Best Downloadable Guitar Lessons (our top picks)
Guitar Tricks (via full access membership)
All of the courses in Guitar Tricks are available for download to full access members. This includes the 14 day free trial, which you can take for a test run via the link below and download a few lessons with no obligation:
Most streamble content, even Netflix, can actually be downloaded and viewed offline.
But, what about online guitar lessons?
Which ones are available for digital download and offline viewing? As it turns out, most of the popular websites offer this feature - in varying forms - to paying members. You might have courses available for a one-time fee and digital download or an entire downloadable catalog of videos.
For those wanting to take their video-based guitar lessons offline, it's easy to take advantage of downloadable videos and courses.
This article is about highlighting the best programs that offer a downloadable guitar lesson option.
We'll focus on the top three, that are also our top overall recommendations.
Best Downloadable Guitar Courses (our top picks)
1. Guitar Tricks (full access membership)
The Guitar Tricks program does not offer single-fee downloadable courses, which is a bit of a downside to those looking to avoid monthly membership plans. However, every video is available for download provided you have the full access membership.
This can be a little cumbersome since any one course could have over 200 videos. Though all those videos are broken up into chapters and sections, meaning you could - theoretically - download one chapter or section at a time, numbering somewhere in the five to 10 video range.
When you click the "DOWNLOAD LESSON" button, you'll be taken to a new page where the video will display like this:
When you click the small menu (with the three stacked dots) in the bottom right-hand corner, you'll have a DOWNLOAD option that allows you to save the file locally, as an MP4.
Once the download is complete, you can watch the videos any time (with or without an internet connection) as much as you want.
You should organize your downloaded lesson into folders and give descriptive file names, that way you know which topic is covered in each video. The default file names for Guitar Tricks video downloads are just jumbled numbers and letters, so I rename the videos after the lesson sections I download them from.
2. JamPlay (single course downloads)
JamPlay also has a "DOWNLOAD LESSON" button next to each video. However, even if you have a full access account, they are not free to download. Clicking the button pulls up the following prompt:
If you click the "Add Ownership Credits Now" button, you'll be taken to the following page where you can purchase credits at these rates:
Once you buy credits, you can then download lesson videos. While the language isn't totally clear, it seems as though individual lesson videos are purchased at a cost of one credit per video. This isn't particularly cheap, especially when you consider Guitar Tricks makes their content available for download at no extra charge to full access members.
Full Course Downloads and Master Courses in JamPlay
JamPlay also offers full courses for one-time purchase and download, which saves you from the video credits routine that we're not a huge fan of. The deal you get with full courses is much better, as you'll get an entire body of organized content with a single download and won't have to worry about credits for individual videos.
These deals give you access to the lesson, either for streaming or downloading the individual videos. All of the newer courses that JamPlay releases gets an individual landing page with all the course information consolidated into one spot, and becomes available for this type of download.
Older JamPlay videos and courses still rely on the credit system and can't be purchased as a bundle like the Tim Steward course pictured above.
Though it seems all of the newer courses are available as a bulk download.
Here are some other JamPlay courses that can be purchased/downloaded as a bundle:
3. TrueFire Course Downloads and/or Membership
TrueFire relies more heavily on single-course downloads than the other two programs - Guitar Tricks & JamPlay - which rely primarily on the monthly membership model.
While TrueFire has a monthly membership that gives you access to everything, they have so much content and so many courses, people often like to pick and choose which courses they take and which styles they focus on. Downloading for members is a bit cheaper, but the cost for non-members is still quite reasonable.
There's also an option that includes a DVD version of the course that's more expensive.
For example, here's the price for folks with a membership:
And with a logged out account, the pricing goes up:
Every course follows this model, putting most around the $20 mark for lifelong ownership. This fits TrueFire well since it follows a model more ideal for advanced guitar players, where they can browse a wide range of topics and pick exactly what they want to learn.
What about YouTube?
It's also possible to download YouTube guitar lessons, or any video on YouTube, for that matter.
There are a lot of different apps that can do this, but the one I use and have had the most luck with is this one, just called YouTube downloader, which is completely free.
This will work for Justinguitar, or any other YouTube video.
Can guitar lessons be downloaded onto my iPad or Phone?
However, once you download a video in the form of an MP4 file, there are programs you can use to add the file to your video collection on your phone or tablet, which will depend on the type of phone or tablet and the version of it.
In iTunes - for example - you can easily use the "Add File to Library" option as detailed in this guide.
It might take a little bit of technical knowledge and computer work, but all digital downloads can be viewed on mobile devices. If you definitely want to watch on iPhone, iPad, or some other mobile device, streaming memberships are by far your best option, as it requires much less work than downloading.
With Guitar Tricks, you get the streaming either way, so we'd recommend at least giving the free trial a shot.
Are there restrictions associated with how I use downloaded guitar lessons?
There are different kinds of rights afforded to you when you pay for and download digital content.
Most of the time those rights extend to viewing the content, but not editing, reproducing, or republishing. In other words, you own access to that particular content, but you don't own the content and cannot claim it as your own.
In effect, you've permanently "rented" the content for one flat rate.
Can I share the content with friends?
Company policy can differ, but generally, it will be a violation of the download agreement (that little checkbox we all click without reading) for you to send the video files off to someone else.
If you want to go by the book, check with the company you're downloading guitar lessons from to see what their policy is on sharing files.
How long does it take to download each video?
Obviously the length of time to download a guitar lesson video will depend on the quality of your internet connection and the length of the video in question.
Given your garden-variety cable or fiber internet line, you'll be able to download a single video in the range of instantaneously to about 30 seconds, while full courses will likely take around two to five minutes.
The simpler answer is that for most internet connections that aren't particularly slow, download time will not be a problem or concern.
What software will I need to play the videos?
To play guitar lesson videos on your computer (the MP4 files we mentioned), you'll need software contingent on your device and operating system. Here are a few extremely common options:
- Windows: Media Player
- Mac: QuickTime
- Windows, Mac, and Linux: VLC media player
- iPhone/iPad: Photos app
It's likely that you already have this software available on your device, which will allow you to run the video file right after you download it.
Is the streaming membership better than downloaded lessons/courses?
Of the three listed, Guitar Tricks is the only program that includes downloading as part of a full membership without any additional cost.
That's not the case with TrueFire and JamPlay.
Thus, with Guitar Tricks, you can either stream or download any lesson without having to choose between the two. If you are considering one of the other two programs, but are torn between streaming and downloading options, here are some questions to consider:
- Am I interested in a lot of the content or just a few courses?
- Do I plan to use the program for a long time or just as a short-term help?
- Am I looking for an answer to specific questions/specific areas of study, or am I trying to get a broad look at the guitar?
These questions can help you figure out whether you want to focus on downloading a couple courses or studying broadly with a streaming membership.
In general, beginners do better with the full membership/streaming option while advanced players are better off targeting specific courses either for streaming or digital download.
Intermediate guitar lessons could go either way.
Conclusion and Questions
For those looking to download guitar lessons, this covers your best options and all the information you'll need. If you have questions about the guitar lesson programs we've recommended, or even some of the technical aspects of downloading a digital copy of your guitar lessons, leave a note in the comments section below and we'll do our best to help out.