feedback
  • They’re not so active on social media anymore

How to Choose Guitar Lessons

Fortunately, all the best guitar lessons on our list have quality curriculums, great instructors, and useful features. You just need to find a course suitable for your goals, skills, and teaching style preferences.

Before choosing your online guitar program, check out the quality of the videos.

Guitar playing requires simultaneous coordination, which can be tough to master when you are starting out. Because of that, video quality is important and so is the layout. Having the close-ups of both hands for example is pretty vital for a beginner.

If you’re a beginner, you should also be sure to get thorough lessons on fundamentals.

Everyone wants to jump in head-first and play their favorite tunes, but you need to master the basics first. If you start the right way, you won’t develop bad habits that need correcting further down the line.

Basically, before you decide which guitar lessons to take, read reviews, watch videos, and see if you like the teacher as well as the content. If everything clicks and you feel excited by the information you see on the website, you’re on the right track.

Things to Consider When Choosing Lessons

Large library

Pretty self-explanatory, you don’t want to get bored too easily once you have made enough progress. If you are an intermediate or advanced player this is all the more important.

Guitar basics and theory

Everyone wants to jump in head-first and shred like the best of them. Many platforms will have song libraries for you to play along with but at some point, the technique will become important.

For that, you need the fundamentals. So look for a guitar lesson platform that teaches at least the basics so you don’t develop bad habits that need correcting further down the line.

Video quality

Most of those we have highlighted are taught in a video tutorial fashion, although some lessons are taught with a written how-to guide and picture style, videos are much better for demonstrating techniques in action.

Because of that, video quality is important and so is the layout. Having the close-ups of both hands for example is pretty vital for a beginner. Guitar playing requires simultaneous coordination, which can be tough to master when you are starting out.

What Are the Benefits of Online Guitar Classes?

There are many reasons why learning guitar online can be beneficial.

Obviously, the convenience of being able to fit it in around your lifestyle is a big plus. Apart from learning whenever and wherever you want, from behind a screen with no one to hear, your baby-step renditions can be more liberating.

Learning a new instrument takes a lot of time and e-learning allows you to learn at your own pace. You can go as slow or as fast as you like and have the capability to go over something tricky for as long as you like without pressure.

Moreover, many platforms have notable and famous names in their team, so to learn from the best is really a privilege only virtual guitar lessons can (affordably) give you.

In the end, if you dedicate yourself to this learning process, you’ll get the same benefits as learning music in any other way – it will be a rewarding, fulfilling, and fun experience.

How We Test Guitar Courses

Midder Music produces honest and accurate reviews based on personal experience and research. The Midder Music guitar lesson review process is fully editorially independent. We are either supplied with the free subscription by the platforms or we buy our own subscriptions.

When evaluating a guitar platform, we take into account the following factors:

  • Simplicity in setup and use – How easy is it to sign up and install the program? Is the program user-friendly? Is it easy to find content you’re looking for?
  • Quality of content/tutors – Are the lessons easy to follow? What is the quality of the video? Are teachers easy to understand? Do they give clear instructions? Do they communicate information in a friendly manner?
  • Range of content – What areas or skills is the platform focused on? Does it offer lessons for advanced players? If it’s only suitable for beginners, does it have enough material and songs/tutorials?
  • Useful features – Can you use the program on multiple devices? Is there a possibility to get feedback on your playing? Is the service flexible or customizable? Are there features such as the ability to slow down or loop video?

We approach every platform with these same four categories in mind.

Our testing team includes:

  • Reviewers experienced in testing and owning musical instruments, equipment, and services
  • Professionals who work in the music industry
  • Writers experienced in creating content for music magazines and websites

Final Thoughts

There has never been a better time to take up the hobby you have been procrastinating on. Online lesson formats have genuinely evolved and are a viable way to master your craft and hone your guitar skills.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro looking for breakdowns of advanced techniques, learning guitar online could be the perfect solution.

We hope this article motivated you to start with your guitar journey and see where it takes you!

FAQs

Can you really learn guitar online?

Yes, you can learn guitar online effectively. If you choose the program that suits your needs and practice regularly, you’ll be able to learn basic guitar skills and keep improving them.

Are Virtual guitar lessons worth it?

Yes, online guitar classes are worth it, they are effective and affordable. They also offer a lot of useful features and modern learning tools. Although the learning process might take a while (as with any other instrument), once you start seeing the results, you’ll be even more motivated to keep going.

Can you teach yourself guitar?

Yes, with the right online course you can learn guitar by yourself. Although it’s perhaps easier to learn when someone sitting next to you is demonstrating how to play the instrument, online lessons have other benefits and features designed to help you learn.

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