Looking for Advanced Guitar Lessons?
Instructional DVDs, books and websites are generally geared towards beginners, so finding high-quality advanced guitar lessons can be pretty challenging. The internet is flooded with websites and subscription services offering online lessons, but most only take players from being an absolute beginner to intermediate level. Plus, it seems anybody with a guitar and a webcam can become an online teacher, so quality is hard to guarantee. Although it’s tempting to trawl through cyberspace looking for free advanced lessons, if you’re serious about learning you should invest in a subscription-based online service taught by professional instructors.
High-end websites have mammoth libraries comprised of lessons on a multitude of topics, and some of them can take beginners from holding the guitar for the first time to playing “Eruption” at full speed.
To help you find the best guitar lessons for the advanced player check out the comparison chart below.
Advanced Guitar Lessons: Buying Guide
Advanced guitar lessons expand on the intermediate techniques you’ve learnt previously and teach you more about specific genres. You will pick up some additional techniques along the way, and your knowledge of music theory will also be vastly improved. This overlap between intermediate and advanced lessons has prompted most courses to group them together. Online subscription services, for example, provide different series of lessons on specific topics, such as metal and lead guitar. The initial lessons will be intermediate level, and then advanced lessons start to appear towards the end of the series.
Subscriptions vs. DVDs
Online subscription-based streaming services are the best option for advanced lessons. They provide masses of content to give students a comprehensive course in any specific genre, and have sections devoted to various techniques and music theory. After you’ve got the fundamentals down, you’re essentially free to learn about whatever you like. You can branch off to become a metal maestro, an acoustic troubadour or a blues virtuoso. Your goals come into play a lot more when you’re looking for advanced and intermediate lessons. Check out the sections that interest you on specific courses; the more lessons the better.
Most online courses also usually have a variety of instructors. Although understanding a variety of styles is useful, most musicians have a specialty. Any guitarist can show you how to play basic fingerstyle, but only an expert can teach you everything you know to really understand it. This applies to everything; you need to be taught metal by a metal-head, not by a generalist. The services with the most instructors are Guitar Tricks and JamPlay, with JamPlay having slightly more.
The other things you should look for in advanced guitar lessons are basics that you should always consider when buying video-based lessons. You should be able to clearly see what the instructor is doing with both hands, and close-ups always help. The videos should have multiple angles, and have either in-video or on-page notation so you can play along. Find some screenshots or a sample lesson to check out the quality of the videos.
Additional series are also useful when you learn at an advanced level. You can find courses with special sections for playing in the styles of different artists, and even sections dedicated to teaching popular songs. These can help you test out your new techniques in a real song and show you how to play like your heroes. Guitar Tricks also has lessons on getting the sound you want out of your instrument, with lessons on effects, amplifiers and genre-specific tone configurations. This isn’t a priority when you first learn, but it’s very useful as you get better.
Don’t Walk Before You Can Crawl
The main risk you face when considering advanced lessons is rushing ahead of yourself. Everybody who picks up a guitar wants to solo like Jimi Hendrix and unleash riffs so brutal they’d make James Hetfield weep in fear, but it takes time to get to that level. You shouldn’t start worrying about advanced lessons until you’ve mastered the fundamentals and gone through an intermediate course. If you get advanced lessons as part of a bigger package, then it’s OK, but don’t start the tricky stuff until you’re ready.
Advanced Guitar Lessons: Conclusion
JamPlay offers a superior package for advanced guitarists. Guitar Tricks is a great service, but JamPlay tops it on video quality, the number of instructors and the size of their chord and scale libraries. It has over 950,000 chords and all the common scales in every key, as well as the most common exotic ones. The lessons are taught by specialists, and you can ask the teachers about anything you’re struggling with through the forums.