Online learning resources, be it courses, videos, written content, one-on-one coaching, apps, et cetera, provide fantastic opportunities to learn (and teach) classical guitar and understand music more generally. Though nothing truly beats dedicated in-person guitar lessons, there are plenty of excellent alternatives online.
Note that by “resources,” I'm not only referring to video tutoring and full-length courses (though these are arguably the best options). I'm also considering masterclasses, applications, videos and articles, and other online resources for learning how to play the classical guitar.
Though obviously subjective and prone to biases, I've done my best to list out these resources based on the following metrics (in no particular order):
- Reputation of the classical guitar learning resource
- Quality of education in technique, theory, and learning real songs
- Organization and depth of learning
- Adaptability of teaching to individual students (one-on-one lessons are best here)
- The resource must be currently available
With all that being said, let's list out the learning resources.
The top 11 best online resources to learn how to play classical guitar are:
- Berklee Online
- Guitar Tricks
- This Is Classical Guitar
- Classical Guitar Corner
- LAGA Classical Online
- Guitar Compass
- Classical Guitar Shed
- Elite Guitarist Classical
In this article, we'll go through each of the above-mentioned resources to get a stronger idea of what makes them great for learning classical guitar. Whether you're a complete beginner or a successful professional, there is always something to learn! I'll include links to check out each of the options for yourself to learn more about the guitar. We'll also consider a few “honourable mentions” worth considering.
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JamPlay is an online resource solely focusing on guitar lessons. They offer step-by-step lessons that range in genre, difficulty level and skills and techniques.
Members will get access to hundreds of interactive lessons that feature tools such as tabs, notation looping, slo-mo and progress tracking to help you customize your learning experience. In addition to on-demand courses, there are also live courses, masterclasses and song libraries with tutorials.
ArtistWorks offers online lessons for a variety of instruments, including the guitar, banjo, bass and vocals, to name a few. All courses are taught by master musicians such as Paul Gilbert and Andy McKee.
Members of ArtistWorks will get unlimited access to video lessons that can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Along with videos, each course includes sheet music, worksheets, video exchange submissions and access to the Video Exchange Library.
The Video Exchange Library is a part of the Video Exchange Learning offered at ArtistWorks. This method of learning lets students record themselves playing and upload the video directly to their instructors. They will then receive a personalized response video from their teacher with feedback and tips. This interaction is uploaded to the Vido Exchange Library, where other students can watch and learn from that exchange.
TrueFire is an online learning resource that focuses primarily on guitars. They offer ten courses and over 3000 lessons on classical guitar taught by award-winning musicians, players and instructors.
Each lesson features video learning with interactive features such as looping, slo-mo and progress tracking. This allows students to learn at their own pace and break down each section.
Berklee is recognized as one of the top music schools known for its prominent educational programs and professors. Berklee Online allows students to obtain Berklee level learning from anywhere in the world.
Berklee Online lets students take courses and obtain certificates and bachelor's and master's degrees from abroad. Courses can be taken as non-credits or credits, meaning they count towards a certification or degree. Most courses and certifications do not require an application in order to enroll. However, students will need to apply to Berklee Online if they intend to pursue a degree.
A notable course is Fundamentals of Classical Guitar, taught by David Newsan. This will teach students classical guitar playing techniques, scales, exercises and fingerpicking patterns. Students will also learn to perform solo classical music pieces.
Guitar Tricks has created a platform that makes learning the guitar from home fun and easy. They offer thousands of beginner and experienced lessons along with a song library.
The lessons are easy to follow with step-by-step videos that break down each topic to help make learning easier. Each video lesson includes guitar tabs and notation. Members will also get access to a toolbox that includes a tuner, chord and scale finders, a metronome and a chord chart.
For students that to further their learning and take one-on-one lessons, Guitar Tricks offers private lessons via Zoom at an additional cost.
This Is Classical Guitar
This Is Classical Guitar is a superb resource for those looking to learn the classical guitar on a budget. In fact, the lessons and courses are free, making them accessible and affordable.
Students will get access to free video lessons, practice tips, sheet music and a free PDF ebook. This Is Classical Guitar breaks down each lesson and sheet music based on skill level. The lessons range from beginner through to advanced.
Classical Guitar Corner
Classical Guitar Corner (CGC) offers a series of free lessons, a CGC Academy and purchasable learning materials such as books to help students learn the classical guitar online. The lessons come in the form of step-by-step videos, audio and pdf materials.
The CGC Academy is tailored for amateur adult guitarists. Not only will members get access to numerous online lessons, but they will also be able to take live masterclasses and workshops. You can also get personalized feedback from coaching calls, performance seminars, open mic, progress journals and member challenges.
LAGA Classical Online
The Los Angeles Guitar Academy (LAGA) offers online classical guitar lessons that help take beginner students to a professional level through their comprehensive curriculum.
They offer 24/7 access to over 1200 video lessons with downloaded pdf scores, making it easy to take classes anytime. These classes go into great detail on the techniques needed to master the classical guitar. This is not an ideal choice for musicians looking who are looking for tips and tricks. Rather, the LAGA classical guitar lessons are better suited for those looking to learn the foundations of playing classical guitar and work their way to up advanced levels.
Guitar Compass offers online video lessons on a monthly subscription and for free.
Students can explore its feature-free lessons to learn the basics, such as how to hold a pick, right and left-hand form and finger positions, chord progressions and more. This is an excellent way to see if their teaching methods are a good fit for you before purchasing a subscription.
A monthly subscription will give you unlimited access to premium courses that have various guitar styles, including classical, electric, jazz, country and bluegrass. Some of the lessons within the classical course include classical guitar scales, right-hand exercises, fingerpicking, and various songs. Along with video lessons, members will also access tablature and jam tracks.
Classical Guitar Shed
Classical Guitar Shed has created courses and a program based on its 7-step-formula. This aims to help students learn to play classical guitar quicker and easier.
They offer a range of courses that differ in difficulty level, technique and musical styles. Classical Guitar Shed also offers a program called The Woodshed. This program takes students through the fundamentals of learning classical guitar, unlimited access to over 2700 video lessons and play-along, over 67 courses, worksheets and practice logs, access to a members community to connect with other students, personalized video reviews and advice, free video calls with qualified instructors and more.
Elite Guitarist Classical
Elite Guitarist Classical has one of the largest classical guitar libraries for online tutorials and is a great learning resource for all-level musicians.
There is a wide range of lessons for beginners, intermediate and advanced students, all taught by expert instructors. The lessons are taught by on-demand video lessons accompanied by pdf sheets and additional material. Learn step-by-step a repertoire of classical guitar tutorials on your schedule and at your own pace.
As for membership options, students can purchase subscriptions monthly or annually. You can also purchase lifetime access for a one-time fee. Each membership will include unlimited access to all tutorials, sheet music, tablatures, and additional pdf materials.