The 5 best online guitar lesson platforms 2021

Let's face it the pandemic has caused a tremendous amount of pain and suffering for many, but like all things in life, there is no dark without light.

One of the great positives to have emerged over the last 18 months is a burst of creative energy from all swathes of society; the guitar industry is no exception. Whether picking up the guitar for the first time, returning to the guitar or devoting more time to your studies, learning the guitar online has never been easier and conversely more complicated, with many sites and apps from which to choose. From specialist online guitar learning platforms like Licklibrary, JTC and Truefire to the interactive features of Yousician or the less focused world of Youtube. Rick Beato being the exception.

Now, it's fair to say that I am biased; as a director of one of the longest-running guitar learning platforms, I think we do a great job of teaching people to play the guitar and grow their music skills. However, over the 25 years, I've been playing the guitar, I have learnt from countless individuals, companies and platforms, all have merit in their own right.

So, where do you start looking for a modern and practical way of improving your guitar knowledge? You have to start by looking honestly at your current ability level and medium-term goals, then look for the solution that fits the objectives. To that end, here are my top sites and apps for learning the guitar.

Best For Absolute Beginners.

Fender Play

SPECIFICATIONS Price: 14-day free Trial, $/£9.99 monthly, $/£7.50 per month (annual plan) Key features: Guided paths; bite-sized lessons; suitable for guitar bass and uke players; 100+ popular songs to learn; multi-angle camera Fender Play free Trial. REASONS TO BUY +User experience is flawless+Excellent for beginners+Great choice of lessons+Progress is easy to track

Best For All

Licklibrary

SPECIFICATIONS Price: 7 Day Free Trial, $/£11.99 monthly, $/£99 (annual plan) Key features: Huge library of 5000 lessons, Focus on artists repertoire, Guided learning paths; bite-sized lessons; 5000+ courses, multi-angle camera. Free 1-1 each month, Slow-Mo and Looping Licklibrary Free trial REASONS TO BUY +User experience is excellent + Excellent for all types of players + excellent customer service and support

Best For Gamers

Yousician

SPECIFICATIONS Price: 7 Day Free Trial, $/£19.99 monthly Key features: App-based, Subscription service, Theory and learning focussed Multiple instruments available, Quick, simple, and easy to use interface. Licklibrary Free trial REASONS TO BUY +User experience + Gamification

Best For Virtuosos

True Fire

Price: free 30-day trial, $29/month for monthly plan, $249 annual, $2,499 lifetime Key features: New courses weekly, pro instructors, 1080p HD video, Slo-Mo and Looping REASONS TO BUY excellent array of teachers+Slo-Mo and Looping is a cool feature+Heaps of resources

Best For Theory

Rick Beato - Youtube

Price: Youtube resources free, Donations encouraged. Beato Book from $80 Key features: New content each week, free, extensive theory knowledge.

Honourable mentions to this list include Jamtrack Central, Guitar Tricks, Justin Guitar, Guitareo, Jam Play, Artistworks, Andy Guitar and Masterclass. All are worth checking out and have their own excellent and unique qualities.