As recently as ten years ago, a new guitarist would find themselves staring at a page of notation trying to learn how to play the guitar, or paying out hundreds of dollars a month for guitar lessons.
Luckily for today’s beginners, the internet has delivered a gigantic amount of free content to help them on their guitar journey, not only in guitar websites like KillerGuitarRigs, but in everyone’s favorite music school, YouTube.
Of course, with such a wealth of guitarists available on YouTube (numbering in the hundreds if not thousands), it can be hard to know which ones to pay attention to as a beginner.
We’re going to walk you through five of the best YouTubers for beginners, and by the end of this post, you should be on solid footing to find someone who matches your playing and learning style, so you can get on the road to being a guitar god.
Andy Crowley is a music teacher who has hundreds of lessons on his YouTube channel and a large library of lessons on his website. His channel has around two million subscribers and has had over two hundred million views.
One of the things I like about Andy’s channel is that he tries to connect his lessons together for beginners. Many YouTubers treat each video as a standalone entity, which can be a huge disadvantage to learners as it means there’s no clear path for what to learn.
Andy addresses this issue by having playlists that join videos together to give you a clear learning path.
Andy does that I like because he has regular challenges for his viewers, like a “play every day for ten days” challenge.
The benefit of this is it makes learners feel like they’re part of something fun instead of learning on their own, and it gives them a certain amount of accountability to propel their studies.
Overall, Andy Guitar is possibly the only channel you’ll need, but at the very least, it’s a great start.
Marty Schwartz has a long history as an online guitar teacher. A San Diego native, Marty reinvented himself as the internet’s busiest guitar teacher after losing his teaching job, first launching JamPlay and then his own Marty Music channel.
He now boasts almost three million subscribers and over four hundred million views. Along the way, he’s shared stages with bands such as Blues Traveller and Slightly Stoopid, and has been called in to teach guitar to some of the biggest names in entertainment, such as Jason Stratham.
The thing I like about Marty’s Channel is that, along with lessons, he acts like something of a guitar magazine. He teaches concepts and techniques, but he also has a ton of videos on how to play certain songs, as well as videos where he does things like visit the Gibson factory.
If you want to mix learning with entertainment, Marty is your guy.
Being one of the biggest guitar companies in the world, Fender, of course, has a viral YouTube channel with over a million subscribers.
However, in the last year, Fender has started to reinvent itself on YouTube with a huge amount of educational content to complement their more advertising-oriented content.
The main reason for Fender to do this is to get people to sign up for Fender Play, which is their wildly popular online lesson service.
However, the lessons they have uploaded to YouTube are incredibly talented music teachers, including some well-known names and a ton of Berkeley graduates.
While they don’t have the breadth of lessons that some of the other channels on our list, they do have some of the best lessons on their cover topics.
Justin Sandercoe is one of the best-loved guitarists on YouTube due to his relaxing, friendly approach to playing the guitar. In complementing his website, his channel guides new players from the very basics to some of the most challenging things you can do on the guitar.
Justin has about a 1.4million viewers on his channel, and an incredible two hundred and ten million views.
One of the great things about Justin’s channel is his lick library, a series of lessons that teach you various blues and jazz licks that you can incorporate into your playing.
As someone who’s played guitar for over 30 years, I even find myself picking up some new things every time I go there.
Jam Track Central
Jam track Central is maybe not quite as much for beginners as the others on our list, but one of the great things about it is that it provides a ton of great content for beginners who are maybe easing into intermediate playing.
In addition, they have a wide range of backing tracks for you to solo over – and this is key. One of the best ways for a guitarist to get comfortable with a new scale is to get a backing track in that key and then just practice the scale over and over – and Jam track Central is perfect for this.
Overall, JTC probably won’t teach you to play guitar the same way that the others on our list would, but if you work your way through the others, it will provide the next step in your journey as a guitarist – hence it’s inclusion at the end of our list.
There is no right or wrong way to learn the guitar, only how that works best for any given guitarist. Some people swear by books, some people like to sit with their favorite tab website, and some people like to watch someone on YouTube describe and then demonstrate something for them before they attempt it themselves.
One of the great parts of being a guitarist is that it is truly a lifetime of learning – and what works for you today might not be what works for you at your next stage.
In your lifetime as a guitarist, you’ll find yourself consulting any and all methods – and why not, if it works, it works.