Top 7 Free Online Guitar Lessons — No Credit Card Required

Woman’s hand on fretboard of acoustic guitar

Free? Did somebody say free? 

That’s right! There are several websites that offer free online guitar lessons for beginners. 

Maybe you are: 

    • Strapped for cash, already have a playable guitar, and just want to get started right away.
    • An extreme introvert, and the idea of having live in-person or online guitar lessons terrifies you.
    • Someone with a full schedule, and adding a weekly guitar lesson to your calendar feels overwhelming.
    • Thinking, “Why should I spend a ton of money on guitar lessons when I could just learn from videos online?”

That last one is a very good question. Let’s talk about that.

Man holding a guitar looking at sheet music
Artem Podrez at Pexels

Pros and Cons of Free Online Guitar Lessons

Like I said, if you have a full schedule, you’re on a tight budget, or you have a fear of playing in front of someone else and receiving constructive criticism, free online guitar lessons might feel like the best option.

On the other hand, some of the things that make free online guitar lessons seem so appealing can also be drawbacks. Having a real live human being there to watch and listen as you play, and to offer feedback on what you’re doing well and what you need to improve, can be crucial to making progress on the guitar.

Without that live feedback, it’s easy to learn some bad playing habits that can be difficult to undo.

When I was 10 years old, I picked up my dad’s guitar and a chord book and basically taught myself how to play. I never took a single guitar lesson until I went to college 8 years later. Nor did I have access to online video lessons, because… well…

Old computer
Pixabay at Pexels

It was so long ago that the Internet wasn’t a thing yet.

(Yes, I am that old!)

I’ve been playing for about 40 years now, and sometimes I still find myself falling back into some of the bad technique habits I developed when I was a kid.

Another possible drawback is that without the accountability of meeting with a teacher at a designated time each week and having a specific assignment, a lot of students just don’t practice. It takes a very disciplined person to sit down with the guitar on a daily basis and keep plugging away, without any feedback, just for the joy and passion of learning.

Having said all that, there is an upside to online video lessons:

Having access to the experience and wisdom of great guitarists all over the world. 

Paper doll holding broken heart
burak kostak at Pexels

With in-person lessons, there is a chance that you might get connected with a teacher that you don’t really gel with. You might get frustrated and quit, and let’s face it… breakups are awkward.

With free online video lessons, if you don’t feel like the instructor meets your needs, you can always find another website. No harm, no foul, and no money lost.


Totally Free Guitar Lessons

I started off my search the same way you probably did:

I typed “Free Online Guitar Lessons” into Google.

Please be aware that not all of the top-advertised “Free Guitar Lesson” sites listed on Google are totally free.

Several only offer “free trials” with a credit or debit card required to sign up. If you forget to cancel before the trial period expires, you could be charged a hefty fee.

In this post, I am going to cover only those sites that offer totally free guitar lessons, with no payment card required.

Having said that, most of the sites listed below do offer an optional upgrade to paid online lessons.

I have to say that it was difficult for me to assign a “ranking” to this list of sites because I think they each have some great features. The sites that offer an accompanying mobile app are ranked higher due to flexibility of delivery, but all of the sites provide lesson material that is of high quality.


TrueFire First Steps for Beginners
Screenshot from TrueFire.com

1. TrueFire

TrueFire offers their First Steps for Beginners course completely free. This course includes over 30 prerecorded video sessions that will get you well on your way to playing songs on the guitar in a short period of time.

TrueFire has learning paths for Rock, Acoustic, Blues, Jazz, and Country, so whatever your preferred style, TrueFire will get you started on the right path.

For access to more advanced lessons and play-along Jam Track videos, you can upgrade to their All Access pass with a 30-day free trial (credit/debit card required).

Although you can view all the lessons on their website, they also offer a great app that you can download for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android.


Screenshot from JustinGuitar.com
Screenshot from JustinGuitar.com

2. Justin Guitar

Justin Guitar offers over 1,000 completely free lesson videos ranging from beginner to advanced skill levels.

In addition to learning chords and strum patterns, Justin teaches you ear training, music theory, and guitar maintenance to give you a broad foundation as a musician.

There is an optional free app available for iOS and Android that allows you to access the lesson videos, and excerpts of available play-along Jam Tracks. For full access to the Jam Tracks you can upgrade to a monthly subscription with a 7-day free trial (payment info required).


Screenshot from Fender Play
Screenshot from Fender Play

3. Fender Play

Fender Play is offering a 3-month trial to their huge library of lesson videos with no credit card required. Acoustic and Electric learning paths are available in Rock, Blues, Folk, Country, and Pop styles, and include several popular songs to play along with.

Lessons can be viewed on the website or in the Fender Play app for iOS or Android.

Fender’s paid subscription is reasonably priced and the lessons are high-quality. However, even if you decide not to upgrade at the end of the trial, you can learn quite a bit in three months if you work at it consistently.


 

 

Your Guitar Academy advertisement
Screenshot from YourGuitarAcademy.com

4. Your Guitar Academy

Your Guitar Academy offers a complete Guitar 101 course that covers the basics of playing guitar and has a learning path for Acoustic, Electric, Lead, Funk, and Blues guitar all the way up to an intermediate level.

The site also offers more advanced lessons on playing in the style of many famous guitarists, all for free.

For a reasonable price, each course can be purchased for download to your computer or mobile device, with packages that include:

    • HD video lessons
    • An accompanying detailed lesson book with tabs, chord boxes and chord charts for each lesson
    • MP3 versions of the exercises and songs at regular speed, slowed down speed, and backing tracks to jam along with
    • A scale book
    • A chord book
    • Exclusive access to the private YGA student Facebook group

Screenshot from PlayGuitar.com
Screenshot from PlayGuitar.com

5. PlayGuitar

PlayGuitar offers a unique Customize My Lesson Plan feature that will help you start your learning path by assessing how much guitar knowledge you have before you start, so you don’t end up rehashing material you already know.

Based on your answers, each week guitarist Jonathan Boettcher will send you a lesson video that meets you where you are and helps you move forward. You will also receive emails on most weekdays with valuable tips on making progress on the guitar.

If the weekly videos are too easy for you, there is a link in the email where you can request to be moved up to the next level.

When you get to the point where you’re ready for an additional challenge, PlayGuitar offers several downloadable courses and jam tracks for purchase, covering a variety of rhythm and lead guitar styles.


Old computer
Screenshot from GuitarLessons.com

6. GuitarLessons.com

GuitarLessons.com has a 12-lesson Beginner Guitar Course, with additional courses in their Quick-Start Series including Campfire Guitarist, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, and Blues Guitar.

The website also has individual videos on Technique, Music Theory, Lead Guitar tips, and Exercises to help build your skills.


Screenshot from GuitarCompass
Screenshot from GuitarCompass

7. Guitar Compass

Guitar Compass offers 12 free beginner guitar lessons that advance pretty quickly, so if you’re a fast learner this might be a great option for you.

For a more thorough lesson track, Guitar Compass offers a paid monthly subscription with a 7-day free trial (credit card required).


Loog Live Online Guitar Lessons
Screenshot from Loog Guitars

BONUS LISTING:  Loog Guitars (Ages 8 and under)

Loog Guitars offers weekly free group lessons on Zoom every Saturday for ages 8 and under, with one caveat: These 30-minute lessons are designed to help kids who already own a Loog Guitar get started playing, which is why I listed it separately from the Top 7 above.

For more detailed information, check out my full review of Loog Guitars here.

Are Free Online Guitar Lessons Right for You?

If in-person lessons are not an option for you, any of the free lesson sites listed above will get you started down the right path. When you get to the point where you’re ready for a greater challenge, the paid options offered might be perfect for you.

However, if you’re looking for a more personal approach to learning guitar and would like to receive feedback from a guitar teacher, stay tuned for an upcoming post in which I will review websites that offer live online guitar lessons and/or video exchange programs.

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe to my email list and follow my page on social media so you won’t miss the next post!

All the best,

Kim playing rock guitar on black and pink background circle

Kim
BeginnerGuitarOnline.com

 

The Best Beginner Guitar for Kids – Free Online Guitar Lessons Included!

Kid Playing Loog Electric Guitar

Has your kid been begging you for a guitar? Does your kid show an interest in music, but you wonder if they are too young to learn how to play?

Maybe you wonder if they will get discouraged and quit after a few lessons, meaning all that money you spend on a guitar and lessons will go to waste?

Let me tell you about what I believe is the best beginner guitar for kids ages 3 and up on the market today:

The 3-Stringed Guitar from Loog Guitars

Loog Guitar with iPad app and flashcards

 

You may be thinking, “Wait a minute, Kim. I thought you said that guitars have 6 strings?” 

Well, most do… but this is an innovative idea developed by guitarist Rafael Atijas while studying at New York University.

You see, some beginner guitar manufacturers build their guitars with one primary motive: profit. They build as many guitars as they can, as cheaply as they can, so they can sell as many as they can and make as much money as they can.

Loog Guitars is different. Rafael Atijas, Founder of Loog Guitars, is an accomplished recording musician who came up with a quality guitar design with your kid in mind.

These guitars are not toys! They are made of solid wood, professionally crafted, sound great for their size and price range, and most importantly, they are playable!

And at an incredibly low starting price, they also won’t break the bank. Even if you can’t come up with the cash all at once, Loog offers a convenient interest-free 4-payment plan through a third party.

“But won’t it be confusing when my kid finally switches to a 6-string guitar?”

No, because Loog Guitars use the same tuning and finger positions as the top 3 strings on a 6-string guitar.

Your kid can learn to play several chords with only one or two fingers, meaning they can start learning to play along with their favorite songs on their first day! As they progress, they can play 2-finger or 3-finger chords.

All of these chords will eventually transfer to the 6-string guitar.

 


Free Online Guitar Lessons!

Loog Live Online Guitar Lessons

As if the innovative design of Loog Guitars wasn’t enough of a selling point, each purchase comes with:

    • Free live online group guitar lessons each week (Ages 3-8)
      • Paid individual live online guitar lessons are also available for all ages
    • Flashcards to help you learn how to play chords
    • A mobile app for smartphone or tablet with:
      • A built-in guitar tuner
      • Video lessons
      • A digital songbook so you can play along with your favorite popular songs
      • A recording feature so you can record yourself playing your songs
      • An Augmented Reality feature that allows you to see yourself on camera while you practice
      • A Games section that helps you learn the notes on the guitar fretboard

 


The Loog Guitar Collection

Loog offers several sizes and styles of guitars for beginners ages 3 and up (including adults)!

The Loog Mini (Ages 3+)

Loog Mini Acoustic

The Loog Mini is the perfect compact size for your young beginner:

    • The body is small and lightweight, weighing just under 1 pound
    • The string height (action) is low, making the strings easier to press
    • The neck is narrow, making it easier for little fingers to reach around
    • It uses nylon strings that are easier for little fingers to play than steel strings

With several color options available, you are sure to find one that your kid (or you) will love.

Bundle and save when purchasing a Loog Mini and Accessories!

 


Loog Pro Acoustic Guitar (Ages 8+)

Loog Pro Acoustic

Slightly bigger than the Loog Mini but still compact, the Loog Pro Acoustic:

    • Is lightweight, weighing just 2 pounds
    • Uses steel strings instead of nylon for a brighter, more authentic acoustic guitar sound and feel
    • Has a fuller sound due to the larger body size
    • Comes in a variety of colors

It’s a great way to transition from the Loog Mini to a 6-string acoustic.

Bundle and save when purchasing a Loog Pro and Accessories!

 


Loog Pro VI Acoustic Guitar (Ages 12+)

Loog Pro VI Acoustic

When your kid is ready to move up to a 6-string guitar, but not quite ready for a full-size guitar, the Loog Pro VI Acoustic is a great option. It weighs 4 pounds, has a fuller sound than the Loog Pro Acoustic, and comes in several color options.

Bundle and save when purchasing a Loog Pro VI and Accessories!

 


Loog Electric Guitars

Available for Pre-Order Today
Shipping November 2020

Loog Electric Guitars

 

If your kid’s heart is set on playing an electric guitar, Loog’s new line of 3-string and 6-string electric guitars are available for pre-order now, with an expected release date of November 2020.

This innovative design includes an amplifier and speaker built right into the guitar! No need for an amplifier or cable unless you want to use one, although Loog Guitars offers one at a reasonable price.

 


Accessories

Often when people shop for beginner guitars, they don’t realize how important it is to buy the correct accessories for the guitar, which include:

Loog Guitars makes buying accessories simple. Each guitar can be purchased in a package with a stand and strap, and all the additional accessories mentioned above can be purchased separately at incredibly reasonable prices.

The only other accessory I would recommend if you’re buying a steel-string Loog Guitar is a supply of guitar picks.

To top it all off, Loog Guitars even offers free shipping on all U.S. orders!

 


This is such a great deal!

As a former guitar teacher, I can’t tell you how excited I was to find out about Loog Guitars! Had this product been available when I was still teaching, it could have saved my students a lot of headaches, and a lot of money. Although to be honest, with the free online group lessons and mobile app included, they might not have needed me, so there’s that.

I would highly encourage you to give one of these guitars a shot. However, if you’re still not impressed and are looking for something different, sign up for my email list to be notified of future beginner guitar reviews. There are a lot of great guitars on the market, and I want to help you find the one that is just right for you!

As always, if you have any questions, comment below or email me at kim@beginnerguitaronline.com and I’ll be happy to help.

All the best,

Kim playing rock guitar on black and pink background circle

Kim

BeginnerGuitarOnline.com

 

Buying a Guitar for Beginners – Which One Is Right for You?

Electric guitars on display in a store

So, you want to play the guitar? Great!

The first thing you’re going to need is… a guitar, of course!  But there are so many options. Which one is right for you?

Here are some things to consider when buying a guitar for beginners.

What type of music do I like?

Woman wearing headphones looking out a window

Who is your favorite artist or band? What style of music do they play? What kind of guitars do they play? Would you like to sound like them someday?

The three main categories of guitars are:

    • Electric — Used in rock, pop, country, blues, and jazz
    • Acoustic (steel string) — Used in acoustic rock, pop, blues, country, and bluegrass
    • Classical (nylon string) — Used in classical and flamenco music

This is a good starting point for deciding what type of guitar to buy.

Is this guitar playable?

Preteen boy playing acoustic guitar

This may sound obvious, but whether you are buying a new or used guitar, or your crazy uncle Fred  just gave you his old guitar that’s been sitting in his attic for 15 years, it is crucial to have a guitar that is playable!

Things that may affect playability for you are:

    • The size of the guitar (compared to your height, weight, and hand size)
    • The action of the guitar (how close the strings are to the neck and fretboard)
    • The type of strings the guitar uses
    • The overall condition of the guitar (if it is used)

Guitar Size

Acoustic guitars hanging on a wall in a music store

Guitars come in many shapes and sizes.

If you’re a parent shopping for a guitar for your child, consider this:

    • A full-size acoustic or classical guitar is likely to be way too big for them to hold, and the neck may be too wide or thick for their smaller fingers to reach all of the strings
    • A larger electric guitar is likely to be too heavy and cause back strain
    • You may need to get a 1/2 size or 3/4 size guitar

Even if you are an adult who:

    • Is shorter than average height
    • Has shorter arms or smaller hands
    • Has… ahem… a little bit of “extra body” around the midsection (like me!), a full-size guitar with a slightly smaller, thinner body style might be the best choice.

Action

Acoustic Guitar Action String Height at Neck
Classical guitar with high action

The action, or string height, needs to be just far enough above the fretboard that the strings don’t buzz against the frets when you strum them. The higher the strings are away from the fretboard, the harder they will be to press with your fingers.

I have seen cheaply made beginner guitars with the strings so far away from the fretboard that they were painful to play, and when you could press them down the notes were horribly out of tune (something called intonationwhich I’ll talk about in a later post).

Sometimes action is fixable, sometimes it isn’t (again, I’ll talk about that later), but it’s best to start out with the lowest action you can find on a guitar that is in your price range.

The type of strings on the guitar

Electric and acoustic guitars use metal strings, while classical guitars use nylon strings.

Some pros and cons of the different types of strings are:

Electric guitar strings

Electric

    • PRO: These strings are typically the thinnest (lightest) metal strings, making them super easy to press.
    • CON: The thinnest electric strings that are easiest to press are also easiest to accidentally bend out of tune while you are pressing them, which might sound bad and discourage you.

Acoustic guitar strings

Acoustic

    • PRO: Because these strings are thicker (heavier) than electric strings, they give a nice full sound and are harder to accidentally bend out of tune
    • CON: Being thicker means they are harder to press than electric strings. They will actually leave little grooves in your fingertips for the first few days, and if you practice regularly you will develop callouses on your fingertips. Not so great if you’re concerned about the appearance of your manicure, but great for keeping your fingertips from hurting!

Classical guitar strings

Classical

    • PRO: These strings are made of nylon, so they are softer on your fingertips. While you will probably still develop some callouses, they won’t be as thick.
    • CON: The classical guitar is a specialized instrument with specialized strings to get a softer, more mellow sound. If you’re wanting to play acoustic rock, pop, or country, you won’t be as happy with the sound quality when strumming the guitar.

The condition of the guitar

Broken classical guitar

If you’re planning to buy a used guitar, you’ll need to also look out for the following potential problems:

    • Warping, cracking, or splitting. Guitars are made of wood. When wood goes through a lot of changes in temperature and humidity, it can crack or warp.
      • Make sure the wooden body of the guitar isn’t cracked.
      • Make sure everything is still glued into place, especially the neck and the bridge. The strings of the guitar put tension on these things, and over time they can become unglued and start pulling apart.
      • Make sure the neck isn’t warped, bowed (slightly bent), or twisted. This will affect the action and intonation (tuning) of your guitar and frustrate you as you’re starting out.
      • If the strings are tarnished, or even rusty, it’s no big deal. You’ll need new strings anyway.

Fun Fact: When I was in college I had a lovely old Hofner guitar that I accidentally left in the trunk of my car overnight in the middle of winter. The next morning the clear coat finish on the wooden top was cracked down the middle. Sad day. Thankfully the wood didn’t crack, so it was just a cosmetic blemish, but still…

Once you find the right guitar for you, it will be important to protect it and keep it safe… but again, we’ll talk about that later.

All things considered…

Wow! Who knew there were so many variables in buying a guitar for beginners?

I know, I know, it’s a lot of information to take in, but don’t panic. If you have any questions at all, please reach out to me at kim@beginnerguitaronline.com and I will be happy to help you find the guitar that’s right for you!

And if you want to keep up with the latest beginner guitars that meet all of these qualifications without breaking the bank, be sure to subscribe to this site.

All the best,

Kim playing rock guitar on black and pink background circle

Kim

BeginnerGuitarOnline.com

About Kim

Kim playing rock guitar on black and pink background

Welcome to Beginner Guitar Online! This site will put you on the right path towards becoming a great guitarist!

First, let me tell you a little about myself and why I created this site.

I LOVE ALL THINGS GUITAR!

Gibson Hummingbird 12 string acoustic

Some of the best memories I have from my childhood were when my Dad would pull out his 12-string Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar and start strumming and singing songs with me. Maybe it sounds corny, but it never got old for me.

When I was 10 years old, I decided to pick up that guitar myself, opened up Mel Bay’s Guitar Chords, and started teaching myself how to play. Decades later I am still actively playing and singing in a band and loving it!

THERE ARE SO MANY OPTIONS TO LEARN TO PLAY GUITAR!

Now I’ll be totally honest with you:

I’m no Jimi Hendrix.

(Shh! Don’t tell anyone!)

However, I am an accomplished singer/songwriter/musician who has taught guitar lessons for 15 years.

Several of my students have gone on to become accomplished musicians themselves — some even exceeding my own ability — because they were determined to put in the necessary time and effort to succeed. They just needed someone to get them started on the right track.

In recent years, other commitments have led to me not teaching guitar lessons anymore. However, there are some absolutely great online resources for guitar lessons at all skill levels. So many options, in fact, that it can be overwhelming to search through them all and decide which one is best for you.

There are also dozens of options for buying your first guitar, such as:

    • Guitar Options Word CloudShould you start out on acoustic, electric… or acoustic-electric?
    • Classical or steel string acoustic?
    • Solid top or select top acoustic?
    • Cutaway or no cutaway?
    • Strat-style, Les Paul style, solid or hollow body electric?
    • What is the best brand of guitar to buy?

Add to that the need to buy accessories such as:

    • A protective case to keep your guitar safe
    • The right strings
    • A good tuner
    • A comfortable shoulder strap
    • The right guitar pick to fit your intended playing style
    • A practice amplifier if you’re playing an electric guitar
    • A guitar stand to hold your guitar when you’re not playing

As you can see, the options are endless!

Also, if you don’t know where to look for the best deals, it can get expensive.

One of the biggest mistakes some of my former students made was buying a cheaply made guitar.

One student bought a $50 children’s guitar from a department store, and frankly it was junk. Absolutely unplayable.

    • It wouldn’t stay in tune
    • The strings sat so far away from the neck that they were impossible for her to press with her fingers

Rather than upgrading to a better guitar, she got frustrated after a few weeks and quit.

I don’t want that to happen to you!

Broken Electric GuitarOther students came to me with hand-me-down guitars they got from
relatives. Sometimes these guitars were in great shape! Other times, not so much.

    • The neck was warped (which makes it harder to play)
    • The body of the guitar was cracked (which hurts your sound quality)
    • The strings were so corroded it looked like you should probably get an updated tetanus shot before attempting to play!

THAT’S WHERE I COME IN!

At Beginner Guitar Online, I’ve done all the research for you, gathering the best options available for online guitar lessons in any musical style, to get you started playing right away, all in one convenient website.

I’ve also searched online to find the best deals on beginner guitars that will be playable, stay in tune reasonably well, and will last for many years with proper care.

Whether you want to be an acoustic, classical, or electric guitarist, Beginner Guitar Online will help you choose the instrument and accessories that are right for you!

So don’t settle for a $50 discount department store guitar. Check out the recommendations here and get the best deal!

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Kim playing rock guitar on black and pink background circle

Kim
BeginnerGuitarOnline.com

Follow my blog with Bloglovin