I would estimate that there are literally hundreds of thousands of guitar-related websites on the Internet, with a few hundred popping up every month. While many of these sites will have something valuable to add, I tried to collect the best guitar websites, the ones that I think will be most useful to my guitar students.
Now, this is nowhere a definitive list or guitar directory, but it's a good start.
If you find a site that you think is innovative and worthy of being called one of the best guitar-related sites on the net, then please leave a comment and if I agree, I'll add it to this list. Oh, and don't just spam comment links. If you don't explain why you think your proposed guitar site is awesome, I'll just delete your comment.
Instead of just presenting an insanely long list, I've separated the sites into categories to make everything easier to digest and find. Click on a category and you'll magically be taken to that part of the page.
Higher quality guitar lesson sites will offer some free lessons, but charge a recurring fee for access to all tutorials and content. The Internet has evolved from simply providing video lessons. The best sites will offer added value stuff, like interactive guitar learning games and guitar tools, so stuff that makes a guitar student's life easier.
But I think the main benefit of paid guitar lesson sites is that they have lots of well outlined courses. YouTube and free sites don't have structured courses, so guitar students end up jumping from one lesson to the next and not learning much.
I have a separate lengthy post on the top sites offering online guitar lessons, but here is an abridged list of the best paid-for guitar lesson websites:
GuitarTricks.com is a video guitar lesson website with literally thousands of lessons. They have lots of teachers teaching guitar lessons in all genres and difficulty levels. They also have several online guitar tools that guitarists will find useful.
Presently, they cost $14.95 per month, or if you pay for a year in advance, the monthly rate goes down to $10.75 per month. They also have a 2 week free trial offer.
They cost $19.95 per month, or if you pay a year in advance, the membership comes out to $11.66 per month. Chump change for the amount of content you get from the site, in my opinion, the same goes for GuitarTricks.com.
TrueFire.com is another massive guitar lesson site, catering to guitarists of all levels. You can stream their material online for a flat monthly or yearly fee, and also order their courses on DVD. TrueFire really shines in the number of very specialized courses it offers. It's also worth noting that Steve Vai and Tommy Emmanuel are among their teachers. They also have a neat jam play software package called In The Jam, which allows you to play with a "real" band and control each band member individually.
LickLibrary.com is another video guitar lesson site, but their material is more advanced than the previous. They have lots of DVDs as well, which can be purchased online or in music stores.
Their lessons can also be viewed online for GBP10 per month, which is around $15 right now.
And last but not least, TheGuitarLesson.com, a video tutorial website focusing on beginner guitarists. The video lessons are very easy to follow, since each tutorial has on screen animated tablature and chord diagrams, so it's great for beginners.
There are several pricing plans starting at the $1 three day trial, $9 monthly membership, or the 9 month membership which comes out to $6 per month.
Remember the saying, "You get what you pay for!" Well, it's not always true.
There are some guitar lesson sites out there that offer quality, relevant tutorials without asking for money. Of course, everyone's got to make a living, so these sites generate income by asking for donations, selling products, or recommending other sites for a commission.
But either way, the main product of the following sites is totally free, so here are some of the best free guitar learning websites:
The video lessons you'll find on justinguitar.com are not just useful, but structured as well. He has courses covering different genres and in various difficulties as well. Of course, the production value isn't as high as with the paid sites, but the educational value is on par.
You can also purchase DVDs and books from Justin if you wish.
GuitarLesson.com is a good free website for anyone looking for video guitar lessons, the only downside is that their tutorials aren't structured as well as Justin's. But the material is still valuable, so another tool in your arsenal. They also offer paid lessons, but if you're going to pay, I would recommend GuitarTricks over them.
Of course, when you learn the guitar, you'll want to play your favorite songs as well. Why else would you bother? (Other than looking cool of course...) So anyhow, there are many tabs websites out there. The free tablature sites are community based, meaning any given song is tabbed and uploaded by a member of the community, so any regular person. This will mean that a lot of the tabs will be bad, but thankfully, the best tablature sites have rating systems, where other people can vote on how accurate and useful the given tablature is. This saves you from looking over 89 versions of a song's tablature.
So without further ado, here are the best guitar tablature websites:
Ultimate-guitar.com is the biggest tablature website on the internet. If the song's been written, you'll find the tabs for it on Ultimate Guitar. In fact, you'll probably find several tablature version on the site to any give song.
The cool thing about 911tabs.com is that it scrapes the tablature pages of every tablature website, and returns all of them for you. So let's say the version of Smells Like Teen Spirit you find on UltimateGuitar is not to your liking, hit up 911tabs, and a search will reveal the relevant page on every tablature website there is. It can be overwhelming, but it beats going to each site one by one.
Guitar Pro tabs
This Guitar Pro tabs site offers what it says, free tabs for the Guitar Pro software. You can also purchase their entire database of tabs for $9, giving you an endless supply of tabs, enough for several lifetimes.
Awesome online guitar tools can be created thanks to the modern web technology of today. There are tools to replace not just the software you would otherwise have to download, but also physical hardware. Not to mention guitar teachers...
All right, so here are the most useful guitar tools you'll find online:
The interactive guitar chord and scale generator & finder on chordbook.com is unmatched in user experience. It used to be a Flash based website, but they recently converted it to HTML5, which means it'll work perfectly on mobile devices as well. Way to keep up with technology!
MusicTheory.net is similar to the above site, but this one includes some guitar related exercises as well, such as tests to help you learn the fretboard, etc. This site is not made with Flash, so it should run perfectly on all mobile devices, which is great! If you want to learn even more theoretical things, make sure you visit out music theory for guitar lessons.
If you don't feel like downloading drum tracks, or want to create something of your own, you'll definitely want to have a look at Drumbit. It's a free online drum machine (mobile friendly), you can easily add all kinds of drum sounds and create a custom, looping drum track to play along with.
Acousterr.com is one of those really simple, yet really useful sites that make your life easier. Its tab maker lets you create perfect monospace tablature very easily, since all of the formatting is done for you. If you ever set out to create monospace tabs, you'll know that formatting would be the hardest part of it. It also plays your tabs, an added bonus.
And my favorite part, the line-break. If you've ever tried to create monospace tabs, you know that the worst part is having to put the tabs in a new line. With acousterr's tab maker, you just press enter and all the tabs from that point will enter into a new section of tabs.
ChordChord.com is a nifty little site, it generates great sounding chord progression for you at random. You can tweak a few settings, and even improvise along with your newly created "backing track". It's also interesting to see the large combination of chord progressions that sound great, which is especially important for beginners stuck in the I-IV-V scene.
WikiLoops.com is a site where you can download all sorts of backing tracks and loops created by other people. Unlike GuitarBackingTrack.com, these backing tracks are not song specific. You have a great search form, where you can pick your genre, time signature, tempo, key, and be presented with free backing tracks you can use as you see fit.
If you're craving some news on your favorite bands, guitar brands, interviews, or anything from the guitar world, there are several guitar sites that will suit your appetite for guitar news. I can't really too many specific things about these sites, since they all post guitar related news stories, so this is a simple list of the best guitar news sites on the web:
Guitar World News
Guitar World news, a site on guitar news.
Music Radar News
Music Radar also has a section dedicated to guitar related news stories.
Ultimate Guitar News
The same goes for Ultimate Guitar news.
There are many technical aspects of the guitar, which guitarists of intermediate-advanced levels will be interested in. These range from custom rigs, guitar wiring, changing pickups, all the way to building your own amps and guitars. As you would expect, the Internet has info on this as well, you just need to know where to find it.
Have you ever thought how cool it would be to build your own guitar? Or maybe modify a few things on your existing guitar? Well, if you have, than BuildYourGuitar.com should be your first stop. You'll also find an exhaustive list of guitar building links, books, videos, sites on this website.
If you ever wonder what kind of guitars, amplifiers, effect pedals your favorite guitarists use, have a look at equipboard.com/role/guitarists. It is a community driven site, where people can upload the gear that guitarists use, as well as proof of it being used (YouTube video, image). You'll find pretty much every famous guitarist you can think of, and even not so famous ones. Being a community site, there are some incorrect things though, which are usually marked by members of the community.
Not everything is in the Cloud (yet), there are a couple of really useful guitar software that you need to download, install, and use on your computer. I'm guessing these will be in the Cloud in 10 years time as well, but for now, here are my picks on the best guitar software:
GuitarPro is hands down the best guitar tablature editing/playback software available. The possibilities you have at your fingertips is just huge, not just for composing, but also for learning your favorite songs. Guitar Pro also has built in tools, such as a metronome, tuner, scale/chord finder. Check out this tutorial on getting started with Guitar Pro to see why this is such a useful tool.
eMedia Guitar Method
The eMedia guitar method is an interactive guitar instruction program aimed at total beginner guitarists. The program is pretty old, it could use a facelift, but the material in it will be really useful to people just picking up the guitar, who don't want to learn from online lessons or a guitar teacher. eMedia also made other guitar method software, one for intermediate guitar, the other for blues, but they weren't nearly as good as their beginner program.
If you are interested in this program, you can buy it cheaper on Amazon.com, than on the eMedia website. Just so you know 😉
If something is just plain cool, you gotta let people know about it, right? Yes! These sites don't really, or more precisely, don't completely fall into any of the set categories, but you need to see them.
Guitar backing track
Playing along to your favorite songs is much funner than playing just your guitar, that's why GuitarBackingTrack.com was created. You'll be able to download the guitar backing tracks to thousands of really famous songs. Some backing tracks are better, some are worse, as this is a community-based site as well, where people can send in their backing tracks.
All right, that's my time, not it's your turn. Which sites did I miss? If you think there are any other guitar-related websites that are TRULY great, leave them in the comments below. Make sure you leave at least a 2 paragraph long description of why you think your proposed site should be on this list.