10 Best Sites for Guitar Lessons Online

sites guitar lessons

Run a quick search for online guitar lessons, and you’ll be amazed at the sheer number of options that pop up.

The question is, which one is best for you?

After all, you’ve got a limited amount of time to practice, and you want to find an instructor – and a playing style – that’s a good fit for your personality as well as your unique taste in music.

That’s where our unbiased reviews come in. We purchased lesson packages and spent weeks checking out the most popular online guitar lessons as well as some that might not have come up on your radar.

The results?

Ten amazing sites where you can learn guitar online in the comfort of your own home, each with something special to offer and all with unique features.

What Makes an Online Guitar Lessons Site Great?

You’ve probably been there, reading the “About Us” section, where lesson sites talk about what makes them the best, head and shoulders above the rest.

Of course, every site is proud of its accomplishments and most of them strive to provide their students with a top-notch learning experience.

Unfortunately, every site is biased toward itself – it’s to be expected and frankly, we’d be worried about any site that didn’t display a sense of pride.

The bad news is that there are so many sites out there that the decision-making process can be super-frustrating, not to mention time-consuming.

This means that many people just give up and go with whatever happens to be cheapest, or whatever happens to have a great sale on at the time.

The good news is that most online guitar learning sites – even some of the freebies – are fairly decent, particularly if you’re looking to learn the basics!

Even so, you’re better off with online lessons that you really enjoy, at a site that has features that appeal to you.

If you’re unhappy with anything about a certain site, you’re likely to lose that sense of enthusiasm that led you toward the guitar in the first place.

In order to bring these reviews to you in a well-organized way that cuts through the confusion and makes comparison simple, we decided to use some specific criteria to assess each one and narrow down our choices.

Not only did we focus on great musicianship, we also paid close attention to the following:

  1. Accessibility and overall site design
  2. Quality of visual aids, videos, etc.
  3. Number and type of lessons available
  4. Instructors, teaching methods, and playing styles
  5. Unique features
  6. Useful tools
  7. Trial period
  8. Pricing, package deals & refund policy

In case you’re looking for the TL;DR version, we are recommending Guitar Tricks, JamPlay, and TrueFire  as our top three choices.

These sites have been around long enough to work out any bugs. All three have huge databases with lessons that you can access from the device of your choice.

Each offers well-organized lesson systems, all allow you to learn your chosen genre from the ground up, and all three give you the option of taking live lessons if you want to.

JamPlay and TrueFire stand out for their instructors – many are famous guitarists and composers – and Guitar Tricks puts specific song lessons front and center.

You can try all three for free if you’re so inclined. It’s a great way to run your own comparison and see which system appeals to you since all have something different to offer!

Keep reading if you have a little time to spend, because there’s a lot more to learn about our top three sites and the other seven that made their way onto our top ten list.

Not only will we tell you what’s great about all ten, we’ll tell you about some (minor) things that failed to impress us along the way.

Once you’re finished, we hope that it’s easier for you to narrow down your choices and find the best online guitar lessons money can buy.

First Look at Our Top Picks

#1 Guitar Tricks
  • $19.95/month
  • 14 day free trial
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
Read More
Visit Site
  • $19.95/month
  • 14 day free trial
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
#2 JamPlay
  • 7 day free trial
  • $19.95/month (available for bass)
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Read More
Visit Site
  • 7 day free trial
  • $19.95/month (available for bass)
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
#3 TrueFire
  • 30 day free trial
  • $19/month
  • 14-day money-back guarantee
Read More
Visit Site
  • 30 day free trial
  • $19/month
  • 14-day money-back guarantee
#4 Fendor Play
  • 14 day free trial
  • $9.99/month
  • No refunds; users can cancel at any time.
Read More
Visit Site
  • 14 day free trial
  • $9.99/month
  • No refunds; users can cancel at any time.
#5 Guitar Instructor
  • 7 day free trial
  • $9.99 – $14.99/month
  • 30-day refund policy or on a case-by case basis
Read More
Visit Site
  • 7 day free trial
  • $9.99 – $14.99/month
  • 30-day refund policy or on a case-by case basis
#6 Yousician
  • 7 day free trial
  • $19.99-$29.99/month
  • 14-day money-back guarantee
Read More
Visit Site
  • 7 day free trial
  • $19.99-$29.99/month
  • 14-day money-back guarantee
#7 Udemy
  • No day free trial
  • Varies; Starts around $12.99/course
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Read More
Visit Site
  • No day free trial
  • Varies; Starts around $12.99/course
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
#8 Justin Guitar
  • All Content is free
  • Varies, can donate any amount to support the site
  • Refund policies for products vary
Read More
Visit Site
  • All Content is free
  • Varies, can donate any amount to support the site
  • Refund policies for products vary
#9 Guitar Compass
  • 7 Day Free Trial
  • $9.95/month
  • Money back guarantee, but no mention of time frame
Read More
Visit Site
  • 7 Day Free Trial
  • $9.95/month
  • Money back guarantee, but no mention of time frame
#10 Jamorama
  • Basic Access is always free
  • $99.95 flat fee for full access
  • 120-day money-back guarantee
Read More
Visit Site
  • Basic Access is always free
  • $99.95 flat fee for full access
  • 120-day money-back guarantee

 

Best For:

  • People who like song lessons – there are more than 1,000 to choose from
  • Those who like to interact with instructors
  • Instruction for all levels

The Scorecard

Pros:

  • Huge site with thousands of lessons and dozens of outstanding instructors.
  • Exceptional video quality, plus comprehensive lessons are broken down into easily digestible parts.
  • More than 800 songs and over 1,000 jam tracks to play along with, many with printable tabs.
  • Excellent site; massive yet very well-organized. Delivers a premium user experience.
  • Great for beginners, with well-defined learning tracks designed to develop a variety of playing styles.
  • Once purchased, all Guitar Tricks apps, content, etc. can be used on the device of your choice.

Cons:

  • Limited “free” area
  • Some content areas aren’t as full as others; for example “World Music” has fewer options than “Rock”
  • Tabs don’t automatically scroll as tracks play.
  • Just a few songs for bass players; if you’re only into bass and you want to work with a big site, JamPlay is probably the best option.

Good Stuff for New Players

If you’re new to guitar, we recommend starting at the very beginning with Guitar Tricks Core Learning System™.

You’ll start with Guitar Fundamentals I &II, then progress along your chosen path.

Options include Rock, Country, or Blues style. Beginners can also check out the Songs Made Easy and Practice for Beginners sections, along with a quick course on Tuning & Guitar Maintenance.

Great Stuff for Players with Experience

Many online guitar instruction sites cater specifically to newer players and that’s great.

Guitar Tricks is one of a handful of sites that pulls out all the stops, helping more experienced players build their skills.

Even expert guitarists will find awesome tutorials to expand their horizons here.

Once you’ve gone through all of the Core Learning Systems™ levels you desire, you can move on to things like artist studies, techniques, and a whole lot more.

Additional Overview

Site Design, Quality, and Standout Features

Guitar Tricks has an awesome user interface. Not only does it look super clean, it’s amazingly well-organized into courses with chapters and individual lessons with easily digested videos, so you can find whatever you want with zero frustration and make progress step-by-step.

Just pick a topic, and you’ll find a full menu at your fingertips. Once you start a series of lessons, you can easily navigate to the last lesson you took, and you can check your progress to see how far you’ve come.

If you’re just starting out with that series, all you have to do is click the “Begin Tutorial” bar and you’ll be taken to the first lesson in the series.

Not only will you see a shot of the instructor complete with a side menu that lets you choose resolution, loop, playing speed, and the option to go to full screen.

You’ll also see a description of the lesson. Some lessons include notation and printable tablature/chords that you can add to your favorites or download for later.

Besides songs and lessons, Guitar Tricks has a cool toolbox feature that’s packed with helpful items including a metronome, a chord finder, a reference tuner, and a fretboard trainer that is fun to play with when you don’t have your guitar with you.

There’s also an awesome feature called Jam Station with more than 1200 Jam Tracks to play along with. This library contains all the jam tracks Guitar Tricks has to offer, and it’s easy to find what you want using filters like style or key.

Instructors

Guitar Tricks is home to some of the best instructors available anywhere.

Click on the “Instructors” tab to reveal a full menu of instructors.

Choose one and click the “Learn More” tab under their photo and you’ll be taken to a full bio complete with credentials and if applicable, a list of artists/bands they’ve performed with.

You can’t interact with the instructors during the lessons since they’ve been pre-recorded but you can engage in Q/A sessions in the instructors’ area inside the forums.

Pricing

Guitar Tricks has two basic pricing structures:

  1. $19.95/month
  2. $179/year

If you prefer, you can start with a free 14-day trial and then choose whether you’d like a monthly membership or an annual subscription.

If you go with the annual option, you’ll save about 25% of the cost of monthly fees. Either way, you have a full 60 days to explore the site and decide if it really is the right one for you.

If you want to opt out, you can cancel within that 60-day time frame and receive a full refund.

If you ever want to stop after that 60-day time frame, remember to do it before your renewal date since billing occurs automatically.

This will stop the automatic renewal from happening, and you’ll be able to use your account until the time you’ve already paid for is up.

The free access account basically lets you get a good look around without entering any payment information.

Just add your name, create a user name, and come up with a password, and you’ll be able to scope things out.

There are more than 20 free lessons to try – these aren’t a full course or anything even close to it; instead, they’re examples or “demos” of what you’ll find in the paid section.

They give you a good feel for a few of the instructors and they let you see what the lesson quality is like, but that’s about it.

With the free Guitar Tricks account, you can also visit the “public” portion of the forum.

As you will certainly notice, the “free” stuff is like a tiny nibble of something delicious when you’re really hungry.

You can see the full buffet there in front of you but you don’t get access to any of it until you’ve paid an entrance fee.

At the same time, this is a good way to check things out without making a commitment.

Just like that free access account, this review is just a little taste of what you’ll find on Guitar Tricks. Yeah, we covered a lot of ground here, but there’s more to learn.

If you’re interested in digging deeper, be sure to check out our full review of Guitar Tricks.

Song Library

Guitar Tricks offers a massive song library with more than 800 fully-licensed, accurate songs from artists past and present, and from every genre imaginable.

You can navigate the song library in different ways – go by genre, popularity, artist, and more. Songs can also be navigated by difficulty, which is a really nice touch.

Every song comes with its own lesson series that includes tab and notation, along with multi-camera videos.

If a song has multiple guitar parts, they’re all included in that lesson. Each song has a final step that lets you play along with a backing band after you’ve learned your part.

For beginners, there’s a special selection of “Songs Made Easy.” These are easier, stripped-down versions of popular songs that have been arranged with beginner-friendly chords.

Guitar Tricks constantly updates their site with new material, including songs. In the past couple of years alone it seems like they’ve added about 200 songs.

Playing Styles

Guitar Tricks has been around for more than two decades and in that time, they’ve managed to build a massive resource for new and experienced guitarists alike.

With millions of members, well over ten thousand lessons in their well-organized archives, and over a thousand song tutorials, they offer a variety of learning styles.

There’s a lot to choose from here. Guitar Tricks offers the following playing styles:

  • Acoustic
  • Classical
  • Jazz
  • Rockabilly
  • Bluegrass
  • Country
  • Metal
  • Surf
  • Blues
  • Funk & Soul
  • Rock
  • World

After you’ve chosen a genre, you’ll see a menu that contains sub-categories and all of the available lessons, broken down by instructor.

People who haven’t yet signed up can try a few of the lessons, but most are locked for members only.

Top Features
  • Guitar “Toolbox” with lots of useful menus inside
  • Jam Station with more than 1200 Jam Tracks
  • Vast library of fully licensed songs plus well-organized artists/bands menu

 


JamPlay

JamPlay Is Best For:

  • People who want an immersive experience
  • People who like live courses and workshops
  • Instruction for all levels

Second only to Guitar Tricks in terms of the sheer amount of content available, JamPlay does an exceptional job of reaching intermediate and advanced players who want to improve their musicianship.

This isn’t to say that JamPlay ought to be avoided by newer players. Far from it! This site has a full menu of lessons for raw beginners, with a special section designed just for kids.

JamPlay Scorecard

Pros:

  • Massive range of genres including some unusual choices like Flamenco and Hawaiian Slack Key.
  • Awesome lineup of instructors including lots of famous faces.
  • Live sessions are almost always available and new courses come online frequently. Live sessions are archived so nobody misses out.
  • Special area with online guitar lessons for kids.
  • Full line of bass lessons.

Cons:

  • Bass guitar players have limited access to bass-specific site features during the trial phase
  • Extra cost to buy “credits” for downloading lessons for offline use

Lessons for New Players

New guitar players can start at the very beginning with Phase 1 Beginners Lessons for acoustic or electric guitar.

There’s also a section with beginner lessons for bass. The menu is easy to navigate – just click on an instructor who appeals to you and get started.

Each instructor injects their lessons with plenty of personality and each one has a slightly different approach.

We recommend sampling a few different instructors before you really settle into your lessons.

You’ll notice that some instructors offer longer lessons, while some others break things down into smaller chunks that might work better for people with tight schedules.

Intermediate & Advanced Lessons

While JamPlay can take any raw beginner and teach them the basics, the true fun begins once you’ve achieved intermediate status or better.

Besides the genre-based lessons we mentioned earlier, there’s a full library of skill-building lesson sets designed to take you to the next level.

Just like with beginners’ lessons, these sections offer bass guitar lessons as well as content designed for acoustic and electric guitar players.

Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find in the skill-based lessons segment:

  • Helpers and Tips
  • Singing with Guitar
  • Reading Music and Rhythms
  • Music Theory and Improv
  • 12-String Guitar
  • Ear Training
  • Studio Skills

The JamPlay song library is found under “Phase 3” of the lessons area, but don’t let that stop you from investigating while you’re still learning basic techniques.

Each song is marked with a skill level and an icon that indicates whether it’s better for acoustic or electric guitar.

There are songs for bass players to learn under a separate tab.

While the number of songs covered here isn’t nearly as impressive as what you’ll find over at Guitar Tricks, some of JamPlay’s instructors are guitarists from the bands that released some songs.

Look for Lita Ford, Tony MacAlpine, Tosin Abassi, and quite a few others.

Additional Overview

Site Design, Quality, and Standout Features

The JamPlay user interface is simple, straightforward, and user-friendly. It’s very easy to find whatever you’re looking for once you’ve spent a few minutes poking around.

New content is prominently positioned on the front page, which is great for those times when you’re looking for something to do.

Upcoming course releases, a quick schedule of live courses that are about to begin, and a full menu of recent additions are rounded out with a news and updates section.

You could literally spend all day, every day here if you felt like it.

The lesson interface is amazing, with a few different views to focus on.

This might look a little confusing at first but once you figure out what’s what and get your screen open, you can decide which camera angle you’d like to focus on.

Many lessons give you a fretboard view, a right hand view, a shot of the instructor’s point of view, and a shot of the instructor playing.

There’s also a section that contains supplemental material including tab and full score, plus audio backing tracks.

The songs also include downloadable Guitar Pro files that work with Guitar Pro software.

You can download lessons if you’d like to practice offline, but there’s a catch. You have to purchase credits first and use them to unlock the lesson material.

The good news is that you can keep lessons you’ve purchased even if you decide that JamPlay isn’t the best online guitar lesson site for you.

Live sessions in progress are found under the “Live” tab. You can also see archived courses from previous live sessions here.

Other notable features include a chord library, a scale library, tuners for bass and guitar, a metronome, and a chord namer.

There are a few fun games to try, complete with leaderboards to keep you motivated.

Teachers, staff, and members can be found under the community tab. Clicking on any profile tells you more about the person.

This tool is a great one for learning more about the instructors and deciding who you’d like to teach your next lesson.

Instructors

If you ever wanted to learn guitar from a celebrity, this is your chance. Famous instructors give JamPlay an interesting edge.

While we don’t want to discount the many accomplished instructors who aren’t famous (each has something amazing to offer).

Here’s a quick sampling of famous instructors who can be found on JamPlay:

  • Bumblefoot from Guns ‘N Roses
  • Steve Stevens from Billy Idol
  • Mike Mushok from Staind
  • Joel Kosche from Collective Soul
  • Glen Drover from Megadeth
  • Lita Ford from The Runaways
  • Tosib Abasi from Animals as Leaders

…and many, many more.

Pricing

JamPlay has a few different pricing structures:

  1. $19.95/month (available for bass)
  2. $159.95/year Standard membership (available for bass)
  3. $299.95/year Pro membership (not available for bass)

You can feel your way around and decide if JamPlay is right for you with a 7-day free trial that provides access to just about everything on the site.

We don’t play bass, but it just doesn’t seem fair that bassists can’t access most of the bass-specific lesson content without paying for a subscription.

At the same time though, bassists can access the bass-specific jam tracks as well as live and archived bass lessons under the “Live” tab so the free trial still applies although in a more limited fashion.

All things considered, this is still one of the best places to learn bass guitar online.

While we covered quite a bit of information in this review, this is a huge site so we’re adding a full review of JamPlay in case you want to scope things out before heading that way for a free trial.

Playing Styles

JamPlay offers a wide range of genre-based lesson sets:

  • Classical
  • Blues
  • Fingerstyle
  • Metal
  • Hawaiian Slack Key
  • Bluegrass
  • Rock
  • Celtic
  • Country
  • Jazz
  • Surf
  • Funk
  • Flamenco
  • Folk
  • R&B and Soul
  • Reggae
  • Brazilian
  • Gospel
  • Pop
  • Acoustic Rock

After selecting a genre, you’ll see a lineup of instructors and the number of lessons each one has available.

The most popular styles (and a couple of less common ones) also feature menus with related lesson sets.

Clicking “subscribe” ensures that you’ll be notified when new content is added in that genre.

Top Features
  • Take lessons from famous guitarists from a variety of genres
  • Tons of content added on a regular basis
  • Live courses every day

truefire logo

TrueFire is Best For:

  • People who aren’t worried about learning to read music right away.
  • Players who want unusual content such as bluegrass for banjos.
  • Instruction for all levels.

TrueFire has been around since 1991 and since then, it has added tens of thousands of lessons as well as  hundreds of courses.

In addition to lessons for acoustic and electric guitar, it’s a great site for online bass guitar lessons.

While it’s great for all players, it really shines in terms of continuing education for intermediate to advanced guitarists and bassists who want to become exceptional players.

Taking Guitar Lessons with TrueFire

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate player, or an advanced guitarist, you’re going to find a lot to like about TrueFire.

There are more than 200 instructors to choose from here including some iconic names like Steve Vai, Roben Ford, and Lary Carlton.

These and other performing artists (along with the overall quality of the site) make TrueFire one of JamPlay’s top competitors.

Besides a variety of lesson options and learning paths, TrueFire also offers a fun forum, a well-rounded blog, and an online store with DVDs, books, and more.

Chord charts, free jam tracks, a metronome, a tuner, and a practice journal are some free, useful tools that are worth a look.

TrueFire Scorecard

Pros:

  • No payment method required to signup for 30-day trial period
  • Vast library of content
  • Opportunity for individual lessons if you want them
  • Excellent instructors, more than 200 to choose from
  • Great for people who want to focus on technique
  • Thriving social community on TrueFire and Facebook

Cons:

  • Not a lot of popular songs
  • Some things cost extra

Additional Overview

Site Design, Quality, and Standout Features

Like other online lessons sites that have been around for a while, TrueFire is great-looking, with a sleek, intuitive user interface so there’s zero guesswork involved.

Visuals and supplemental materials are fantastic.

Older videos are pretty good, with simple features including loop and speed controls, while newer ones are shot in HD, with better speed control plus loads of camera views that let you see what the instructor is doing from different angles.

Many lessons in the newer SoundSlice player format include tablature that moves along with the video.

This is a completely immersive experience that helps you become a well-rounded, well-educated player.

TrueFire also offers dedicated artist’s channels that feature extra videos, tabs, charts, jam tracks, and more. These are free with a premium subscription, and cost a little extra for other members.

For those who want something more, TrueFire offers private lessons that take place via video messaging.

Besides guitar lessons, there are personalized bass, banjo, dobro, drum, ukulele, and songwriting lessons.

Some teachers offer additional choices so be sure to look around if you think this is something that you’d like to take advantage of.

You can choose between individual lessons or pick ongoing private lessons with the instructor of your choice..

Premium subscribers can catch a break on private lessons, but everyone does have to pay extra for these.

The one-time lessons are great for asking questions and smoothing out trouble spots and breaking plateaus, while the ongoing lessons are sure to help you move toward achieving your potential as a player.

instructors

There are more than 200 instructors to choose from here including some iconic names like Steve Vai, Roben Ford, and Lary Carlton.

Pricing

TrueFire has a three-tiered payment system. You can choose from monthly, yearly, or lifetime subscriptions.

  1. $19/month
  2. $144-$199/year
  3. $1444 – $1999/lifetime

There is a free 30-day full-access trial, and in case you want more, you can purchase downloads to take your learning offline.

You don’t have to provide payment to try TrueFire so there is truly no risk involved.

Prices vary from one instructor to the next.

Playing Styles

There are six different learning paths to choose from including:

  • Blues
  • Acoustic
  • Rock
  • Jazz
  • Country
  • Bass

Once you choose a path, you can start at the beginning with introductory material, or you can move into more advanced courses designed for intermediate to advanced players.

Supplementary courses can be found below the main course menu. Over time, these help you round out your playing.

Top Features
  • Downloadable content + Streaming, so you can learn anywhere, even offline.
  • Multi-angle videos, some of the best we’ve seen.

Fender Play is Best For:

  • People who love Fender guitars & products.
  • Players who want a more traditional approach to learning guitar.
  • Instruction for all levels.

Fender Play was on the receiving end of some so-so reviews in the past but it has grown by leaps and bounds.

Today, it’s a great choice for anyone who wants to learn how to play quickly, but who isn’t terribly concerned about theory.

Fender Play has loads of songs that advanced players will appreciate, and if you’re brand new or somewhere on the intermediate scale, you’ll probably find a lot to like about it, too.

Fender Play Scorecard

Pros:

  • Affordable price & generous trial period
  • Excellent video quality, lots of lessons and learning paths to choose from
  • Learn guitar, bass, and/or ukulele with one membership
  • 10% off Fender products with an annual membership, good savings for anyone planning a purchase
  • Site is updated with new content frequently

Cons:

  • Homepage is pretty mysterious, not much to see before signing up and entering a payment option
  • You have to provide a payment method before you can access lessons
  • No option to slow down video speed (yet)

Additional Overview

Site Design, Quality, and Standout Features

Fender Play is a beautifully designed site with simple drop-down menus at the top.

We noticed the tuner right away: It’s got 22 different tuning options for acoustic, electric, or bass guitar, plus a separate ukulele tuner (by the way, if you’re into ukulele, you’ll find a ukulele-centered review of Fender Play on our Ukulele lessons review page.) Now, back to guitars.

Not only is there a cool tuning app for iOS or Android here, there are a few helpful guitar tuning videos and some helpful tuning tips.

You can also access the Fender “Essential Guitar Toolkit” which is an app that features chords, scales, drumbeats, and more.

Electric guitar players will appreciate the Tone section, which is chock-full of great tips for getting the most from your amp.

Before you start lessons, take a look at the progress tracking section so you’ll know what to expect as you work your way through the lessons.

An introduction video shows you the ropes.

Once you choose a lesson path, you’ll see a clean layout of the lessons on that path and you can start at the beginning or pick up at a spot you’re comfortable with.

instructors

As expected from a world-class company like Fender, these lessons are fantastic, especially for total beginners.

The videos include a shot of each of the instructor’s hands so you can see chords and strumming at the same time.

Many of the videos also include recaps taken from an over-the-shoulder view so you can see the fretboard from the player’s perspective.

An integrated menu shows your choice of tabs or chords at the bottom of the screen, so you can refer to them when you’re ready.

The “related” section shows similar songs so that you can expand your skills with similar material when you’re ready.

“Tools” offers a quick link to the tuner in case you need it while you’re working on a lesson.

There are hundreds of lessons to choose from including a skills section with exercises and plenty of basic guides for getting started with guitar.

Once you’ve learned how to tune up, strum, and form a few chords, you’ll be ready to jump into the songs – and this is where Fender Play really excels.

Song library

The Fender Play song lesson library includes hundreds of popular choices from genres including pop, rock, blues, and country.

Each song includes tablature and rhythm notation for a fun, hands-on learning experience. Songs are marked based on difficulty so you can easily choose something that’s right for you.

Every song (and lesson) is broken down into bite-size chunks so that you can easily repeat steps or stop and return if you need to.

The progress tracking feature helps you find your way back to where you left off.

Besides full songs, there’s a cool riff library. The riffs are awesome because many of them are recognizable.

Learning a riff is great for times when you have just a few minutes to work on your playing.

Other standout features include weekly challenges with prizes, plus live lessons that are great for people who are ready to dig deeper.

New content is added frequently, so there’s not much risk of becoming bored with this site.

Most of the menus on Fender Play are neatly arranged in A-Z order so you can find what you’re looking for.

The site has come a long way since it was first introduced and as more content is added on a regular basis, it’s quickly becoming an excellent resource for people who want to play guitar, bass, or ukulele.

Pricing

At $9.99 per month or $89.99 per year, a Fender Play membership is quite a bargain. Both tiers come with a 14-day free trial, and both give you access to everything on the site.

The annual plan includes ten percent off Fender guitars, amps, and gear, making it a great option for anyone who’s planning such purchases in the near future.

Top Features
  • Progress Tracker
  • Multi-camera videos, excellent quality
  • Automatic savings on Fender products with annual plan

Guitar-Instructor

Guitar Instructor is Best For:

  • Players who want to start at the beginning and work their way up.
  • Special courses just for kids.
  • Instruction for all levels.

Guitar Instructor is brought to us by none other than music publishing legend Hal Leonard.

As you might expect from a big name like this, the site is well-designed, the instructors are top shelf, and the amount of content is mindblowing.

This is a great option for people who want a well-defined learning path, as well as for kids – there are special courses designed just for youngsters.

Like many of its competitors, Guitar Instructor offers a few different payment levels.

When we signed up, a G-PASS subscription that includes access to all the songs, lessons, and content you could ask for was being offered at an introductory rate of $9.99 / moth or $99 / year.

Guitar Instructor Scorecard

Guitar Instructor’s Top Features:

  • Six different learning paths to choose from.
  • Backing tracks in paid lessons, includes looping & tempo control

Pros:

  • Enjoy the trial period without entering a payment method
  • Play-Along tracks are outstanding, choose between minus guitar or minus band; loop or slow down if desired.
  • Occasional users can simply purchase a la carte items to save over a full subscription
  • Free previews of many lessons, etc. help you decide whether options are a good choice for you

Cons:

  • There isn’t much free content here
  • A la carte options can get expensive if you’re not careful

Additional Overview

Site Design, Quality, and Standout Features

Bold colors, and clean, crisp-looking menus are just the beginning. Guitar Instructor places its instructors front and center.

Click on a photo and you’ll see an introductory video as well as a bio and a list of lessons offered by that instructor.

Not surprisingly, many of the instructors have published instructional materials through Hal Leonard and a number of them are well-known performers.

Whether you’re interested in playing rock, blues, jazz, country, folk, or R & B, you’re going to find a ton of great content to take your skills to the next level.

There are quite a few different ways to browse Guitar Instructor.

You can go by featured artists, or you can check out the tabs. You’ll find a complete menu of beginner lessons as well as a menu containing more than 1,200 play along songs.

There are also more than 7,500 chords/lyrics sheets to choose from.

Video Songs and Lessons

Guitar Instructor offers more than 600 song lessons and licks, plus well over 1,100 video lessons.

Backing tracks in the paid lessons section are professionally produced, and include helpful features like looping and tempo control so you can perfect your playing.

Each lesson is accompanied by a downloadable PDF Tab that you can print for easy reference anytime.

You’ll be able to see chords alongside each video, which includes changing views of the player’s fingers on the fretboard as well a visuals of the strum pattern when appropriate.

The instructors are clear, professional, and personable as they walk you through each lesson.

Pricing

When we signed up, a G-PASS subscription that includes access to all the songs, lessons, and content you could ask for was being offered at an introductory rate of $9.99 / moth or $99 / year.

The regular price is $14.99 / month or $149.99 / year. For those who don’t plan to use the service much or who would rather not pay for a full subscription, a la carte options start at a mere 99 cents.

Video and song lessons start at $1.99 apiece, and G-Plus songs and lessons are available starting at $2.99 apiece.


Yousician logo

Yousician is Best For:

  • People who are motivated by competition.
  • People who want to learn multiple instruments.
  • Instruction for all levels

Yousician is a fun app with online lessons for guitar and more, including bass and ukulele.

The app provides you with instructions as you enjoy lessons, songs, and exercises. It works on your PC, tablet, or phone. The app will listen to you play, and provide you with instant feedback.

That’s not all. Yousician lets you track your progress and compete with others who share your interests. It’s the perfect combination of guitar lessons and game!

Yousician Scorecard

Yousician's Top Features:

  • Tempo Slider lets you adjust song speed for easier practice.
  • Weekly challenges and progress tracking

Pros:

  • Incredible library of content, new items added daily
  • Innovative process, excellent for visual learners
  • Gamified app makes practicing even more fun
  • Instant feedback on your playing

Cons:

  • Dodgy refund policy
  • Some options cost more than market average
  • Missing that “human touch” you get with standard video lessons

Additional Overview

Site Design, Quality, and Standout FeaturesPricing

Even though Yousician is a lot of fun, it’s also an outstanding resource with playing goals, step-by-step video tutorials with quality, high-resolution imaging, and new songs added on a weekly basis. The concept, interactivity, and quality is excellent.

Every lesson shows you where to place your fingers on the fretboard, and you start playing in slow motion.

A side menu opens to provide instant access to the tuner and other useful tools including notation so that you can see the notes you’re playing.

This feature helps you learn how to read music while you play the notes in a simple, hands-on fashion.

This platform was designed with self-starters in mind but it works so well that many professional music teachers use it as a tool to help their students advance and stay motivated.

The community gets involved here, uploading new exercises and songs on a daily basis.

If you have a song request, you can leave it in the forum. You can also vote for requests made by others. Yousician is always evolving, and that’s one of the most exciting things about it.

While this isn’t a traditional lessons site, it’s a great way to learn how to play guitar. Everyone gets a chance to try the app free for 7 days before purchasing it.

Prices vary depending on whether you want famous songs or not.

  1. $19.99/month without famous songs
  2. $29.99/month with famous songs
  3. $119.99/year without famous songs
  4. $179.99/year with famous songs – includes Yousician for guitar, piano, bass, ukulele, and voice

udemy logo

Udemy is Best For:

  • Players who want lessons but don’t want to pay a monthly fee.
  • Great for budgeting.
  • Instruction for all levels.

Wait, isn’t Udemy the place to learn stuff like basic coding and Instagram marketing? Well, yes.

You can find all kinds of great stuff here! Udemy is also an awesome spot to hook up with a guitar instructor and that’s why we’re including it.

It’s easy to get started, since there are filters including Top, New, and Beginner Favorites to help you choose.

Once you’ve selected a course, you can see what’s included and read reviews from others who have taken it.

You’ll also see a section with requirements, which outlines previous knowledge that’s recommended before taking certain courses.

You’ll also see a breakdown of course content, with the number of lectures (lessons) inside each section.

Every class is different, and all are accessible on the device of your choice (including smart TV). Once you’ve purchased a class you “own” it and you can access it anytime so there’s no need to stick to a specific schedule.

Udemy Scorecard

Udemy's Top Features:

  • Tons of individual courses to choose from on an a la carte basis, no monthly membership
  • There are new classes available all the time

Pros:

  • One-time purchase, no membership
  • Lots of instructors and courses to choose from
  • Each class comes with a clear outline and student feedback
  • Useful resources for everyone – beginner to advanced

Cons:

  • No tools like tuners, metronomes, etc.
  • Missing features like song libraries, etc. that you’ll find on traditional lessons sites

Udemy might seem like an unusual choice but it’s ideal for someone who wants to learn a la carte and not pay a full subscription.

You can usually find courses on sale for as low as $12.99 (and sometimes lower than that) and there are new classes available all the time.

Every course comes with a preview to help with decision-making, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you aren’t satisfied.


Justin Guitar is Best For:

  • Anyone on a Tight Budget.
  • Random, cool lessons on unique topics
  • Instruction for all levels.

Even though Justin Guitar offers almost all of its content for free, this site frequently makes its way onto sites that receive commissions for reviewing guitar and ukulele instruction.

The reason for this is that Justin Guitar is just plain great – and we’re not just saying that because it’s free.

It’s our top pick for anyone who happens to be on a budget. And let’s be honest, we’ve been subscribers for a long time, simply because this site has so much to offer.

So, go sign up for a free membership, look around, and prepare to be amazed.

Not only are the lessons good (especially for beginners who need to save money for that dream guitar or whatever), there’s plenty of thought-provoking content and Justin is super-entertaining. You truly have nothing to lose.

Justin Guitar Scorecard

Justin Guitar's Top Features:

  • Huge interactive community.
  • Amazing knowledge database
  • Easy to navigate

Pros:

  • Free lessons; all payments are voluntary donations
  • Well-planned content; site is easy to navigate
  • Plenty of great songs and lessons, plus an active community

Cons:

  • Simpler than some other sites
  • Less content and fewer instructors than larger guitar lessons sites

Additional Overview

Site Design, Quality, and Standout Features

Even though Justin Guitar is free to use, it’s thoughtfully designed, packed with great stuff, and easy to navigate.

The drop-down menus at the top of let you find what you’re looking for in a snap, whether that’s ear training, blank tab paper to print, or your next lesson.

Justin Guitar’s learning modules use a color-coded “Karate Belt” system to delineate which lessons are suitable for beginning, intermediate, and advanced players.

There are also 550 songs to choose from. These use the same system, so once you’ve figured out which color(s) are right for you, it’s simple to decide what to play next.

Some videos are filmed with a close-up view of the player’s fingers on the fretboard so you can see what’s going on, and those for newer players are overlaid with chord charts.

A written “play by play” diagram accompanies each lesson, plus there’s a notepad where you can type in your own notes about the lesson for later reference.

Don’t worry – others can’t see what you’ve written here.

Justin Guitar might not be the biggest, fanciest site out there, but it’s a great place to pick up some knowledge, particularly if you’re on a budget and you need to save up for something more comprehensive.


Guitar Compass is Best For:

  • Something for everyone, including country & blues players.
  • Instruction for all levels.

If you’re looking for simple, affordable online guitar lessons, then Guitar Compass might be ideal. With more than 500 lessons, well-organized courses, quality videos, and a money-back guarantee, this site lets everyone start out with a free 7-day trial.

After that, a subscription costs $9.95/month or $89.99/year. You must enter payment details to receive the free trial. In case you’re not interested in doing this, there’s a free lessons area that will help you get a feel for the site and decide if it’s a good choice for you.

Guitar Compass Scorecard

Guitar Compass's Top Features:

  • Lots of Play Along Jam Tracks
  • Lots of free features, even if you don’t sign up

Pros:

  • Lots of free stuff, even if you don’t sign up
  • Competitive pricing
  • Simple, clean site is easy to navigate
  • Good videos with split screen shots
  • Great for beginners who want a clear, uncomplicated learning path

Cons:

  • Smaller site, not great for people who prefer a big song library
  • Payment method required for free trial to begin

Additional Overiew

Site Design, Quality, and Standout Features

Guitar Compass has a clean, basic look and an easy-to-navigate menu. Like other top online guitar lessons sites, its content is available for PC, tablet, and mobile phone. There are also books, DVDs, downloadable lessons, and CDs available.

Lessons at Guitar Compass

Whether you’re interested in free online guitar lessons or if you’re prepared to purchase a subscription, you can choose from the following areas:

  • Beginner
  • Acoustic
  • Blues
  • Country
  • Electric

The premium (paid) lesson area also includes practice sessions and a submenu of additional lesson packs including jazz, metal, classical, bluegrass, and slide guitar.

The videos are arranged in clear, step-by-step fashion so it’s easy to see what’s next.

Split screen shots show the instructor’s finger position on the fretboard, plus you can watch the strumming pattern at the same time.

There aren’t many extras on this site, which is great for people who want to take a minimalistic approach.

You’ll have to provide your own tuner or use a separate app, and if you’re interested in using a metronome, you’ll want to find an app for that or set yourself up with the real thing.

All in all, this is a nice, basic site that’s great for beginners, and that has some good stuff to offer more advanced players, too.

If you’re looking for something simple at an affordable price, you’ll probably enjoy Guitar Compass.


Jamorama

Jamorama is Best For:

  • People who like simple features
  • Players who are motivated by cheap pricing.
  • Instruction for all levels.

Like a few other sites that made it onto our top 10 list, Jamorama is small and simple, but that’s no reason to ignore it.

This cool resource has a lot of things going for it, including the fact that basic membership is free for everyone.

In case you’re interested in the paid option, you only have to spend $99.95 one time, and your membership stays in effect for life.

If you aren’t satisfied with your experience as a paid member of Jamorama, the company offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee that provides a full refund within 120 days from your date of purchase. All in all, it’s a pretty good deal.

If you decide to sign up for the free membership, you’ll have to use the shopping cart feature. Don’t worry – you won’t have to enter a method of payment for this option.

After you’ve entered a username, password, and contact information, you’ll receive a welcome email with helpful links to the site’s main features.

Jamorama Scorecard

Jamorama's Top Features:

  • Gamified to enhance motivation
  • Helpful tabs often appear on one side of the screen

Pros:

  • Lots of free stuff to get you started
  • Paid membership is inexpensive and never expires
  • Solid lessons with friendly, informative teachers
  • Helpful blog with some added lessons worked into the mix

Cons:

  • Fewer lessons than you’ll find at major competitors
  • Very small song library
  • Social networking and blog are out of date

Additional Overiew

Site Design, Quality, and Standout Features

Jamorama’s user interface isn’t as fancy as some others, but don’t let this scare you away.

The site is intuitively designed, and most things are easy to find.

The videos are OK – there are no special camera angles, but the instructors are friendly and personable plus they do a fantastic job of walking you through the techniques and songs being learned.

Helpful tabs often appear on one side of the screen, and in some videos, you can see which chord is coming next via a feed that scrolls underneath the video of the instructor playing.

What Comes with Jamorama Membership?

So, what do you get when you sign up with Jamorama? Let’s start with basic free access.

Everybody gets full access to the social network, discussion forums, and cool gamified learning features.

Everyone can read the blogs, too. While this library of useful content was written between 2009 and 2016, the tips and hints are still relevant.

One of the biggest reasons why Jamorama didn’t receive higher scores from us is that the social networking isn’t exactly active. Even the Jamorama

Facebook page has dropped off – as of May 9, 2019, the last post was made in 2018.

We hope that everything is OK with the people behind Jamorama, and we’d love to see more activity in the future. For now, it seems like some features might be on hold.

Now, back to the good stuff.

Everyone who signs up gets access to the Acoustic Guitar Maintenance Course, the Beginner Guitar Chords Course, and the Beginner Guitar Method Stage 1 Course.

These courses aren’t as comprehensive as those offered by some other sites we’re reviewing here but they’re free, informative, and useful.

Each course is broken down into lessons, which are further broken down into bite-size topics that make it easier to learn, and that culminate in fun jam sessions with the instructor.

Downloadable files are included so you can practice even when you’re not online.

If you opt for a paid membership, you get access to six additional courses along with Pro Features including Jam Tracks and supplementary learning materials.

Song Lessons

Jamorama has a separate section with song lessons. There are only nine songs here, but all of them are free.

Each song lesson is accompanied by an instructor profile, and each one is broken down into lessons.

A tracking bar shows your progress. Some songs include play along jams to enjoy once you’ve learned the ropes.

All things considered, Jamorama is a good, budget-friendly choice for beginners who are just starting out, and it’s got some good stuff for more experienced players as well.

There might not be very many bells and whistles, but the 120-day satisfaction guarantee gives you plenty of time to decide if this is the right place for you, and at the cost of about 5 months worth of membership at another site, you get plenty of bang for your buck.

We’d love to see this site take off and add fresh content. The concept is good, the core content is solid, and overall, it’s a nice resource.

Cost and Benefits of In-Person Guitar Lessons vs. Learning Online

Before we get started with our reviews, we’d like to mention that we support live, in-person music instruction.

If you have access to a local guitar instructor and you can afford to pay for lessons (usually $25-$50 per hour depending on the instructor, your location, and other factors).

Then you’re going to get all the benefits that come with having an expert teach you – and you might even have an instant “in” with your local guitar community.

At the same time, we recognize that quality instruction isn’t always accessible or affordable, and individual teachers tend to specialize in certain genres, which is fine for beginners and great for more advanced learners who are on the same page.

Unfortunately, this is less than ideal if your goals are different.

If your budget supports a limited number of live lessons or none at all, online guitar lessons are going to be your best bet.

And, even if you’re taking plenty of lessons in person, you’re going to find that online instruction helps to round out your musicianship, particularly as you progress.

As the old saying goes, you can find anything online – and that includes outstanding guitar lessons.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the main benefits and drawbacks of each instruction mode.

As you can see, there are many unique benefits that come with both methods of learning guitar!

If you can eventually do both, it’s probably the best way to become a well-rounded musician with deep roots in your community’s music scene. Now, on to the lesson reviews!

Final Thoughts

We hope that you have enjoyed our list of the best guitar lessons sites online!

With so many different options to choose from, there really is something for everyone – whatever your playing style, skill level, or goals.

Thanks for reading, and we wish you the best as you enjoy your musical journey!