Parent article: Guitar Tricks Review
Guitar Tricks VS TrueFire
Both Guitar Tricks and TrueFire are exceptionally good programs. While Guitar Tricks is more ideal for beginners and TrueFire is a bit better for advanced players, we'd give Guitar Tricks the edge overall based on reliable organization and an incredibly good licensed song section.
Both Guitar Tricks and TrueFire have specific target users they're designed for.
Guitar Tricks focuses on beginner content while TrueFire puts weight behind advanced material and a wider topic range.
Moreover, TrueFire is the only online guitar lesson option that has more material published than Guitar Tricks. Together, they're the two most voluminous libraries of their kind. In a Guitar Tricks VS TrueFire comparison, the former might the edge via high scores in topical organization and song lessons, but it depends on what you're trying to accomplish as a guitar player.
We'll put each program side by side looking at individual strengths and weaknesses. How do the two sites compare to one another? What can they offer a paying customer?
We've also published full reviews of each program, accessible here:
If you want to browse some of the other programs we recommend, checkout our main best online guitar lesson roundup page. In this comparison table you can browse features, see our rating for each program, and compare them to similar options:
Compare to Similar Programs
Guitar Tricks VS TrueFire: Direct Side-by-Side Comparison
We can start with some basics about each program and what might be considered a small-form FAQ section.
Members as of 2019
Free Trial Period
Total Number of Lessons
Styles (Genres) Covered
Monthly (non-promo) Price
Even with this basic information, we see TrueFire is quite strong via their library volume. They have a lot of content from a wide range of instructors, covering a ton of different styles and techniques. It's fair to say that they're stronger than Guitar Tricks in this regard. If you're looking for variety, or a lot of nuanced topics covered, they're your better option.
Aside from promotional pricing - which varies between each program - Guitar Tricks' monthly rate is cheaper while TrueFire has a cheaper yearly rate. TrueFire also offers one-time purchasing options and standalone courses that can be bought and downloaded without a membership.
Skill Level, Depth, and Challenge
Both programs meet a high standard of educational value and quality. Though - as we've already alluded to - they target different skill levels. Here's how we would break down the strengths of each program based on their ability to challenge you:
The distinction between Guitar Tricks and TrueFire is clear. While both programs provide a full compliment of material for all skill levels, Guitar Tricks fares better in beginner territory while TrueFire is exactly the opposite, catering to intermediate and advanced guitarists.
Site Structure, Design, and User Experience
Guitar Tricks and TrueFire both employ a modern interface, with a smooth and intuitive user experience. Though Guitar Tricks is more modernized and certainly has the better mobile app design. We also like Guitar Tricks' navigational elements better and their ability to guide you from one course to the next. TrueFire's setup can feel a bit disjointed at times.
Home Page (logged out)
Interior Course Navigation
Since TrueFire's library is so large, it's also difficult to organize. Moreover, much of their content is offered as single courses that don't necessarily lead into (or stem from) an adjacent course. In other words: It's not always in chronological order. This impacts site design and navigation, and can make it hard to find your way around.
After updating their site a couple years ago, Guitar Tricks has a modern aesthetic to go along with a solid organizational system that looks good and is easy to navigate. While TrueFire's design certainly isn't bad, it falls behind Guitar Tricks slightly in most gradable categories.
Video Player Quality and Features
Both programs do an exceptionally good job with video production and presentation quality. Guitar Tricks videos are hosted on Wistia Premium, one of the nicest video hosting platforms. TrueFire includes Soundslice, which adds a helpful interactive tab and fretboard component.
Slow Down/Speed Up
Full Screen Quality and Pixelation
The two programs get mixed grades when it comes to supplemental content like tabs, chord diagrams, and notation. While it depends on the course, both Guitar Tricks and TrueFire usually offer mixtures of tabs, chord diagrams, and written content. Audio files are also included, where applicable.
Tabs and Notation
Guitar Pro Files
Guitar Tricks and TrueFire more with their supplemental content, perhaps by simply offering a more consistent form of it. The way JamPlay handles their supplemental material is a good template to follow.
Song Lessons Section
Guitar Tricks is almost always the clear winner in the song lessons category. Compared to TrueFire's song lessons, it's not even competitive. Guitar Tricks has more material, all licensed, while TrueFire's song selection is not licensed and relies on "in the style of" lessons that aren't full songs. What they do teach is good, but it's limited to artists you don't recognize (that are public domain) or song lessons that don't teach actual songs. Guitar Tricks is the clear winner here.
Song Coverage (completeness)
Easy Song Versions
Second Pay Wall
Concluding our Comparison
When you compare Guitar Tricks VS TrueFire side by side, you see these programs have different strengths and will appeal to different types of guitar players. Guitar Tricks is ideal for getting started and moving in an established learning path slowly, in the proper order. It's also better for learning songs.
TrueFire is appealing to those wanting to improve a specific technique or musical discipline, perhaps without even needing to sign up for a month-to-month membership.
Remember, TrueFire lets you buy one course at a time, which can be great for those looking to address a specific topic.
Both are good, yet quite different.
If you want more specifics about these programs, here are a few reviews we've written, which includes Guitar Tricks and TrueFire.
Questions about the Programs
If you have questions about Guitar Tricks or TrueFire, go ahead and drop them in the comments section below. We know some of the folks at both companies, so if we can't answer your question directly, it's pretty easy for us to get in touch with someone who can.
Credits and Article Info
- Article formatting and content: Bobby Kittleberger
- Guitar Tricks contact: Camille Espiritu
- TrueFire contact: Zach Wendkos
- Products tested on: Macbook Air, Mac Mini, and 27" Apple Cinema Display