If you’re looking for the best online guitar lessons in 2023, this article is here to help.
With so many online guitar courses available it can be hard to know which one is right for you.
Plus, the right class should focus not only on techniques specific to guitar, like strumming, chord patterns and soloing, but also skills and tips that will make you a much stronger all-around musician.
That’s why we’ve pulled together this list for the best online guitar lessons of 2023.
I've spent some time on a wide range of the most popular online guitar courses. In doing so, I’ve developed a good sense of what to look out for, as well as a few limitations.
We’ve considered everything from what content to look out for, what techniques you develop and how quickly you progress, as well as more general criteria like cost, length of course, volume of content and, of course, value for money.
So with that being said, let’s dive right in.
Which Online Guitar Class is the Best?
These are our top online guitar lesson and course recommendations:
- Fender Play
- Tom Morello’s MasterClass
- Yousician Guitar
- Ultimate Beginner Electric Guitar Masterclass
- The Professional Guitar MasterClass
- Guitar Tricks
All of these options have their strengths and weaknesses.
Ultimately, the best option for you will be determined by a range of factors; your experience, your learning style and, above all, what you want to gain from being taught guitar.
Taking all of this into account is a lot.
But thankfully, we have an in-depth profile of each of the above courses so you can get a sense of what each platform offers, and whether or not this is in line with what you're looking for.
Personally, TrueFire is the best option.
It covers all the bases.
There is a massive range of courses, aimed at all levels of skill. They also go seriously in-depth with their content, led by instructors who know exactly what they are doing. There’s also a massive collection of resources outside the lessons to help you out. Guitareo is also a good choice if you want an extensive library, but I’d say TrueFire has aimed itself at a bigger audience; beginners as well as advanced.
MasterClass and Udemy are also interesting options to consider. This is because they aren’t guitar-based platforms, they aim instead for educating generally. So an investment in one of these options also gives you access to a range of non-musical courses. Among these, Tom Morello’s MasterClass stands out as a course led by one of the greats.
JustinGuitar is probably the most popular option among guitarists. This platform is led by one individual, so you get the teacher-student experience you might miss from other classes.
To be honest, you can’t go wrong with any of these platforms. The ones I’ve mentioned are just some of my favourites.
Best Guitar Course Reviews
1. TrueFire (TrueFire)
Platform: TrueFire | Teacher: Various | Course length: Depends on what course you select, but tends to be 1 hour on average.
The oldest, biggest, and in my opinion best platform in the game.
TrueFire was founded all the way back in 1991. They update their courses all the time, so an investment in the site means there won’t be a shortage of learning to get on with.
Perhaps the biggest attraction is that this site is aimed at beginners, virtuosos and everyone in between. So, I feel that I can truly recommend it to everyone.
- An incredible range of courses touching on everything you can think of
- Breadth of tools to help you progress when playing along with your instructor
- Helpful resources, such as sheet music and diagrams, which you can download
- Classes led by the top instructors of the instrument, who are all engaging
- Lesson styles vary to keep the courses exciting, with performance demonstrations
- Something for everyone interested in guitar
- The organisation of the website and individual courses could have more focus
- Could delve into certain topics with more depth, such as theory and rhythm
Best for: Anyone with an interest in guitar. With so many courses you are bound to find something for yourself.
Overall: I adored so many aspects of this site. Every lesson I took was well-paced, methodical and truly felt like I learnt something each time I logged on. I was also impressed with the resources provided beyond the lessons including sheet music, diagrams and tools to help practice. If one of my only criticisms is that this site has so many courses it doesn’t quite know how to organise them, then TrueFire must be a pretty great place to get to grips with guitar.
You can read our full TrueFire Review here.
2. Guitareo (Musora)
Platform: Guitareo | Teachers: Multiple world-class players, such as Ayla Tesler-Mabe and Rob Scallon | Course length: There are various learning pathways for you to take. One of the major ones, Acoustic Guitar Made Easy, consists of 26 weeks of lessons, each week taking 5-30 minutes to complete.
Naturally, each site focuses on a different instrument, but they all carry the same ethos, approach and aesthetic. This has led all four sites to become one of the most recognisable in their respective discipline.
Like TrueFire, Guitareo has a range of courses on offer, but they also have the benefit of a specific learning pathway you can take if you’re a beginner. There’s also the opportunity to learn over 500 songs with their 500 In 500 Days course!
- Covers an incredible depth of content
- Excellent focus on musical theory, which not a lot of sites do
- Gives you the means for becoming a better guitar player, rather than just teaching songs
- An easy-to-use, well-designed site with lots of downloadable resources
- A range of lesson types including specific courses, quick tips and play-along
- A nice sense of community, with forums for fellow learners to engage with one another
- Gives you the choice of sticking to a particular method, or carving your learning pathway
- Less content for advanced players
- Most of the content is very general; not a lot relating to specific genres or techniques
Best for: Great for people who want to learn guitar quickly and through an effective training program.
Overall: Guitareo is a fantastic place to learn the guitar. The range of courses means you get all the content you need, and the focus on musical theory and personal practice helps you develop musical skills, and progress much faster than on other platforms. It’s super rare to have a site develop your general musicianship in the way that Guitareo does, so if that’s what you’re looking for, check this one out!
You can read our full Guitareo Review here.
3. Fender Play (Fender Play)
Platform: Fender Play | Teacher: Various | Course length: The main learning pathway has 7 levels, each consisting of around 20 lessons lasting 5-10 minutes, and practice sessions you complete in your own time.
Aside from being some of the most legendary musicians of our time, what’s one thing Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Buddy Holly and Stevie Ray Vaughn all have in common?
They are all Fender players.
Fender was founded all the way back in 1946 by American inventor Leo Fender, with Fender Play joining the family in 2017. Fender Play boasts over 11,000 video lessons for learners to enjoy, and these include a mix of technical tutorials and popular songs for you to learn.
Although primarily associated with the electric guitar, the site also has content for those interested in guitar in all its forms, including acoustic, bass and more.
- The chance to stick to a specific Learning Pathway with specific courses to help you progress, or take individual courses and learn specific songs
- Deeply comprehensive content, covering all aspects of the instrument
- Learning pathways gradually build on each other, so you see rapid progress in your playing
- Instructors communicate effectively and break down the specifics of every new thing you learn
- Gets you to grip with the basics of soloing and lead guitar
- Neatly laid out, with helpful visuals and resources
- Exercises, drills and the chance for feedback makes each lesson feel authentic
- High production value on lessons
- Constantly changing instructors in courses; some people prefer routine over variation
- Doesn’t explain to students the purpose behind certain drills and exercises
- Limited on advanced content
Best for: Fender has a reputation for being the top choice of lead guitarists. So if the electric guitar and rock and roll are your thing, this will be up your street. It’s aimed more at beginners, but the range of classes and options means anyone with an interest in guitar might get something from the site.
Overall: The first thing you notice about this site is that it looks very professional, and the production value is insane. But it’s not just about the aesthetics: the content, teaching style and overall atmosphere lives up to the look. Fender Play bridges the gap between learning basic chord progressions and taking your first step to being a rock superstar, giving you the tools you need to become the best in the business. It is limited in what it can offer to advanced players, and you might find yourself moving past the site as you get to the end of the learning pathway content. But for beginners, it’s a great way to start.
You can read our full Fender Play Review here.
4. Tom Morello Teaches Electric Guitar (MasterClass)
Platform: MasterClass | Teacher: Tom Morello | Course length: 26 video lessons adding up to 5 hours and 34 minutes of content.
Killing In The Name, Bulls On Parade, Bombtrack.
These songs have some of the most iconic guitar parts in recent times. Rage Against The Machine has some of the most powerful and politically charged music out there, and that is in no small part because of the fiery, inventive and just plain cool guitar playing of Tom Morello.
Now he’s here to teach you the tricks of the trade, and how to achieve his signature sound.
- Actionable tips and assignments
- Tom Morello is an awesome teacher
- Great balance of practical and theory
- Really thorough workbook complete with tabs and traditional notation
- Not for everyone — it’s not for complete beginners or for those who aren’t a fan of Morello’s style
- Some backing tracks missing
Best for: Rage Against The Machine fans, as well as electric guitarists and instrumentalists who want to create innovative riffs and sounds in their music.
Overall: A truly incredible class. For what it is — Tom Morello teaching you his style of electric guitar — it is truly hard to find fault. If you're a fan of his music and you want to emulate his style, there's a strong chance you're going to love this class. I certainly did!
You can read our full Tom Morello MasterClass Review here.
5. JustinGuitar (JustinGuitar)
Platform: JustinGuitar | Teacher: Justin Sandercoe| Course length: Depends entirely on what course you take.
This is by far the most popular online guitar course around.
If you’ve done any research before reading this (obviously, you won’t have to do any after reading this article), you’ll know that barely anyone has a bad thing to say about this platform. Everybody is full of praise for the platform and its head honcho, Justin Sandercoe.
Justin founded the site way back in 2003, but he’s been playing a lot longer than that. With over 35 years of teaching experience (18 of those spent on JustinGuitar), Justin is also a competent performer and sidemen and has over 2000 performances under his belt.
- A massive range of content
- Well organised, and aimed for a big range of learners
- Free learning available
- Website is intuitive to use
- A respected and experienced instructor
- Curated a plethora of tools and resources
- Led by an individual, so you can develop a real sense of the teacher-student relationship
- Between YouTube lessons and TrueFire courses, Justin’s content isn’t limited to this site, so it’s not unique
Who it’s for: Aspiring guitarists who want to learn songs, music theory, and guitar techniques, all with one experienced instructor.
Overall: I can’t really say anything about this site that hasn’t been said already. If you want proof of the pros I’ve mentioned, just type in JustinGuitar to any guitar forum or website and check out the inevitable bulk of praise and positive reviews from satisfied learners. This is all supported if you check out the site itself. JustinGuitar is well organised, aims to appeal to everyone with an interest in guitar and is all led by a leading musician.
6. JamPlay (JamPlay)
Platform: JamPlay | Teacher: Various | Course length: Over 7500 courses with hours of content in each.
JamPlay is one of the more senior sites we’ll be talking about here.
Founded in 2008 by Chris Dawson and Jeffery Booth, JamPlay has gone on to be one of the most well-established guitar platforms out there.
The site's look is a little dated compared to some of the others on here. But what it misses in aesthetic, it makes up for in content. With over 7500 courses on offer, you won’t be bored with a subscription. A bonus of this is it allows the site to focus on more specific and niche topics, so there is a lot here for more advanced players.
- Incredible depth and range of content
- Dives deeply into different genres and songs
- Courses are quite long, so there’s a lot to get stuck into
- World-leading instructors
- Lots of extra resources to help you
- Content for advanced players, which is quite rare for online learning platforms
- A little outdated
- Competitors offer more
- Could benefit from more of a unified method or ethos
Best for: Guitar enthusiasts interested in developing in a particular genre or who struggle to find advanced online guitar lessons on other platforms.
Overall: On its own, JamPlay has a lot to offer. The courses are incredibly comprehensive and there’s a wide range of them on offer. This is especially the case if you're more advanced, as many sites won’t have too much to sell this level of player. However, other sites, in my opinion, have a little more to give in terms of content, delivery and how everything is put together. There are probably better places to go as a beginner, but higher calibre players might want to use the free trial to check this one out.
You can read our full JamPlay Review here.
7. Yousician Guitar (Yousician)
Platform: Yousician | Teacher: YOU (The course self-paced with Yousicians technology) | Course length: The game-like interface means Yousician is a self-paced site.
You’ve probably seen ads for this one all over YouTube. Founded in 2010, by Chris Thür and Mikko Kaipainen, then using the name Ovelin, Yousician is now one of the most well-known music learning platforms across the internet.
It’s a new, game-like style of learning. But how does it hold up compared to some of the more traditional sites on this list?
- Simple and straightforward to use, especially if you’re a beginner
- Interactive style of teaching, innovative and popular among new learners
- All the key elements of guitar taught, from finger placement to theory
- Methodical, as it gradually increases in difficulty
- Widely popular, so has been proven to work for people
- Misses out on creating a teacher-student relationship, which can be helpful for beginners
- Not too much content for advanced players
Who it’s for: Beginner guitarists whose main aim is to get a couple of songs under their belt. This style of learning is ideal for that goal. But the methodical style and increasing difficulty mean even intermediates might find some use from this site. Essentially it’s worth checking out for anyone interested in self-paced learning.
Overall: This site exists to demonstrate how much technology can contribute to how we learn. It wasn’t possible to be taught the guitar this way a couple of years ago, so it’s amazing that this exists, especially if you’re someone who enjoys learning at their own pace. Other sites may go into more depth, but I’m sure you’ll be playing your favorite song on the six-string in no time with Yousician
8. Ultimate Beginner Electric Guitar Masterclass (Udemy)
Platform: Udemy | Teacher: Henry Olsen | Course length: 15 hours of on-demand video lessons.
With 18 years of guitar experience, 8 of those in professional teaching, Henry Olsen knows what he’s talking about. His YouTube channel is growing with over 17000 subscribers. But the place to check him out is Udemy, where he has over 14 courses.
As you can probably tell by the name, this one is aimed at beginners. 78000 people have already signed up to see what Henry Olsen has to say. Should you as well?
- Includes 33 downloadable resources
- Electric and acoustic technique
- Teaches you chord progressions that you can take with you
- Deep and diverse content
- The fundamentals that will get you playing millions of songs
- Content not that unique; guitar-specific platforms might go deeper
Who it’s for: Beginners! This is hardly a surprise. But specifically, those who want a strong grounding in guitar generally, rather than aiming to learn specific songs. Check this one out if you’re equally inserted in acoustic and electric styles.
Overall: The ultimate beginner online guitar course promises a lot with its name. But reading the comments on the course page, you can see it delivers. You’ll get a strong foundation in both the acoustic and electric elements of the instrument, as well as the means of learning all your favourite pop songs. Also, Udemy gives you the chance to explore all the other courses the site has to offer. If you want to learn guitar, but also try your hand at coding, check it out.
9. The Professional Guitar Masterclass (Udemy)
Platform: Udemy | Teacher: Michael Palmisano | Course length: 7.5 hours of on-demand video lessons.
Another site from Udemy, this is one for the more advanced players; again, the title gives it away.
Michael Palmisano has 15 years of teaching and playing experience. He is also the founder of his own platform:
Here, he has partnered with Udemy. This one is for guitarists with a little more experience, so you’ll want a few years of playing under your belt to truly appreciate this one.
- Very theoretical
- Delves into common non-diatonic teaching, which is rare
- Markets itself to advanced players; many courses don’t
- Over 90 downloadable resources
- Teaches you to play any chord, anywhere on the neck
- Lots of promos and sales, so you can get the course for very cheap at the right time
- Only 7.5 hours of content; the above course offers double for the same price
- You decide whether you’re at an appropriate skill level, which is difficult to know
Who is it for: Guitarists with a little experience behind them, especially if you're self-taught or only know songs and chords. This online guitar course is perfect for any guitarist ready to start the daunting journey of musical theory.
Overall: I am not remotely advanced when it comes to guitar. But putting this article together has certainly made me sympathise with them. There is barely anything out there for guitarists with experience. This course bucks the trend. Here, you’ll get the chance to properly hone your skills, and dig into some advanced theories. For guitarists, musical theory can be a big barrier to their playing, as it's not something you get taught early on and tend to have to figure out for yourself. So, for many, this course is a godsend.
10. Guitar Tricks (Guitar Tricks)
Platform: Guitar Tricks | Teacher: Various | Course length: Honestly, it’s up to you. There are over 11000 lessons and 900 song tutorials.
The last entry is another one that has a lot on offer for intermediate and advanced players.
The site even claims to have invented online guitar lessons back in 1998.
This has given the site an incredible range of content, which gives them the means to appeal to a wide range of audiences. There are a bunch of different options here. Guitar Tricks offers various learning systems, which gives you the means to track and gradually improve your progress in different genres.
- Delves deep into specific genres
- Incredible catalogue of song tutorials
- A wide range of courses with different focuses
- Players with more experience will gain lots from this
- Learning system is a helpful way for beginners to learn
- Tried and tested success, yet continually updating
- Other sites have a clearer usability
- Quite an archaic song library
Who it’s for: Anyone with an interest in guitar to be honest. The learning system will be helpful for beginners, but the classes also go up to intermediate and advanced levels. The genre focus means this platform is ideal for anyone wanting to learn a specific style.
Overall: Guitar Tricks is the site I’d recommend if you are looking to go deep with the guitar. By that, I mean going in-depth with genres and styles. Whether it’s blues, country or rock, the learning systems here means you can get familiar with a specific style of playing. On top of that, there is the option to choose from a massive rock and roll song library.
Read my full Guitar Tricks review
Learn Guitar For Free
If I could get a time machine, and travel back to 20, maybe even 10 years ago, and tell people they could learn guitar for free, they would probably laugh in my face. But this is one of the many things the internet has revolutionised.
Most of these sites do charge for their services, but there are a few ways of learning the guitar without paying a dime. This is particularly useful if you aren’t sure about purchasing a subscription.
Here are some of the best places where you can learn guitar for free:
- TrueFire: This site will offer you a 14-day free trial, as well as $10 TrueFire cash; a scheme where you can get money back from TrueFire courses to be used on other courses
- Guitareo: Guitareo has a shorter 7-day free trial; accessing this requires you to create an account
- Fender Play: Fender Play also has a 7-day free trial
What Are The Advantages Of Taking An Online Guitar Course?
So why would you take a guitar course in the first place?
Well, why wouldn't you?
There are so many benefits that will stay with you for life, and in so many ways beyond music as well. The idea of learning the guitar can be quite daunting if you’ve never touched an instrument before, but these sites are the ideal place to go to quell any nerves and have directed themselves perfectly toward the beginner crowd.
Here are just a few of the benefits of learning the guitar:
- Improves your general musicianship and musical intuition
- Flexibility; these sites let you learn on your own time
- Freedom as you can pick and choose you own syllabus more easily with an online course
- Helps the mind broadly by keeping your brain and body engaged
- The skill will stay with you for life, especially if you practice
- Helps with useful aspects of life like time management and commitment
- Allows you to engage with a community of like-minded musicians
- It’s just cool, and a great trick to pull out at the next party you go to
Buyers Guide: What To Look Out For
With so many teachers and platforms vying for your attention (and your money), it’s important to keep a few things in mind before you make any kind of investment in your learning.
Having looked at all these courses, I’ve developed quite a strong criteria of what works when it comes to learning the guitar rapidly, enjoyably and what is the best value for money.
Here are a few things to look out for:
- The song library, as you are probably keen to learn new music, so it’s important to know what's on offer here
- Does the site go into different genres, or is it quite linear in what it teaches you?
- Is there an actual teacher to guide you? This is subjective, but I always prefer developing a relationship with an instructor, even if it’s through videos
- Music theory; it may seem boring, but the theory is essential to learning any instrument and even guitar classes must include it to some degree
- The interface and what kind of visuals are on offer to help you learn
- The credentials of your instructor and the site, which shouldn’t be hard to find
- Does the site have content for various levels of ability?
We’ve considered all of the above factors when compiling this review. We’ve also completed several courses from many of the platforms in this review. Where this hasn’t been possible, we’ve done extensive background research.
How Much Does It Cost To Learn Guitar?
With everyone having different priorities when it comes to learning guitar, there's also a range of prices that people are willing to pay.
The prices can be subject to change, and it's always important to check out the site to see if there are any discounts or offers available.
Platforms like MasterClass and Udemy are particularly interesting to consider when it comes to cost. A subscription for MasterClass is currently around $155 a month. However, this grants you access to everything on the site, so the more things that interest you, and the more classes you take, the higher the value of that subscription.
It’s also worth mentioning that because these sites are so flexible, there are also often cheaper and easier to organise than in-person teaching.
How Long Does It Take To Learn The Guitar?
We all have unique experiences that have shaped how we learn. So whilst some grab new concepts in music very easily, for others, it takes a little bit of time.
The courses and platforms in this review all massively differ in their time ranges.
Some, like Yousician, offer a more independent method of learning, where you can get through all the video content in your own time.
Although every platform has flexibility, some, like Fender Play or Guitar Tricks, have specific learning pathways that can take a few hours if you want to get through everything.
But even with this discrepancy in time, how many videos there are or how long it takes to get through them isn’t massively relevant to how long it takes to learn the guitar.
Ultimately that’s up to you.
You can binge the online lessons all in one night (I wouldn’t recommend this) or you can watch five minutes every day. But if you don’t devote a little bit of time to practising on your own, whether it’s 1 hour a day or 10 minutes a work, it will be a long time before you see any progress.
Most of the platforms here are self-paced, so you can fit in lessons around your schedule, and practice, go over and move on from the new concepts you learn whenever you’re ready.
One thing I would say is if you’ve spent a long time learning on a particular site, and practising on your own, and you’re not seeing progress, maybe that site's style of teaching isn’t for you.
As I said, we all learn differently, and thankfully the majority of the platforms here offer some kind of refund or free trial to avoid this problem.
There are so many options for learning guitar online, as you can see, so which is the best choice.
Well, that’s up to you and what you want to gain.
For me, the best option is TrueFire. This is because I feel that this is the site that truly combines the best elements of every other platform. Its content is comprehensive and in-depth, it has world-class instructors and it has classes for a massive range of audiences.
If you’d prefer to have a more specific learning pathway, definitely check out Guitareo for acoustic guitar and Fender Play for electric. Both of these have specific systems for you to follow if you're just getting into guitar.
Comparatively, if you’re more of an independent learner, especially if you have a busy schedule and like to learn in increments, why not try Yousician for a new, game-style of learning.
But for me, TrueFire combines the best of both these methods.
MasterClass and Udemy are also interesting options. These not only have a wide range of guitar courses, but also other education in a massive range of disciplines outside of music. So, if you find enough courses you're interested in, subscribing to one of these might be worth considering.
With all this in mind, which guitar course will be the one you choose?
Frequently asked questions
TrueFire is my favorite. It covers so much content comprehensively and methodically, with engaging teachers who know what they’re doing.
This depends entirely on what you want from the platform, as there are often many offers available. Some can range from $9.99 per month to $155 for the year. Sites like TrueFire and JamPlay also offer free trials.
Learning guitar is for you to define. If you have no experience, some of these sites will get you playing songs and courses after 30 mins to 1 hour of learning. After that it's up to how much you practice.
Charlie is a student reading politics at King’s College London. He is also a passionate musician with over 14 years of experience. In his free time, he also enjoys cinema, long-distance running and learning new things.