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With guitars appearing in virtually all genres of music across decades, it’s safe to say that it’s one of the most versatile instruments out there.
From the gentle melodies of a finger-picked classical to the gut-punching power chords of rock and punk, the guitar has a lot to offer, and as such, attracts learners from all walks of life.
With more people wanting to learn instruments in an increasingly digital world, the idea of learning how to play guitar using online resources is becoming all the more common.
At a significantly cheaper price than going to lessons in person or hiring a teacher, companies like Guitar Tricks and TrueFire are attracting learners by the boatload.
In this article, we’re going to be pitting the two platforms against each other to keep you informed on who comes out on top in the battle of Guitar Tricks vs TrueFire.
The Backgrounds of TrueFire & Guitar Tricks
Truefire is one of the old-timers in the world of online guitar teaching.
Having started offering their services in 1991, they’ve since amassed a following of over 2,000,000 users by collaborating with over 600 of what they refer to as ‘top educators’ consisting of the likes of Grammy award winners and renowned session musicians.
With all of this backing them up, it’s clear that they’re doing something right.
Guitar Tricks isn’t what we’d call ‘young’ either, however, claiming to have ‘invented online guitar lessons’ in 1998, when they started helping guitarists.
Their mission is clear; they want to provide wannabe guitarists with an easy, fast, and fun journey on their quest to become expert players. So far, they’ve aided over 3,000,000 learners, so it seems to look like they’re doing a pretty fantastic job in their own mission.
Registration and Prices
TrueFire offers new members a 30-day free trial period, during which they have access to all of the courses, materials, and videos on the website. One of the best parts about this is that users are not even required to enter any payment information when registering.
This means that if they were to decide that the platform doesn’t offer exactly what they’re looking for, they don’t have to go through the processing of manually canceling the payment for the membership before they are billed.
When registering for to TrueFire guitar lessons, the only information you’ll have to enter is a username, password, and email address, followed by a few details of your playing history to give them an idea of what genres you enjoy, what instruments you play, your level on those instruments, and what your progression goals are.
This is used to create personalized course recommendations.
Prices for TrueFire are:
Guitar Tricks offers new members a 14-day free trial which you’re presented with two ways to log in; you can create an account using your email address or log in via Facebook or Google, which is a nice touch for convenience.
Unlike TrueFire, once you’ve created your account, you are given a choice to go through their questions about your guitar background or skip straight ahead to the lessons.
While the amount of time this saves is negligible, it may still provide some convenience for experienced players just wanting to jump straight into lessons.
Guitar Tricks wastes no time establishing their fun nature with their tongue-in-cheek questioning that eases you onto the site. These are followed by a series of more serious questions about your abilities, knowledge, and targets.
Prices for Guitar Tricks are:
While both sites offer easy registration solutions, Guitar Tricks goes into a little bit more detail than TrueFire.
Instead of just asking about abilities and goals, Guitar Tricks take the extra step to ask about knowledge on specific subjects, such as knowledge of chords and the ability to read sheet music or tablatures. Their friendly introduction to the platform should not go unnoticed either.
Content and Progression Systems
As soon as you’ve registered, TrueFire will give you a few ‘learning paths’ based on your instruments and level. You’ll also be hit with those aforementioned ‘course recommendations’.
For example, if you play guitar, are interested in blues, and added rhythm as one of your progression goals, you’ll see courses with titles such as ’50 Blues Rhythms You MUST Know’, along with other courses teaching skills related to that style.
These guitar courses do cost more, but once they have been purchased, they will always be accessible, so might be worth the investment if you find a course that caters to your specific needs, which is highly likely.
In total, there are over 40,000 guitar lessons available on TrueFire, spread across their learning paths and courses.
Users are free to jump into any lesson in their chosen learning paths or course, allowing them to skip over guitar learning skills that they might be experts in.
In doing so, TrueFire allows guitarists of any level to stay motivated and keep developing in areas they actually need to develop in.
Beginners can start at the beginner guitar lessons, while intermediate and advanced guitar players can look for online guitar lessons on techniques and tricks that they have to master.
Guitar Tricks’ Core Learning System, meanwhile, put a strong emphasis on keeping learners motivated through a fun offering of ‘over 1000 songs with new releases weekly’.
Their guitar course is structured by providing beginner lessons with two levels of fundamentals first, before moving onto paths for genre specialization.
The first level of guitar fundamentals covers the bare basics from strumming to forming simple chords. The second level builds on level one by adding scales, different forms of chords (including barre chords), and reading music.
These two levels of fundamental skills set up learners to tackle all of the style specialization modules, of which we’ll go into more detail in the next section.
Other modules offered by Guitar Tricks include:
· Songs Made Easy – learn how to play famous songs.
· I’m More Experienced – advanced techniques for the seasoned player.
· Styles – mix techniques from different styles to create unique sounds.
· Artist Studies – take inspiration from renowned musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and B.B. King.
· Techniques – skills that every guitarist should know.
· Blues 1 & 2 – bring feeling to a song as a blues guitarist.
· Rock 1 & 2 – rock the boat with power and passion.
· Country 1 & 2 – learn all the strumming styles needed for that classic country sound.
With the vast array of online lessons available on how to play guitar, TrueFire guitar lessons, are truly jack-of-all-trades when it comes to offering a healthy diversity of styles and genres for users to learn song lessons.
The only problem here is that if you want to learn all of these styles, buying the individual courses for each one can start to get pretty expensive over time.
Over at Guitar Tricks, having completed the fundamentals courses all guitarists will be equipped to pick a genre course. However, the downside here is that there are only dedicated courses for 3 styles of music – blues, rock, and country.
You’ll still be able to learn technique lessons from their other courses that will transfer into all music styles, but they might not be taught in the context that you enjoy the most.
Guitar Tricks vs TrueFire – Which Should You Choose?
If you’re the kind of person who needs to have a bit of fun to stay motivated, Guitar Tricks might be the platform for you. Their ice-breaking introduction and friendly approach to teaching is a breath of fresh air for students and offers something a little bit different to other online guitar teaching platforms in their tone.
TrueFire excel in the exact area Guitar Tricks let us down – offering different guitar courses to learn a variety of genres of music. The problem here, however, is that you’re required to shell out cash for every additional course that you want to take (which aren’t included in their own learning paths).
As a result, they’re likely to end up costing guitar players much more in the long run, despite their comparatively cheaper subscription prices.
If you’re still unsure about which one to choose in the Guitar Tricks vs TrueFire battle – go ahead and try out their free trial for both of these platforms.
They both have a lot to offer beginner and advanced players alike, and there’s really no reason not to try them both out before committing to one.