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The guitar can be an extremely confusing instrument for anyone to learn on their own. As with anything, learning new skills and gaining knowledge from others can be the quickest route to mastery.
With the advantage of the internet, guitarists now have access to a wide range of different guitar lesson resources. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best free online guitar lesson resources to get you started.
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JustinGuitar – Best Overall
When it comes to free online guitar lessons, the absolute best available is by far JustinGuitar. Nowhere else will you find the depth and amount of lessons readily available without paying a cent.
This resource is hinged on the teachings of Justin Sandercoe, from which it takes its name. Justin Sandercoe is an extremely reputable guitar teacher who has made it his mission to educate the world.
Justin has over 20 years of experience teaching the guitar and providing lessons for free on the internet. The best part is, he continually adds to the website database, ensuring there is something for everyone.
Any guitarist can benefit from taking the time to check out JustinGuitar. In fact, it is recommended you start your journey here before paying for lessons on any other resource.
Let’s take a closer look at the different courses available within JustinGuitar. You’ll see why this is currently the best free lesson resource available.
What Lessons Does JustinGuitar Offer?
If you’re just starting out on the guitar, JustinGuitar offers a guided learning pathway. This is designed to help you start at square one and work your way into advanced levels of play.
This pathway is split up into different grades: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Each grade has 3 different subsections that build upon previously taught knowledge. At the time of this writing, the Advanced grade is still currently in development.
When you click on a subsection, you’ll find that there are different modules within. Each module contains its own individual lessons. Within the first subsection of the Beginners course alone, there are 75 lessons.
You can be sure that you’ll learn concepts such as:
- Rhythm and working with a metronome
- Music theory
- Playing solos
- Specific techniques
If you are more interested in taking specific lessons that target a certain topic, JustinGuitar has these available. You can find skill-based lessons on some of the following topics:
- Essential guitar knowledge
- Scales and modes
- Ear training
- Gear-related lessons
- Music transcription
- Songwriting and composition
- Music production
Believe it or not, this is not all that JustinGuitar has to offer for free. There are currently over 650 different song-based lessons available to learn your favorite songs. This list is continually growing, as well.
There are also some tools available to aid you in your practiced studies. You’ll have access to:
- An interval ear trainer
- A metronome
- A tempo calculator
- Blank music sheets for writing your own tabs and music notation
If you have a phone that you use primarily for your internet access, JustinGuitar has you covered. There is a free app available for both Apple and Android phones with complete access to the site.
Does JustinGuitar Offer Anything Else To Help Learning Students?
As you’ve seen, the lesson offerings on JustinGuitar are quite extensive, covering every facet for a solid foundation. However, JustinGuitar goes above and beyond this to offer a wealth of other resources for guitarists.
JustinGuitar has an active community that allows you to connect with other guitarists. You can easily make new friends and get any questions answered here.
Of course, there are some questions that tend to be frequently asked. JustinGuitar has taken the initiative to record video answers to these types of questions.
Philosophy is a major part of the guitarist’s journey, and every guitarist has their own unique outlook. JustinGuitar continually releases engaging and thought-provoking videos to feed your learning mind.
There are also a number of different masterclasses available for free on the website. These include guest lessons from famous guitarists such as:
- Steve Vai
- Pat Martino
- Tommy Emmanuel
- Larry Carlton
JustinGuitar also occasionally has in-person workshops, although these do cost money. Be sure to check the calendar to see if he is hosting an event near you.
There are a number of other resources that are available on JustinGuitar that may interest you. These also cost money but offer lifetime access for your purchase. Such items include:
- Albums of backing tracks
- Premium lessons
- A wide range of guitar-related music books
This is as close as you'll get to top online guitar lessons without paying.
GuitarLessons.com – Best For Beginners
Another worthwhile free online guitar lesson resource to check out is GuitarLessons.com. On this website, you’ll find a myriad of different lessons that can help you on your learning journey.
As far as content goes, GuitarLessons.com continually adds new lessons to its database. This ensures that you’ll constantly find something of value to add to your knowledge base.
Let’s take a closer inspection of what is offered on this website compared to the other resources on this list.
What Lessons Does GuitarLessons.com Offer?
As far as lessons go, GuitarLessons.com stays true to its name. There is quite a bit of content available that all skill levels can find worthwhile.
Within the free lessons offered on the platform, you can find lessons for:
- Rhythm guitar
- Lead guitar
- Blues music lessons
- Campfire lessons
As you would expect, the beginner's course consists of lessons that can teach you all of the necessary fundamentals. You’ll be able to start by learning how to hold the guitar to applying chords to play your first song.
The rhythm guitar course is one that isn’t to be overlooked, especially for beginners. These lessons involve more detailed lessons covering chord types and strumming patterns.
Lessons covering lead guitar concepts will teach you the fundamental basics to get started playing solos. You’ll learn how to play different fundamental scales and a few techniques to add to your bag of skills.
The blues lessons are a vital course for anyone looking to expand into playing any type of music. You’ll learn the different chords and progressions within blues, as well as some fundamental blues vocabulary.
The campfire lessons might not be as readily apparent as to what the lessons cover. These lessons will get you prepared to be able to kick back with friends and play songs around a fire.
There are also a number of different lessons covering:
- Music theory concepts
- Ear training
- Reading music
- Guitar techniques
Each of these offerings includes information that is integral to any musician’s foundation. You won’t have many gaps in your knowledge if you take the time to learn all of the available lessons.
Does GuitarLessons.com Offer Anything Else To Help Learning Students?
Unfortunately, there isn’t much in the way of extra resources available on GuitarLessons.com. Rather, the website focuses primarily on video-based lessons only.
However, because the website continually adds new content, you can be sure that you’ll always be learning something new. In fact, there are a number of different lessons that cover topics not found within the guitar lesson modules.
You can learn about:
- Different types of guitar gear
- Inspirational philosophies
- Answers to questions you might have
There are also a number of different song-based lessons that can be found on GuitarLessons.com. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to find these directly. Rather, you have to search them out by looking through the entire database.
Fortunately, GuitarLessons.com’s offering doesn’t end here. They also offer some content that is aimed more at pure guitar-related entertainment. The site occasionally puts things to the test to see which is best and offers opinions on certain topics.
If you’re a beginner and find JustinGuitar unappealing, be sure to check out Andy Guitar. You’ll find everything you need to build a solid foundation here.
Andy Guitar is hinged on the teachings of UK-based teacher Andy Crowley. He has built his reputation through his YouTube channel, but the core of his teaching exists on his site.
You can see other great Youtube guitar lessons here.
There is a good amount of lessons that can be accessed on Andy Guitar by having a free account. Having a premium account will unlock access to every single lesson on the website. Whether this is a good value is up to you to decide.
Let’s take a closer look at the offerings that can be found on Andy Guitar. You’ll see how it compares to the other resources featured on this list.
What Lessons Does Andy Guitar Offer?
Andy Guitar offers a number of different lessons tailored to different skill levels and objectives. A large portion can be accessed by having a free account, with some lessons requiring a premium membership. Beginners are going to benefit the most from a free account.
Looking at Andy Guitar in the bigger picture, you’ll find lessons for:
- Those who are in-between beginner and intermediate levels
- 3 lead guitar grade modules
- A pathway designed to teach rock guitar fundamentals
- A pathway designed to teach fingerstyle fundamentals
If you are looking for specific types of lessons, Andy Guitar has a number of different lessons you can find. These include:
- Strumming lessons
- Recording lessons
- Lessons on jam and improvisation fundamentals
Where Andy Guitar really seems to shine is in the different song-based lessons that are offered. There are currently well over 600 different song lessons that can be accessed on the site. These range from Beginner to Advanced levels of play.
Does Andy Guitar Offer Anything Else To Help Learning Students?
There isn’t much in the way of extra offerings when it comes to Andy Guitar. In fact, the site pales in comparison to what can be found on JustinGuitar.
However, Andy Guitar does have some fun things that can help to keep you engaged in practicing the guitar. One of the standout features is the 10-day challenge.
The 10-Day Challenge is a sort of course that you opt into. Unfortunately, it is not a community-wide event, but rather, something that you choose to take on.
Andy Guitar also occasionally offers in-person workshops. Be sure to check the calendar to see if there is an event near you.
If you primarily use your mobile phone, Andy Guitar has an app you can download. This is only available for Android devices. However, it is claimed that the website functions much like the app if accessed on an iOS device.
Of course, you can also purchase physical instructional guitar books as well as instructional DVDs through the site. There are also a number of accessories endorsed by Andy Guitar that can be purchased through the site as well.
Guitar Lesson World
There aren’t many completely free guitar lesson resources available on the internet. Many tend to offer a select number of lessons for free, with the rest residing behind a paywall.
Guitar Lesson World is not like these select paywall websites. Rather, it is an open resource offering free guitar lessons that cover a wide range of topics.
The material featured on this website is provided by Patrick MacFarlane. He has over 20 years of experience on the guitar and aims to provide his knowledge for the world to learn.
In fact, his website has been featured in Rolling Stone magazine, as well as Acoustic Guitar magazine. Despite this, the website is very much homegrown, without the corporate feel some of the other sites have.
Let’s take a closer look at Guitar Lesson World to see what sort of offerings you can find there. You might find that it is worth your time to be a citizen of this world.
What Lessons Does Guitar Lesson World Offer?
The major difference between this website and some of the others on this list is the organization of lessons. You will not find course-based modules designed for specific skill levels here.
This is a bit of a disadvantage to somebody who is completely new at the guitar. However, with a little bit of effort, you can likely find something that you need to learn.
There are currently over 40 different lessons available on Guitar Lesson World. These include:
- Picking techniques
- Fingerpicking techniques
- Scales and modes
- Chords and progressions
- Soloing over progressions
- Common jazz progressions
- Ear training
- Alternate tunings
Each lesson is an in-depth article that teaches every facet you need to know about the topic. Many lessons include diagrams and sound clips to help you learn and integrate the information presented.
This is a stark contrast to the more popular video-based lessons found elsewhere. So, if you learn better by reading, this website is going to help you immensely.
Does Guitar Lesson World Offer Anything Else To Help Learning Students?
Aside from lessons, there are a number of different things on Guitar Lesson World that can provide aid. You won’t find any shortage of information you can immediately put into practice here.
One of the best sections is the guitar exercises. There are over 20 different exercises you can add to your routine to ensure your chops are well-practiced.
There is also a section dedicated to providing lessons covering different guitar riffs and techniques. Currently, over 30 different riffs and tricks are available, ranging from lead guitar riffs to blues turnarounds.
A blog can also be found on Guitar Lesson World. This section features topics that don’t quite fit into any category already mentioned. However, these topics do contain information any guitarist can find worthwhile.
In the Resources section, you’ll find:
- Fretboard scale pattern generator
- Blank notation paper
- Glossary of guitar-related terms
- Formulas for chords and scales
- Collection of different alternate tunings
If you are inclined, you can purchase different books available through the website. These cover a range of different subjects from fretboard navigation to finding the best guitar for you.
If you’re a guitarist who enjoys more of the à la carte approach to taking lessons, check out Guitar Compass. There is certainly something you’ll find of value within the offerings found here.
Guitar Compass might not be the best for those who need a structured pathway to learn the guitar. With that being said, they do have a beginner’s section that seems to be somewhat structured.
Believe it or not, Guitar Compass has its roots in 1980s video cassette guitar lessons. It is fascinating to see that the company behind the website still has a hand in educational content.
What Lessons Does Guitar Compass Offer?
As mentioned previously, there is a beginner’s section offering lessons that teach some of the beginner basics. This is offered in a somewhat linear form and teaches some techniques as well as required fundamental knowledge.
Acoustic guitar lessons can be found on the site as well. These cover a wide range of topics including:
- Strumming patterns
Some blues guitar lessons are offered on Guitar Compass and can get you started on the basics. These lessons include:
- Common rhythmic concepts
- Licks in the style of famous blues guitarists
- Lead concepts and licks to give you a starting point
Outside of this are a number of different lessons covering other musical genres based around the electric guitar. You can find some lessons that apply to:
- Country guitar
- Metal guitar
- Jazz guitar
It should be noted that, outside of the beginner’s section, every other section is pretty random in its offerings. You won’t find a structured pathway to follow if you are determined to learn this way.
Nevertheless, Guitar Compass’s lessons do provide content that can stimulate your learning process. You’ll be able to find value in these lessons and apply them to your own playing.
Much of these lessons consist of licks, many of which take inspiration from famous guitarists. These can be extremely helpful if you are inspired by certain guitarists.
Every guitar player, at one time or another, studies the habits of their influences. Lick-based lessons can help jumpstart your vocabulary by giving you phrases to work with.
Does Guitar Compass Offer Anything Else To Help Learning Students?
Unfortunately, Guitar Compass does not offer anything else outside of the aforementioned free lessons. However, if you are inclined, more in-depth lessons can be accessed with a premium membership.
Within the premium membership are much more lessons that fall within the aforementioned lesson categories. However, even these are not structured in any sort of manner whatsoever.
In fact, you’ll find that the premium lessons are essentially more lick-based lessons in addition to some technique lessons. This instance of premium membership might not be worth the price unless you find these lessons valuable.
The premium membership does offer lessons covering certain concepts to utilize in your guitar practice sessions. However, even these should be offered as lessons as the information covered includes some fundamental knowledge.
Top Free Online Guitar Lessons, Final Thoughts
Never before in human history has an immense amount of knowledge been readily accessible at the click of a button. No matter what skill level you are at, you need to take advantage of this blessing.
It can be a little difficult to find guitar lessons that don’t require a paid subscription. Fortunately, there are still some kind souls that offer their wealth of knowledge without requiring any payment whatsoever.
Side note, do you want to learn to play guitar songs the easy way? Learn how here – results are guaranteed!