Hey! This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.
Product being reviewed: Guitar Tricks
Overall Ranking: 91/100
Guitar Tricks Price: $19.95/month or $179 per year
Disclosure: This is a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review.
Hello and welcome to my Guitar Tricks review.
If you’ve been considering online guitar lessons you might have heard of guitar tricks and might be wondering if it’s worth checking out.
I have been using Guitar Tricks for the last couple of weeks and below is a detailed review that will cover:
- The pros and cons
- How Guitar Tricks work;
- Who Guitar Tricks is best suited to
- A comprehensive rating of Guitar Tricks;
- The price and whether or not it is value for money
- My final verdict
O.k. let’s get straight into it.
- Well organized lesson structure
- Easy to follow lessons that are clearly explained
- Quality, well rounded instructors
- Beginner courses are highly detailed and assume no knowledge
- Thoroughly covers all techniques from beginner to advanced
- A number of different styles are covered in depth
- A huge number of songs that you can learn with step by step instruction
- Artist studies to look in depth into the styles of particular artists
- A really cool progress tracker
- Some really neat tools such as the chord finder, scale finder & fretboard trainer
- An active and engaging forum
- Online support for any questions that the forum can’t answer for you
- I would prefer to see a bit more in the way of theory – what’s there is really good but there could be more
- Some extra styles could be added – but again what’s there is really in depth
- More resources for song writing would be a nice-to-have
Who is Guitar Tricks Best Suited to?
If your main purpose for playing the guitar is to learn songs then Guitar Tricks might be the one for you. They apparently have twice as many songs to learn as any other online guitar lesson website. Assuming that’s true, that’s quite impressive.
And if you are looking to learn the fundamentals, skills, techniques and knowledge necessary to be a really great guitarist then you can learn all of that at Guitar tricks from what I’ve seen. It’s pretty comprehensive and it’s all taught in an easy to learn way.
Joining is beneficial for any ability level, right from the absolute beginner, those who are self-taught and want to fill in any gaps in technique they may have missed and more intermediate and advanced played too.
- Beginner (or self-taught guitarists who want to fill in any gaps), intermediate, advanced
- Learning songs
- Advancing techniques/improving ability
- Learning musical theory
Heard enough? Don’t want to read the rest of this review and want to see for yourself? Check out the link below and join up for a free 2 week trial so you can see for yourself:
How Guitar Tricks Works/What You Get Access to
The beginner lessons are broken up into:
- Guitar Fundamentals 1
- Guitar Fundamentals 2
Guitar Fundamentals 1
Guitar fundamentals 1 starts right from the beginning and assumes you know absolutely nothing about the guitar. It is broken down further into 7 chapters which cover:
- Chapter 1: Get to Know Your Guitar (covers tuning, parts of the guitar, how the guitar works, guitar maintenance etc.) (3 lessons)
- Chapter 2: Let’s learn to play (basic techniques, simple chords, practice methods) (6 lessons)
- Chapter 3: How to play simple melodies (4 lessons)
- Chapter 4: 5 Chord Power pack (5 lessons)
- Chapter 5: Must-Know Open Chords (2 lessons)
- Chapter 6: How Chords work Together to Make Songs (5 lessons)
- Chapter 7: Intro to Timing and Rhythm (3 lessons)
Guitar Fundamentals 2
Fundamentals 2 builds on what’s learned in fundamentals 1. It’s also broken into separate chapters (with several lessons within each chapter).
- Chapter 1: Introduction to Music Theory (8 lessons)
- Chapter 2: Introduction to minor chords (6 lessons)
- Chapter 3: Scales and chords and triads (4 lessons)
- Chapter 4: Introduction to reading music notation (3 lessons)
- Chapter 5: Simple songs using chords and scale notes (3 lessons)
- Chapter 6: Learn and practice more chord groups (7 lessons)
- Chapter 7: Practicing major and minor scales (1 lesson)
- Chapter 8: Introduction to Barre Chords (2 lessons)
So all in all fundamentals 1 & 2 contain 62 lessons, broken up into an easy to follow and logical structure where each lesson builds on the previous one. Importantly, it’s all been designed so you learn what you need to in a particular order.
The experienced lessons are broken off into a number of different areas. But begins with an introduction into a few different styles.
Then you can check out some other styles (more on the styles later in this review) or go more in depth with the intro styles.
Also within the advanced levels you can delve into more advanced techniques, study the styles of particular artists, learn some practice routines and practice methods and learn more chords and guitar scales chart.
In the experienced lessons you get.
- Introduction to Styles
- More Styles (see below)
- Artist studies
- Chords and Scales
- Gear and Tone
There are hundreds of lessons in the experienced lessons section – enough to keep you learning and improving for a long time.
Just a little bit on the start of the experienced lessons – the introduction to styles – and then we’ll take a look at their song learning section.
Introduction to Styles
Once you’ve completed fundamentals two, before exploring more techniques and styles etc., there are 6 more courses that go into 3 different styles of guitar. There are level 1 and level 2 courses for each.
- Blues Level 1
- Blues Level 2
- Country Level 1
- Country Level 2
- Rock Level 1
- Rock Level 2
As in all the lessons on guitar tricks, each course is broken down into several chapters and within those chapters several different lessons.
I found the lessons very easy to follow and the structure made it very easy to progress through the lessons – and the progress tracker is also a really awesome feature (see below for more on that).
The next area in guitar tricks is all about learning songs.
There are over 700 songs in the “Learning Songs” section.
What is awesome about having that many songs is that it is likely that there are a lot of songs that you will want to learn – guitar tricks apparently have twice as many song lessons as any of their competitors.
This is just what they say – but I’m inclined to believe it seeing how many songs they have.
And they seem to be constantly adding more too. Today as I am writing this they have added 5 new song lessons over the last 12 days.
Searching for songs
Finding the right songs to learn is pretty easy with the way they’ve structured it.
Each song has:
- The Genre (style)
- The Title of the song (of course!)
- The Artist
- The difficulty level; and
- The instructor who is teaching it
So you can choose the songs you learn based on difficulty (a good place to start) or search for a specific song, or learn songs from a particular artist, or from a particular genre. You might even prefer certain instructors and you can search for songs by instructor too.
Why Learning Songs from an Instructor is better than learning by Tab
Until you’ve learned how to play a song through an instructor and not trying to work it out for yourself from tablature, you won’t understand how much better this is.
- You learn everything step by step
- You are shown exactly how to play the parts (you’re not relying on your ear alone)
- You learn the best finger placements – instead of having to figure them out for yourself (and potentially making the song harder to play)
- You learn the song accurately
The following styles are covered in depth:
- Funk & Soul
One of the coolest parts of guitar tricks from my perspective is their progress tracking. It may depend on the person here but, for me, having a way to track my progress through the lessons so I can easily see which lessons I’ve completed and how far through each area I am, is awesome.
For me this is super motivating and allows me to be aware that I am making progress and, even more importantly, that I am not missing anything – I know what I am yet to cover.
You can see my progress tracking centre to the right here. You should go through the lessons in a linear fashion so your guitar fundamentals 1 should be complete before you move on to fundamentals 2 etc.
Since I was checking out lessons across the board for this review my progress looks a bit all over the place – but you get the idea.
They also have a number of great tools you can access in their toolbox including:
- A tuner
- A metronome
- A chord finder
- A scale finder
- Fretboard Trainer
- Jam Station
At first I really glanced over this section thinking it was just a nice bonus – and I guess it is really, but it’s also a very useful section to have. I’ll go through a few of these and explain why these are beneficial.
A metronome is essentially a time keeper. This is a great tool to train you to learn to play in time. You can set the metronome at any speed you want so that you can learn something slowed down and then speed it up as you get better and want to play it faster.
This is actually a pretty awesome tool. You just put in the name of the chord you want, e.g. C minor, and it will show you a fretboard diagram of how to play that chord. Not only that, it also gives you 5 different variations of how to play that chord in various positions on the fretboard.
This is fantastic for any guitarist – not only for those learning songs and expanding their repertoire, but also for writing songs.
The scale finder works the same way as the chord finder. You type in the scale that you want to learn, e.g. D major, and it shows you all the notes in the D major scale on the fretboard diagram, and will give you 5 different scale patterns across the fretboard.
The fretboard trainer is a pretty fun game – or at least I thought so! 🙂
But not only that, it’s a great tool to help learn where the notes are on the fretboard.
My best score from 3 attempts was 20/20 in 1:13 – the best time is 30 seconds! They must know their fretboard pretty darn well!
If you become a member see if you can find my score – my username is sixstring99 – and see if you can beat my time!
Summary of What you Get
So as you can see you get heaps of stuff here – I hope this has given you a good idea of some of what guitar tricks offer. Now let’s see how they are rated in my rating system.
Check out the final score in the table below and below that for details of how the rating score is broken down.
|GUITAR TRICKS SCORE
|Quality of Lessons:
|Number of Instructors:
|Quality of Instructors:
|Variety of Materials:
|Ease of following the lessons:
|Enjoyment of the Lessons:
|Support and Community:
Quantity/Thoroughness of Lessons
Points Allocated: 15
Guitar Tricks (GT) Points scored: 15/15
There is no shortage of lessons here and from what I saw they cover every aspect you could ever ask for – in a lot of detail.
Hearing that there are 11,000 lessons on guitar tricks might sound overwhelming but rest assured you won’t have to go through even a tiny fraction of those to become a really decent guitarist.
It’s nice to know that there are enough lessons that you’ll never run out of material but it’s also nice to know that you won’t need to cover anywhere near close to that amount.
Quality of Lessons
Points Allocated: 15
GT Points scored: 14/15
Obviously I can’t go through each and every lesson for this review. But the lessons that I did check out were thorough, easy to understand, everything was explained very clearly, and there were demonstrations and multiple camera angles.
And very importantly, the lessons are structured so that you learn everything in the right order. This leads to much faster progress.
Number of Instructors
Points Allocated: 5
GT points scored: 4/5
GT has 32 different instructors.
The great thing about multiple instructors is that you get the knowledge from several different guitarists and not just one if you were to have just a single instructor. This is one of the major advantages of online lessons over in-person lessons.
Quality of Instructors
Points Allocated: 15
GT points scored: 15/15
The number of instructors is irrelevant if they were all crap. However, all of the instructors I saw were experienced accomplished players and, even more importantly, great teachers.
I’ve seen online lessons with a greater number of instructors but it’s the quality of those instructors where it really counts and guitar tricks have that in spades from what I saw.
Variety of Material
Points Allocated: 10
GT points scored: 8/10
GT has lessons for beginners, intermediate players and advanced players alike. There are 12 different styles that they cover in depth training for and a massive amount of songs that you can learn note for note.
I didn’t see much in the way of song writing – though there are certainly tools there that will help with song writing – but there could be more in that area and there could perhaps be more styles covered. What styles they do cover they do it extremely well.
Ease of Following the Lessons
Points Allocated: 15
GT points scored: 15/15
As I mentioned above all the lessons provide all the camera angles you need to see what’s going on.
In addition to this the instructors really don’t assume anything. They take you through very methodically over everything and explain things very clearly.
Enjoyment of the Lessons
Points Allocated: 5
GT points scored: 5/5
This is really important for your motivation to continue to go through the lessons. If you enjoy them you will find it much easier and quicker to progress.
All of the GT instructors I saw were all well spoken (didn’t have monotone voices or anything like that and always spoke clearly). They make the lessons interesting and interactive and the progress tracker, in my opinion, is a great tool for making the lessons more enjoyable and as a great motivator.
Points Allocated: 10
GT points scored: 7/10
The theory is incorporated into the lessons. Whilst not everyone wants to learn the theory side, if you do want a thorough learning experience, this is provided here.
What is there is good, but there could be more advanced stuff included (and maybe it is there and I just missed it but I couldn’t find anything beyond the beginner to intermediate stuff)
Support & Community
Points Allocated: 5
GT points scored: 4/5
GT has a very active forum so you can chat about any number of topics with other members and GT staff.
This is a great way to get answers to your questions and interact with fellow guitarists.
If you can’t answer your question in the forum, you can also ask a question through a help button that is located on the right hand side of every page. I haven’t had any experience using their support but from others I’ve spoken with it sounds like it’s pretty good.
Points Allocated: 5
GT points scored: 4/5
Well it’s not free, so I can’t give it 5/5 but it is very reasonably priced – and you can try it out for free which is awesome because you can see if it’s for you or not before you even pay a cent.
If you do decide to continue it costs $19.95 per month which is super reasonable considering that you would pay at least that for just one half hour lesson with a guitar instructor. You get access to hundreds of hours of lessons and some pretty cool tools.
And if you go for a yearly membership it’s only $179 for the whole year (equivalent of $14.91 per month).
If you do decide to cancel it’s really easy. You simply go to “account”, and then click on “cancel billing”, and you won’t be charged a cent.
Value for Money
So I do I think it’s value for money?
Absolutely, without question.
If you were to stay with Guitar Tricks for a year, and take advantage of what they have to offer, you would be a very capable guitarist by the end of that year. To do this it would cost you $179*.
If you were to take private lessons with an in-person instructor, this would cost you anywhere from $20 to $100 per lesson. But let’s just use the minimum as an example (keeping in mind that the cheapest lessons are likely to be the worst quality).
At $20 per lesson and let’s say you do 45 lessons (1 per week but you probably won’t go every single week in the year). That equals $900 for the year. And there are a bunch of reasons why in-person lessons may not necessarily make you as good a guitarist as Guitar Tricks will.
Final Opinion & Recommendations
- In terms of the structure of the lessons and the quality of the instructors, Guitar Tricks is the best that I have seen.
- They are also the leaders in terms of the number of songs you can learn there.
- They have the most user friendly website to navigate that I have seen
- There is very little I could say in terms of weaknesses except that maybe they could have more lessons on theory, maybe introduce a few more styles and have more for song writing
- I love the progress tracking system they use and the tools they provide are really beneficial too.
- The website is laid out really well and it’s super-easy to find everything you’re looking for.
- The price is really reasonable for what you get – you definitely get value for money
Overall this is the best online guitar lesson provider that I have come across – but that’s not a surprise really, they have been around since 1998. So they’ve had 17 years of practice!
If you want to check out the full access area of Guitar Tricks for yourself to see if it’s right for you check out the link below. Remember that it’s free for two weeks when you follow this link and you can cancel at any time within two weeks and not be charged anything.
Thanks for reading and I hope you have found this review to be helpful. Any questions or comments are very welcome and can be left in the comments sections below.
* UPDATE: Once my 2 week trial was up and I cancelled my account I received an email from Guitar Tricks offering a 1 year subscription for $99 (which is just $8.25/month).
I can’t say for sure if this deal is always on or sent to everyone but I suspect that it is, and worth a shot. Even if you sign up for a free 2 week trial and then if you receive the offer you’ll be in a better position to decide whether or not it’s for you, after trying it out for 2 weeks. Then, if it is for you, you can get it for a seriously cheap price.
FAQs Guitar Tricks Price
Guitar Tricks is an online subscription service that, like most other subscription services of this kind, offers a couple of different payment options. The first option is to subscribe on a month-by-month basis, paying $19.95 each month. Alternatively, you can pay for a year outright for $179. In case you are not too good at mental maths, that offers a saving of around $60 overall, a sum not to be sniffed at. Of course, some might argue that much of the learning offered by such a service could also be garnered oneself through YouTube and other resources.
This remains to be seen by each individual person, for each of our circumstances is different and thus might warrant the use of such a service more than others. Some, for example, might have more cash to spare and, thus, will be able to expend their income on such a service without worrying too much about breaking the bank and such. Likewise, there might be others less financially well-endowed who cannot otherwise afford to expend on such a service, those who instead prefer to teach themselves. Both are equally valid routes for learning an instrument.
While there may be certain parts of the service that are free to use by non-paying and non-subscribing users, the majority of the service and all of the resources contained within are obtained by paying. Subscribing to the service can be done in one of two ways, either by paying $19.95 per month or paying $179 outright for a whole year, in the latter instance saving you around $60. Each of you will have to weigh up whether or not such an expense is worth it while considering your own relative needs and wants from learning an instrument alongside your own income and expenditure elsewhere.
As far as the consensus goes, both Guitar Tricks and Justin Guitar deliver when focusing on more beginner-level content, covering that area effectively and leaving little to be desired. However, as the difficulty of the content increases, it is said that Justin Guitar takes a real dive in value compared to its competitor Guitar Tricks, which itself boasts a far stronger and more credible range of lessons for intermediate and advanced learning. Some might suggest that Justin Guitar is by contrast more personable, though you will have to be the judge of that.