Written by Bobby
Parent article: Guitar Tricks Review
Updated by Bobby
Recently updated on July 1st, 2021
Updated screenshots for the Justinguitar home page.
Guitar Tricks VS Justinguitar
Though both programs have a lot to offer, Guitar Tricks has a more voluminous library of material and is more consistent across the broader spectrum of skill levels.
In this article I'm setting up a Guitar Tricks VS Justinguitar comparison using 34 points of quality. Since Justinguitar is one of the most widely-used and largest online guitar lesson websites that's also completely free, I thought it would be helpful to see how it holds up against Guitar Tricks, which is one of the largest and most widely-used paid options.
I'll look at some broad numbers, video player page quality, song lesson section, organizational standards, and much more.
Each table I've built covers a single category with multiple comparison points. It's a simple win, lose, or draw for each point. This comparison is meant to help you decide if Justinguitar is enough for what you want to accomplish or if the investment in a larger program like Guitar Tricks is worth it, in your situation.
If you have questions about either program, feel free to leave those in the comments section below this article.
Compare Similar Programs
Guitar Tricks vs JustinGuitar: A Direct Side-by-Side Comparison
First, we'll cover the FAQ-type questions like price, membership count, and other front-line specs that help you evaluate the programs from a high-level view.
Membership count as of 2021
Free Trial Period
Total Number of Lessons
Styles (Genres) Covered
Monthly (non-promo) Price
Guitar Tricks has a wide edge in popularity and membership count, partially because Justinguitar has only had a membership component to their site for a few years. Guitar Tricks also boasts more material and instructors, though Justinguitar is the clear winner in pricing comparison since Sandercoe charges zero.
Skill Level, Depth, and Challenge
Both programs focus on beginner-level content and cover that area effectively. However, as difficulty levels increase, Justinguitar falls off in value compared to Guitar Tricks which has a much stronger profile at intermediate and advanced levels.
Sandercoe produces intermediate and advanced lessons as well, but with limited effectiveness simply because advanced guitar playing often revolves around specific styles. This means having only one instructor to address multiple styles gets you less focus on each one, especially styles that Sandercoe himself is less interested in.
Site Structure, Design and User Experience
Justinguitar's entire website got a design and interface update back in 2018 and it's a vast improvement over the previous iteration. This also included some significant updates to Justinguitar's course navigation and topical ordering, which is nearly as good as Guitar Tricks.
Overall, both programs are comparable in this area.
Home Page (logged out)
Interior Course Navigation
Sandercoe's redesign was long overdue, so I'd like to see another overhaul in the near future so that he doesn't get as far behind as he did before 2018.
Video Player Quality and Features
Guitar Tricks uses Wistia's paid hosting and backend, which is extremely crisp and robust. I've never had issues with buffering or downtime when using Guitar Tricks on this hosting platform. Justinguitar just uses YouTube which is friendly and familiar for users, though feels a little "cheap" and not as clean as the Wistia embeds.
Slow Down/Speed Up
Full Screen Quality and Pixelation
Justinguitar's videos also have a really wide date range, going back as far as 2005 in some cases. This means that the older videos do not have an HD option, and can drop their resolution to as low as 240p in some cases. Sandercoe's newer videos are all in 1080p and 4k.
Both programs are great with adding supplemental material to their lessons. Sheet music, chord diagrams, and audio samples are common in both.
Tabs and Notation
Guitar Pro Files
Justinguitar uses a Soundcloud embed for jam tracks, backing tracks, and other audio samples. And while Sandercoe doesn't include as much tablature as Guitar Tricks, he does a great job of including chord diagrams where they're helpful.
Song Lessons Section
Guitar Tricks has an edge in the quality of their song lessons by way of volume and licensing (all their song lessons and tabs are fully licensed). They also have each section of every song they cover broken up into individual videos, making it easy to progress through a song slowly, thus the better "Navigation" grade.
Song Coverage (completeness)
Easy Song Versions
Concluding the Guitar Tricks vs Justinguitar Comparison
Justinguitar and Guitar Tricks both have similar strengths. However, the scope of Justinguitar is much smaller, simply because it's only one person behind the educational voice of the site. Having multiple instructors and covering more styles thoroughly gives Guitar Tricks a big advantage and a considerable boost in value, even when going up against a free resource.
As for which one has the better value, I'd give Guitar Tricks the edge in anything above basic beginner material. A lot of folks will use Justinguitar for early learning, then move to Guitar Tricks or another paid program once they start wanting to focus on a style.
Yet, overall, both programs are extremely good and well-organized.
They're both worth checking out.
If you're looking for more details on these, or other programs, here are a few reviews I've done that might be helpful:
Questions about the Programs
If you have questions about either of these programs, feel free to drop me a line in the comments section below. I've worked for Guitar Tricks before, have used their program for years, and have also spent a lot of time on Justin Sandercoe's site, so I'm happy to offer whatever help I can.
Credits, References and Article Info
- Guitar Tricks Contact: Ben Martin
- Products tested on: Lenovo Desktop with Widescreen Monitor and Apple 27" iMac
- WordPress builder: Thrive Architect