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Best Online Guitar Lessons - Free vs Paid Options

The internet is a valuable resource for guitarists. The best online guitar lessons offer high quality video, interactive software and world class tutors.

If you want the very best of what the web has to offer, be prepared to pay a little for it. But the great thing about learning online is it costs far less than a private tutor and gives you just as good, if not better and quicker results.

Many players solely use the internet to learn guitar, due to its interactive, "learn in your underwear at 3am" appeal and the feeling of being connected to a truly global community of guitarists.

On this page I'll provide you with a definitive list of the best online lessons, free and paid (and not just based on my humble opinion!).

The aim is to help you narrow down your options in what can feel like an overwhelming sea of information.

Best Free Online Guitar Lessons

When searching for free lessons at the search engines, you're usually faced with thousands, if not millions of results for a given keyword.

The top 10 pages may not necessarily be the best (as sites are not ranked by humans) and, as a result, you're left jumping between sites, including YouTube videos (which are hit and miss as far as clarity and accuracy), trying to piece together the "big picture".

So it's useful to know the truly comprehensive, all encompassing sites that mean you can stay focused on as few resources as possible and avoid becoming overwhelmed by too many approaches to teaching the different elements of guitar. You probably know the saying - "too many cooks spoil the broth".

GreenAsJade's independent guide offers unbiased reviews of the best online guitar lessons. According to GAJ, the best comprehensive free sites are...

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(I'm glad I was able to put fretjam on that list!)

I'd also like to add to that list. This is a newer site I highly recommend taking a look at. It's optimised for mobile and tablet learning as well.

These sites have enough quality content between them to guide you through the basics of learning guitar. Some guitarists find the free sites alone are enough to help them progress. But for those who need something a bit more structured and professional, see below...

Best Online Guitar Lessons With Paid Membership

Paid membership sites offer higher quality video (HD in most cases - great for larger screen viewing), proprietary software/tools, style specific lessons, specialist tutors and generally a more personalised, interactive and streamlined learning experience.

They can be seen as a good compromise between paying for private, one to one lessons and using free sites and YouTube. There's more of a logical structure to the paid sites because their lessons are designed to provide you with a clear learning path from beginner or intermediate right through to advanced playing.

There's less chance of feeling "lost", not knowing where to go next with the paid sites because they've invested thousands of dollars and hours into ensuring their lesson library is as streamlined as possible.

As they're commercial sites, they have the capital to invest in the very best teaching methods and technologies, and hire some of the best teachers from around the world.

When it comes to picking the best online guitar lessons, it's clear which two stand above the crowd, partly because they've been online longer than others...

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JamPlay boasts over 540 hours of video lessons (with daily updates) and 47 pro instructors teaching several genres and styles (from bluegrass to metal). A unique feature of Jamplay is their regular live webcam sessions. They also have a growing library of popular songs, to help you put your skills into practice. Recently they've hired some big names to teach some of their more specialist, artist inspired lessons.

Rather than me list their features, you can sample their free lessons here.

How much do you pay? Jamplay are now offering free access to try out their lessons. If you enjoy the free lessons, you have the option of upgrading to full access (monthly membership at $19.95 per month, quarterly at $49.95 every 3 months or $139.95 for the year, each with a "no questions asked" money back guarantee).

However, make sure you visit my review page for some discount codes when you sign up.

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Similar to Jamplay, but minus some of Jamplay's features such as the live webcam sessions. GT, like JP offer a 60 day money back guarantee if you're not completely satisfied. Feedback suggests that GT lessons are more succinct and "straight to the point" than Jamplay's.

Judge for yourself - sample their free lessons here.

Just like JamPlay, GT provides a number of experienced pro tutors, thousands of video lessons across several styles, backing tracks and a song lesson library. They also have a unique section studying influencial artists so you can learn their "secrets" and apply them to your own playing.

Make sure you take some time to visit and evaluate both sites to see which one is right for you.

Stay focused...

Whichever online method you choose to learn guitar, it's important to keep an eye on your progress.

If you're happy with the progress you're making with the free sites, great! You'll save some money. However, if you are constantly hitting brick walls or unsure where to go next, try the paid sites for a month and see how your playing improves.

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