Now it’s time to pay tribute to the online guitar teachers who helped me in my guitar learning quest. I’ve started at the age of 40, after many years thinking I was good at playing drums… but these will work for any age.
Learning guitar online is a bit tricky. One might think that just going to YouTube and finding lessons is enough. The path that paid off for me was finding an online method with some structure, and sticking with it. Some of the methods I will mention here do have YouTube channels – and quite successful ones – but they are backed up by a proper structure and method for you to follow.
Justin Sandercoe of Justin Guitar
One of the most successful online guitar teachers, Justin has a remarkable way of teaching. If feels intimate and personal even if you never meet him in person. His roll of recommendations include Mark Knopfler and Steve Vai. The approach is very didactic but still entertaining. Justin’s courses have a clear sequential structure and there is a whole environment built around him: apps, videos, online lessons and such.
His strengths for me are the clear structure, the sequential methods, his patience and empathy. On the other hand he doesn’t have a lot of lessons on heavier rock or heavy metal.
Marty Schwartz of Marty Music
Another extremely successful online teacher, I found Marty later on my journey. Super cool dude, his lessons sort of dumb down – in a good way – the theory to focus on the practical elements of music and how to apply what you’ve learned. It totally feels like you’re playing with a friend, and he clearly wants you to succeed.
I for one have never tried his theory lessons, but rather used his material to learn countless pop and rock songs. That aspect to me is where his strengths lie, but it doesn’t mean the lessons are not great – perhaps you should check them out too. He gets a bit more into the heavier suff than Justin, but still not a metal teacher per se. He is heavily influenced by Hendrix and blues, so that is the avenue you’ll explore if you go beyond the songs.
Desi Serna of Guitar Music Theory
Until I found him, I had been learning a bit of theory and a lot of songs but didn’t really understand all the modes and how it all connects together. Then I found his Fretboard Theory books and they completely changed my life as a musician and as a guitar player.
These books are paired up with a podcast. They will teach you in a very clear way how all the modes of the major scale work. They go over chord substitutions, modulation, alterations and other types of modes.
To top it all, each lesson has examples of popular songs you can actually play. This is the best way to memorise it all up: actually playing songs which use the theory he explains.
There is a mix of metal on his stuff as well, and to be fair I have never compared his videos with Marty or Justin to see what they stack up. The books and podcast were enough for me to become a fan for life…
These three have been the main ones for me over the years. There are of course honourable mentions to quite a few others below, which I use from time to time.
- Robert Baker – fun and intuitive, covers a lot of hard rock and metal.
- Guitar Lessons 365 – a lot of metal and hard rock lessons.
- Cifra Club – great tab-driven guitar lessons from Brazil.
- Guitar Tutor Man – lots of cool acoustic stuff.
- Rick Beato – curiosities about guitar in general, theory, players.
- The art of guitar – check out his series on specific artist techniques.
- Your Guitar Sage – cool rock licks and lessons.
Patience, dedication, discipline and structure are the name of the game.
There are fewer things in life more rewarding than playing an instrument.
I hope this little tribute of mine helps you in your quest.
Of course I’m happy for you to contact me and let me know of others I might have missed.
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