I’ve taught guitar lessons in person for over ten years now, and I’ve reached a point where I’m now confident in recommending online guitar lesson platforms to beginners, intermediate players, and advanced players alike.
It’s completely understandable that paying for weekly guitar lessons is difficult – it is even for me!
But the beauty of online lessons is that no matter who you are, there’s almost always something you can learn from someone, and you’ll never know what it is until you get out there and challenge yourself.
Today I’m going to be comparing two of my favorite online guitar lesson platforms in a head-to-head comparison article, Guitar Tricks vs JustinGuitar.
Guitar Tricks Overview
What is it?
If you read anything about online guitar lessons, you’re likely to hear the name Guitar Tricks come up at least once. Guitar Tricks offers over 11,000 video lessons covering many different styles, with powerful interactive tools to enhance your learning and practicing experience.
Is it any good?
Guitar Tricks is great. It’s not a household name to self-taught guitarists for no reason. With a wide variety of musical styles, interactive tools, and reference guides, Guitar Tricks is an oasis for the self-starting guitar student.
- Pre-recorded video courses
- Various musical styles
- Library of songs to learn
- Self-test & interactive learning tools
- Progress tracking
How Does Guitar Tricks Work?
Understanding how Guitar Tricks works is pretty simple. You sign up for a membership through the website, and you gain access to all of their online lesson materials. Finding where to begin is the hardest part!
What is it?
JustinGuitar was created and is taught by one guy -Justin Sandercoe. This is pretty strange in the world of online guitar lessons, but it’s definitely working for him! The courses are structured well and are designed with both the complete beginner and experienced player in mind.
What’s really awesome is that almost everything is completely free. The only exception is a six-month membership which gives you access to all of the music theory instruction as well – and that’s still only $9.99 for the entire six-month course. I would say JustinGuitar is the best option for anyone on a budget.
The obvious downside is that you only have one instructor – Justin. But as it turns out, Justin is a phenomenal guitar teacher.
Is it any good?
As a guitar teacher, I can tell you that the content you receive through this program is good and comprehensive. You get just about everything you need to become a great player. All you need to do is practice well.
- Highly organized course curriculum
- Learn different styles
- Learn songs
- Theory courses
- Some interactive tools
How Does JustinGuitar Work?
JustinGuitar is free, so all you have to do is create an account on the website, and you get access to almost all of his video lessons. Again, this is fantastic if you’re a beginner on a budget. You can literally start learning right now!
Finding where to begin is pretty easy because everything is organized by grade/experience level. You might have some trouble at first if you’re an experienced player because there’s always a grey area there, but it won’t take long before you get yourself into the swing of it!
Key Factors When Trying To Decide Between Guitar Tricks vs JustinGuitar
Signing up for an online guitar lesson program is a commitment both financially and with your time. Comparing the important features can be difficult if you’ve never played before. Everybody has different preferences and goals, so think about these carefully before deciding whether or not these platforms are right for you.
Your own interests
Do you just want to strum chords on an acoustic guitar? Do you want to learn how to shred on an electric guitar? Do you want to learn fingerstyle or classical guitar? You might’ve already thought about these things, but if not, ask yourself these questions and look to see what these platforms can offer you.
Guitar Tricks has a massive selection of video lessons – literally in the tens of thousands. They offer lessons from numerous instructors, in at least twelve different styles, so you’re bound to find something that interests you on here.
JustinGuitar doesn’t cover a very wide range of musical styles, especially when compared to Guitar Tricks, but what you’ll learn from JustinGuitar can apply to many styles.
Reputable & Experienced Instructor
Having the best teacher in the world isn’t everything, but if your teacher has a track record of creating really great guitarists, you’re in the right place.
Guitar Tricks and JustinGuitar were both pioneers of online guitar lessons, so they’ve both got a proven track record.
Guitar Tricks has a hefty roster of well-vetted and reputable guitar teachers and performers. What’s really great is that you have the option to choose lessons from an instructor you like.
Justin Sandercoe (JustinGuitar) as an individual teacher, has an outstanding track record. When you have people like Tommy Emmanuel and Steve Vai telling you how great JustinGuitar is, you should know you’re on the right track.
In this category, it should come down to personal preference, because you’ll be getting excellent instruction from either platform.
The course curriculum
Guitar Tricks and JustinGuitar both have very organized and well-developed courses for every level of playing.
I think Guitar Tricks might have a slight edge in this category though, simply due to its massive and widely diverse library of lessons.
Before you start using a website or an app for long periods of time, you want to make sure that it makes sense and is easy to use.
Both Guitar Tricks and JustinGuitar are easy to use, so it’s a tie here.
Having tools to enhance your learning experience isn’t a necessity when learning the guitar, but it can definitely help.
Guitar Tricks and JustinGuitar both have useful tools to enhance your learning. JustinGuitar has a tool to help your ear-training, and a metronome, but Guitar Tricks has an entire suite of interactive tools to help you practice.
How much time you’re willing to practice
You can have all of the best instructors, lesson plans, interactive tools, and reference guides in the world, but if you don’t put in the time to really practice, you’re not going to see any results.
Learning the guitar (or any instrument) requires time, self-discipline, patience, and consistency. So whatever platform you decide to try, I recommend you give 100% effort to practice and then judge the platform based on your results.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Each
Every platform has its benefits and drawbacks. Guitar Tricks and JustinGuitar are excellent platforms, but they also have some downsides. For example, neither of these platforms would be a good option for classical guitarists. That’s a pretty niche market, but it’s worth mentioning.
- Affordable monthly or annual membership plan
- Massive Library of lessons, songs, and interactive tools
- List of reputable teachers to choose from
- Long-standing platform with proven track record
- Access to one-on-one lessons for an added fee
- Great for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players
- 60 day money-back guarantee
- Some styles in Guitar Tricks have less available lesson content than others
- No high-profile instructors
- Well thought out, logical progression of course curriculum
- Almost everything is completely free, so it’s the most affordable option
- Great for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players
- Long-standing platform with proven track
- There’s only one instructor, so it might not suit everyone’s style of learning
- No access to one-on-one lessons
- Some styles of guitar are underrepresented
Price Comparison at a Glance
- Monthly: $19.95
- Annual: $179
- One-on-one lessons: up to $60 per hour lesson
- Or $9.99 for a six-month course
Who is Guitar Tricks Best For?
Guitar Tricks is best for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players alike looking to play multiple styles on steel-stringed acoustic or electric guitar.
There’s plenty of content to learn from on this platform, and plenty of teachers to connect with. So if you’d like to have the option to meet with a teacher online every once in a while, then Guitar Tricks might be for you.
Guitar Tricks is also very affordable, making it a great option for students on a budget. But if money is your biggest concern, there are cheaper options available.
Who is JustinGuitar Best For?
JustinGuitar is best for complete beginners, intermediate players, and advanced players. If you’re unable to afford guitar lessons but are dying to learn, JustinGuitar is like a God-send. You get tons of value for free, and even more if you just pay $10 for six months.
As a final comparison between these two online guitar lesson giants, I’ll go ahead and say that overall, I think Guitar Tricks has the edge over JustinGuitar.
Guitar Tricks offers a wider variety of styles, teachers, and interactive tools, making it the best option for the largest variety of people.
Guitar Tricks isn’t terribly expensive, but if you still can’t afford it, they offer a free trial and money-back guarantee. If that doesn’t interest you, JustinGuitar is a phenomenal place to start learning the guitar.
Just remember to take notes and practice every day!