Guitar Tricks vs Truefire 2021: Who’s The Top Dog?

Guitar Tricks vs TrueFire

The world of online learning has grown exponentially over the last few years, and online guitar instruction is no exception to this trend.

The traditional method of learning how to play the guitar is becoming obsolete while online platforms such as JamPlay, Guitar Tricks, TrueFire, and others grow in popularity.

I learned to play guitar the traditional way, but I’m no stranger to the great things these platforms are doing.

Maybe you don’t play guitar, or are looking to start lessons again, but can’t afford in-person lessons. Look no further!

Today we’re going to compare two of the biggest online guitar lesson providers on the market: Guitar Tricks vs Truefire 2021. But first, let’s talk a little bit about some benefits and drawbacks to online guitar lessons.

Why Take Online Guitar Lessons?

Taking guitar lessons online gives you the freedom to learn from the comfort of your own home, and at your own pace. If you’re introverted and prefer to spend most of your time practising like me, you might find online guitar lessons extremely beneficial.

Having lessons online gives you flexibility, but it also requires some self-discipline because you won’t have a teacher telling you to practice. So that natural pressure is both good and bad, but there are ways you can replace it if you’re going the online route for lessons!

TrueFire Overview

Truefire's 'In The Jam' feature page.

What is it?

TrueFire is an online guitar lesson platform offering thousands of high-quality video lessons, live lessons, and weekly video blogs. This platform was started in 1991, making it the older of the two. TrueFire offers over 40,000 online video lessons. That’s a lot of stuff for you to learn!

Is it any good?

TrueFire is great. They offer lessons in a wide range of styles from reputable instructors. The platform is easy to use, and a little more expensive, but it’s affordable when compared to traditional lessons.

Main Features:

  • Pre-recorded video courses
  • Various musical styles
  • Library of songs to learn
  • TrueFire Channels (weekly video blog series’ and exclusive content from artists)
  • Multitrack video jams
  • Big-name instructors

Guitar Tricks Overview

Guitar Tricks homepage options.

What is it?

Guitar Tricks is one of the largest online guitar lesson platforms in the world. 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 with powerful interactive tools to enhance your learning and practising experience.

Is it any good?

Guitar Tricks is also great. With a wide variety of musical styles, interactive tools and reference guides, Guitar Tricks is an oasis for the self-starting guitar student.

Main Features:

  • Pre-recorded video courses
  • Various musical styles
  • Library of songs to learn
  • Self-test & interactive learning tools
  • Progress tracking

Key Factors When Trying To Decide Between Guitar Tricks vs Truefire

Signing up for an online guitar lesson subscription is a financial commitment, and there are important factors you should consider before deciding whether or not TrueFire or Guitar Tricks will be right for you. Everybody learns differently, so think about these carefully.

Your own interests

TrueFire and Guitar Tricks have lessons for almost anybody. Unless you’re a world-touring virtuoso guitarist, there’s likely something on either of these sites for you.

Both platforms have courses for complete beginners, as well as lessons for intermediate and advanced players. You might be disappointed with Guitar Tricks if you’re a really advanced player, and if so, that’s okay! TrueFire probably has something for you.

Reputable & Experienced Instructor

Finding a good guitar teacher for traditional in-person guitar lessons is much more difficult than it is in the online guitar lessons world. You never really know the teacher until after a few lessons, and by then you’ve wasted money.

When it comes to the big, well-known artists, TrueFire definitely has the advantage over Guitar Tricks. You can count on paying a little extra for this too.

However, Guitar Tricks instructors are well-vetted, and they may not be famous, but you’ll still be receiving quality instruction.

The course curriculum

Learning online is like teaching yourself in a way. If you’ve ever tried to learn something from YouTube or Google, you know from experience that teaching yourself can leave holes in your base of knowledge – especially when it comes to the guitar!

If you follow the learning paths and courses as they are on both Guitar Tricks and TrueFire, the only hole in your playing will be the one in your guitar! Too cheesy?

You’ll be tempted to jump around from one topic to another (I know I was), but you’ll benefit most from taking in one thing at a time, or maybe just a few things at a time…

User Interface

It’s important that the website or app itself is easy for you to navigate – especially when you’re spending a lot of time using it. Knowing which one is easier for you to use will save you headaches later on.

TrueFire’s website is extremely easy to use. Just click on the courses tab to find a course you’d like to begin or select a learning path if you’d like to learn a specific style.

Guitar Tricks is also easy to use (most of these platforms are user-friendly). You can select either Beginner Lessons or Experienced Lessons and go from there, or jump straight to learning styles and techniques.

Tools

One of the biggest advantages of online lessons is the opportunity to use virtual tools to enhance your learning experience.

Something as simple as a practice timer can take your playing to the next level.

TrueFire lacks reference tools, but comes with an awesome proprietary interactive jamming app that allows you to completely control the mix!

Guitar Tricks comes with a suite of really useful tools. You get reference tools like a scale and chord finder, a metronome with a speed drill setting, a jam station, and more.

How much time you’re willing to practice

You can have the best instructors in the world with perfect lesson plans, at an affordable price, but if you don’t put in the time to practice, you’re not going to see any results, and that’s the best way to judge a lesson platform – give it your absolute best and then judge based on your results.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Each

TrueFire:

Pros

  • Access to over 40,000 video courses in a multitude of styles
  • Also offering lessons in Bass, Banjo, Harmonica, and Ukulele
  • High profile instructors
  • Longest-standing platform with proven track record
  • Free 14-day All Access Trial Period
  • Great for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players
  • Access to one-on-one lessons for an added fee

Cons

  • While the majority of the content comes with All Access membership, you have to pay extra to access the TrueFire Channels, and these costs can add up quickly
  • The artist courses are designed more with intermediate and advanced players in mind, so beginners will have to work their way up
  • Lack of reference materials and other general practicing aids

Guitar Tricks:

Pros

  • Affordable monthly or annual membership plan
  • Massive Library of lessons, songs, and interactive tools
  • Reputable teachers
  • 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

Cons

  • Some styles in Guitar Tricks have less available lesson content than its competitors. For example, JamPlay has better instruction in classical guitar and songwriting.
  • No available lesson content for bass guitar
  • No high-profile instructors

Who Is TrueFire Best For?

TrueFire is a great option for beginner students and advanced players alike. There is more intermediate to advanced lesson content on this site, but that doesn’t mean a complete beginner can’t work their way up to this level.

As you’ll see later, TrueFire is a bit more expensive than Guitar Tricks, so this platform may not be the best option if price is one of your biggest deciding factors.

Who Is Guitar Tricks Best For?

Guitar Tricks hasn’t been around for as long as TrueFire, but I would say it’s equally valuable to any beginning to intermediate player.

You’ve got plenty of room to improve your skills as a beginner using Guitar Tricks, and this platform gives you the tools to most effectively get yourself there.

Guitar Tricks is also very affordable, making it a great option for students on a budget!

Price Comparison at a Glance

TrueFire:

  • Monthly: $29
  • Annual: $249
  • One-on-one lessons: up to $150 per month

Guitar Tricks:

  • Monthly: $19.95
  • Annual: $179
  • One-on-one lessons: up to $60 per hour lesson

Guitar Tricks vs TrueFire – Final Thoughts

If you’re in the market for online guitar lessons, there’s no doubt that you’ll be in good hands if you choose to go with TrueFire or Guitar Tricks.

Each platform comes with its own benefits and drawbacks, and every student prefers something different, so it’s difficult to decide which one is objectively better.

However, if you’re a beginner and worried about the cost, I strongly recommend Guitar Tricks. If money isn’t an issue and you don’t feel like you need virtual practising tools, I recommend using TrueFire.

Either way, a little bit of self-discipline and consistent practice is what will make your playing better. Everything else is just commercial flash!

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