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Country music is rife with a whole set of guitar techniques that are unique to the genre. Whether it be certain strumming patterns or complex techniques such as chicken pickin’, a degree of skill is required.
If you’re wanting to learn how to play country guitar, you’ve come to the right place. We will take a look at some of the best premium and free lesson resources currently available.
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Best Premium Online Guitar Lessons For Country Music
Subscription-based guitar lessons have a major advantage over free lessons, no matter what style of music you’re learning. These services often have a dedicated pathway to help you advance in a linear fashion.
Premium subscription services often have multiple instructors contributing to the pool of lessons. This allows you to learn methodology and guitar philosophy from a number of people, making you more well-rounded overall.
These resources also have the benefit of high production quality. You’ll be able to change the speed of the video and create your own looped sections. Some resources even offer multiple camera angles so you can see both hands in detailed action.
There are quite a few premium resources available, which can make it difficult to decipher which is right for you. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best available.
Guitar Tricks – Best For Beginners
If you’ve never really picked up a guitar before, Guitar Tricks country lessons is going to be the best fit for you. Guitar Tricks has 2 dedicated courses built specifically around country guitar techniques.
Each course consists of chapters of video lessons that build upon previously taught lessons. This will give you a very linear pathway to completing your country guitar goals. The major benefit of this design is that you won’t need to question what you should be learning and practicing.
With the country lessons from Guitar Tricks, you’ll learn concepts such as:
- Strumming patterns
- Common chord progressions
- Classic licks in country music
- Chicken pickin’
- Pedal steel lead styles
- Iconic country guitar gear settings
- Travis picking
- Building melodies
- Soloing with minor and major pentatonic scales
If you are consistent with your practices, you’ll definitely be working with advanced concepts in a short period of time. For that reason, Guitar Tricks is the best premium resource available to build a solid foundation you can utilize confidently.
If that’s not enough for you, Guitar Tricks does have many country song-based lessons available as well. This will allow you to take what you’ve learned in the lessons and use them in a song format.
Some of the artists you can find in the country song catalog include:
- Johnny Cash
- Carter Family
- Glen Campbell
- Dwight Yoakam
- Patsy Cline
- Jerry Reed
- Rascal Flatts
- Merle Haggard
- Chet Atkins
- Jason Aldean
Overall, Guitar Tricks will teach you everything you need to know to get started as a competent country guitarist. You’ll be equipped for most things you’ll come across, although more advanced and nuanced techniques might be best learned elsewhere.
JamPlay – Best For Intermediate Players
If you already have a foundation in country guitar but wish to expand your skills, JamPlay's country music lessons are for you. This resource has a large number of country guitar lessons designed to help you develop more specialized techniques.
As opposed to Guitar Tricks, JamPlay has specific courses covering specific topics within country guitar. With JamPlay, you’ll have the freedom of choice to jump around and choose to learn what you wish.
Some of the country guitar lesson courses include:
- Classic licks used in country music
- Lead guitar stylings used in classic country
- Modern lead styles emerging in newer country music
- Artist studies of Keith Urban, Merle Travis, and Guthrie Trapp
There are over 180 different video lessons dedicated to country guitar concepts. Should you decide to learn from each course, you will definitely be busy for quite a while. Each lesson usually comes with supplemental material that you can print to use offline.
What’s great about JamPlay is that its video lessons often utilize multiple camera angles. You’ll be able to clearly see the entire neck, the picking hand, and the fretting hand. In some instances, you can even view the guitar from the instructor’s point of view.
One of the most attractive things about JamPlay is that the resource utilizes contributions from multiple instructors. Country guitar phenom Brent Mason has even contributed a course of lessons to JamPlay.
JamPlay also has a number of different song-based lessons for you to utilize your country guitar chops. Some of the artists included in JamPlay’s library include:
- Merle Haggard
- Hank Williams Sr.
- Dixie Chicks
- Johnny Cash
- George Strait
- Alan Jackson
Overall, JamPlay's country lessons are great for the intermediate who already has a fairly solid foundation in country guitar. You’ll be able to acquire the skills you desire without having to follow a set linear path.
TrueFire – Best For Advanced Players
If you’re an intermediate-to-advanced player looking to build your chops, don’t pass up TrueFire as a lesson resource. You’ll be able to learn the techniques of some of your favorite guitarists in masterclass lessons taught directly by them!
TrueFire really has the advantage when it comes to learning specialized skills and techniques in any musical genre. Its lesson database is extremely large, and you’re likely to find something that trips your trigger.
For those that enjoy a more linear approach to lesson-based learning, TrueFire has you covered. Within the country section, there are 10 different levels of lessons designed to take you to an advanced skill level.
These courses can be supplemented with a large number of extracurricular courses. You’ll be able to learn far more than just the basics.
Where TrueFire really shines is the different courses taught by famous guitarists. These masterclasses allow these guitarists to directly impart their techniques to you through a series of lessons. You’ll also learn the philosophy of why guitarists use certain techniques in different areas of music.
Some of the instructors offering courses through TrueFire include:
- Johnny Hiland
- Jason Laughlin
- Redd Volkaert
- Matthew Lee
- Andy Wood
TrueFire has supplemental material you can download with every video lesson. You’ll be able to read the tabs of every passage played within a lesson.
Another unique thing with TrueFire is their offering of various jam packs. These are essentially sets of backing tracks that allow you to adjust the levels of each instrument. The jam packs give you the opportunity to improvise alongside some of the best guitarists in the game.
Overall, TrueFire is great, especially for a la carte lessons that you can purchase and learn from. TrueFire really allows you to specialize far more than any platform.
How Do I Know Which Paid Lessons Are Right For Me?
The major difference between the 3 different platforms listed here has to do with the method of learning provided. There is no right way to learn the guitar, but it helps to have a clear pathway when getting started.
Those who haven’t taken lessons will find Guitar Tricks to be of great use, due to their linear design. Meanwhile, something with a large number of different options (TrueFire) can be extremely confusing for someone who hasn’t taken lessons.
If you were somebody without a solid foundation, you might be very overwhelmed when looking at TrueFire’s catalog. You likely wouldn’t know where to start or what lessons would be the most beneficial to you.
This is why it is recommended that a beginner start with Guitar Tricks, and then progress to JamPlay. JamPlay isn’t necessarily a linear platform and instead offers a few options to learn from. You’ll be able to learn enough that you won’t be overwhelmed when moving to TrueFire.
In a way, this is sort of creating your own linear path for learning country guitar. Like school, you’d learn the basics (elementary school), moving on to advanced topics (high school), and then to specialization (college).
Are Premium Online Lessons Worth The Money?
While premium online lessons are subscription-based, they aim to offer an extreme amount of value. For 1 month’s price, you’ll have access to far more content than you could possibly learn in that month.
Another major factor is that the cost of 1 month generally tends to be comparable to 1 in-person lesson. In-person lessons do have their merit, but cannot offer the amount of knowledge that an online resource can.
Using this mode of thinking, premium lessons are definitely worth the money. However, to get the most value out of your subscription, you’ll need to be dedicated.
All too often, it is very easy to slack on your practices when taking online lessons. Eventually, what ends up happening is that you’ll stop watching video lessons because you haven’t practiced what you have learned. Then, your subscription fee is essentially worthless and an unneeded expense.
If you can manage to stay consistent and dedicated in your practiced studies, you’ll have great luck with these lessons. This is often easier said than done, but it’s worth the price to find out.
It might also be worth exploring whether purchasing dedicated lesson packs would be more worth your time. These will have a 1-time cost, and you’ll have lifetime access to the content. This will allow you to work through the lessons at your own pace, though the expense will be slightly higher.
Many premium resources do offer a window of a money-back guarantee. You’re essentially free to check out the platform for a set duration of time. If it’s not for you, you’ll get your money back without any risk.
Quite often in life, the only way to know whether something works for you is to try it. The same could be said with paid online lessons.
Best Free Online Guitar Lessons For Country Music
If paying for premium online lessons is out of the question, you have no need to worry. There are a few resources available on the internet that provide country guitar lessons for free.
Generally, these kinds of resources won’t be as in-depth as the premium lessons, but they can impart useful knowledge. You also won’t get the benefit of having multiple instructors. Because of this, your chances of specializing in certain skills will be minimal.
You also will not have full access to much of the supplemental material found with premium lessons. In fact, much of the free lessons available are only offered as an introduction to a paid platform.
However, free online lessons can be a great place to start, especially if you are hungry for new knowledge. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best free online country guitar lesson resources available.
Country Guitar Chops – Best Free Country Guitar Lessons
While Country Guitar Chops is technically a paid platform, it has the largest free country lessons available on the web. Without a paid membership, you’ll have access to over 75 different video lessons.
Within the free lessons of Country Guitar Chops, you’ll learn:
- Common techniques in country music
- Licks and riffs used in country songs
- How to play solos of specific songs
- Scales used in country music
- Rhythm patterns used in country songs
- Gear settings for iconic country guitar tones
You’ll also have access to some backing tracks as well as a metronome. These two tools are essential for any country guitarist looking to expand their skills into usable assets.
Unfortunately, while Country Guitar Chops is a paid platform, there is no supplemental material with the free lessons. These are essentially just basic video lessons covering the topic in question.
You won’t have a dedicated pathway to learning the guitar in a linear fashion. Rather, you’ll have to do some investigating to figure out which order of lessons is best for you.
This might not be the best for beginners, but it can get you started in learning some country guitar fundamentals. After all, any knowledge learned is better than not learning anything at all.
Justin Guitar – Best Free Guitar Lesson Resource Overall
While Justin Guitar isn’t technically oriented towards country guitar, it is the best resource for learning guitar for free. Justin Sandercoe is one of the most respected teachers on the internet with nearly 20 years of providing free lessons.
On Justin Guitar, you’ll be able to learn the fundamentals of guitar playing all the way to advanced topics. Many of these skills are actually used in country guitar music. However, you’ll learn much more than this along the way.
Justin Guitar also offers detailed lessons on:
- Scales and modes
- Music theory
- Proper technique
- Ear training
- Proper gear settings
- Recording and production
There are also quite a few song lessons available on the website as well as his YouTube channel. You’ll be able to accurately learn some of the most popular music of all time, for free.
Justin Guitar also has a number of other resources including:
- Masterclasses with famous guitarists
- Metronome and interval ear trainer
- Interactive live streams
- Philosophical discussions regarding playing the guitar
- An active member forum
- In-person workshop events and retreats
You will be hard-pressed to find any resource available on the internet offering this much content for free. In fact, you might want to start here and learn everything you can before moving to a paid platform. This is especially the case if you learn better in a linear fashion.
Despite being in service for nearly 20 years, new content is added on a continual basis. Millions of guitarists owe their knowledge to Justin Guitar, and you will likely find something of value on the platform.
How Do I Get Better At Country Guitar?
There are several ways that you can get better at being a country guitarist. In fact, the best way to become a good player is to utilize a combination of the following aspects.
Without a doubt, the first thing you’ll want to do is take guitar lessons. Whether it be through the aforementioned resources or in-person lessons, this will teach you what you need to know.
The second thing you’ll want to do is to learn your favorite country guitar songs. Learning by transcription is going to be the best way to really study what is being played in each song.
By learning via transcription, you’ll learn specific concepts that you can carry with you when playing other songs. These concepts might not always be presented to you when watching a video of how to play a song.
With that, you’ll also want to do some detailed studies of your favorite country guitar players. Study their playing habits and most used techniques as well as their vocabulary when playing leads. You can learn to adopt some of their vocabularies into your own guitar language.
Another thing you can do is to get out there and play some music with other people. Whether it be in a band or in an open jam setting, you’ll learn quite a bit through stage experience. Your bedroom chops may not always come across as intended when you’re on stage.
And, as you’ve likely heard a million times by now: practice, practice, practice, and keep learning. Go slow, be patient, and build your skills the right way. Always remember, the turtle beats the hare in the race.
Best Online Guitar Lessons For Country Music, Final Thoughts
Country guitar is often overlooked when it comes to specific styles of guitar playing. However, those that are in the know understand how much skill is required to play like the greats.
Fortunately, we have the internet to help us learn concepts we might not otherwise have access to. If you can muster up consistent dedication, the sky is really the limit for your country guitar style.
Side note, do you want to learn to play guitar songs the easy way? Learn how here – results are guaranteed!