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Lessons With A Free Trail | 2021 Guitar Tricks Review

This Guitar Tricks review is written from the perspective of a working musician/guitar teacher. Long story short, this is one of the best online guitar lessons systems to grow your guitar ability - whether you are just starting out or are a more advanced player this system has something for you.

The fact that it has a free trial period just adds to how good it is. You can test it out for yourself without having to commit to paying ANYTHING. If you don't like it you just have to cancel before the 14 day trial is up. 

Set a reminder in your calendar just in case, simple. There is also a whopping 60 day guaranteed refund window if you miss the cut off.

With that in mind, some of you may be apprehensive, even if it's free. That's why I have tested the platform for myself to deliver you this honest Guitar Tricks review.
Claim Your Free 14 Day Full Access Trial To Guitar Tricks!

In A Nutshell

  • Free Trial Length: 14 Days
  • Lessons: Over 11000
  • Song Tutorials: Over 1000
  • Members: Over 3,000,000
  • Yearly Price: $179 (often on sale for $99)
  • Monthly Price: $19.95
  • Refund Period: Guaranteed for 60 days

Pros

  • A variety of experienced instructors
  • Well structured system
  • Huge range of lessons to cover all types of learners
  • Most musical styles are represented
  • Something for any skill level
  • A massive window for a refund if you're dissatisfied

Cons

  • One on one lessons cost extra
  • Lacking interactive tablature
  • No famous guitarists as instructors

The Dashboard

Once you have signed up, the homepage has the following links to follow to get started.

  • Beginner Lessons
  • Experienced Lessons
  • Learn to Play Songs
  • Learn Styles of Guitar

As you can see, there are a few different paths you can choose to travel down in the guitar tricks system depending on how experienced you are as a guitarist. I started out in the experienced section and found plenty to love.

Your guitar learning journey is never really over and Guitar Tricks has lessons for even the most advanced player. In this section, there are lessons on fine-tuning your technique as well as some musical theory.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are a bunch of lessons aimed at teaching newbies as well. You can find these under the beginner lesson category.

While checking out the beginner lessons I tried to imagine I was with one of my own music students and what I thought would be beneficial for them.

I have to say, there was a "guitar trick" or two that I hadn't thought about using before - I couldn't help myself, sorry :D

I will definitely steal some of the ideas they use to convey guitar fundamentals to the students of my future real-life lessons. It's good to see some innovation and the early introduction of some music theory within these foundational lessons. If not a little disheartening for myself for not having thought of pushing these ideas to my students before.

Let's take a deeper look at this section of Guitar Tricks.

Beginner Lessons

These lessons help you get a strong foundation for your guitar playing so you can progress more quickly than if you were trying to learn on your own. The first two courses are aimed at people who have never picked up a guitar before so you could skip them if you have a little experience.

I would still flick through them just to make sure you aren't missing out on anything though. There are often a few bits and bobs you miss out on as a self-taught guitarist, especially in the early days. You could at least take a look at the titles of each video lesson to see if anything stands out as being unfamiliar.

All of the beginner lessons are taught by one tutor, Lisa McCormick. She is easy to follow and has a relaxed vibe. A perfect teacher for someone that is a little apprehensive about starting their guitar journey.

If you would rather not follow the structured course you can peek into the other beginner option of clicking through the following categories.

  • Tuning and guitar maintenance
  • Practice for beginners
  • Songs made easy

These are best for those that have had little experience with guitar before but want to repair any holes in their foundation.

Personally, I think it would be better to smash through the guitar fundamentals courses and use the extras to reinforce your learning. Every learner is different though, so go with what works for you.

Experienced Lessons

These lessons are aimed at anyone from an intermediate player to an advanced guitarist. Much like the beginner section, this page is broken into courses at the top and standalone lesson groups at the bottom.

The courses now branch off into blues, country, rock, and acoustic. Each of these is also compartmentalized into levels 1 and 2 so it's easy to match your current level of playing with the right lessons.

The courses are definitely the way to go if you started off as a complete beginner and made it through the introductory courses. It's here that you can decide on a style you want to follow and start to work your way into it. These can be complementary to each other too. There's no reason you couldn't work on the blues course and acoustic course at the same time.

For those that may have been an experienced player when entering the program, you may want to hit up the lesson groups at the bottom of the page instead. These are grouped in the following categories.

  • Styles
  • Techniques
  • Artist Studies
  • Practice
  • Chords & Scales
  • Gear & Tone

With these standalone lessons, you can drill down on specific weaknesses in your guitar skills. Each of these categories is easy to navigate with a diverse range of tutors teaching many different concepts.

For example, if you were to follow the styles link, you would be greeted with a page that has a bunch of different genres. Some of the umbrella genres such as metal will have sub-genres within them after you click through.

Whichever menu path you go down, you will eventually land on a lesson that interests you. Once you click on the desired lesson, you will be taken to an introductory page that summarizes what you are about to learn.

You could start the lesson sequence from there or use the contents to find a specific part. Once you have chosen you will be taken through to the lesson section. Here, you will have a video in the top left and most likely tablature, sheet music, and other lesson notes on the right.

One thing I found very useful in the lessons is the control that you have over the video.

You can adjust the playback speed which is great for any sections you are finding difficult. Slowing down makes it much easier to play along and to master the movements.

This is actually something I recommend to all my students. Even if you decide not to opt for professional lessons you should still slow down your youtube videos or smart tabs to help you learn more efficiently.

The video player also has a loop function. This is a second important learning technique to use - repetition. Playing guitar boils down to a lot of muscle memory. The only way to create that is through repetition.

A less useful modification you can make to the video playback is to adjust the resolution. No real benefit to your learning, but nice if you're using mobile data.

Now that we have discussed how the individual lessons work, let's zoom out a little and examine the course structure for those among you interested in following that lesson path.

How Courses Work

The home page for each course will contain an introductory video in which the tutor will go over the concepts covered in the course.

Underneath that is a big "Start Course" button. If you click on this you will be taken to the first lesson in the course and the videos will automatically roll through to the next one.

You could also take a look at the chapters in the courses. These are related concepts broken down into smaller lessons.

A good idea would be to complete a chapter at a time and then go away and practice what you have learned before starting the next chapter. Kind of like what you would have had to do with a textbook at high school. An understanding of the concepts of each chapter will make learning the next chapter easier.

If you load up a chapter or individual lesson the subsequent lessons will automatically appear on the page so you can easily click through to the next one once you are done with the lesson.

All the options for navigation through the course make it easy to focus on what you need to learn without missing anything important.

Learn To Play Songs

Learning to play a song is far more gratifying than learning little concepts and skills at a time. This is especially true if you have just finished learning your first few chord progressions.

I wouldn't recommend heading straight to the learn to play songs section before nailing down the basics first. You might get away with it for some simple songs but it will slow your progress to not have a solid knowledge base to grow from.

With that in mind, this section of Guitar Tricks is one of the most fun to use. Each song lesson is fully licensed by the respective artists' label so you can trust that the tabs are correct. Each of the songs is taught by the tutors' chord by chord and note by note. You have the video controls that we discussed earlier so you have full control over your learning experience.

There is an astonishing amount of songs available in this section of the website. Pretty much every imaginable genre is accounted for from pop to metal, to classical, to jazz, and anything else you can think of. You can take a peek at the artists covered before signing up.

This zone of the Guitar Tricks program is much better than most user-generated tablature you will find out there. It's very important to have quality sheet music or tabs as a beginner as it is incredibly hard for you to figure out what the problem is when something sounds off. This alone makes the cost of Guitar Tricks worth it. Let alone all the other lessons available.

Learn Styles Of Guitar

This is the last primary link from the dashboard. From here you can find your way to learning specifics for certain genres.

You could go down a path such as Styles > Metal > Djent and find lessons based around techniques used in that style of music as well as gear etc.

I think styles is the best way to get ideas about what to learn next. However, if you already have a skill or technique in mind you could get straight there through the techniques menu under the experienced tab.

Not the first place you should go to as a beginner but a godsend for beginners.

Guitar Tricks Instructors

You can expect all the teachers on this platform to be experienced guitarists. Many of them have very impressive credentials such as master's degrees in music as well as industry experience. There are several instructors that have worked as session musicians with some huge names in music.

There are no 'famous' guitarists though. JamPlay, a rival to Guitar Tricks has many guest lessons from guitarists of popular bands. It's a little disappointing to see that Guitar Tricks hasn't followed suit in this regard. Nevertheless, the standard of tutors is still incredibly high. Just missing a little bit of flash factor. Being in a famous band doesn't make you any better as a teacher anyway.

You may notice in sample lessons or the beginner course that the instructors feel like they are reading from a script. That's because they are. This rigidness disappears in the other courses and lessons as they are not used as sales material so the individual tutor has more control over their teaching. The website still ensures a high level of quality throughout all the lessons though.

This is one of the main differences between online lessons and seeing a teacher in real life. The instant feedback you get from an individual lesson can be priceless at certain points of your guitar journey.

You can interact with the instructors via a forum. Although it's not instant the forums are checked pretty frequently so your questions can be answered.

You could also book a one on one private lesson with certain instructors. This is not included in the membership price though. You have to pay for these live video separately. This is fair enough, the teachers deserve to be paid for their time.

It is worth forking out for a live lesson every now and again for some specific feedback. Make sure you know what you want to cover when you go in so you can get the most out of it.

The Toolbox

Under the toolbox tab you will find a list of 6 tools

  • Scale finder
  • Jam station
  • Metronome
  • Chord Finder
  • Reference tuner
  • Fretboard Trainer

With the exception of the jam station, it is relatively easy to find equivalent tools to these with a simple google search. However, it is convenient to have these frequently used guitar player tools in one place. These are also easy to use and navigate to which makes them better than most free options.

I'll gloss over the metronome and tuner, you should know what they are already. If not, here is a simple explanation. A metronome helps keep you in time and a tuner helps you tune the guitar.

Chord Finder

This app helps you identify chords and their different shapes up and down the neck of a guitar. For a beginner guitarist without much fretboard knowledge, it will help you understand how chords work. The lessons in the courses will definitely touch on this so the chord finder could be used as a supplementary tool.

Scale Finder

This works in a similar way to the chord finder except instead of identifying the notes that are in a chord it will show you the scale that you have selected.

Fretboard Trainer

This app helps you identify chords and their different shapes up and down the neck of a guitar. For a beginner guitarist without much fretboard knowledge, it will help you understand how chords work. The lessons in the courses will definitely touch on this so the chord finder could be used as a supplementary tool.

The Jam Station

This is the best app in the tools section. As you may have guessed from the name it provides tracks to jam along with. There are tonnes of songs to jam along with that cover a vast range of genres and musical keys. You will have to have covered how to play scales in other lessons to be able to use this tool but it is a great addition once you are at that level. It will help you learn how to jam with other musicians which is one of the most fun parts of being a musician.

The iPad App

The iPad app is free to download and use but you must have a membership to get full functionality. You will have access to everything that is in the desktop version although the layout is a little different.

The dashboard is intuitive and fairly straight forward. If you are using it alongside the desktop version you should still be able to navigate your way around.

One thing that is missing from the app is the loop function for video playback. This is a real let down for me but there is still a 15-second rewind at a tap. This means you have to take your hand off your guitar which can get annoying after a while. However, this will help train you to find the positioning your hand should be in too.

You can still control the playback speed and resolution just like on the desktop site.

I haven't run into any glitches in the lessons I have used so far which is more than I can say for some of the competing apps.

The Cost

As mentioned a few times now, the trial period of 14 days is free! What I haven't mentioned yet is that you can easily cancel from inside the member area without having to contact support. If you want to continue with your subscription payment will automatically be taken out. So, be careful to unsubscribe in less than 14 days if you decide Guitar Tricks isn't for you.

Outside of the trial, there are two options for payment. You can pay monthly at $19.95 per month. But, Learning to play guitar takes more than a month (and 14 days) and the yearly price of $179 is much cheaper over the course of a year. I would go for the yearly option.

Guitar Tricks often have sales throughout the year in which you can get a yearly membership for much cheaper - usually around $99. A safe bet of when this discount will be offered is around holidays. They also pop up randomly so keep the sales page bookmarked. If you don't want to wait it out for those, you could use codes for better deals on their membership packages.

Check these out

60% off the first month - Code: "60OFF"

20% off a yearly membership - Code: "SAVE20"

One fantastic feature of Guitar Tricks lessons is the 60-day money-back guarantee. On top of the free trial, that is a total of 74 days to try the system out risk-free. They have such confidence that you will choose to stay on because the product is great.

However, you are free to cancel any time within that period if you choose not to continue. That includes if you just end up being too lazy to use the lessons. I wish I had that kind of peace of mind for some things I have signed up for in the past. Anyone else have an unused gym membership during the lockdown?

Guitar Tricks Review FAQ

 

Is There A Free Version Of Guitar Tricks?

Yes! There is a free version of guitar tricks. It is severely limited though and is not the same as a free trial which has access to everything on the website for 14 days.

This version has 24 free lessons in it. On the surface, this seems like enough to get you started. However, there is no real sequence to the free lessons. The free version of Guitar Tricks is more like a showcase of the material that is inside the full version.

 

How Do I Cancel My Guitar Tricks Trial?

There is a button in the members' area that you have to click. It is as simple as that.

Keep in mind that you will automatically be charged for your first month of a monthly membership if you don't cancel within 14 days. However, you can still contact the support team and get a refund within 60 days of the first payment.

 

Is It Worth Buying A Yearly Membership When I Sign Up To Guitar Tricks?

That really depends on you. It definitely saves money in the long run if you stay committed to your learning. On the other hand, if you are prone to giving up when things get tough it may be better to start with a monthly membership and upgrade later.

There is always the 60-day money-back unlimited guarantee I keep banging on about. It's pretty safe to go for the whole year as long as you contact support within 2 months of joining if you want to quit learning guitar. In the meantime, you could take advantage of the free lessons.

 

What Are The Alternatives To Guitar Tricks?

The market is flooded with online video guitar lesson platforms now. Many of them are trash. I won't name names in that regard but some direct competitors to Guitar Tricks that are actually decent are;

  • JamPlay
  • TrueFire
  • Justin Guitar
  • Fender Play

Final Word

Guitar tricks is a great platform for anyone from an absolute beginner to a guitar god looking to sharpen their top-tier skills. With its 2-week free trial and 60-day money-back guarantee it is a no-brainer to at least try it out for yourself. If you hate it (you won't) you can get your money back easily.

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About The Author

Hi, I'm Chris, the owner, creator, and head writer for InciteMusic.com 
I have been a touring cover musician and a teacher for the last 10 years and take helping people to achieve their musical goals very seriously.
On this website, we try to provide the best reviews possible by actual working musicians so you can find gear, lessons, and software to help you perfect your craft.
Check out the link to our about page in the footer if you would like to know more.

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