Guitar Lessons Review

                  Side-by-Side Comparison of the Top How to Learn Guitar Courses

Name of the Course
Learn & Master Guitar
My Overall Rating
10 out of 10!
9.5 out of 10
8.5 out of 10
Review Available
Easy to Follow
Bang For Your Buck



A Special Announcement

These reviews are not just some B.S. I made up to convince you to buy. (Some people might think that because I make a small commission if you buy anything through the links on my site.)

It's important (to me at least) that you know I own all of the home-study courses reviewed here. And, no, I didn't get them for free as a promo-gimmick. I bought them out of my own pocket because I actually wanted to do the lessons! They've all been worth the money I paid (and much cheaper than dozens of hours of private lessons) — which is why I'm reviewing them.

A note about Jamplay: Unlike the others, Jamplay is a monthly membership site, where you have access to all their lessons while you're a member. In the interests of full disclosure, I do not have a current membership to Jamplay. The lessons are fantastic (and there are so many!), but I'd be wasting my money because I just don't have enough free time these days.

If, like me, you don't have a lot of time either, one of the other options might suit you better. Or, if you're able to take advantage of all those lessons, more power to ya!

So that's it. The full picture. These are my real and honest reviews based on using the products here to improve my playing. I really hope they're helpful to you in some way.

                  Most Recommended Learn to Play Guitar Course!

Overall Rating:

1. Learn & Master Guitar
Simply the most comprehensive guitar course available today!

This course is amazing. Twenty DVDs of lessons shipped to your door, 5 CDs that you can use to practice by playing along with, and enough supporting material to sink a ship!

Not to mention full access to the online learners support community. I don't really know what else to say about this package. It really is amazing. This is the best guitar course out there by far.

It's not cheap, but it's well, well worth it if you're serious about learning to play guitar. I could go on and on and on about this one, but if you're only just starting out, then two hundred and fifty clams is a lot of money. If you're not sure if guitar really is for you, then take a look at the next review for Jamorama.

On the other hand, if you've been playing for a little while, know that you want to be a serious guitar player, but feel as if you're not really making the kind of progress you'd like, invest in this package and you'll never look back!

Find Out More About Learn & Master Guitar

                  Recommended Learn to Play Guitar Course #2

Overall Rating:

2. Jamorama
You absolutely cannot go past the Jamorama course for value for money.

This course comes in two formats: downloadable or a physical package of DVDs (which is more expensive than the online version, obviously). This review is for the downloadable version. The content is exactly the same, but the price is not.

For about 50 bucks, you get a complete course that will take you from beginner to intermediate in just a few months. It covers all you need to know to get started playing fast: chords, scales, strumming, etc.

It's no nonsense and moves at a pace that isn't too fast for total newbies yet without inducing that "come...on!" feeling for those who've had a few lessons before.

The bonuses that come with the package are, in fact, worth as much as the course itself! There's an awesome piece of "ear-training" software which will help you recognise exactly which notes are being played at any time. It's awesome. And if you don't already read music, there's a cool "game" to that'll teach you how. No more boring and brain-bending drills that never seem to sink in. This cute little game will teach you how to read music in no time.

There's all sorts of other cool stuff, as well. Far, far too much to mention here. I can't speak highly enough of this course. It doesn't compare to Learn & Master Guitar in terms of the depth of the material, but it sure makes up for it in the "bang for your buck" department!

If you're just starting out or you've had a few lessons but you're not sure where to turn next, I'd recommend this one. At just $49.95, how can you go wrong? Seriously.

Find Out More About Jamorama

                  Recommended Learn to Play Guitar Course #3

Overall Rating:

3. Jamplay
Just because this is my #3 choice, don't be fooled... This site kicks butt!

The most important thing you need to know about Jamplay is that it is a membership site. You have the option to pay either $20 per month, $50 every three months, or $140 per year (which is a saving of over 40%).

That's a little bit expensive compared to the other two courses I've reviewed here, but when you see the insanely large amount of tutorials and other stuff that managed to cram into that site, you'll see why. Also, even at the most expensive option of $20/month, it's still much, much less than a single lesson with a private teacher!

This site is for when you have committed to learning how to play guitar. I really, really, really don't recommend it if you're just starting out for two reasons:

1. It's overwhelming. There is just so much stuff in there to choose from. You'll be like a kid in a candy store. But therein lies the danger: If you're a beginner, you'll lose focus. You'll jump from one style to the next to the next and not actually lay down the fundamentals first.

2. And the other reason is you'll probably waste your money. Now, that's no criticism of the site itself. But like I said, above, you should only sign up here if you're committed to learning to play. If you're just poking around and wondering if guitar is for you, go back on up to the Jamorama review and check that out.

If, on the other hand, you are hardcore and you have plenty of time to get your money's worth, then you won't be disappointed at all with what Jamplay has to offer. Truly astounding value, but only if you make sure you take advantage of it.

Find Out More About Jamplay

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More Learn to Play Guitar Course Reviews...

Where the three courses/sites above cover or give you access to all the fundamentals of playing guitar generally and then look at other genres, these three courses are specifically targetted at learning to play blues, jazz guitar, or metal guitar.

I actually play all three styles and love them equally! If you're interested in learning how to play one of these styles in greater depth, then I highly recommend all three of these courses.

                  Jazz, Metal, and Blues Guitar Courses

Name of the Course
Play Jazz Guitar
Playing Through
the Blues
Tearing It Up!
My Overall Rating
9 out of 10
9 out of 10
7.5 out of 10
Review Available
Easy to Follow
Bang For Your Buck



                  Learn to Play Jazz Guitar with Chris Standring

Overall Rating:

1. Play Jazz Guitar
Give your tired old chops a new lease of life with this incredible home-study course from successful jazz recording artist, Chris Standring.

Firstly, it's important to note that this course is not for beginners. If you're just starting out on guitar, then you're better off to look into one of the main guitar courses reviewed above; they all cover the basics of playing jazz guitar perfectly well.

This course is targetted at solid intermediate level players who feel like their playing has become a bit "stale" and need something to help breath some fresh air back into it.

The course is completely comprehensive, with dozens and dozens of audio examples and backing tracks. It moves you from a new look at melody (probably like you've never seen or thought of before), through harmonies, motifs, tri-tone substitutions and other phrasing techniques, as well as dealing with progressions, changes, and classic resolutions and turn-arounds for a wide range of patterns and sequences.

This course is wonderful. It will add sooooo much depth and character to your playing that you'll hardly believe you used to play the way you did. If you find yourself needing to improvise often when you play, Chris will teach you to approach it in an amazing new way – just enough theory to know what you're doing and why, but not so much as to turn your brain to mush or put you to sleep.

If you want to learn how to play jazz guitar for under a hundred bucks, there is no better place to turn than this successful jazz guitarist's home-study course.

Find Out More About Play Jazz Guitar

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                  How to Play Blues Guitar with Griff Hamlin

Overall Rating:

1. Playing Through the Blues
I don't think I've met a single person who doesn't move their feet to the blues!

Now you can be the person to get those feet a-stompin'! Griff Hamlin has written a simple, very easy-to-follow yet extraordinarily powerful course on learning to play the blues.

The "core" of this course is a 50-page ebook that walks you through all the basics, complete with photos of exactly how to hold your guitar, tablature diagrams and musical notation (which he helps you with if you don't know these already), and clearly marked places to fire up the audio-track examples (of which there are hundreds!).

He provides backing tracks for you to jam over top of and a really cool bonus with a bunch of turn-arounds and licks for ending a progression with. There's nothing fancy about this course at all. Just professional and to the point, which is what you'd expect from a blues man, isn't it?

If you've ever wanted to play the blues (and c'mon, who hasn't?), and you already have the basics of guitar-playing under control (again, this is not a course for newbies), then jump on this one. It's such an amazing bargain at $47. I have no idea why he sells it so cheap. I know he does private lessons, too. I bet just one or two lessons would be that much!

Find Out More About
Playing Through the Blues

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                  Learn How to Play Heavy Metal Guitar with Phil Wheatley

Overall Rating:

1. Tearing It Up
Online metal guitar courses are a little bit hard to come by. But this one does the trick.

Okay, I admit it, I'm a metal head! I've been playing metal since I was in high school (in the 80s!) and I still love it. I think you either love metal or you hate it with a passion! There's not usually any in-between

So if you'd like to learn all the fundamentals of metal, then look no further. Phil Wheatley has laid out a simple set of tutorials and videos walking you through all the "tools of the trade": bending, hammer-ons, tapping, alternate picking, etc.

Phil has got to be the sweetest metal-head I've ever seen. He's so laid back and kind and patient in the videos and the examples are all really clear. Like most courses, there's a basic or "core" ebook which starts with the basics (so this one is newbie-friendly) and then refers you to the videos to see it in action.

One thing I particularly like about the videos is that it's not a bunch of fret-wanking, he actually shows you how to do stuff! It's all super-slowed-down so that you can see what he's doing, pause the video, and then try it for yourself. Another neat touch is that the strings are colour-coded in the photos so you can see exactly which ones he's referring to.

My only real gripe with this course is that it's a bit "thin." It's a little bit expensive at $47, to be honest. Is it worth it? Well, if you really want to play metal and you don't want to wait weeks for some kind of physical package to be sent to you can download this course in around 15mins with a high-speed internet connection and be playing tonight.

"Tearing It Up" will give you a good basic set of skills and get you started on the road to Hell... uh, I mean, playing metal guitar! It's straight-forward, no-BS, no high-falutin' words or hours and hours of boring music theory. Just exactly what you need to start, uh, tearing it up, really!

Find Out More About Tearing It Up

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