While our focus is on our free guitar email newsletter, we sometimes take deeper dives into things that we hope you'll find valuable as a guitar player. This post digs into the very best online guitar teachers.
We're lucky to live in a time where learning guitar without having to leave your home is easier than ever.
With advances in technology making it easier than ever for anyone with a guitar and a phone to start posting guitar lessons online, its resulted in an influx of new online guitar teachers in recent years.
While in some ways that's a good thing, as a guitar student, it can make it overwhelming trying to figure out which online guitar teachers are worth your time and money, and will have the biggest impact on your playing.
While the process of recording and uploading an instructional video might technically be pretty easy, crafting high-quality guitar lessons than truly help students improve their guitar playing is not.
While it's one thing to to be a great guitar player, being a great teacher is another thing. Being able to take something like guitar and music - with a seemingly infinite amount of concepts to learn, and breaking it down and explaining things in a way that makes sense is truly an art form.
Some of the guitar teachers featured here focus on YouTube videos. Others offer complete guitar courses, eBooks, and other training materials through their own websites. Some focus on a wide range of guitar-related topics, while others focus on specific genres, like jazz or blues. No matter what style of music you play, and what your preferred learning style is, we hope you'll be able to find a teacher here that you jive with.
Most of the teachers listed here have been teaching guitar online for many years, showing they are committed to putting out great content, and most importantly, have lots of students that keep going back to them for more, due to how effective they are.
Let's go! - These guitar teachers are listed in no particular order.
Justin Sandercoe, Justin Guitar
It's probably justified to call Justin Sandercoe the pioneer of online guitar education at this point. After teaching private guitar lessons, Justin started teaching guitar online back in 2001, and launched JustinGuitar.com in 2003. With a combination of courses, apps, books, jam tracks, and more, Justin Guitar is one of the most popular guitar instruction web sites in the world - with Justin being the favorite online guitar teacher for hundreds of thousands of guitar players.
Justin's background includes playing in bands and teaching starting at only 12-years-old, attending and teaching at The Guitar Institute in London, and touring with various bands (including playing over 1,00o gigs in a Rolling Stones tribute band!).
Justin Guitar features lessons and tools to help beginning, intermediate, and advanced guitar players. Whether you're just getting started with chords and strumming, or want to learn improvisation, blues, jazz, music theory, ear training, and transcribing, Justin covers it all.
While the site contains over 1,000 lessons, it's really the quality over the quantity that keeps guitar players engaged and coming back for more. Justin does a great job breaking complicated things down into simple terms, and he even tells you not to learn things you won't use. He's honest about it and if you want to go deep into theory, the content is there, but there's no point in learning certain things if you don't apply them to your normal playing.
Justin Guitar has grown in part to the large amount of great free content Justin offers, while his premium courses and other products will take your guitar playing to the next level.
Marty Schwartz, Marty Music
If you've ever searched for guitar lessons on YouTube, chances are you've came across Marty Schwartz.
Marty's road to teaching guitar online is an interesting one. After college, he was working in a music store, where he taught some lessons. He got laid off from that job, and started teaching guitar full time on his own. Years later, he taught elementary school music, while continuing to teach guitar lessons on the side. Then when the economy crashed in 2008, he got laid off from the school job, and private lessons started to dry up, as people didn't have the budget for them as they were getting laid off from their jobs as well.
Basically not knowing what else he could do, he started uploading a few videos to YouTube, with the idea that maybe they'd promote him a bit as a guitar player and local teacher. People slowly started liking his videos, and following him on YouTube. That slowly resulted in launching a website and business called Guitar Jamz, which has since evolved into Marty Music.
Marty Schwartz is amazing at teaching well-known songs. Learning popular songs is one of the best ways to learn guitar and music (as the goal as a guitar player ultimately isn't just to know a giant library of scales and chords - it's know how to play and write actual songs), and he does a great job properly breaking them down.
In a world where so many instructional videos now feature flashy sets, fancy production, and over-the-top editing, Marty's videos stand out due to them basically being the opposite of that (in a good way!). Marty comes off as your friendly neighborhood guitar teacher, and his videos make you feel like you're in the room with him, getting a one-on-one guitar lesson.
With well over 2 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, Marty has had a big impact on many guitar players, and offers premium guitar courses through his own website (MartyMusic.com) that offer a deep dive into topics such as blues guitar, acoustic guitar, and much more.
Matt Warnock, Matt Warnock Guitar
Matt Warnock Guitar is one of the premier online destinations for guitarists looking to learn jazz guitar.
With a background that includes a Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz Performance degree, collegiate faculty positions, as well as having over 2,500 gigs around the world under his belt, Matt is an outstanding guitar teacher and player.
Matt's guitar website and products have progressed from a blog, to eBooks, and now into a robust member-based guitar course platform featuring nearly 200 courses, a private forum, live workshops, chord & scale libraries, and much more.
Matt's lessons are very detailed, but he takes complex concepts and makes them simple to understand and apply.
Even if you're not into jazz, Matt's lessons contain countless principles that you can apply to your favorite styles and genres of music. You'll need to put in the work, but Matt's lessons and courses are structured in a way that lets you go at your own pace, and will ensure that you take huge leaps forward in your guitar playing.
Since 2014, Netherlands-based Jens Larsen has been posting free jazz guitar lessons on YouTube, building a large following of guitarists that tune in to his informative and engaging lessons.
Jens' videos are typically concise, which helps make sure you won't get overwhelmed trying to grasp what can sometimes be pretty complex guitar concepts.
While a lot of guitar resources give you charts (such as scales and arpeggios), Jens focuses on using that information in a way that is natural and musical, rather than running through boxed-in positions on the guitar. Jens's lessons range from concepts for people just getting started in jazz, all the way to expert level, so you can jump right in regardless of where you're at with your playing.
In addition to his popular YouTube lessons, Jens has many lessons (both free and premium) and guitar study guides on his own website.
The main goal of Netherlands-based Paul Davids is to inspire fellow guitar players all over the world to create and play music.
With nearly 2.5 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, saying that Paul Davids has had a great impact on the guitar world would be an understatement.
Paul's videos and lessons stand out do to his personable demeanor and high-quality production. With videos ranging from guitar tutorials, to lessons on music theory and ‘Live Guitar Looping’ videos that deconstruct well-known songs, Paul does an amazing job explaining everything and dumbing it down to make sense.
In addition to his great YouTube channel, Paul offers in-depth guitar courses aimed at beginning and intermediate guitar players through his website.
Rick Stickney, Tasty Guitar
Las Vegas-based Rick Stickney has been putting out amazing guitar lessons that are unlike any others.
Targeting intermediate and advanced players, Rick offers guitar lessons and eBooks focused on funk, blues, and R&B through his website, Tasty Guitar.
In addition to many free lessons, Rick offers a membership program that features video lessons, guided rhythm courses, live workshops, professional backing tracks, and much more.
Looking for 1-on-1 lessons? Rick also offers private guitar lessons over Zoom or Skype, with a personalized approach that will take your guitar playing to another level.
There aren't many parts of the music industry that Georgia-based Rick Beato hasn't had his hands in. With experience ranging from being a university professor, to a session musician, music studio engineer and owner, record producer, music textbook writer, and of course, a guitar teacher, Rick Beato is a wealth of knowledge.
In just a few years, Beato has built a following of nearly 2.5 million people on YouTube, where he posts engaging videos covering guitar lessons, music theory, guitar gear, and much more. Rick's popular What Makes This Song Great?' videos discuss and deconstruct popular songs in a way that gets you into the mind of the artist who wrote each song.
In addition to his great YouTube videos, Rick Beato offers a number of great premium products, such as his book 'The Beato Book – A Creative Approach to Improvisation for Guitar and Other Instruments', and an outstanding course on ear training (check them out at RickBeato.com).
Rick Beato is a true artist of his craft, and the music world is a better place due to his willingness to share his knowledge.
Michael Palmisano, Guitar Gate
With a combination of guitar videos on YouTube and his Guitar Gate membership site, Michael Palmisano stands out with his unique approach to dissecting guitar parts, as well as helping students progress through his step-by-step guitar courses.
Michael is one of those people who's videos you start watching for a few seconds, and the next thing you know, it's 25 minutes later - and you're still watching. If you're a guitar player that spends any decent amount of time on YouTube, you've probably come across Michael's 'Guitar Teacher REACTS' videos.
He plays videos of bands/songs (often requested by his YouTube subscribers) that he hasn't ever seen or heard before, and then attempts to figure out and analyze what they are playing in real-time. While the focus is on the guitar player, he often goes beyond that, discussing how the guitar parts fit in within the context of the full band (ie. how a guitar rhythm fits in with the dummer's groove).
In addition to his original YouTube videos, Palmisano runs Guitar Gate, an impressive online and interactive learning platform for guitar students. Michael's goal with Guitar Gate is to recreate what it's like to go to a music school, but letting you learn from the comfort of your home (and at a small fraction of the price). And unlike most online guitar courses, Michael takes a more personal approach, letting you upload videos of your playing, so he can provide feedback and advice.
Steve Stine, Guitar Zoom
Known for his ability to make learning guitar fun and easy, Steve Stine is one of the world's most sought-after guitar instructors.
With a background that includes a bachelor's degree in music education, a role as the professor of Modern Guitar Studies at North Dakota State University, and experience touring in various bands, Steve has been playing and teaching guitar for over 30 years.
Steve is not only a talented and knowledgeable musician, but is a fantastic teacher. Steve takes complicated topics, such as music theory, and helps make them super simple. Most importantly, he teaches you how to put all the building blocks of guitar and music all together in a practical way. Steve does a great job helping guitar students see big improvements quickly.
In addition to offering tons of great free guitar videos on YouTube, Stine offers premium guitar courses, memberships, and masterclasses at GuitarZoom.com. Focusing on rock, metal, acoustic, and blues styles, the lessons on Guitar Zoom are designed to maximize your progress in the shortest time possible.
Ian Stitch, StitchMethod
If you are looking to improve your improvisation skills, and are looking to jam in the style of players like Jerry Garcia and Trey Anastasio, Ian Stitch is the guitar teacher for you.
With over 25 years of teaching experience, Ian has the guitar chops and knowledge, but is also a down-to-earth, friendly guy that is a joy to learn from.
Ian explains things in a way that makes perfect sense. He makes most everything simple and has a knack at getting guitar lessons across well - so you'll actually retain what you learn.
Instead of just teaching licks and songs, Ian breaks down and analyzes music, and does a nice job of explaining how to use his lessons as a jumping off point to start doing your own thing.
In addition to tons of great videos on YouTube, Ian also offers one-on-one guitar lessons, private masterclasses, and music charts through his StichMethod website.
Ian's passion for music and guitar shows on all of his videos, and his engaging teaching style make sure you'll get a lot of value from his lessons.
Andy Crowley, Andy Guitar
Andy Crowley's 'Andy Guitar' stands out with his focus on guitar lessons for beginners.
While there are a lot of great online guitar teachers out there, it can be common for teachers to jump straight to the harder stuff - which is fun if you are an intermediate or advanced player, but not for newbies or beginners.
Teaching guitar online since 2009, Andy now has one of the most popular guitar lesson channels on YouTube. Andy's videos are usually short and to the point, and while he clearly has the knowledge, he doesn't talk over your head as a beginner.
His lessons are clear and slow, which lets beginning guitar players grasp concepts and make noticeable improvements, which encourages you to continue learning and playing guitar.
His lessons are well-organized, and move in a progressive order, building on skills from previous lessons. When covering more difficult concepts, Andy does a great job repeating them until they sink in, and does not rush students.
In addition to his huge library of free lessons on YouTube, Andy offers a big library of premium lessons on AndyGuitar.co.uk, which help beginning guitarists take their playing to the next level.
John Tuggle, Learning Guitar Now
While a lot of online guitar teachers try to cover a wide range of genres, John Tuggle has carved out a niche by being the go-to guitar instructor for people looking to learn blues and slide guitar.
From starting out teaching private guitar lessons, and then branching out into guitar eBooks, DVDs, a podcast, and now a full-fledged guitar membership site, John Tuggle has been producing great guitar courses on various mediums since 2006.
In addition to various lessons covering blues guitar fundamentals and techniques, perhaps where John stands out the most is with his great lessons that teach you how to play in the styles of some of the best electric blues guitar players, including Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Derek Trucks, Dickey Betts, and others.
John's slide guitar lessons are simply the best slide guitar lessons you will find anywhere. His ability to dissect and teach the methods and techniques of players like Derek Trucks, Duane Allman, Warren Haynes, and others is unmatched.
In addition to lot of great free content, John's Learning Guitar Now All Access Pass membership program lets you dive into over 180 hours of step-by-step courses and lessons teaching you how to play and improvise blues and slide guitar.
We're continually on the lookout for the best new online guitar teachers, and will update this post as we discover them.