Not making enough progress as a self-taught guitarist? Maybe it is time to try out some online guitar lessons. Truefire and Guitar Tricks are two of the best options for this. So let's pit Truefire Vs Guitar Tricks.
Truefire is better for its sheer number of lessons and instructors.
On the other hand, Guitar Tricks has more song-dedicated lessons and is more budget-friendly. It also has a more streamlined platform.
For the above reasons, I recommend Guitar Tricks to my new guitar students.
Truefire will suit you better if you are an intermediate or experienced guitarist looking to polish your skills.
That is not to say either platform is not suitable for all levels of guitarist. They both have plenty to offer across all skill levels. Let's dive deeper into each program so you can decide which is better for your particular needs.
Both of these online lesson platforms have been around since the '90s. As a result, they both have a massive amount of lessons available. Guitar Tricks has about 11,000 lessons while TrueFire has almost 4 times as many at around 40,000.
The disparity seems massive. But, let's face it, you're unlikely to get through all the lessons on either platform. Given that there are so many lessons available, you can work on pretty much any guitar-related skill.
Don't want to commit to a yearly plan without trying the systems out first? Either one of these programs offers a free trial long enough to get a taste for their content.
Guitar Tricks has a 14-day unlimited trial that allows you to access every part of the platform. On top of this, they have a 60-day refund window.
If you didn't spend enough time practicing during the trial period you could; pay, continue to use the system for 2 months, then request a refund. If you're serious about learning you won't need the refund though. It is unlikely that this system won't impress you.
TrueFire has a 30-day trial period. That's plenty of time for you to explore the enormous amount of lessons they have on offer. Their refund window is a lot smaller though. It is only 14 days.
This also applies to micro-transactions within the platform, of which there are a lot. It is still nice to know there is peace of mind for any purchases made after the initial membership. All covered by a fair refund policy.
On each of these platforms, the primary way of learning a concept is through a video lesson. They organize these lessons into courses. The aim of these is to improve your guitar playing skills piece by piece. These courses come under umbrellas such as genre, skill level, and guitar fundamentals.
They arrange each guitar course in a way that makes them easy to navigate and progress. In this regard, TrueFire is a little more clunky than Guitar Tricks but this is just due to the difference in the number of lessons.
Each lesson or course on both platforms will have a knowledgeable guitar instructor. No exceptions. They are often grouped into a particular style of playing. This means they are not reaching outside of their expertise.
Guitar Tricks has around 33 teachers.
TrueFire has a whopping 140. As there are so many tutors and lessons you can often find more than one teaching similar concepts. If you don't click with any particular teacher's style you can try another.
Obviously, this is a bigger strength for TrueFire but Guitar Tricks is no slouch either.
One of the biggest problems with real-life lessons is finding a great teacher. Just like in school, there are some good ones and bad ones. Using either of these lesson platforms will help you avoid the search for one that works for you. It will also cost you a fraction of the price.
Both of these systems are available to use on your desktop or on your portable device. Each has its own Android and iOS app.
Much of the competition only offers one or the other so this is a standout feature for these two.
The apps are not quite as good as some of the dedicated systems such as Yousician. But, they are more than good enough to get your lessons happening while you are on the move.
If you are looking for private lessons you must pay extra on top of your subscription. It's fair as these guys need to get paid after all, but it's something to keep in mind.
As these platforms have been around since the '90s some of the lessons are pretty old. This means they are of a lower quality than the newer ones. Sometimes it is difficult to figure this out before beginning a course.
The older lessons are not presented in HD most of the time too - if that is important to you.
As mentioned in the shared strengths TrueFire has a massive amount of lessons and tutors. So much so that it dwarfs the already impressive numbers from Guitar Tricks.
The vast number of lessons and tutors also make this online guitar lesson platform better for an intermediate player. The same applies if you are an advanced player.
There is also more on offer in terms of technique lessons. This solidifies TrueFires position as the better learning system for experienced guitarists.
Guitar Tricks only covers electric guitar and acoustic guitar. If you want to learn bass guitar as well TrueFire is the clear winner.
Both platforms have tracks to jam along with but TrueFire, again, just has a larger number.
This is another feature that makes this platform stand out for intermediate guitarists.
Both programs have plenty to offer in terms of learning music theory concepts. Yet, they have geared Guitar Tricks towards getting you to actually play. On top of having fewer lessons in total, it has less to offer on theory.
The navigation system for Guitar Tricks is a lot more robust and easy to use. This applies to both the desktop and app versions. The apps are head and shoulders above TrueFire when comparing how easy to use they are.
The division of lessons is much easier to follow. The progression from beginner to advanced is also quite easy to see from the start. For example, you could choose the rock guitar path and follow it until you are competent as a rock guitarist.
The same applies to acoustic, metal, and blues. There are of course plenty of other lessons. The preceding are just the easy-to-use predefined lesson paths.
An absolute beginner should definitely choose Guitar Tricks over TrueFire. The learning path is a lot more defined and appropriate for newbies. It includes basics about guitar parts, care, musicianship, how to read a guitar tab, and understanding chord diagrams.
A beginner guitarist will get a lot more out of these introductory lessons rather than trying to find their own path on TrueFire.
This is an area in which Guitar Tricks trumps TrueFire for intermediate guitarists.
You may want to dive straight into learning songs if you have the basics down already. The library of popular songs to learn is significantly larger on this platform. It is, therefore, the better choice for this purpose.
Each song lesson is similar to other lessons in which you will have a tutor break down parts into digestible chunks.
If you have the budget to pay for individual lessons GT is the better option. This is because they conduct them in real-time. You will be able to get immediate feedback on your playing. This means you can work through changes in your playing with the teacher on the spot.
TF uses a system where you record yourself playing, send it away, and wait for a response from the tutor.
A yearly subscription to GT is $179.99. You will be looking at $199 for TrueFire. Not a huge difference but still worth noting.
This is one of the most popular guitar lesson sites, and for good reason. It has something for everyone. You have lessons for an absolute beginner. There are also options for people wanting an advanced lesson to engage with.
It has won a bunch of awards and has an ever-growing user base. The social proof of the quality of these lessons is quite apparent. It's easy to tell that the lessons they offer will satisfy most users. Even if you are one of the few that is not impressed you can simply refund your purchase within 60 days. How good is that!?
The free trial, and subsequent membership, unlock the entire platform except for one-on-one lessons. It's good to have peace of mind knowing that you won't run into any unexpected costs.
The core learning system for beginners is super easy to follow. It provides a fantastic foundation to build your guitar skills. This makes GT one of the best platforms for new players. It gets you straight into playing guitar and learning chords. It also doesn't skimp on often overlooked parts of initial learning like how to read tabs.
Intermediate guitarists can follow a similar system as new players. The step-by-step system is perfect for turning an average player into a boss guitarist.
You could also choose to forgo the structured system and find your own courses and lessons. This is perfect for advanced guitarists. You have full control over what you want to learn.
The teachers in guitar tricks are all very experienced in the genres they teach. The sample lessons can feel a little robotic but once you get a little deeper they are a lot more relaxed. You can feel a lot more of their personality after a few lessons.
There are no famous guitarists presenting guest lessons on this platform. Being famous does not always make you a good teacher though. I personally prefer a good teacher over one that has been in a famous band.
Lessons are in a video format with accompanying tabs and sheet music. They are easy to follow and allow you to loop sections, slow them down, and repeat lessons. Great for long-term practice and drilling parts you find difficult.
The lessons are usually organized into courses that you can skip sections that aren't relevant to your learning.
Check out our full review of Guitar Tricks.
This is one of the oldest, biggest, and most well-respected online learning platforms. They're unrivaled when it comes to the sheer number of lessons, tutors, and programs available. This is of course a major selling point. If you are after a massive platform, look no further.
The interface for the desktop version and app for TrueFire is straightforward and easy to use. It's not quite as good as Guitar Tricks though so if you are a little technology impaired this may put you off.
Yet, with a little gusto and a grasp of the vastness of lessons available you will be whizzing your way around the platform in no time.
You won't find a dedicated beginners course here.
There is a Guitar 1 course though. You choose a style and follow a selected learning path. This is closer to the second set of lessons in Guitar Tricks.
The foundations aren't as strong for a beginner lesson here. Yet, they more than make up for that with the selection of other lessons once you get rolling.
If you are an intermediate or advanced guitar player this platform is probably the best on the web for you. The supplementary courses, deep-dive individual courses, and library are amazing for improving your skills.
They do the private tutoring sessions on this platform via correspondence. This is instead of in a live chat session. This isn't great for adjusting your playing during the lesson and may cause you to need more lessons.
Conversely, it gives the teacher a chance to pause, rewind, and think more in-depth about ways to help you for each lesson. This could be awesome if you are working on a complicated skill that needs a lot of work.
The biggest nuisance for TruFire is paying extra for certain courses. The cost of this can add up quickly if you are using a lot of these. It blows out the cost considerably when comparing these two platforms.
Yes! They are very limited when compared to the huge range available on the paid versions though. The problem is that they don't follow on from each other. It's more of a way for them to show off what kind of lessons you can expect once past the paywall.
However, the free trial for both of these platforms unlocks the entire system. I would check them out if you would like a real look.
Set a reminder in your calendar and you can just cancel before the trial expires.
Some other popular options for online lessons are Fender Play and JamPlay. They are similar but have their own differences too. You can check out our JamPlay review to find out more.
I prefer TrueFire for this. It really depends on what you define as difficult though. Let's take barre chords for example - both platforms offer more than enough advice on the matter.
The same goes for many other difficult skills, but TrueFire just has 4x as many lessons. So, therefore, has more available for each skill.
99% of users would be happy with either platform in this regard. I wouldn't really let this sway your opinion.
Both of these platforms are great. In fact, they are the two best on the web in our opinion.
If you are an absolute newbie guitarist you should 100% opt for Guitar Tricks.
A more experienced guitarist will likely enjoy TrueFire more.
If you are still unsure which is better for you after reading this review, sign up for the free trial for each. Try Guitar Tricks first as it will give you the foundational skills to progress. Then you can have a play around in TrueFire for a whole 30 days before deciding which you like best.
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.
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