Online learning resources, be it courses, videos, written content, one-on-one coaching, apps, et cetera, provide fantastic opportunities to learn (and teach) electric 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 electric 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 electric 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 electric guitar are:
- Berklee Online
- Fender Play
- JTC (JamTracks Central)
- Guitar Tricks
- Learn & Master
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 electric 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 offers online electric and acoustic guitar lessons from world-class musicians and teachers. Take lessons from famous lead guitarists such as Andy Wood from Rascal Flatts and learn the techniques that took them to professional level musicians.
When you become a JamPlay member, you will get access to hundreds of on-demand video lessons and courses, live courses, musical libraries and other tools to help you master the electric guitar. They offer something for everyone with courses ranging from beginner to advanced, lessons for kids, masterclasses and song tutorials.
Each course lets you customize your learning experience with interactive tools such as slo-mo, looping and progress tracking. Additionally, members also get to join in weekly live guitar workshops and daily Q&A sessions. This is a great way for students to interact directly with their instructors.
ArtistWorks is an excellent online learning resource that offers hundreds of courses on various instruments such as the violin, mandolin, banjo, bass and guitar, to name a few. Learn how to play instruments from professional musicians and instructors.
What sets ArtistWorks apart from its competitors is its unique learning experience that allows students to get direct feedback from their instructors via Video Exchange Learning. Each course will come with a certain amount of video submissions where students can ask their teachers for feedback and advice. The instructor will then create a video response for the student. This interaction is then uploaded to the Video Exchange Library, where you and your peers can learn from this interaction and watch thousands of others.
Berklee is known for helping produce some of the best musicians and is one of the top music schools. Berklee Online takes the instructors and materials from the classroom and makes it accessible to students worldwide through online learning.
At Berklee, students can earn certificates and bachelor's degrees from the comfort of their home. They will get access to top-notch teaching to take their music skills to a professional level. The courses include video lessons, animated demonstrations, audio analysis and handbooks.
Fender Play is one of the top online learning resources to learn the guitar, bass and ukulele. It offers quite a bit of customization that allows students to select exactly the style that they want to learn. Featuring step-by-step video lessons, song tutorials and chord challenges all on an easy-to-use platform, Fender Play is an excellent option to start learning from the comfort of your own home.
Students can either access courses through the website or the Fender Play app. Each membership includes access to all instrument courses. Fender Play offers a 7-day free trial so that you can try out their app first.
To start, you will first pick which instrument you want to learn (this can be changed later), then select the genre you want to learn. After this, you begin your journey through each skill level or select one of the hundreds of popular song tutorials and play along to playback tracks.
TrueFire is an online learning resource for musicians with a primary focus on guitar lessons. Here you can find over 50,000 video lessons taught by Grammy award-winning artists and teachers. They offer courses in a wide range of different musical styles like rock, country, jazz, and blues, to name a few.
The courses available at TrueFire are interactive, so you can take your time to break down sections and learn at your own pace. Notable features are slo-mo, looping and progress tracking. In addition, they also have popular song tutorials and helpful tools such as tuners and metronomes.
The most noteworthy electric guitar course is Josh Smith's Blue Highways masterclass. It features multi-angle videos and a fretboard view to see exactly where your fingers should go. Josh aims to show you all the tips and techniques for playing blues and lead guitar base don that he has learned over his years of playing.
JamTracks Central (JTC) offers guitar lessons taught by some of the world's greatest guitarists. They offer a range of different courses in varying musical styles and skill levels, providing something for everyone and helping you become a more well-rounded guitarist.
They have two options for memberships. The first is a free membership with a pay-as-you-go option, so you only pay for the courses you want. The second is a premium membership that gives you access to all the courses and lessons offered at JTC. It also includes interactive tab notation and backtracks.
The courses are taught through on-demand videos. The learning options are through courses, song tutorials, masterclasses and Bootcamp. Bootcamp learning is not included in either membership and can be purchased for an additional fee. This offers a unique learning experience for all level guitarists to receive one-on-one personalized coaching from a JTC instructor. Each Bootcamp will take you through a series of modules. At the end of each module, you record yourself playing and upload it for your instructor to respond with personalized video feedback.
Jamorama offers a unique online learning resource that helps students learn guitar at their own pace while asking making friends along the way. Not to mention, you can reach out for community support and advice to help further your techniques.
The courses can be accessed 24/7 and are taught via step-by-step video lessons. They range in skill levels and various styles such as blues, jazz, rock, country and funk. You will learn everything from picking patterns to hammer-on, strumming and more. In addition, Jamorama also features progress tracking to help you stay on track and reach your goals.
To become a member, you can choose between the free or paid membership options. The free version provides you with beginner guitar courses and a membership profile. The profile area is where you get to share information about yourself, access member support forums, message other members directly and make friends. The paid version includes everything noted in the free membership plus unlimited access to all courses, including intermediate and advanced, printouts, jam tracks, and additional learning materials.
With over 11,000 video lessons, GuitarTricks is a great option for beginner and advanced guitarists to learn the techniques needed to master the electric guitar. Their goal is to help you learn to play the guitar quickly so you can start making music.
The courses are taught via on-demand video lessons that can be accessed either online or on the GuitarTricks app on ios and android. In addition to the videos, the lessons include tabs and notations. All members will also get access to song tutorials, tuners, chord charts, metronome and a chord finder. For an additional fee, students can also purchase one on one live video lessons with GuitarTrick instructors.
Learn & Master
Learn & Master is a unique learning system that offers video courses via DVDs. They offer a range of lessons on various topics such as guitar, piano, drums, painting and even ballroom dancing. This is a great option for people who are easily distracted and get sidetracked when using their computer.
As for the guitar courses, the options are Gibson's Learn & Master Guitar with Steve Krenze and Advanced Guitar, which focuses on specific styles and techniques such as fingerstyle and Blues guitar. All of these courses come in a series of step-by-step DVDs. In addition, there is a also a student support forum that is free for all students who purchase a course.
JustinGuitar is the ultimate resource for all things guitar. They feature on-demand video learning and class levels ranging from one through seven, with classes level eight and nine coming soon. In addition, there are also feature lessons on techniques and skills such as songwriting, music theory, ear training and more.
When you become a free member at Justin Guitar, you will get unlimited access to lessons, song tutorials, downloadable materials, lesson requests and progress tracking. In addition, students will also get access to masterclasses, workshops and live streams. Courses can be accessed either through the website or the JustinGuitar App on ios and android. Take your learning on the go with 24/7 access.
Music2Me is a fun way to learn the piano and guitar whenever, wherever! They offer all-inclusive courses to help you learn either instrument from the ground up.
Music2Me offers a free 7-day trial for both courses, which is a great way to explore their teaching methods and see if it's a good match for you. Included with each course is sheet music, playback tracks, music theory, popular song tutorials, practice modes and more.
As for the guitar course, they will teach you everything from reading music and tabs to solo playing in both electric and acoustic guitar styles. This is a great option for beginner guitarists to learn electric guitar.