Use an Online Guitar Lesson Program for proper Topic Order
Guitar Tricks is our recommendation for ordered courses
Guitar Tricks is the program we recommend most often, primarily because of how strong they are when it comes to topical organization. There is an order and process to learning guitar, and Guitar Tricks has clearly put a lot of thought into making sure that's baked into their courses. They're a good place to start if you want to make sure you learn guitar topics in the proper order.
Growing up and learning guitar I did not have a ton of resources at my disposal, at least not compared to what we have now. I had some books, some friends, and a teacher for awhile that all helped me learn guitar. But what I didn't have - that would have really helped - was a grasp on which topics to tackle first and which ones should come after.
What order was I supposed to go in? What should I have learned first?
I did what a lot of guitar students do. I defaulted to basic, open chords.
But was that the right call? It was not "wrong" exactly, but it's not the first thing I should have been learning.
On this page I'm going to cover how to learn guitar in order, as a self-taught guitar student. As mentioned in the box above, we'll cover resources that can help you with this process too. We've included a free option we recommend, in addition to two that are paid. Though keep in mind, it's certainly possible to do this on your own.
If the lessons I recommend look helpful, great. If not, don't worry about it.
Hit the comments section below if you have questions about anything.
Learning Guitar in Order: Quick Step by Step
- Get an online lesson program with good topical order. Our recommendation is Guitar Tricks but there are other good options as well.
- Use the program to learn what to focus on and how to spend your practice time
- Start really basic with single notes, fretboard finger movement, pressing in the middle of frets
- Work on memorizing fretboard notes early, particularly on the sixth and fifth strings (two thickest strings)
- Move into two note chords (power chord shapes), then three note chords
- Once you're comfortable with two and three note chords, get into basic open chords
- Continue to follow your online courses through these basics and into more advanced topics
We have partnership agreements with Guitar Tricks and JamPlay, though we are still sincere in our recommendations, because we use these programs ourselves. They're the best options out there, plus they help to support our site. If you click through and sign up for a membership or free trial, we might receive a commission at no extra cost to you. It's a win-win that helps keep Guitar Chalk ad free. Ads look terrible.
Best Online Guitar Lessons for Learning Guitar in Proper Topical Order
1. Guitar Tricks
Guitar Tricks adheres to the structure I outlined above, and it's not as though they got it from me. Their courses have helped establish a topical order that I believe is extremely helpful to new guitar students. I stole it from them.
These are housed entirely in the Guitar Fundamentals 1 and 2 courses.
One you get through those two courses - which every guitar student should go through - they help you niche down into a style, as you can see from the screenshot above.
This is why I often recommend Guitar Tricks for beginners.
On their own, the first two Fundamentals courses get you a ton of information, and they do it in a way that's not chaotic or overwhelming.
The strategy is to go through the course, just a few videos at a time, and then let it sort of guide your practice sessions. You can obtain the information from the videos, then apply it during your practice sessions.
In other words, it helps you optimize your practice time by knowing what you should be working on.
JamPlay takes an approach that's similar to Guitar Tricks, but just fans out wider once you get to the intermediate content. They also have a lot more nuanced topics covered and give you more variety to pick from.
I don't like their organization quite as much as Guitar Tricks. For example, there are often multiple instructors to pick from covering a similar course or topic, so it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly where to go.
That said, it's a good program for those that want more flexibility on where they're going to niche down.
Overall it's a very well-organized and ordered guitar lesson program.
I often recommend Justin Sandercoe's program, and not just because it's completely free.
While I do want to give readers a free option, Justinguitar is a fantastic resource that is in league with the paid programs and the bigger names. All of his material is well-ordered and structured into courses on his website.
It has the look and feel of a bigger brand, and the dude has been around for a long time.
His videos are uploaded to YouTube, so you can watch them there as well.
But if you want that order and organization, I'd recommend going through the material on his site.
Again, it's all free, so check it out if the paid programs aren't for you.
Why do I need an online program?
I've wanted to be up front about all of this.
Yes, we partner with Guitar Tricks and JamPlay, and yes, they can help you a lot when it comes to learning guitar topics in order.
But do you absolutely need them? Definitely not.
I never want to market the same solution to everybody. For some people, paid programs will be very helpful. For others, something like Justinguitar will do the trick for free.
But going even further, some of you can do it simply by looking at the list I've provided. You're self-motivated and detail-oriented people who can put it together.
The point is: Learn the way you're most comfortable.
The Path for Self Teaching (how to order topics)
For those wanting all the details on this topic, I'd recommend checking out this article on how to teach guitar in order. I know the title is geared towards guitar teachers, but the outline will be helpful to students all the same.
Read more: How to teach guitar in order
To put a bow on this, get the order of topics nailed down, get an online program if you need it, then stay focused and go through the ordered topics.
You can't lose.
If you have questions about how to learn guitar in order, I can help you out in the comments section below. That's the best place for fostering community and where I do the most communication with readers.
Plus, it helps future readers who might have the same questions that you do.
We'll see you there.