If you’re a beginner looking to learn guitar, you may think that your only option is to spend a lot of money on private lessons. This has largely been how people have done it for decades. However, thanks to the World Wide Web, there is a much easier, more affordable and, arguably, better way to go about learning how to guitar. Thousands of people have signed up for GuitarTricks.com and become proficient in playing their instrument much faster than if they had taken private lessons like everyone else.
Read our full Guitar Tricks review to see if the program is right for you.
How It Works
Though it represents a pretty revolutionary way of learning guitar, the GT Core Learning System is actually in its third incarnation. The benefit there is that you know the company behind it has already had two opportunities to improve on past efforts and build on customer responses.
The main focus on the beginner or those who used to play, but have developed some rust over the years. There are two sections to the core learning program, which comprise eight full courses. These two sections focus on Guitar Fundamentals and then an Intermediate Style Courses. So by the time you get done with the Core Learning System, you should be able to play competently and play well. These courses are based in rock, country and blues.
You are able to take each course at whatever speed works for you. However, the average student will find a range of times, some courses take as little as a week to get through whereas others will demand eight weeks. This should give you a good idea as to how much information is packed within every course that comes with this system.
Let’s now take a closer look at the eight different courses you’ll have access to with your membership.
Before we look at those courses, though, it’s worth pointing out that the guitar tutorials on this site are done via video. So it’s not as though you’re reading along with how the guitar should be played. You’ll actually get to see your instructor play the way they want you to. While they’ll describe it too, it’s nice having an actual visual to follow as well. Of course, you can rewind as you please too, in order to ensure you have the method right. Check out some of the free videos on the official YouTube channel to get an idea of what’s on offer.
Here’s a recent sample video:
Furthermore, these instructors are worth mentioning too. The site has over 45 of them to offer you. Depending on how versed you are in the style of play you want to learn, you may even recognize some of them. Sufficed to say, you’d never be able to experience or afford private lessons with these heavy hitters.
Guitar Fundamentals Part One
This is where you get started as an absolute beginner. It starts with picking up the guitar and knowing how to hold it and will keep with you all the way to understanding the major chords. These lessons don’t expect that you have any previous experience. These fundamentals are designed to not only help you learn the basics of playing guitar, but to lay a foundation to help you learn even more in the future.
Guitar Fundamentals Part Two
The next section will help improve on this foundation so that you’re well-rounded as a guitarist right from the beginning. This section will cover reading music, scales, minor chords, barre chords and the basic structure of a song.
While the lessons here definitely pick up in difficulty and become a bit quicker, this is done to help keep the student’s attention. Plus, when you get through this course, you’ll now be at a place where you can confidently pick the type of musical style you want to learn.
Picking a Musical Style
Like we mentioned above, after you get through the guitar fundamentals courses, you’ll have the option of picking a specific musical style: rock, blues or country. Your membership will provide you access to all three, so it’s not as though you can’t come back later and learn any one you want. However, with thousands of lessons per style, you’ll definitely have plenty to keep you busy.
Level one of blues has you learning the fundamentals. This means the 12 bar form, chord structure, blues chords and the essential rhythm you’ll need to play this type of music. There is lots more involved here too.
Level two introduces more advanced techniques, like new scales and various strategies to use in order to make the most of them. You’ll even study the playing of some blues legends as a way of improving your own abilities. Guitar Tricks will even take you through the six major blues regions of the country for a bit of a history lesson, as well as a guide to learning how each area plays a bit differently.
Country largely comes down to strumming and builds from there. That’s why the program focuses on this practice for beginners. Then it breaks down the Ghost, Boom-Chick and other strumming styles that get used in country music. Country Barre chords and other important elements are also presented in simple, step-by-step lessons that will have you playing popular songs in no time and maybe even creating a few of your own.
Level two will introduce the CAGED chord system, various inversions, types of hybrid picking and much more. Picking, like strumming, is a big part of country guitar playing, so the instructors at Guitar Tricks will have you zero in on this practice with their Rhythm Guitar Like the Masters lessons.
To learn rock, you first need to have a cursory understanding of the blues, which is where Level One will begin. You’ll learn modern theories as well, including techniques like palm-muting and the always awesome power chords.
When you have these areas covered, you’ll progress to riffing, creating strong hooks and, finally, learning how to get the most from your gear to create powerful rock sounds.
The second level of rock style with rhythm, chord and lead lessons designed for the advanced player. Once you have learned lead scales and important techniques like pull-offs, hammer-ons and vibrato, the site will offer Better Rock Musicianship. This lesson is the perfect final step for becoming a serious rocker.
A Large List of Songs
One of the best ways to learn guitar is simply by playing. This is especially true once you have the basics down. Plus, let’s be honest, that’s what you’re here for to begin with, right? While you may have designs to start a band or write your own songs, it’s also a lot of fun to simply play your favorite songs.
That’s why there over 500 available. This is more than twice the amount you’ll get with a competitor.
Popular examples from the Guitar Tricks song list include:
- Hotel California by Eagles
- La Grange by ZZ Top
- You Really Got Me by Van Halen
- Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix
- Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash
- Alive by Pearl Jam
We’re not just talking about sheet music here, though. Instead, these songs are taught by one of the various GuitarTricks.com instructors. These song lists are also categorized by the type of guitar music they are and their difficulty level.
Another important feature you should consider is the forum. It comes in extremely handy as it provides you access to hundreds of others who regularly use the forum. Here, you can discuss a wide range of topics related to playing the guitar. You can exchange advice with other musicians, talk about the equipment you prefer and trade different songs. If you’re trying to start a band, this may even be where you find the right members.
Private lessons can’t provide this type of community. Although there are definitely other forums online for guitar playing, only this one will ensure that everyone is on the same page as far as the curriculum goes.
Another interesting feature about the site is that it has an awesome blog section. Although this section is actually available to nonmembers, it’s still a good example of how this company clearly understands the importance of ongoing development with your guitar playing. It’s regularly updated with articles that range from new chord worth learning to how to fight off boredom that can come when your playing ability seems to plateau.
Pros and Cons
Let’s finish off by going over some pros and cons worth considering for this system. We’ll begin with the positives.
How Much is a Guitar Tricks Membership? – Pricing and Costs for the Program
With a full-access membership to GuitarTricks.com, you’re only paying $14.95 a month (see our discount info at the bottom of this article), which is a huge benefit all by itself. You’d definitely spend a lot more on in-person lessons and wouldn’t receive nearly as much. Consider that the program currently offers over 8,000 lessons with more coming in everyday. Now imagine how much that many lessons would cost you.
Furthermore, 8,000 lesson would entail no shortage of driving and you could only take them when it was convenient for the instructor. As a member, you can practice in the dead of night, on the weekends or whenever else you want. So long as you have Internet access, you can begin learning right where you are.
Like we said, you get more than 8,000 lessons, but that number is only growing. Furthermore, you can learn country, rock or blues from people who actually make their living playing this type of music on stage in front of crowds.
Easy to Use
Of course, none of this would be worth much if Guitar Tricks was difficult to use. Luckily, you’ll find the exact opposite is true. The site is designed to be extremely user friendly. The site is easy to navigate, meaning you’ll never have a hard time getting your next lesson started. Everything is clearly labeled, so you know exactly where to click for what you need.
Furthermore, the way lessons are designed ensure that you get the foundation you need to steadily build toward a greater understanding. You won’t find any gaps when trying to use this system.
At the end of the day, though, even the ease of use of this product wouldn’t matter if you didn’t actually learn how to play guitar from it. Fortunately, you won’t be let down here. This course is comprehensive, to say the least, meaning they left no stone unturned in considering each and every lesson. The problem with a lot of books and online courses is that the person who wrote it skips certain areas on accident, because they seem self-evident or unimportant. But doing this is a great way to frustrate those of us trying to learn.
With Guitar Tricks, you’ll go step by step through all the minutia that goes into playing the guitar well.
In fact, the program even goes so far as to guarantee the results of their training. First, though, you can sign up for a free two weeks. Then, you’ll just pay that $14.95 we mentioned earlier. However, you can also opt for another 60 days of free playing. The company really wants to make sure you think their courses will work for you before you start spending any of your hard-earned money. Is it worth it? With this super low-risk offer to get started we’d say the program is definitely worth the money.
No product is perfect, of course, and Guitar Tricks isn’t any different in this regard. The biggest drawback to this system is simply that there are no humans on the other side of the screen helping you learn. For many, this is simply a necessity. They like having another human in the room walking them through their lessons.
It can also help for those who are sure they’ll have questions that will require a person to answer them. The forums should be a big help here and the lessons cover just about everything, but if you’re sure you’ll need a real live coach, then this product may not be for you.
However, everyone else should be pretty pleased with what’s on offer. The product has helped thousands finally learn how to play guitar and it can do the same for you.
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If you’re still looking for an alternative for some reason then the next best option for you is undoubtedly the Jamplay training program. Check it out to see if you prefer it.