With the world becoming increasingly more digital, it is no surprise that companies are thinking of new services that can be offered online. An increasing online trend has emerged over the years as the Internet has evolved into a teaching platform. Numerous sites have popped up that offer premium-quality online guitar lessons. As private lessons can be expensive and time-consuming, the premise of committing to online guitar-playing lessons is appealing as individuals can customize their lessons, cut down on cost and travel time, and learn on a schedule that suits them. There are, of course, numerous sites to choose from, and this Guitar Tricks review will introduce you to the ins and outs of one of the most favored.
Guitar Tricks Overview
Guitar Tricks is the pioneer online guitar-lessons site established in 1998, and over that time, the site has evolved to offer its members some amazing perks. Guitar Tricks believes that learning guitar should be fun and easy. They promise beginners that with their program, they won’t be bored working on scales and theory before even playing a tune. At Guitar Tricks, you are promised you’ll be playing on Day 1.
The Guitar Tricks Philosophy
Guitar Tricks was established out of the desire to present people interested in learning the guitar with an appealing option, unlike the other choices of watching fuzzy and broken instructional YouTube videos or paying a private instructor. Both of these options were slow to produce results and didn’t necessarily allow the student to progress towards their goals consistently.
The Guitar Tricks Library
Guitar Tricks has award-winning step-by-step based curriculum to offer its members. As they have been around since 1998, their lesson library has grown to an impressive 11,000 lessons, over 600 song choices, and highly experienced instructors from throughout the world.
Initial Playing Levels for Guitar Tricks Lessons
Guitar Tricks tailors their lessons to build their members’ skills slowly, but effectively. Each progression to the next level is as rewarding as it is enjoyable. The lessons take all skill levels into account as there is a strategy set in place for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players. Every style and genre of music is covered so that each member can enjoy the perk of learning what they love.
Types of Lessons Offered by Guitar Tricks
The beginner lessons are designed with absolute beginners in mind. If you have never picked up a guitar, or have a little experience but need to review the fundamentals, you will benefit from the step-by-step design of the Guitar Tricks core learning system.
The learning system starts with ‘Fundamentals 1’ and how to hold a guitar, a guitar pick, play simple chords, and how to strum. You will then apply these principles practically with learning to play some simple beginner guitar songs.
‘Fundamentals 2’ is aimed at intermediate players who have held a guitar, have a little bit of experience but are unsure of how to proceed. In this system, you will learn some minor chords, scales introduction, and reading music. You will quickly progress from this level to advanced with the consistent instruction from the Guitar Tricks instructors.
The Fun of Guitar Tricks
Everyone knows that learning something is 10 times easier if it is enjoyable. This is the tenant of Guitar Tricks as their step-by-step system facilitates enjoyable learning as members select the right learning method to help them stay focused, on track, and most importantly, enjoy themselves.
There is even a section dedicated to people purchasing their first guitar. It will help guide members in their search for the kind of instrument they need to suit their ability level, music and style preference.
For the more experienced member who wants to hone their skills and continue progressing, the Experienced guitar lessons section is for you. These lessons are aimed at players who have experience playing a guitar and reading music. There are sections dedicated to advancing playing techniques and specializing skills to facilitate progression.
The ‘Experienced’ lesson plan has three categories: Blues, Country, and Rock. Each musical style consists of two levels containing hundreds of lessons that introduce players to a specific musical genre and style in the step-by-step core learning system.
The Blues section starts with 12-bar form, tone, and rhythm. Next, it moves towards learning leads, regional blues styles, and a variety of playing techniques.
The Country section begins with simple rhythms, finger picking, and riffs. Next, it moves on to more advanced picking via the CAGE system, advanced rhythm studies, and strumming patterns.
Rock fans will begin with power, open, and barre chords. Next, soloing and learning which amps and music effects to use will move into leads, arpeggios as licks, and the different varieties of rock styles.
After perfecting one of the above styles of music, advanced players can continue their consistent progression with additional lesson sections: Gear & Tone, Chords & Scales, Practice, Artist Studies, Techniques, and Styles. Full access membership will open up all these options to Guitar Tricks members.
Gear & Tone
Gear & Tone provides members with an intro to the guitar, its parts and functions, the neck, fret board, parts of electric vs. acoustic guitars, and restringing and tuning acoustic guitars.
The Tone section includes an intro to basic tone, guitar and amp, the strings and tuning, electronic tuners, using the Guitar Tricks reference tuner, and quick tips for achieving perfect tone.
The next section of Gear & Tone applies the aforementioned learning concepts to the main musical styles of Blues, Country, and Rock.
Chords and Scales
The Chords and Scales lessons start with a basic intro to beginner scales and chords and then moves into specific scales such as the Major Scale, Pentatonic Scales, Blues Scale, Scale Patterns and Positions, Minor Scale Patterns and Positions, Scales into Solos with Minor and Major Pentatonic, Modes of Major Scales, and Exotic Scales.
The Chords section includes learning about the power of chords, Two-Note Chords, Double Stops, Open Chords, Campfire Chords, Major and Minor 7th Chords, Walking into Chords, Dominant 7th Chords, Alternative Chord Voicings, Beyond Power Chords, Barre into Jazz Chords, and the All Chords Exercise. Arpeggios and combining scale chords make up the final section in the Chords and Scales lesson curriculum.
The Practice lesson plan begins with valuable warm-up stretches and how to build pinky strength and dexterity. Exercises include finger exercises, warm-up exercises, chord-change drills, and scalar exercises. These exercises and additional speed-building exercises are applied to Rock, Country, Blues, and Metal musical styles.
The Artist Studies are among the most popular Guitar Tricks lessons as they involve learning and understanding the musical styles of some of the great guitar players: Albert King, Angus Young, B.B. King, Billy Gibbons, Brian May, Buddy Guy, Chet Atkins, Dave Murray, David Gilmour, Eric Clapton, Joe Perry, and many, many more. With these studies, members can learn to play the songs of their favorite artists.
For advanced players, progressing their techniques is often the goal, and for Guitar Tricks members, the Techniques section includes alternate picking, bending in country, bending in rock, finger picking, hammer-ons and pull-offs, harmonics, hybrid picking, left hand, legato, palm muting, slapping, slide, strumming, sweep picking, tapping, touch technique, trills, vibrato, and whammy bar.
The Styles portion is where many advanced players really like to make their mark. With this lesson section, they can learn to play in their favorite musical styles: Acoustic, Bluegrass, Blues, Country, Funk & Soul, Jazz, Metal, Rock, Rockabily, Surf and World.
Guitar Tricks Songs
As a member of Guitar Tricks, you will have the chance to learn to play some of your favorite songs, hopefully, as well as the original artists. The song selections will include ones well suited for beginners and all the way to the most advanced. The Guitar Tricks instructors will guide you through the process one step at a time. Some of the Guitar Tricks faves include Let it Be, Hotel California, The Thrill is Gone, Sweet Home Alabama, Alive, You Really Got Me, Crossfire, Folsom Prison Blues, and many more.
Guitar Tricks Instructors
The Guitar Tricks Instructors are experienced in both playing and teaching. With the user-friendly selection method, members can scroll through the instructors’ photos and credentials and select the one whose style and approach best suits them. Clicking on the instructors’ ‘Learn More’ option also presents the songs that instructor will teach you to play. Members are also allowed to switch instructors at their leisure so you will never get bored.
Guitar Tricks Pros
• User-friendly site
• Experienced instructors
• Can easily switch instructors
• Can learn in numerous musical styles
• Can learn numerous guitar playing skills
• Has a free 14-day trial period
• Step-by-step learning system
• Progression works for beginners to advanced players
• Can learn to play favorite songs
• The oldest online guitar playing site
Guitar Tricks Cons
• No webcam or live chat options
• No DVD package version
• Need an internet and high-speed connection
How Guitar Tricks Measures up Against the Competition
There are, of course, other options than Guitar Tricks when it comes to online guitar lessons. Let’s take a look at how Guitar Tricks stacks up against its competitors.
Guitar Tricks and Jamplay are two of the largest online guitar lesson sites out there. They do share many similarities that would likely make either option an effective and enjoyable way to learn guitar. There are, however, a few significant differences that might make your decision easier. While Jamplay is known for having better audio and video quality, Guitar Tricks is thought to be more effective for beginners and has a longer fully refundable trial period of 60 days. Guitar Tricks also offers a free 14-day trial so users can try the site and see if it is for them.
When Guitar Tricks squares off against TrueFire, in terms of video quality, they are equally matched. Where Guitar Tricks edges ahead of TrueFire is in the Beginner arena. The 14-day free trial period Guitar Tricks offers is a huge perk, and while TrueFire has a vast array of lesson options to choose from, Guitar Tricks excels in the areas of private lessons for that one-on-one teacher/student experience.
While Justin Guitar is known as a less expensive guitar lesson option as many of their initial lessons are free, for players who want to progress, they will end up having to pay down the road with Justin Guitar, as they do with Guitar Tricks up front. Known as one of the largest established online guitar lesson businesses, with Guitar Tricks, you get what you pay for. If not spending any money on your guitar lessons is your goal, Justin Guitar can deliver a fair amount of instruction. If progression and honing of skills is your main goal, Guitar Tricks provide these for you for as little as $14.95 a month.
When it comes to learning to play guitar online, Guitar Tricks has an enormous amount of lesson content to choose from. From learning in a musical style to learning specific favorite songs and honing playing skills, Guitar Tricks is a hugely-valuable online resource for progressing your playing ability. This Guitar Tricks review has found the site to be the ultimate in terms of a user-friendly step-by-step learning system that has a place for players of all skill levels.
Guitar Tricks tenant is to make learning to play guitar a pleasure, not a chore, and through their experienced instructors and the numerous customizable lesson plans, Guitar Tricks delivers a huge bang for its buck. This Guitar Tricks review gives it a 5/5 rating as it is no coincidence that they received the Player’s Choice Awards, Davey Awards, and the Gold winner of the W3 Awards. If you want to progress your playing skills and ability, regardless of what level you are at, take advantage of the Guitar Tricks free trial for 14 days.