Finding the right online guitar lessons can feel like a blessing — with the right type of teaching style and content, you can vastly improve your playing ability in what seems like no time at all. However, there are almost endless options for video lessons on the internet. The variety can seem overwhelming, but you don’t want to just jump right in — in order to learn the guitar the right way, you’ll need to choose the lessons that suit you best.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at Guitar Tricks, the site that started online guitar lessons in 1998. This award-winning program starts with beginner lessons and then helps you specialize in a guitar genre of your choice. Our Guitar Tricks review will offer you an overview of the site in order to help you decide whether it’s the best guitar learning program for you.
Things to Consider Before Signing Up for Online Lessons
As we mentioned earlier, your guitar lesson options are very impressive. Before you choose one, it’s a good idea to ask yourself a few questions
- How much experience do you have? Many lessons online are designed for complete beginners, and some courses can take you all the way through the advanced level. If you already have some experience, you may want to make sure that you can easily start the course somewhere other than at the complete beginning.
- What are your goals? Different programs cater to different goals — some may be designed to help you learn to play with a band, while others help you get ready to be a solo performer. Some courses can help you achieve multiple goals.
- How much time per day do you have to practice? It’s important to be realistic about the amount of time you can dedicate to a program. Even if you have limited time, a course can often be a worthwhile pursuit — you may progress more slowly, but some practice is better than no practice.
- Do you want to learn multiple genres? In some cases, programs only focus on one genre or a handful of genres. You’ll want to make sure your chosen genre is covered in enough detail. If you want to learn skills and techniques from different musical genres, choosing a program that covers multiple genres may be a good idea.
- Do you want to learn from one instructor or many instructors? Some programs have a single instructor who teaches all included lessons. This approach may work for some students — after all, some people learn best when the same instructor is teaching. If you want the benefit of multiple perspectives, though, you may want to take courses from multiple instructors.
- What’s your budget? Even if you’re on a tight budget, you can still learn valuable guitar skills. Most programs offer some kind of a free trial option. because there’s so much competition among online lesson providers, prices are often fairly affordable.
Guitar Tricks – Guitar Learning Program
PRO’s & CON’s Of Guitar Tricks
But first, let’s look at some pros and cons.
- Players can start at a beginner or intermediate level, making this a course that works well for many guitarists
- You can sign up for a free trial version before you commit
- Videos use simple songs to teach you, which makes learning fun
- After going through fundamentals, you can take more specialized tracks in selected genres
- The only specialized genre tracks are rock, blues, and country, so folk and pop players may feel a little left out
- After the trial, the cost is $15/month billed annually, which may be a bit much for some people
Features And Benefits
In this section, we’ll take a closer look at Guitar Tricks to help you decide whether or not this system is right for you.
What’s the Story?
The online guitar lesson world is familiar today, but learning guitar online wasn’t always as common as it is now. According to the Guitar Tricks website, this is the company that started online guitar lessons back in 1998. The company has had over three million students since it started.
Of course, plenty of guitar lesson websites like to talk themselves up, but Guitar Tricks does have some accolades to back it up. It’s won a Gold Award from the Acoustic Guitar Player’s Awards and a Gold Award from Davey Awards. The site is also a W3 Awards Gold Award winner.
Unlike some of the sites we’ve reviewed in the past, this one seems to really promote transparency. Plenty of lesson sites include selected reviews, and this one does too. But it also links directly to TrustPilot, where it has been overwhelmingly favorably reviewed. (We’ll include some links to some of our favorite reviews in a little bit.)
If you’re interested and want to learn more, check out this video review of Guitar Tricks.
The Core Learning System
When you first visit the Guitar Tricks site, you may be a little overwhelmed — you’ll see a sampling of songs you can learn with the program, read some customer testimonials, and take in some beautifully-taken photos of people learning to play the guitar.
However, as you probably know, the most important part of any online guitar program is the core learning system. Like many courses, this one is designed to let you start at a beginning or intermediate level, and many of the specialized lessons are even good for advanced players.
Players start with Level 1 Guitar Fundamentals, a course designed for those who have never played guitar before. Once you’ve mastered this beginner course, you’ll move on to Level 2 Guitar Fundamentals. This next course will expand your knowledge of chords, help you master scales, and more.
After you’ve gotten through the fundamentals, you can choose one or more tracks for more specialized learning. Guitar Tricks offers blues, rock, and country. Each track offers a level one and level two. More advanced players may find that they move through these courses quickly, but they nonetheless offer a great foundation to build upon.
The two levels of fundamentals and the blues, rock, and country tracks make up the Core Learning System of Guitar Tricks. After you complete these, you can venture out into the vast variety of other learning sources on the site. If you’re thinking Guitar Tricks might be for you, check out this intro video.
Supplemental Learning Materials
Guitar Tricks is a site that also does its best to keep things fresh for learning players. And while most online guitar lessons give members access to a library of online lessons, few are as extensive as the GuitarTricks library. This library has over 11,000 video lessons, and new song tutorials are added weekly. When you visit the course website, you’ll see that you can choose videos and tutorials of a variety of types:
- Beginner Lessons — These lessons are a great supplement to Level 1 Guitar Fundamentals, and they will help beginning players get more comfortable on the guitar.
- Experienced Lessons — These are lessons designed for advanced players who want to continue to improve.
- Learn to Play Songs — Learning to play songs you love is one of the most rewarding parts of playing guitar. With each guitar lesson in this category, you’ll see an engaging video tutorial that teaches you how to play a particular song. Here’s a sample video lesson on how to play “The Thrill is Gone” by B.B. King
- Learn Styles of Guitar — The Core system may only include a few genres, but in the Guitar Tricks library, you can learn guitar in several more styles. Choose from video lessons on acoustic, bluegrass, blues, classical, country, funk & soul, jazz, metal, rock, rockabilly, surf, and world.
One of the other advantages of this program’s impressive video lessons library is the fact that you can choose an instructor who suits you. Guitar Tricks lessons are taught by a range of instructors. If you find an instructor you like, you can take his or her classes. Or if you want to learn from many different people, you might prefer to mix it up a bit.
Guitar Tricks offers a few other unique types of guitar lessons for more experienced players who want to learn more. Artist Studies let you carefully look at the style of a renowned player and learn useful tips and techniques. Here are some of the guitar player studies you can take:
- Albert King
- B.B. King
- Chet Atkins
- Jack Johnson
- Jimi Hendrix
- Joe Pass
- John Mayer
- The Edge
Lastly, guitarists who have mastered the fundamentals may be interested in guitar lessons that teach them new techniques. The Guitar Tricks video player can also show you lessons on techniques that can liven up your playing style. These include fingerpicking, sweep picking, palm muting, using the whammy bar, and more. If you want to get an idea of some of the cool tricks and techniques you can learn, check out this video.
How Much Does It Cost?
You might be thinking that, so far, Guitar Tricks sounds like a promising site to take lessons. As you may already know, free lessons are somewhat rare, and some sites are surprisingly expensive.
However, one thing we like about Guitar Tricks is the fact that the site offers a couple of different membership options. If you want to learn some new guitar skills but aren’t sure if you want to commit, you can sign up for a free account with basic access. This account is beginner-friendly, and it gives you access to 24 sample lessons taught by 12 different instructors. This membership level lets you get a feel for the program without having to spend anything.
If you try this sample course and decide that the program is for you, you might want to try out full membership. The full membership gives you access to everything that Guitar Tricks has to offer. You can learn to play guitar with 45 different instructors, and you’ll also get access to over 11,000 different video lessons. You also can learn from over 1,000 song tutorials. With this membership, you can access everything from advanced lessons to lessons for first-time players.
You get a lot more from this membership than you do at some other sites, and there isn’t really extra cost. If you want to pay less over time, you can pay for a year upfront at $15/month. This comes out to about $180 per year. This membership also comes with four free digital gifts:
- Song Builder’s Toolbox
- Chord Theory Magic: Just for Guitar
- Blues Jam Tracks
- Rock Jam Tracks
While you may not absolutely need these tools to learn to play, they can be very useful additions. The Song Builder’s Toolbox and Chord Theory Magic can help you understand why songs work the way they do, and they can also help you write your own songs. The jam tracks can help you get used to playing with a band or rhythm section.
If you don’t want to (or can’t) pay for a year at once, you can also purchase the monthly plan. This plan grants you full access for $19.95 per month, and you can cancel at any time. You don’t get the free gifts, but we still think that this is a pretty decent deal.
Both of these options come with a 60-day money-back guarantee. If at any point (within 60 days of purchase) you feel like Guitar Tricks isn’t working for you, you can request a full refund. This is about on par with most of the money-back guarantees we see in the online music lesson business. In fact, many sites have a much shorter guarantee period — some only offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Still not sure if this is the course for you? If you want a student’s opinion, check out this video review — it lets you check out the members’ section of the website.
While you can try out this program before you commit to buying, you won’t be able to access the whole thing for free. In order to see if it’s the right fit for you, you may want to look at some reviews written by students. In this section, we’ve brought together some of the reviews we found while browsing the web:
This Guitar Tricks review is from TrustPilot.com, a site that helps potential buyers evaluate the trustworthiness of a given website. For this person, Guitartricks.com is a worthwhile website to learn from, even if he’s a fairly impatient student.
This detailed review compliments the program’s structure, and this student especially appreciated instructor Lisa McCormick. The review also points out one especially useful aspect of Guitar Tricks — you can revisit lessons as needed if you want a refresher or want to practice a certain skill before moving on.
This brief review touches on both the content of the program itself and its customer service team, which is especially helpful. Often, we see reviews of guitar lesson programs that mention customer service that is slow to respond or otherwise lacking. Having great support matters, especially if you need help navigating a program or need a refund, and we’re impressed that most reviewers seem to think Guitar Tricks has a great support team.
Alternatives To Guitar Tricks Course
You already know that there isn’t just one way to learn guitar. And regardless of your skill level, you may want to consider other lesson sites before you commit to this one. We’ve found three alternative sites we think you might like:
How It Compares To Guitar Tricks
- It also lets you select genre-specific paths depending on your goals
- If you have some playing experience, you can skip ahead if needed
- Most learning is centered around your chosen path — there are fewer opportunities to explore extra video lessons
- Fender Play is a bit less expensive than Guitar Tricks
Chances are good that you’ve heard of renowned guitar manufacturer Fender. Fender Play is the company’s online guitar lesson program. It’s somewhat similar to Guitar Tricks in that you have the option to choose a genre path. However, with Fender Play, you don’t need to first take a fundamentals course before getting into genre-specific learning. Fender Play also makes a point to help you apply what you learn by practicing contemporary and classic songs.
In terms of pricing, Fender Play is less expensive — membership is $89.99 if billed annually and $9.99 if billed monthly. If you’re looking for an affordable online lesson program that lets you explore different genres, make sure you check this one out!
How It Compares To Guitar Tricks
- Video lessons can help you learn a range of techniques and playing styles
- Quick-start guides for campfire guitar, lead guitar, blues guitar, and more help you play better in no time
- Many lessons are geared more toward new guitarists
- All guided video lessons are free
Looking for free lessons? If so, this useful site is a great way to get started. It isn’t nearly as comprehensive as Guitar Tricks and many other paid platforms, but it provides free guided video lessons, many of which are geared toward beginning players. The Campfire Guitarist Quick-Start Series is a great choice for impatient players who want to start playing songs. If you want to really take your time, the site also has tutorials on scales, playing techniques, learning lead guitar, and more.
This site was designed by Nate Savage, and it links to his more extensive lesson site, Guitareo. If you’re a beginner on a budget, we think that this is definitely a program worth checking out.
How It Compares To Guitar Tricks
- Relatively affordable membership lets you access a wealth of classes in different genres
- Live lessons, master classes, and other special features help keep the learning experience fresh
- Membership grants you access to a library of learning tools
- It’s close in price to Guitar Tricks
If you’re the type of player who really appreciates having plenty of options, we think you’ll like this program. JamPlay has helped over 500,000 students learn to play guitar, and you can learn from over 100 teachers. Twenty genres are offered, and you can find lessons for beginners through advanced players. If you want something a little extra, you can also attend daily live-streamed courses and take master classes.
JamPlay also has several different membership options. You can pay monthly at $19.95 per month, purchase a year-long standard membership for $13.33 per month, or purchase a year-long pro membership for $19.95 per month. The pro membership includes a one-on-one consultation and a few free gifts.
If you like Guitar Tricks but want something with some additional features, make sure you check out this program!
After carefully evaluating Guitar Tricks, we can confidently say that we think this is a worthwhile program. Full access is fairly affordable, and it gives you access to the largest video lesson library we’ve seen thus far. We also like that there’s a free trial option for those who may want to try it out first. This is one of the most comprehensive programs (in terms of genres covered and skill levels taught) that we’ve ever come across, and we think it would be useful for beginners, advanced players, and everyone in between. Click here to check it out!