Best Online Guitar Lessons For Beginners Review
This video is going to be an in-depth tour of my account of guitartricks.com
So I’m going to take you through the members-only areas to give you an idea whether or not it’s your best bet. All right so Guitar Tricks is a really popular online community, they’ve been providing guitar lessons on the Internet since way back in 1995. That’s actually even before YouTube existed. So they were definitely ahead of the curve in that way and it’s become a pretty large community too, there’s lots of people involved, tons of people on the forums, and they actually have over 8000 video lessons recorded so far. They add new videos pretty much every week and they’re working on more songs and all kinds of tools and good stuff too. So I’m just going to give you a general tour of everything so you can see more specifically about each individual feature that it has. You can get an idea whether or not it’s right for you.
So, okay cool. Let’s get started.
Okay, so the entire structure of Guitar Tricks is based on this navigation over here. They have a lot of different sections but the core learning system is definitely the most important part. This is just a visual, almost like a site map. It’s just walking you through all the different things that they do. These are all the genre styles and then you got guitar fundamentals broken into level one, level two. It’s essentially like beginner and intermediate. It says right there, start here. That’s a really good idea. I’ve been playing guitar for over 12 years so when I first came in here, things like what a pick is and how to use it, obviously I cruised over this videos pretty quickly and to be honest I skipped quite a few in the beginning. It’s still nice though that they have all that stuff because whether you’re buying for your 12-year old son or it’s for you and you’re just getting started, anything like that, it’s a really good thing that they walk through all this stuff and they break it down by chapter. Each of these things within this course basically consists of a video and then more information below. So it’s supplemental content below it. The features that they include are a nice video player which is definitely good, that includes AB looping which is actually a really powerful feature. Let me show you real quick how that works.
Basically when you’re taking a lesson in person, it’s extremely difficult to actually sit down and say okay let’s keep doing this over and over again like sort of a repetition method for learning. And it gets boring overtime if it’s the person, like an in person instructor that is doing this but that’s one of the benefits to online lessons because you can simply go here to here and actually loop in that area. Just let me do. Here we go. And so, what it’ll do is once it gets from point A to point B, it will actually go back to point A there. So if there’s one part that you’re really really really looking forward to fixing, there’s one part, also you hear it a little bit with the songs, there’s one thing you need to work on, it’s a crucial ability to be able to constantly loop back and forth even if it’s a little 10-second segment that you’re having trouble with when you’re learning a song or a particular style or technique. It can be incredibly valuable to just loop that ten-second frame over and over and over again until you finally get that thing and then you can just take off the AB looping and keep going.
They also, just something to know, they have a bookmarking thing so you can come up here and click bookmarks. That allows you to save certain things that you’re interested in, it’s not quite as good as some of the other online lessons where they actually allow you to track your progress really well but it’s definitely good they allow you to save those for sure. Print lesson and download lesson are just what they sound like. These are a good, simple way to organise the lessons within the core learning system that you’re on there.
So let me take you back here to level two
Level two starts like I said, it starts getting into the more intermediate content. Most of the stuff in here, there are tons of videos to work with but what I found is that a lot of the things that they’ve put into this format is really good. It’s a really good idea to just follow straight through these even if you do just feel like you need to strengthen your foundation, even if you have been playing for a long time. These really did help quite a bit. Over here, just to give you an example, let’s click on Blues. What they do here is they have 45 instructors as of making video today and basically the instructors that are focused primarily on Blues will then teach the blues lessons, which makes the most sense. They have most popular which is nice because you can get an idea of which things you might like the most in terms of how the community feels.
Most Recent and Newly Added Things and then Tips and Tricks. They break things down pretty well but it is a bit confusing sometimes so I like to just come to the Blues master list and it’s sorted alphabetically, you can just really get a good idea of what’s going on. You can control F or command F and actually search the page for certain things you’ve been looking for doing. I find myself doing that quite a bit. The genres section is definitely really good and there are a good number of them too. In some cases we’ve seen more than this but they do really go in-depth with each of these so it covers a very wide variety of style so it’s definitely a solid section there.
Let’s also take a look at the songs tab
This is actually a very very important part about learning guitar. When I started playing, I was pretty young, I was in middle school and so I was one of those people who pretty much learned from Ultimate Guitar. It wasn’t the best way to do things, I had no real music theory or formal training but there’s nothing quite like learning songs. If you learn songs, it gives you confidence, it teaches you specific techniques you might not feel like learning with dry music theory whereas if you can go in and find a song you like to play, you force yourself into learning a specific technique and you might not even notice. And you’re like, oh yes I can do that, cool. So this is an example. Let me look at, let’s just do say Stellar by Incubus. So what they’ll do then is that it shows you what you need, what’s included and the contents of the lesson themselves. So if you just know, “Okay, I really need to work with the interlude,” you can click on that and jump right to it. The videos are structured in a very similar format to the standard lessons. You can see everything over here, so you still got the content all over there and these are all official license. I’m pretty sure they have to pay a bunch of money for every single one of these to do this, so that’s pretty cool. Once again you have the AB looping option and very well recorded, high definition.
You can do lower resolution if you find that’s not a good thing for you. So there’s a little example of something. They definitely have lot of content involved that does walk you through step by step. I do like that they break it down by sections of the song, verse, the pre-chorus, the choruses, interlude, bridge and ending. That’s a really good way to do it and then there’s still the performance and the jam along. Both of those things can help you to solo, can help you watch the whole thing together, play along with the whole thing and if you like to sing as well, it’s a good way to play along with someone, see them playing too, to keep you sort of on lock with what you’re supposed to be doing that you’ve learned throughout the other lessons and then as you play through everything, you can actually get used to singing as well. That’s been a good way for me to learn some songs too.
So the next part I’d like to show.....
The Jam Station is something that is a really good way to learn how to solo. Personally I play rhythm and sing so I’m not extremely into this but there’s a lot of little stuff that can come from something like this. You can simply scroll through all the stuff, there’s tons of well broken down genre and style based jam tracks, they call them. So you can basically let that play, solo over it; improvise with it. It’s a good way to get an idea of improvisation especially when you jam along with some friends and stuff. It can be really embarrassing to not be able to anticipate chord changes, that sort of things so the Jam Station is valuable. I think I should probably use that more in fact to be honest.
Okay, what else do we have?
The scalefinder is actually a pretty powerful setup. They do a really good job with this whole thing, that’s showing one example there. So it’s basically bouncing all the notes or whatever, it’s showing you every single one. You can slow down the speed, you can do the direction up and down, just up only, you can do different patterns. It’s a really really powerful powerful setup. They did a good job building the tool for sure.
Another thing, obviously they have a metronome. The metronome isn’t a huge deal; it’s definitely a useful thing. So here you go, you get the idea there. So than can be a good thing, especially if you’re trying to work on your pace, as you’re learning specific songs and also writing, song writing. It can be really good too because you don’t have anything to back it up, you’re creating something yourself so once you get the beat down you realise it’s 140 beats per minute or whatever. You might want to go ahead and say, “All right, I’m going to set the metronome to that to keep myself on time because I’m not playing along with the jam tracks, I’m not playing along with anybody else yet.” So it’s definitely a valuable tool.
Another good one is the Chord Finder, it’s a really similar setup to the Scale Finder; it’s a good setup. I like the way that they designed everything, it shows each individual note. It actually gives you the three-two-one as your fingers. They teach you how to use this really well too. So, if you’re not familiar with this, don’t worry about it, they’d definitely help you out. But yes, this is a good tool to have as well. This is definitely a good little tool for the arsenal.
The next thing is the forum
There’s a- like I said- big community of people, there are almost a hundred thousand posts in this thread alone, in this section alone. There are tons and tons and tons of discussions going on all the time, a big, big group of people here too. So, it’s nice that you’re going to get answers to your questions from not only the 45 instructors but also the tens of thousands of other people who are out there just like you. At varying school, some people might be playing for six months; others might be playing for six years. And so, you find that you start to get answers to questions pretty quickly because the sheer volume of members. And then, you can also get a wide range of responses so it’s nice to ask a question and then have 12 different people respond in a course of a week, “All right, cool.” You can get a much better idea what’s going on. All in all, I mean that’s the wrap-up of the whole tour. The “Artist Studies” thing is another section they created that’s basically lessons in the style of a particulars like AC/DC, B.B. King, that kind of thing. And that can be really cool too. If you just really like B.B. King, you’re really into the blues and stuff, then hop into that style and start taking some lessons specific to him.
It definitely covers a lot. There are lots of videos. The search function is very useful as well, by the way. You can find all kinds of good stuff there with the advanced search too. They have some pretty good social elements with the forum and then with the instructors. It’s overall definitely worth taking a trial.
They have a 14-day trial that’s free!!
You have to enter your credit card information but I would recommend giving it a shot if you like what you see in the video because it could be good to still get in there and play around it on your own and start taking some lessons and after a couple of weeks, you decide you don’t like it, just send them an email and cancel and then, not to worry about paying or anything.