There are a lot of online programs that teach the guitar, and we had reviewed one of them previously. It can also be confusing, since most, if not all, claim that they are the best for efficient and good teaching. The choice becomes even harder for paid programs, because, you know, who wants to get scammed? Today, we will be reviewing one of the most prominent programs for learning how to play the guitar online: Guitar Tricks.
I will be going through their website with you and see if there content is worth it. Now Guitar Tricks is neither completely free nor completely paid. In the free plan, you have access to a few lessons that give you a glimpse of the program. I’m going to be honest and say that the free access is not enough to teach you anything major. Let’s start!
In the homepage, you have the option to navigate to different parts of the site. As you can see in the image, the lessons for both beginners and advanced players are displayed. If you scroll down a bit, you will see the latest lessons. I like the layout as it is easy to navigate through.
To give you a bit of a history on the website, Guitar Tricks first started in 1998 with step-by-step guitar learning system that they claim to make learning the guitar easy. They have over 11,000 lessons and counting, which is more than any other online guitar learning program out there. They have over 800 song lessons and counting. They focus on songs most people want to learn, like The Beatles and Eagles.
Guitar Tricks has graduated almost 3 million guitarists over the years, which is something interesting. Another thing that they are commonly known for is their trustworthiness. They guarantee you a 60-day refund in case you didn’t like the program, which is rare to see these days. Guitar Tricks makes sure that your money won’t go to waste.
Courses and Levels
Assuming you’re a beginner and wish to start from zero, you can either go through the Beginner Course or the Getting Started menu item. The latter will show a basic overview of the courses they provide. You can choose to start from whatever level you would like, another thing I like about Guitar Tricks. In the Intermediate level, you have the option to choose from 3 different genres of your liking – Blues, Rock , and Country. You are free to learn all three, too.
A very convenient aspect of their website is how organized their program is. If you take a look at the image, the lessons for each course are arranged in separate components. You can easily keep track of your progress without having to navigate from one course to the other. Also, if you look at the bottom of the image, you can find extra lessons and song tutorials for their respective level.
Each course starts with a short introductory video that gives you an idea of what you will be going through. Down the page, you will find all the lessons for the course, with the difficulty from least to most difficult.
The above video is one of Guitar Tricks‘ Beginner Fingerpicking lessons. You can see how clear and to the point the explanation is, which, in my opinion, is vital for a beginner. I have seen online beginner lessons that do not clearly deliver the point: The teacher either blabbers a lot, or does explain each guitar-related term to the learner. I can imagine how dumb a complete beginner would feel if s/he hears the word ‘fret’ close to 10 times in a supposedly beginner video lesson but has no idea what it means.
With Guitar Tricks, you don’t have to force yourself to learn a guitar style. The program gives you the option to choose whatever style and genre you wish to learn. Leaning more toward the acoustic guitar? No problem! You have a full, step-by-step course dedicated just for the acoustic guitar style.
You see, when I first started out, I only had an acoustic guitar and a PC to teach myself the guitar. I was particularly interested in the acoustic style more than any other style. However, it was difficult for me to find a course that focuses only on the acoustic guitar.
Most course I went through used the acoustic, electric, and acoustic-electric guitars interchangeably between their lessons. You won’t imagine how perplexed and frustrated I was. For instance, in one lesson, I was learning how to play a scale on an acoustic; the next lesson, however, I was supposed to learn how to bend on an electric. And mind you, I tried bending on my acoustic, but it was hell.
This is why I value Guitar Tricks. And this is why you should value Guitar Tricks. It’s hard enough to find such a beginner-friendly and quality guitar course on the Internet.
Blog, Toolbox, and Forum
In addition to all the above, Guitar Tricks has a blog to keep you up-to-date with guitar-related news. And the fun doesn’t end there! They also have fun quizzes and how-to tutorials, not to mention music theory and gear reviews to keep you entertained.
Another thing that most people find convenient about the program is their fully equipped toolbox. There, you can find a tuner, metronome, chord charts, chord and scale finders, tab guide, fretboard trainer, jam station, as well as a guitar glossary so you can review guitar terms without having to revisit a video lesson. Some beginners don’t have all the guitar accessories at their disposal, so it can be annoying to have to look for these accessories separately on the Internet.
Last but not least, there is a forum dedicated to questions and discussions on different topics related to the courses. Also, there’s an ‘Open Discussion’ thread where you can discuss pretty anything about the guitar, whether it be related to Guitar Tricks or not.
So, is it legit?
I guess you already know the answer, if I’m not mistaken? Definitely it is! I said it once and I will say it again, Guitar Tricks is arguably the best online to learn the guitar without having to rely on a traditional teacher. The only disadvantage of Guitar Tricks, or pretty much any other online program out there for that matter, is the lack of technique feedback.
If you want to be a self-taught, then you should heed your attention to your technique. I said it many times before and I cannot stress it enough, developing bad playing habits as a self-teaching beginner is easier than sipping coffee, and eliminating these bad habits is harder than climbing Mount. Everest, so please be careful. And don’t forget to have fun!
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