If you want to learn something new on guitar these days you have a few options. You can either watch free videos on YouTube, read tutorials and guides online, go see an in-person guitar instructor, learn from a book, or signup for a premium guitar lessons membership. There are pros and cons to each method. However, with premium services you often times get a much better user experience due to the fact that these services have more resources and are able to offer premium videos, tablatures, tools and more. That’s why today I’m going to be doing a complete review of the premium guitar lesson website – Guitar Tricks.
In this Guitar Tricks review, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Guitar Tricks including what they offer, a peek into the course layout, and if it’s worth signing up.
Table of Contents
- What Is Guitar Tricks?
- Course Overview
- Songs Library
- List of Instructors
- Artist Study
- Progress Page
- Handy Tools
- Sample Lesson Video
- Membership Options – What’s the Cost?
- Guitar Tricks Review – In Summary
What Is Guitar Tricks?
Guitar Tricks is currently one of the most popular guitar lesson subscription services on the market. They were created back in 1998 and today now have a collection of over 11,000 guitar lessons (I’m not kidding). A few notable facts/features about Guitar Tricks include:
- They’ve taught more than 2.2 million people how to play guitar
- They have a collection of over 700 song lessons (usually 5-10 new songs are added each month)
- They offer a 60-day money back guarantee
- Great support if you have any questions about the course layout or material
Guitar Tricks has certainly been around for a while so they know a thing or two about offering premium online guitar lessons. In the following sections, I’m going to dig into more details regarding what the course plan looks like, cool features of being a member, pricing information, and more.
The course content that is available once you signup for a Guitar Tricks membership will take you months or even years to get through. Depending on your level of experience playing guitar, you may or may not benefit from watching all of the videos available. However, their collection of videos is so vast that no matter how much experience you have, you’ll likely find something new that you can learn. At a high level, the Guitar Trick course is broken up into two sections: beginner lessons and experienced lessons. Below, I’ll outline what both sections include.
For beginners, Guitar Tricks offers a two-level series of lessons they call “guitar fundamentals”. These videos essentially go over everything you need to know about guitar to get started. From learning how the guitar works to playing simple chords, all the way to getting an introduction on the major/minor scales and reading music. The following is an outline of each topic included in levels 1 and 2 of the Guitar Tricks Core Learning System for beginners.
- Chapter 1: Get to Know Your Guitar
- Chapter 2: Let’s Learn to Play!
- Chapter 3: How to Play Simple Melodies
- Chapter 4: Your 5-Chord Power-Pack!
- Chapter 5: Must-Know Basic Open Chords
- Chapter 6: How Chords Work Together to Make Songs
- Chapter 7: Intro to Timing and Rhythm
- Chapter 1: All About Power Chords
- Chapter 2: Intro To The Major Scale
- Chapter 3: A-String Power Chords And The Amazing Magic L
- Chapter 4: What Is A Chord, Really?
- Chapter 5: Getting Started With Barre Chords
- Chapter 6: Intro To The Minor Scale
- Chapter 7: Intro To Reading Music
The image below shows the Guitar Tricks’ Core Learning System lifecycle that you’ll follow as a beginner guitarist.
Levels 1 and 2 (highlighted in red) are focussed mainly towards beginner guitarists. Once you’ve completed those you can move on to the experienced lessons which correspond to the sections that branch out into learning blues, country, or rock. Apart from the guitar fundamentals, there are also 3 other sections at the bottom for beginners. These include:
- Songs made easy
- Practice for beginners
- Tuning and guitar maintenance.
The second aspect of the Guitar Trick course overview is for the more experienced players. If you already have a few years experience under your belt and know your way around barre chords, major and minor scales, etc then it might make sense for you to jump directly into the experienced lessons. As mentioned above, the experienced lessons section branches off into three separate sub-sections depending upon which genre of music you want to learn. Each genre of music comes with two levels of lessons and below I’ve outlined the chapters included in each. Same as I’ve mentioned above, the outline for these sections was taken the day of writing this Guitar Tricks review post and may change in the future.
Blues Level 1
- Chapter 1: First Law in Blues: Intro to the 12 Bar Form
- Chapter 2: Blues With Power and Barre Chords
- Chapter 3: Minor and Dominant Blues
- Chapter 4: Blues Rhythm and Feel
- Chapter 5: Start Your Own Blues Lead Playing
- Chapter 6: Blues Tone and Equipment
Blues Level 2
- Chapter 1: From The Crossroads: More Blues Lead
- Chapter 2: The Three Kings
- Chapter 3: Creative Techniques
- Chapter 4: More From The Crossroads
- Chapter 5: Rhythm, Turnarounds, and Alternative Forms
- Chapter 6: Regional Blues Styles
Country Level 1
- Chapter 1: The Acoustic Foundation
- Chapter 2: Electric Rhythm Tools – Vol 1.
- Chapter 3: Country Lead Tools – Vol 1.
- Chapter 4: Electric Rhythm Tools – Vol 2.
- Chapter 5: Country Lead Tools – Vol 2.
- Chapter 6: Country Gear and Tone
Country Level 2
- Chapter 1: Picking Primer: CAGED System and More!
- Chapter 2: Fancy Pants Chords
- Chapter 3: Rhythm Guitar Techniques
- Chapter 4: Picking and Strumming: Signature Rhythm
- Chapter 5: Country Rhythm Guitar Like the Masters
Rock Level 1
- Chapter 1: Rock Chords: Open, Barre, and Power
- Chapter 2: Rock Rhythm: The Power of Rock
- Chapter 3: Rock Soloing 101
- Chapter 4: Riffs, Licks, and Themes
- Chapter 5: Amps and Effects: Rock Your Tone
- Chapter 6: Born From the Blues
Rock Level 2
- Chapter 1: Rockin’ Chords
- Chapter 2: Lead Secrets Revealed!
- Chapter 3: More Rock Rhythm!
- Chapter 4: More Advanced Rock Techniques
- Chapter 5: Playing Like The Masters
- Chapter 6: Putting it All Together
As can be seen in the screenshot below, the sections highlighted in red are the components that correspond to the experienced lessons that I’ve just outlined.
There are also a few other components in the experienced lessons sections that you can explore including:
- Styles (this section offers a wide selection of musical genres to choose from allowing you to focus on learning how to play specific styles)
- Artist Studies (I talk more about this one below)
- Chords & scales
- Gear and tone
If you’ve ever found it difficult to learn a song or want to learn the exact intricacies of a song, Guitar Tricks’ song lessons videos are an amazing resource. First off, when you visit the song library page, you have a range of filtering options allowing you to sort by genre, popularity, instructors, difficulty, and more. They currently hold a collection of over 700 songs so there’s surely something there for everyone.
Apart from the vast collection of songs offered, the actual videos that explain how to learn and play the songs are incredibly in-depth. Although the format may vary slightly depending on the instructor and song, most lessons break down the song piece-by-piece allowing you to follow along easily. For example, the list below shows the outline of videos you’ll watch to learn the song Brown Sugar by The Rolling Stones from start to finish.
List of Instructors
Guitar Tricks comes loaded with guitar lesson videos from a variety of instructors. Now, what’s cool about this is that if you find a guitar instructor you like, you can go to the instructor tab in the dashboard and click on that instructor’s profile. You will then get a complete list of lessons that that instructor uploaded.
If you aren’t quite sure yet which instructor is going to be the best for you, you can always check out this section and then look at which genres each instructor specializes in. Go through a few of them and see who you like best. It should be noted however that not all instructors have the same material. So, a guitar lesson on topic X from a particular instructor may not be available from another instructor who specializes in the same genre. You can also ask specific instructors questions by heading over to the Guitar Tricks forum and searching for the instructor’s name.
This is one feature I REALLY love about Guitar Tricks. They offer an artist study section that essentially breaks down certain habits of legendary guitarists to allow you to incorporate some of their tricks in your own playing. Certain artists have more video content than others, however, for the most part each artist study is pretty comprehensive.
I myself am a huge fan of Jimmy Page and was excited to see that there was a Jimmy Page artist study that dove deeper into his playing style and broke down each part piece-by-piece to make it very easily digestible for the viewer.
Although the artist study section certainly isn’t all-encompassing by any means (currently have a collection of 26 artist studies), they do have a good mixture of artists that are known for playing various styles of music. A few of these include:
- Angus Young
- B.B King
- Eddie Van Halen
- Jimi Hendrix
- Keith Richards
- Jeff Back
Within the Guitar Tricks dashboard, you have access to a handy progress page that keeps track of all the lessons you’ve completed or are in the process of viewing. This is a really easy way to keep track of where you are in the lesson program. It also provides you with the last watched lesson so that you can easily remember where you last left off.
The last section in the dashboard that I’ll talk about in this Guitar Tricks review is the toolbox. The toolbox provides members with 6 useful tools to help you do with a variety of things. The 6 tools included are:
They’re all very helpful and each serves an important purpose. Personally, my favorite tool (and probably that of many others) is the jam station. It gives you the option to choose which genre of backing track you want to hear and then gives you a nice list of options to choose from.
Sample Lesson Video
To give you a little preview of what the video layout/quality looks like with Guitar Tricks, I’ve provided a sample video below. This video is part of the artist study section and is geared specifically towards Eddie Van Halen’s playing style. Notice that there are multiple camera angles, the video quality is top notch and the instructor is very clear with explaining each section before he dives into it.
Membership Options – What’s the Cost?
Now that you know everything you need to know about what’s included in Guitar Tricks, you’re probably wondering what the price is. Well, there are basically two membership options:
- Basic Membership – Provides access to 24 free guitar lessons and many of the other features are limited
- Full Access Subscription – Provides access to all lessons available and unlimited use of the other features.
When you signup to Guitar Trick you receive a 14-day free trial that allows you to take advantage of the full access subscription. Therefore you can view as many videos as you like and use all the features you want without restriction for 14 full days. This will allow you to explore the course, get a feel for the instructors, and become familiar with the overall look and feel of the Guitar Tricks member dashboard. Once the free trial period is up you can either choose to continue as a full access member and pay the subscription fee or cancel your billing and stick to being a basic member.
If you choose to continue with Guitar Tricks, there are two billing options to choose from.
- You can either opt to be billed monthly at $19.95 or,
- be billed annually at $179 which provides you with a 25% discount.
However, if you’re still in trial mode you can save even more money on an annual subscription by clicking on the coupon code button (the big red section in the screenshot below) to get an additional 20% off. Therefore the final annual price will come out to being $143.20 which is a really a great deal in my opinion. Alternatively, if you just want to try it out for a month but don’t want to pay the $19.95 use the coupon code 60OFF for 60% off your first month resulting in a first-month price of $7.98.
Just be aware that if you decide you don’t want to continue using Guitar Tricks after your free trial is over, you need to cancel it manually. I always find it’s a good idea to set a reminder on your computer or phone calendar to remind you that 14 day period is almost up. In the event that you decide you don’t want to continue just navigate to Account > Billing > Manage then click (Cancel Billing) and either reach out to Guitar Tricks via email or phone support.
That is just some precautionary information that you should be aware of.
Guitar Tricks Review – In Summary
All-in-all I’m honestly very impressed with Guitar Tricks. I love the look and feel of the dashboard and was pretty impressed to see that they had cool features such as their artist study page. Overall, the quality of their videos are great and the teachers know what they’re talking about. There’s really not all that many bad things to say about Guitar Tricks. However, if I had to say something I would mention that the navigation can be a little confusing at first (especially the core fundamentals section) and that some of the videos can be a little slow to start (too much introductory content before you get to the meat and potatoes).
Hopefully, this Guitar Tricks review has helped you decide on whether or not Guitar Tricks is the right premium guitar lessons service for you. Leave me a comment in the section below if you have any questions about Guitar Tricks or if you’ve tried the service yourself, I’d love to hear your thoughts.