Welcome to our reviews of the Best Teach Yourself Guitar Websites of 2017 (also known as Guitar Learning Websites). Check out our top 10 list below and follow our links to read our full in-depth review of each teach yourself guitar website, alongside which you'll find costs and features lists, user reviews and videos to help you make the right choice.
|Editor's Top 10 Buying Guide|
Hendrix, Page, Clapton, Van Halen, Slash... the list could go on. Aside from being incredibly cool, they’ve all got one thing in common: they’re some of the world’s most amazing guitarists. If you’d like to join the ranks of these guitar legends, or you just want to be able to strum out a decent tune on the dusty acoustic you have in the attic, Teach Yourself Guitar websites can be a holy grail for improving your guitar skills and lighting a passion for music.
Guitars have a lot going for them. They’re a relatively cheap instrument (at the low end, some of them are incredibly cheap), easy to start (you can play hundreds of songs with just three or four chords) and are readily used in bands. They also come in a wide variety of styles, usually split into acoustic, semi-acoustic or electric. What’s more, there are many genres of guitar music, from rock guitar, to jazz or blues. You can really keep developing with a single instrument, producing an astounding variety of tunes with just a few movements.
All of this taken into account, it’s no surprise that Learn Guitar Websites have become so popular. These sites allow you to access lessons and tips online, with tools for tuning, practicing and challenging yourself to improve. The joy of the digital age is that you don’t simply need to sit in a quiet room with sheet music; now you can play interactive games which teach you scales. You can compete against other players online, share your songs, form virtual bands, upload videos and request feedback from tutors from across the globe.
How To Compare These Sites?
We’ve reviewed some of the very best Teach Yourself Guitar websites, and we’re happy that the quality is so high. Guitarists are passionate about their playing, and this passion transfers over to guitar-focused websites, where you can talk to communities of guitarists and learn at your own pace. There are a range of useful features available if you know where to look, too, such as digital guitar tuners, scale and chord libraries, metronomes, backing tracks, play-along music and much more.
Before you run off to dust the acoustic and get cracking, we’ve some advice on what to look out for when finding a self-teaching guitar website. Here are our top tips...
If you want to improve, you need a good teacher and a bit of self-drive. Take a look at some sample lessons, if they are available, and decide whether or not the teaching style suits you. Some tutors have a lot of charisma, others you might find irritating or lack-lustre. Also think about the way you prefer to learn: do you need notation, visual aids, close ups, examples, songs to practice? All of this will affect your development. We think that the best sites offer passionate teachers with great support materials in a wide range of formats to suit all sorts of learners, and we appreciate websites where the students seem enthusiastic about their education.
For beginners, it’s probably best to stick to a fairly general guitar course. This will allow you to develop your basic skills before moving on to more advanced techniques and diversifying your style. However, some sites specialize in more complex or unique styles of music, such as jazz or blues. These use different scales which require somewhat different skills and thinking. If you’d like to play songs from a range of genres, find a website which offers a diverse range of lessons and materials to support this variety.
Formats of supplied materials
Closely linked to the effectiveness of teaching, the proper materials are necessary to help you improve as a guitarist. Simply watching someone play, and listening to them talk, probably won’t be very useful because that doesn’t easily transfer to your hand movements across the strings. Look out for websites which offer tools such as being able to zoom in, pause, slow down and repeat parts of videos or songs. Additionally, consider whether you need resource books or handouts to go along with a lesson, and whether you’d prefer to stream lessons, have live sessions or order DVDs to keep and re-watch.
Many lessons are on video, so a high quality video can be really important. After all, if you can’t see what’s going on then you won’t be able to replicate it. In addition, we think about the general quality of resources, teaching and the website as an interface. If you have to wade through a lot of poor quality videos to reach a few which are decent, that’s going to stunt your learning. High quality materials and lessons on accessible, user-friendly sites can make a big difference.
Support can be very important to a guitarist, particularly if you’re just starting out. You’ll need to understand how to play, but also know that there’s help if you get stuck. Some of the best sites offer 1-on-1 support but you can also find great friends and tips from online communities in forums and chats. Take advantage of those features, get involved and share your work, thoughts and any issues you’re having. You may be surprised at how supportive the online tutors and other students will be. Lifeless forums and hands-off tutors may not be a good idea if you think you’d benefit from a little extra help now and then.
Ease of use
Clear, concise lessons are important. Reducing any barriers to your potential learning is vital, and this even includes the simplicity of the website. If you wish to find a particular song to play, or want to locate a lesson on a very particular technique, it’s vital that this can be done easily. We think it’s worth exploring these sites a little before you spend your money, making sure that you can locate the kinds of lessons you’re looking for, and that any tools are easy to use. That’s why user-friendly video options such as start/stop, speed changes and loops are great tools, because it means you’re not constantly fiddling around with computer buttons when you’re trying to practice.
Value for money
Learning an instrument in the old-fashioned way is usually expensive. Learning guitar online takes away much of this expense because you don’t need to have a person visit you, or vice-versa. It also reduces the cost of resources, which can be provided electronically. However, some courses are more expensive than others, and it’s important to balance price against what they offer. If you want a specialist course with a lot of personal support, that is obviously going to cost more than a website where you can freely explore videos uploaded by members of the public. Think about what you can afford and what you wish to gain from your classes, and you won’t go too far wrong.
The Bottom Line
Those are all the tips we have to offer for now. Take a look at a few of our Teach Yourself Guitar Website reviews to compare a few. We hope you find what you’re looking for, and who knows – maybe you'll be rocking out on stage some time soon!