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It's a tale as old as time. You've picked up a brand-new guitar, eager to learn some of your favorite songs or perhaps even compose your own.
But you're struggling.
Maybe the tabs you're finding online just don't seem right (or you don't even get how to read them in the first place).
Maybe you just can't seem to mash down the strings for that open C chord without something always getting in the way. Or maybe you have some basics down, but you yearn to dive deeper. And finding a good guitar teacher is harder than finding a good therapist these days.
Curious about top-notch guitar learning strategies? Browse our selection of the Best Way to Learn Guitar to hone your skills and become a skilled player.
No matter the issue, online guitar lessons can be a fantastic way to overcome the learning curve and quickly start playing with confidence.
There are a ton of really useful platforms for online lessons, so we've rounded up a few of our favorites so you can more quickly get down to the business of learning guitar.
Our top pick for best overall online guitar lessons has to go to Fender Play. We think this program's combination of great user experience with incredible-quality video makes for the best all-around guitar lessons available online today.
But whether you're looking for the best lessons on a budget or the best program for intermediate and advanced players, whatever your needs, they're all here on our list of the best online guitar lessons.
Read on to find the best online lessons for you!
Quick Summary of the Best Online Guitar Lessons
Best Online Guitar Lessons
1. Best Overall – Fender Play
- Price: $19.99/month or $149.99 annually
- Features: Custom learning paths, digestible short lessons, wide array of songs, simple, intuitive UX
Heading up our list of the best online guitar lessons is Fender Play, the wonderful platform from the good folks at Fender.
This platform delivers the quality you would expect from one of the top names in guitar and amplifier manufacturing. Fender took a big swing on Play, and it's no surprise that they've knocked it out of the park.
From the start, this app applies an intuitive and simple method to help you get going. Select your instrument, experience level, and preferred genres, and Play will set a five-level path consisting of bite-sized video lessons, tabs, theory, and technique tips. Getting started playing guitar has never been easier.
The production value of the video lessons is a big part of what sets Fender Play apart. The videos use multiple camera angles, including over-the-shoulder, that you would never get from a real-life teacher (okay, maybe if you were really good friends). The instructions are clear and thorough without being repetitive.
As a self-paced system, it is ultimately up to the player to get the most out of Fender Play. But with the easily digestible content and fun, simple interface, beginners won't have any trouble getting hooked. Plus, at $19.99/month or $149.99 annually, you also won't have any trouble getting your money's worth.
Annual subscriptions include a 14-day free trial that you can cancel at any time. Head on over to Fender Play and give them a try!
2. Best Free Content – Guitar Tricks
- Price: $19.95/month or $179 annually, limited free content
- Features: 11,000 lessons, high-quality videos with slo-mo and looping, wide range of genres, printable tabs, free content
Guitar Tricks is another longstanding online guitar lesson platform that offers a massive library of lessons, videos, scale and chord charts, and much, much more. What sets it apart for us, however, is its 24 free lessons that are sure to set any player on a course to guitar-playing success.
And once you're hooked, Guitar Tricks has a huge array of high-quality content to cater to your musical preferences and goals. The platform boasts over 11,000 lessons, covering a wide range of musical styles, techniques, and music theory.
Guitar Tricks also features a user-friendly interface as well as some highly advanced learning tools. The platform offers an impressive set of interactive features, including slow-motion and looping functionalities, backing tracks, metronome tools, and printable tabs.
If you're looking for a platform that offers some great free content that you can take advantage of whether or not you are willing to hand over your credit card details, Guitar Tricks is the one for you. But we also suspect that once you've exhausted the free content, you're going to stick around for full access.
And if you're not satisfied with just the limited free content, you can sign up for a 14-day all-access free trial with an additional 25% off if you stick around for the annual membership. Sounds pretty good to us! Click over to Guitar Tricks to take advantage of this amazing offer!
3. Best Online Guitar Lessons for Beginners – Guitareo
- Price: $30/month or $240 annually
Something of a newcomer on the scene, the upstart online lessons platform Guitareo is definitely making waves and holding its own alongside titans like Fender.
Guitareo is designed to be especially beginner-friendly, with a focus on playing songs and having fun with the guitar rather than rudiments and scales.
That's not to say there isn't a trove of valuable resources, however—Guitareo is actually loaded with content centered primarily around fun and well-produced video lessons.
There are over 1,000 individual song lessons with synced tablature, plus tons of instructional videos covering guitar fundamentals, chord and scale charts, and more.
Set off on a goal-oriented plan with your own 10-level learning path. Each level contains 8 video lessons and is designed to build your skills from one video to the next.
Or simply browse around and hone your skills based on whatever catches your eye—there's a ton of really engaging content based around cool ideas.
While Guitareo is priced at a premium, it definitely has a premium feel to it. The instructors are likable and engaging, the interface is attractive and easy to use, and while it's tailored to beginners, there's a lot there for intermediate and advanced players as well. If you've got the budget, we highly recommend Guitareo.
Guitareo offers an incredible one-month free trial, so we suggest signing up today to start your guitar-learning journey!
4. Best Budget Guitar Lessons – Simply Guitar
- Price: $9.99/month or $119 annually
- Features: iOS and Android app, step-by-step tutorials, direct feedback, song lessons
For the beginner on a budget, Simply Guitar is here to save the day. This app-based platform uses a gamified approach to offer step-by-step lessons and teach essential skills, basic chords, and strumming patterns to help learners start playing songs quickly.
With a focus on simplicity and ease of use, Simply Guitar offers learners an opportunity to practice at their own pace.
The app's interactive features include real-time feedback, a really useful and innovative tool that guides you on finger placement as well as strumming techniques as you go along, helping build good habits from the start.
Simply Guitar uses bright graphics and animations to make the learning experience fun and easy. Video lessons are accompanied by clear visual cues, demonstrating finger placement, strumming patterns, and more.
While the gamey aspect may not be for everyone, it is sure to be a hit with kids and young beginners.
Plus, this fun and easy-to-use guitar instruction app comes at a great price. For just under $10 a month, you can learn guitar online with Simply Guitar's iOS or Android app at your own pace and have a ton of fun doing it.
But don't take our word for it—simply head to Simply Guitar and give their 14-day free trial a shot!
5. Most Comprehensive Online Guitar Lessons – Truefire
- Price: $29/month or $149 annually
- Features: Thousands upon thousands of lessons, jam tracks, and tabs; interactive learning experience with real instructors
Truefire has been in the game since 1991, so it's no surprise that they have assembled an incredibly comprehensive library of online guitar resources.
This online learning platform is ideal for players of all styles and experience levels, especially intermediate and advanced learners and those with more niche interests.
Truefire guitar lessons are based around their massive assemblage of high-quality video lessons, which cover a wide range of topics, including technique, theory, improvisation, song tutorials, and more.
What's really cool is that the courses are presented by some of the top names in guitar, so you're truly learning to play like a pro.
One standout feature of TrueFire is its focus on interactive learning experiences. All Access members can use the interactive video exchange lessons feature, where students can submit videos of their playing to receive personalized feedback from the instructor.
If you're looking to simulate the experience of real guitar lessons online, Truefire is a great option. Their combination of top-notch video lessons with interactive lessons and a user forum creates a real sense of community among users that's ideal for serious players looking to expand their skill set.
And what better way to find out for yourself than a 14-day all-access free trial? Head over to Truefire and become a member of their expansive online guitar community today!
6. Best App for Online Guitar Lessons – Yousician
- Price: Starts at $7.49/month or $89.99 annually
- Features: One-of-a-kind game approach featuring audio recognition and thousands of songs and lessons
Yousician is an app-based guitar lesson platform that brings a welcome approach to online guitar lessons: in lieu of the standard video lessons with a virtual instructor, it applies a game-like approach—very similar to guitar hero—that allows learners to play through their lessons in real-time and with instant feedback.
Building on the gaming aspect of the lessons themselves, the learning journey is motivated by challenges, achievements, and a level-up system, allowing learners to engage in a way that is very fun and stimulating, even borderline addictive. (If you're going to get addicted to something, why not make it learning guitar?)
There's definitely a learning curve here as far as getting the hang of how the "game" works, and this program is not necessarily recommended to older players without gaming experience. But we can't think of a better way to get younger beginners hooked on learning and playing guitar.
If you (or your kids) are of a certain generation, Yousician is sure to be a hit. It's like Duolingo for guitar lessons. If you're already addicted to the bright colors and flashing lights on your phone, you may as well harness that addiction and channel it into something productive, like learning guitar!
Yousician offers a premium 7-day free trial. It's shorter than most, but due to the addictive nature of their groundbreaking guitar program, they can get away with it.
7. Best for Advanced Guitar Players – Artistworks
- Price: $23.25/month for 12 months
- Features: Video exchange library, 50k+ videos, celebrity instructors
For intermediate and advanced players who want to take their guitar skills to an even higher level, there's ArtistWorks.
ArtistWorks presents an opportunity to receive personalized, one-on-one instruction from world-renowned guitar masters, as well as over 50,000 video lessons featuring some top names in guitar.
At the core of ArtistWorks lies its groundbreaking Video Exchange Learning system, a revolutionary feature that sets it apart from conventional online courses.
Through this interactive platform, learners can submit videos of their playing directly to their chosen instructor, receiving tailor-made feedback, guidance, and encouragement in return.
And those instructors? Paul Gilbert. Martin Taylor. Guthrie Trapp. Keb' Mo'! Come on now. The list goes on from there. If you want access to some of the best guitar lessons available online, taught by some of the biggest names in guitar of all time, it's got to be Artistworks for you.
This platform is definitely geared more toward intermediate players and above and is accordingly priced at a premium.
But if you're a relatively experienced player and you want to hone your chops in a diverse variety of genres at the hands of some truly legendary guitar players, we highly recommend ArtistWorks.
Best Online Guitar Lessons Buyer's Guide
We understand that such a wide range of choices can be overwhelming. All these great online guitar courses seem to offer the same promise—to teach you to play guitar—so how is one to choose?
In seeking to answer this question, we've compiled a handy buyer's guide to walk you through some of the factors you might want to consider when shopping for online lessons.
We've also included an FAQ section to help you further understand this process and make the best possible decision for your unique needs.
Course Content and Curriculum
Before committing to an online guitar lessons course, you should make sure the materials cover your interests and ambitions.
Are you really interested in heavy metal and want to fast-track your electric guitar skills? Better be sure not to pick an acoustic guitar-focused course.
Many of today's online guitar lesson sites are heavily focused on song-based lessons, so be sure to pick a course that features a wide variety of the types of songs you want to learn.
Likewise, in addition to genre, you should ensure that your guitar course is going to teach the types of techniques you want to learn. And don't forget to choose one that's suitable for your experience level.
Whether your interest is rhythm guitar, soloing and improvisation, jazz guitar playing, or fingerstyle guitar, you get it—there are a lot of playing styles out there, and you should pick a course that covers the style you aspire to learn.
Teaching Style and Approach
There are a wide variety of different teaching styles available through these different courses discussed here. Some courses, like Simply Guitar, will ask you outright if you are a visual or auditory learner in order to customize the experience to your learning style.
Different courses will use an array of videos and software to help you set your own learning path, and it's important to choose one that jibes with your existing skills and playing style.
We recommend trying out as many free trial versions as you can in order to determine which teaching style works best for you.
Some platforms like Artistworks go so far as to have real instructors you can interface with in order to get personalized feedback on your playing. And many of these platforms allow you to pick which instructor suits your tastes and style, so you can be sure to get a teacher that's going to work for you.
Video Quality and Production
In this day and age of constant consumption of video content, we can all pretty much instantly determine whether or not we've got something on our hands that we want to watch. There always seems to be something better a click away.
Our feeble attention spans demand the highest quality and entertainment value to keep us engaged, so make sure you pick a course with videos you can stand or, better yet, love. Fender Play and Guitareo have really fun, engaging video lessons for beginners that we highly recommend.
High-quality video lessons with clear audio and multiple camera angles make learning more enjoyable and effective. Look for courses with professional production values, engaging instructors, great sound quality, and other factors that will help keep you interested, engaged, and having fun on your guitar journey.
Interactive Learning Tools
There are some really exciting new learning tools available on some of these online guitar courses. If just plain videos aren't enough to motivate you, it's definitely worth checking out a platform with some interactive learning tools to help you on your way.
From scrolling synced tabs and notation to backing tracks, progress tracking, and even a full-on guitar instruction game, there's no shortage of interactive tools to help you learn guitar faster and more effectively.
These tools can not only enhance your learning experience and help you stay motivated, but they can be really fun to work with, and fun is ultimately why we are here, isn't it?
There's a pretty wide discrepancy in the prices for online courses, ranging anywhere from free (trials, anyway) to considerably more commanding sums.
It is our opinion that any of our picks above will get you your money's worth; simply choose the course that appeals most to you, and you're sure not to regret it.
While these are considerably more pricey, they also feature a lot of really useful features and are designed more to simulate real-world lessons—which would set you back A LOT more.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are online guitar lessons as effective as in-person lessons?
In-person lessons can be a risky prospect. Depending on the instructor, you could have a great experience—or a terrible one.
Plus, in-person lessons are REALLY pricey and can often leave you scratching your head once you've gone home with your notes. (Teaching guitar is arguably harder than learning it, please be kind to your local guitar instructor).
An online guitar course, in contrast, can really get you your money's worth, as you're often paying a flat rate for as much practice time as you want.
Videos can be replayed, slowed down, looped, and more. Plus, synced tabs are always going to be more useful than a sheet of paper like we had in the old days.
And with today's technology and features, you can even get feedback on your playing in real-time, just like with a real teacher.
Online guitar lessons can be at least as effective as in-person lessons, if not more so. Plus, the convenience and flexibility of online lessons just make a lot more sense these days.
Can I learn to play the guitar online as a complete beginner?
You sure can! Many online guitar lesson platforms offer courses specifically designed for beginners. These courses provide step-by-step guidance, making it possible for anyone to start learning the guitar from scratch.
Check out Guitareo, Fender Play, and Simply Guitar if you're a brand-new player. These platforms are designed with beginners in mind and therefore offer great beginner guitar lessons to help brand-new students learn to play guitar online.
How do I know which online guitar lessons are right for me?
You don't have to tell us: the choices can be pretty overwhelming. There are so many great online guitar lesson platforms to choose from, so how do you pick the one that's best for you?
Easy. Try them all! Nearly every online lessons platform provides some form of free trial or other free content that you can use to determine whether that platform is right for you.
Things to be on the lookout for include course content (genre, songs, techniques, styles), instructor qualifications and personalities, teaching style, and, of course, user reviews.
You'll have no problem determining which course is best for you once you give it a try. Remember, learning guitar should be fun!
Of all the ways to learn guitar, online lessons are easily one of the fastest and most effective methods available today. There are tons of great courses to choose from, so whether you're a beginner or advanced, learning guitar online has never been easier.
The best online guitar lessons for our money come from Fender Play. We think that the overall experience, from the song tutorials to the riff and chord exercises, not to mention the incredible production quality of the videos, set this service a notch above the competition.
Don't take our word for it, though—please take the time to find the online guitar lesson course that works the best for your needs.
You're sure to find a course on this list that's going to fast-track your growth as a guitarist. Besides, if you just add up all the free trials, you'll be practically halfway to virtuosity already!