When learning an instrument like guitar it is essential to have close ups of the fingers, along with slow playing that way you can see where your fingers go. It's annoying to no end when a site zooms out to show the instructor jamming, not letting me know what their fingers are doing! Fortunately, GuitarTricks is not guilty of this too often, they slip up a few times but make up for it by adding tabs on the side so you know what you are missing.
Justin is a phenomenal teacher and this book is great for anyone starting to learn guitar. The book goes perfectly with his Beginner's course but even on its own is a superb tool for beginners. It has a lot of famous songs arranged using simple chords (pitch-perfect renditions I should add). It's filled with useful tips and suggestion to improve your playing and make the sound more authentic even if you are a beginner. I don't think I have seen a better, more beginner friendly guitar songbook out there. I would highly recommend this to anybody learning guitar. It's a must-have if you are learning using Justin's videos.
Consider two new guitar players who start out on the exact same day with the exact same learning method. Fast-forward to one year later, and the first guitar player has spent a thousand hours playing guitar during that year, while the second has only spent a hundred hours with the instrument. It isn’t hard to guess which player will be more advanced after only one year of playing. So, which guitar player would you rather be?
I got all involved with Guitar Tricks and bought a full access membership several years ago. Then I spent MUCH more money on “packages” to learn the songs of specific artists (Eagles, Clapton, etc.). Those packages were housed online, but I was supposed to have access forever in return for the rather large sums I was paying. After a few months, I completely got cut off from my packages. They disappeared. No access. I emailed and emailed – no response. I never posted on their chat room, so I couldn’t have said anything that upset them or gave them reason to cut me off. I talked to a lady several times who didn’t help me at all. In fact, she acted like their site is flawless and I must be wrong. No help. I ended up paying them hundreds and getting ripped off. I would warn everyone to proceed with caution.
My Beginner Song Course App is separate to the website course, but a perfect companion! It's available for iOS and Android as a paid subscription and will teach you the basic chords and strumming while playing along with songs, Karaoke style. It's not as in depth at the full website course but is a lot of fun learning with the songs and it's got amazing reviews!
If you’re the type of parent who believes music can improve early childhood development, science has good news for you. A recent study suggests that guitar practice can help children better and faster process music and verbal language. Hearing different pitches and tones can help one better parse spoken words. So while every parent should remain careful not to forcefully involve their little ones in music, sports, and other interests, parents can still take a gentler approach that stimulates joy and curiosity, and plant a seed for lifelong learning.
The review isn’t sponsored or endorsed in any way. This is our view of the platform of GuitarTricks and it is up to each reader to decide if we are a trusty resource for information. You can always get the free trial (without clicking on any link if it troubles you in any way) and you can come back here and let us know if you agree with our review or if you think its a clumsy sales page in disguise! 🙂
To get good touch in your strumming hand, it’ll take longer than 10 hours. It’s about reps. Try to consider the amount of finesse you are hitting the strings with. Do a little research on palm mutting and other useful strumming techniques. If it sounds nasty at first, that’s cool. Your fingers and wrists will start to adjust. Focus on getting quality sounds out of the guitar.
Guitar Tricks is described as a 'step-by-step curriculum' and it really does live up to that phrase. I appreciate the simplicity of the step-by-step nature in the structure of the site and the way all the classes and songs I watched were presented. You know exactly where to go next (although of course you are not limited to the pathway – you are free to go wherever you like and explore, return, repeat as much as you like).
I have to admit – I’ve always wanted to be a rock star ! When Travis entered the tank I knew Chordbuddy might be the only way for me to achieve my dream. Years later we know who the real rock star of this story is – Travis. I did this deal because I could see the passion he had for teaching guitar. He truly wants to share music with the the world and developed a foolproof system for learning one of the most common instruments. More than that – I loved that he invented ChordBuddy so his daughter would share his love for music – true dedication to his craft and his family! Four years after making the deal, there is no shortage of ChordBuddy success stories and I know that this simple and innovative product is the only guitar learning system you’ll ever need to be a rock star like Travis.

Of course, this top-down lecturing is all very abstract without examples. Let me give you the worst case scenario. My school talent show, 2008. Two friends of mine performED an ambitious but utterly inappropriate Metallica cover in front of the other students, their parents and the faculty. It was excruciating. Although the solos (presumably the only thing they had bothered to practice) were technically flawless, the whole song was undone by their terrible rhythm. The timing of the song became displaced, the chords were so badly fingered that it was difficult to hear the riff and consequently the whole performance fell apart. They looked like morons. They had sacrificed learning basic rhythm and paid the price. Make sure you don’t do the same.

Sandercoe has been featured and written for Guitar Techniques magazine, including the Led Zeppelin cover feature, issue GT108 and the Tasty Chord column. He has also been featured in Total Guitar and in Guitar magazine, with The Counterfeit Stones. He has been published in Guitar Tutor, the magazine of the Registry Of Guitar Tutors, and has instructed masterclasses about teaching transcribing at their annual conference. He has also given masterclasses for The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance and The International Guitar Federation.


As a beginner, it is best to avoid making a pawn shop, flea market, or yard sale purchase unless you are shopping with somebody who has experience in purchasing a guitar. Having never purchased a guitar, you may not know what to look for in terms of damage or guitar quality. With that being said, a local music retail shop is your best bet. You may also shop online with a reputable company, although be sure to review the business’ return policy.
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