YouTube and the internet could be considered the golden age for guitar and music instruction –– so much content for no cost-but where do you start?
For all levels, I can recommend justinguitar.com. There is a complete curriculum for the beginner to the intermediate level guitarist. He covers guitar basics, various styles, tunes and goes deep for jazz players (no classical curriculum that I saw). His content is thorough and free, which is fantastic. He does sell his products, but I feel his purpose is to teach you, not to hawk his merch.
Signals Music Studio
I also like Signals Music Studio. Jake Lizzio is a very professional host, guitarist, producer, and teacher. He covers many different aspects of playing and is excellent at explaining theory and applying examples on the guitar. You can “level up” from justinguitar with Jake and explore more in-depth knowledge.
Rick Beato is something of a YouTube legend, at least according to him! I’ve been watching him from the early days of music theory lessons. I have seen the videos’ quality skyrocket with memorable song analysis, online artist interviews and studio guests, live broadcasts, daily Instagrams, and so on. Highly recommended if you want to hear a seasoned pro talk guitars, tech, theory, tunes, and give strong opinions about today’s music! There are videos with intense dives into music theory – so explore when you’re ready.
I’m really into jazz, so I watch lots of YouTubers. Jens Larsen is a Danish guitarist and educator. I am constantly watching his videos to improve my chord knowledge, rhythm playing, and improvisation skills. I often freeze the written examples because he always plays at a pretty brisk tempo, but it’s worth it. I found new chord voicings, substitutions, and good improv ideas. A little dry in presentation, but excellent content.
Guitarversum Sandra Sherman
Staying in Europe, I visit a website called Guitarversum Sandra Sherman. Sandra is a wonderful teacher from Austria who teaches at a slower pace and plays thorough and complete examples. She has many lessons that teach an entire tune, which are my favorite. She teaches melody, chords, and rhythms a few bars at a slow tempo, then will play everything at a regular tempo at the end—one of my favorite teachers.
TrueFire.com has a vast library of guitar and bass instruction videos that are of excellent quality. There are videos for absolutely any guitarist, at any level. I own several videos, and they are all good, especially those produced over the last few years. There are tabs, play-along tracks, tempo controls, and plenty of pdfs with the playing examples you can print out. You can buy DVDs or stream them to your PC, tablet, or phone via the Truefire app. They offer a selection of $5.00 downloads every month or so, and you cannot get better quality education for that price. Also, Truefire added artists “channels” for low monthly subscription fees. I subscribe to Frank Vignola’s channel for his incredible instruction on hundreds of jazz standards.
I have one last recommendation to inspire guitarists. I discovered Jake Reichbart’s videos years ago when I was learning to play solo guitar. You won’t believe the songs that he plays as a solo guitarist – I mean, this guy covers the whole Steely Dan repertoire of all things, and practically any other pop tune you can think of – it is incredible! Jake usually sits almost immobile and expressionless, but oh man, can this guy play.
Anyhow, I could go on, but let’s leave it there. You won’t be disappointed. I’d love to know if there are guitar and music channels you enjoy, so please share in the comments.