If you have played in various bands for almost two decades, like myself, chances are you started playing some of your bandmates’ instruments. In my case, that’s the guitar. I was never a proficient guitarist, but every now and then, during a show, I’d abandon my beloved drum set and accompany the occasional (and often endless) acoustic solo.

When the pandemic hit back in 2020, my music world came to a halt: no more gigs, no more rehearsals, and no more access to my drumkit. The only musical instrument I had at home was a Yamaha C-40, an entry-level classical guitar I had barely touched since I bought it a few months before.

And that’s when I got serious about fingerstyle. I never learned that style before, so I took the opportunity offered by the lockdown to master a new craft. And I did!

In today’s time and age, there are endless opportunities to learn how to play the guitar without investing hundreds of dollars in private lessons. So today, I’ll talk about some of the best guitar courses online right now and define who they’re for.

Before we start, let me just say there’s no perfect course. Each has its pros and cons, and you may end up using a combination of two or more methods included in the list depending on your needs and skills.

1. Fender Play

Fender comes to mind whenever you think of guitars, but the California brand does more than just excellent musical instruments.

Fender Play is Fender’s guitar course available for beginners to intermediate, and it includes thousands of hits from worldwide-known artists to use as song-based lessons. Fender Play is built so you can learn at your own pace, taking short 8 to 10 minutes classes every day or a 2-hour lesson on the weekend. You can personalize your learning path and track your progress.

Fender Play is ideal for beginners who have never held a guitar before. You’ll learn all the basics, including tuning your guitar to play chords and riffs, while learning classic songs from The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, and more.

The lessons are built to follow them step-by-step through high-quality videos in 4K in different camera angles for you to quickly understand how to place your hands on the guitar neck and strum each chord.

Instructors in Fender Play include Sydney Ellen, Cheska Zaide, Taylor Gamble, Ozzy Carmona, and Eugene Edwards.

The signing-up process is straightforward. At some point, you’ll be asked to select your music style among genres such as rock, pop, blues, country, R&B, and folk. After that, you can start taking lessons.

The hands-on exercises approach makes it more efficient than other courses that start with theory and leave the practice to the end. However, if you want to have a more comprehensive understanding of music theory, this course might not be for you.

All you need to start your journey is a guitar, a pick, an amp if you are learning electric guitar, and your computer, mobile phone, or tablet.

Price Point

Fender Play offers two types of subscription plans:

  • A monthly subscription for $19.99 with a 7-day free trial. It includes unlimited access to video lessons, a personalized learning path, feedback and practice mode, and saving features for your favorite classes.
  • A yearly subscription for $149.99 with a 14-day free trial. This plan includes everything from the monthly subscription plus 10% off in Fender gear for a year for US, UK, and AUS residents only.


  • Perfect for beginners.
  • Simple to register and use.
  • Discount on Fender gear.
  • Many lessons.
  • Experienced instructors.


  • Discounts on the yearly plan are limited by region.
  • No offline lessons or the possibility of downloading videos.
  • Music theory is largely neglected.

2. Guitar Tricks

Guitar Tricks offers lessons aimed at beginners, intermediate and experienced guitarists. The people behind the course know that playing the guitar is a constant learning process, so they provide one of the most comprehensive tools to learn the guitar basics but also hone your craft.

The core learning system is a step-by-step course that will take beginners by the hand, starting with all guitar fundamentals, preparing them for the more advanced lessons once ready. The system is flexible and customizable: you can do things at your own pace and retake classes if needed.

For the intermediate and most advanced guitar players, Guitar Trick offers tips on gear, like which amps and picks to use and how to get the sound of your favorite guitar players, as well as a section dedicated to specific techniques such as bending, fingerpicking, palm muting and more.

You’ll find different styles and genres, including rock, metal, country, acoustic, and blues. However, most lessons are aimed toward rock and its subgenres. Guitar Tricks also have an extensive roster of instructors: you’ll learn from Joe Delia, Dale Turner, Molly Miller, Billy Connally, Tom Finch, and Caren Armstrong.

Price Point

You can access limited features and 24 lessons with the basic free membership. However, for stepping up your game with over a thousand lectures, techniques, references libraries, and more tutorials, you can get full access to all Guitar Tricks features for $19.95 monthly.


  • Lessons for all experience levels.
  • The core learning system.
  • The included tools.
  • Free plan with 24 lessons.
  • Song library.
  • 60-day money-back guarantee.
  • Offline options for some lessons.


  • It features fewer music styles than other courses.

3. TrueFire

With TrueFire, you’ll get access to thousands of guitar lessons from Grammy award winners and renowned musicians, including Keb’ Mo’, Samantha Fish, Greg Koch, Sophie Lloyd, Steve Vai, and Robben Ford, among many others.

The highlights of TrueFire guitar courses are their high-quality multi-angle videos, slo-mo and looping features to repeat and achieve those tricky parts in your favorite songs. Their easy-to-follow synced tabs, and clear fretboard view make it intuitive even for absolute beginners.

All lessons are available on Android and iOS devices, desktops, and TV.

Price Point

You can sign-up for free to get full access for 14 days. After the trial period, you’ll need to upgrade for $29 monthly or $249 yearly. Currently, they have a 60% off offer in the annual plan ($99 per year!).

Something that I liked about TrueFire is the option to buy courses individually. It’s a good option for intermediate or experienced players or anyone looking for specific techniques or style lessons who want to avoid committing to a subscription plan.


  • High-quality and multi-angle video lessons.
  • Slow motion feature.
  • The fretboard view is very helpful.


  • Subscription price. There are similar options, cheaper (or even free).
  • Navigation on mobile is confusing.

4. JustinGuitar

Justin Sandercoe is famous for his popular YouTube channel and is well-known among beginner and professional guitarists for his practical approach to music learning.

All lessons are well organized. As a beginner, you’ll know exactly where to start your learning path and how to continue when upgrading from beginner to intermediate or advanced lessons. Though the grade 8 and 9 advanced lessons have yet to be released, plenty of resources are already available.

Justin adds resources and extra lessons for all levels, including music theory, techniques, ear training, essentials such as tunning and guitar maintenance, guitar gear, and music production lessons for recording and songwriting.

Price Point

Though most of his lessons are free, there are products, downloads, and premium courses you can buy independently.

  • JustinGuitar Lessons and Songs app is $9.99 monthly with intuitive and easy-to-follow instructive lessons.
  • JustinGuitar TABS $7.99 monthly.


  • A lot of free content.
  • Easy to navigate.
  • The lessons are very clear.


  • There’s no sync between the website and the apps for content and purchases.
  • No bundles or all-access plans.

5. Yousician

The creators of GuitarTuna, one of the best instrument tuners, have released a fun and visually attractive guitar learning app for everyone who wants to upgrade their guitar skills.

If you’re tired of the traditional online courses and lessons with only videos, Yousician may be for you. Their interactive tutorials allow you to start playing guitar from day one and keep you motivated by earning rewards and reaching goals as you develop your skills. If you’re familiar with language learning apps, consider Yousician as the Duolingo for guitar players.

Yousician features audio recognition technology that listens to you and gives you real-time feedback on your timing and accuracy to target what techniques to improve.

Price Point

Yousician offers several plans that adapt to different needs. All plans offer a 7-day free trial.

  • Premium is $14.99 monthly. It includes one instrument, personal progress, unlimited lesson time, and access to Yousician’s song library.
  • Premium+ Personal includes more than 10,000 lessons and popular songs and access to five instruments for $19.99 monthly.
  • Premium+ Family includes everything from the Premium+ Personal plan but allows you to share your account with three more people with individual progress tracking for each member for $29.99 monthly.


  • Fun interface.
  • Beginner friendly.
  • Perfect for kids and young students.


  • Not suitable for those who prefer a more traditional approach.

6. ArtistWorks

The highlight of ArtistWorks is the video exchange library, which you can use to submit videos of your practice sessions to your mentor, who’ll review your work and send a response with personalized instructions for you.

The video exchange library is available for all members, but you can also see other students’ videos to learn from them.

You can take lessons at your own speed, as you’ll have access to all classes and the video exchange library as long as you have an active membership. The roster of instructors includes Keb’ Mo’, David Butler, Paul Gilbert, Keith Wyatt, Taylor Grant, Dave Stryker, and more.

Price Point

ArtistWorks offers three different billing plans for all budgets:

  • The 3-month plan is $105, billed every three months. It includes unlimited access to lessons and a video exchange library, up to five video submissions, and a music theory workshop.
  • The 6-month plan, for $179 every six months, includes everything in the 3-month plan plus 35 backing tracks.
  • The yearly plan is $279. Besides saving 33% on your monthly subscription, you get VIP bonus content.


  • Video exchange library.
  • Suitable for both beginners and experienced guitarists.


  • Price.
  • No monthly plan or single lesson purchase.
  • No free trial.

7. Simply Guitar

Simply Guitar teaches you to play the guitar in a fun and engaging way. The sign-up process is simple and free: you’ll answer some questions about your experience with the guitar to set up your starting point, and the platform offers both visual and audio lessons for you to practice.

The Simply Guitar app uses the microphone from your mobile device to listen to your playing and provide instant feedback, so you’ll know immediately what you’ll need to work on to improve your skills.

You can set up to 5 profiles per membership to learn together with other family members and friends, each with their own profile. If you require assistance, you can join their Facebook community to meet other guitar players, share tips, and get teacher support.

Price Point

Simply Guitar is $9.99 monthly or $119.90 yearly. Right now, it has a 20% off and offers a 14-day free trial.


  • Fun and friendly app.
  • Instant feedback.
  • Friendly and active Facebook group.


  • It’s aimed at beginners.

Final Thoughts

Let’s summarize which courses are the best depending on your requirements and skills.

Fender Play, Guitar Tricks, and TrueFire are the best options for self-taught guitar players who like doing things independently.

If you prefer something more engaging and fun, apps like Yousician and Simply Guitar will make your practice feel like playing a videogame. But if you need a structured learning plan and feedback from a tutor, paying an ArtistWorks subscription will be worth it.

If you want free lessons, you can’t go wrong with JustinGuitar. Start with the free courses, then use the app to continue improving your guitar skills as you complete all the lessons.

Good luck, and stay creative!