Written by Bobby
Parent article: Best Online Guitar Lesson
Best Advanced Guitar Lessons: TrueFire
In terms of content quality, volume of material, and breadth of styles and techniques covered, TrueFire is one of the top-rated options we've reviewed. For advanced players, it's going to be the most challenging option and will give you the widest range of material to work with.
Most guitar lesson programs have a unique strength and a particular skill level that they're more catered to or that they're more effectively able to serve. Those looking for advanced guitar lessons are usually going to be best served by specific courses and not necessarily entire programs, which are often designed to take a beginner from the starting line on through all the basics of playing guitar. This wide scope isn't necessary for an advanced player.
The best advanced guitar lessons, whether online or not, should do primarily two things:
- Build on existing skill
- Develop a particular interest or playing niche
We'll look at online guitar lessons that cover advanced material and help you do those two things, while maintaining a high level of quality. I'll also dig into some of the advanced courses and content offered within the body of some of today's most popular guitar learning programs.
Best Advanced Guitar Lessons Comparison Section
When it comes to advanced guitar lessons, TrueFire is one of my favorite recommendations. First, they're one of the few online guitar lesson programs out there that allow you to download individual courses as opposed to signing up for a monthly or yearly membership. They also have a ton of material for every skill level and lots of different nuanced areas of study, which is great for intermediate and advanced guitar players.
You might notice that all of these lessons are branded uniquely and produced by an artist or educator.
While JamPlay produces some of their lessons like this, TrueFire has a much broader range of lessons with more qualified instructors. For example, Steve Vai and Johnny Hiland are just a couple of big name examples that make an appearance.
As you would expect, their course list is extremely thorough:
In total, TrueFire provides an astounding 33,000 lessons spread over 700 courses. For the advanced player who wants to narrow their focus or study something that would uniquely challenge them, you'll have a hard time finding a better resource.
IDEAL FOR: Advanced study of specific styles and techniques
2. JamPlay's Advanced Content
I typically recommend JamPlay for intermediate guitar players, just because they have a somewhat more broad range of lessons in terms of skills and styles covered. Check out my comparison of Guitar Tricks and JamPlay if you'd like to see how the two score side-by-side.
JamPlay's lessons are broken down into two phases:
- Phase 1: Beginner
- Phase 2: Everything else
Phase 2 houses all of JamPlay's intermediate and advanced material, which I would argue is more effectively organized and more comprehensive than their beginners section. That's why I typically recommend Guitar Tricks for beginners and JamPlay for intermediate and/or advanced players.
JamPlay breaks this section up by primarily two categories:
The genre-based section has a surprisingly wide range of both popular and nuanced musical styles.
When you click on a category, perhaps Rock, you'll be met with a listing of instructors, each representing an individual course within that category. These are typically much longer courses than what we saw with Guitar Tricks, some numbering as many as 40 to 50 videos.
Overall, JamPlay is able to cover a lot of ground by going broad and deep with their content. Not surprisingly, genre sections like Hawaiian Slack Key, aren't as well-populated as categories like rock and blues.
It's important to understand that not everyone learning guitar, not even all the advanced learners, necessarily want to drill down super deep into a given topic. However, for those that do, JamPlay does a great job of giving you plenty of depth and comprehensive coverage for each topic they address.
In that regard, they have a lot of appeal as a source of both intermediate and advanced guitar lessons.
IDEAL FOR: Narrowing in on a particular musical style
3. Guitar Tricks' Advanced Content
Guitar Tricks is one of the longest-running online guitar lesson programs, having gotten their start back in 1998. While I typically like them better for beginner content, they're the strongest program I've ever used in terms of pure topic organization. Their advanced section is equally well-organized and intuitive, branching off their core learning system.
Here's how that system is structured:
The experienced courses provide essentially nine different ways to categorize your learning path. Your most conventional option is by style, with blues, country, and rock courses available after the Guitar Fundamentals I and II courses. Further, advanced guitar lessons are broken down by the following categories:
- Artist Studies
- Chords & Scales
- Gear & Tone
Clicking on one of these parent categories takes you to a page with all the lessons that can be categorized under that particular section. For example, if you click on "Technique" you'll find all the lessons related to technique-specific areas of study. Alternate picking, country bending, rock bending and finger picking are just a few of the lesson groupings you'll find.
These end up being shorter, more focused lesson groupings that narrow in on a particular topic. You can also sort through material in similar fashion via the "Style" section. For example, if you sort lessons in the experienced section by style and "metal" you'll have all the advanced material related to metal, specifically:
While there is some more introductory material also included, the bulk of the content in these sections will be intermediate to advanced.
The Thoroughness of Each Section
Each section is a collection of lessons. For example, if you click on "An Introduction to Drop C Tuning" you'll see it's one series of five videos.
While it's fair to say that there are certainly more thorough advanced guitar lesson options, Guitar Tricks does a good job of organizing material in an easy to follow way while still providing depth for the seasoned player. As you start to dig into the material, you'll find that each video and course can keep you busy for a lengthy amount of time.
IDEAL FOR: Topical structure and song study
4. The John Petrucci Guitar Method
Courtesy of Guitar World, John Petrucci and Andy Aledort
John Petrucci's Guitar Method lesson is a little over an hour long, but it is free as part of a special he did with Guitar World.
The material is entirely taught by Petrucci and covers a remarkable amount of content, especially considering it's just over an hour long. His approach to vibrato, palm muting, power chords and many other concepts are covered with plenty of detail and examples.
You could kill a lot of time with the tab sheets alone. Here's the one for his power chords section:
In the article, Petrucci talks about being influenced by guitarists outside of the rock and metal genres, which shows through in this particular lesson. Much of the material covered isn't limited to being beneficial in heavy styles, but can be applied to a wide range of musical disciplines. Moreover, if you're in search of an advanced guitar lesson that's free and somewhat quick, this is a fantastic starting point.
IDEAL FOR: Shredding and power chords
5. Chris Zoupa's YouTube Channel
Chris Zoupa and his YouTube material are one of my go to resources for anything concerning speed guitar and/or learning solos. Since I've never been a great soloing player (I'm abysmal when it comes to tracking them), I've found Chris to be super helpful because of how effectively he's able to teach and break down lead technique. This video I've found to be one of his most helpful:
His YouTube channel has a ton of material, much of which tutors you through solos on specific songs, mostly rock and metal.
As with any YouTube channel, you can't really rely on it to be a topically ordered resource, but for particular tasks or single-topic questions and answers, he has a lot of material to draw from.
IDEAL FOR: Learning solos
6. LickNRiff YouTube Channel (Assaf Levavy)
I've been following Assaf Levavy's YouTube channel for a long time now and he's still putting out great content on a regular basis. His channel focuses almost exclusively on acoustic, fingerpicking arrangements, covering a lot of classical and flamenco guitar lessons. However, he also does a good job of getting to more mainstream rock and pop material, all in the context of an acoustic performance.
At 443k subscribers, he's one of the guitar world's most underrated resources and well worth a look, especially if you're interested in the acoustic, fingerstyle side of learning guitar.
IDEAL FOR: Acoustic, fingerpicking, and classical study
7. Hub Guitar
Greg Arney had the lessons on Hub Guitar professionally produced and offers them free of charge. In total, it's over 700 lessons broken into the following categories:
I think the two most advanced sections on Greg's website are the Technique and Fretboard pages. The topics and lessons covered get more difficult as you scroll down:
Particularly in the fretboard category, Greg covers some really advanced concepts, including triadic arpeggios, augmented chords and voice leading.
Hub Guitar also has an advanced section that pulls together all the high-level material from each category.
While it doesn't have the production power that some of these other programs have, Grey's content is completely free and well put together, perhaps without some of the strong topical organization that we see from the larger companies. As far as quickly getting into more advanced topics, his site is a great place to start or to use as a quick reference.
IDEAL FOR: Budgets
Avoiding the Tutoring Model
Taking guitar lessons by way of a tutor or group class is something I view as more distinctly set aside for beginners. This method makes it extremely difficult to narrow in on a given topic, or to rely on skill that you've already established as a player.
Advanced guitar lessons should be the following:
- Largely self-taught
- Topically-focused (niche/style specific)
Typically, a guitar teacher or tutor (in-person) is not going to be the best way to build on an existing knowledge base. For advanced players, I recommend avoiding this type of lesson setup.
I've found that the best advanced guitar lessons have to be dug up from within larger bodies of guitar resources and educational material. Since it's somewhat more profitable, a lot of companies put more of their focus into the beginner side of teaching guitar. While it's understandable, it makes finding material that can challenge a more experienced player a lot more difficult.
If you know of other resources that provide high quality advanced guitar lessons, give them a mention in the comments section below.
Also, if you have questions about this article or the resources I've listed, drop those in the comments as well and we'll chat.