9 Quick and Easy Tips to Learn Guitar Online

Want to learn guitar online? You’re in the right place; the National Guitar Academy provides the most comprehensive source of free guitar lessons on the internet. Let’s get started!

On this page you will find:

  • 9 quick & easy tips to help you learn guitar online.
  • 16 essential lessons for guitarists of ALL levels.
  • 4 must-know tricks for guitar learners.

Over 200,000 guitar-learners get our world-class guitar tips & tutorials sent straight to their inbox: Click here to join them

So you want to learn guitar online?

There are 4 fundamental aspects to guitar playing:

  • Chords (the building blocks of the guitar world)
  • Strumming and musicality
  • Lead guitar (riffs, licks, solos etc) 
  • Guitar scales & music theory

On this page, you’ll find a selection of lessons for beginner, intermediate and advanced guitarists in each of the above areas.

Top Tip: There’s a lot of useful stuff here. You may want to bookmark this page or save it for later. Don’t try and learn everything at once. Pace yourself and enjoy the journey!

Ok, here are some beginner lessons (if you want intermediate or advanced lessons please scroll further down the page):

Beginner Guitar Chords

It’s essential that you learn how to play guitar chords. Chords form the basis of 99% of all music.

If you want to learn how to play music, you must know how to play guitar chords.

If you want to learn guitar online, chords is the best place to start. This lesson of ours will get you off to a great start: How To Play Guitar Chords: A Beginner’s Guide

learn guitar online

What chords must I know?

This lesson is a must-read: 14 Easy Guitar Chords For Beginners

If you are a beginner guitarist, you must know these chords:

  • A Major
  • A Minor
  • E Major
  • E Minor
  • C Major
  • D Major
  • G Major

To learn how to play these chords, go here:

If you’re a beginner guitarist and want to learn guitar online, check out these articles which will give you an overall framework you can follow:

Learn the 12 EASIEST beginner chords with our famous FREE guide

  Stop struggling. Start making music.

  Learn 12 beginner-friendly versions of every chord.

  This is our most popular guide and it will improve your chord ability quickly.

Strumming and Musicality (for beginners)

Learning how to strum is essential for all beginner guitarists. Learning how to strum makes you sound musical and is a great way to sound amazing quickly.

You can learn how to strum in this popular free lesson: How To Strum A Guitar

It’s also essential that you learn how to hold a pick correctly.

Check out this article to learn how to hold a guitar pick: How to hold a guitar pick in 3 easy steps

learn guitar online

Beginner Guitar Scales

Guitar scales help you create amazing solos, but also teach you the ‘DNA’ of music.

It’s not essential that a beginner guitarist understands scales, but it’s certainly useful to know some scales because it will give you an insight into some of the more advanced stuff that will come later!

Soloing is one of the BEST things you can do on the guitar and without knowing some guitar scales you will find this very hard.

Want to learn guitar scales? Read this awesome lesson:Learn Guitar Scales In 8 Easy Steps

Want free guitar tips and video lessons delivered to your inbox?

Join over 200,000 guitar learners and subscribe to our guitar-tips-by-email service. (It's free.)

We'll send you a series of lessons that will move you to the next level of your guitar journey.

Learn how everything fits together quickly, easily and effectively. We share ninja tips (for instant fun!) but also timeless fundamentals that will deepen your understanding.

How to play lead guitar for beginners

Beginner guitarists often struggle in this area because they simply don’t know where to start.

For this reason, learning how to play lead guitar can be daunting for beginner guitarists

This lesson will get you up to speed quickly: How To Play Electric Guitar: A Beginner’s Guide

Want to see some mega-riffs you can learn right now?

If you want to learn guitar online, you will definitely need to get some cool tabs under your belt. Check this lesson out: Guitar Tabs For Beginners: 20 Easy Songs That Sound Great

learn guitar online

Intermediate lessons

Ok, let’s move on to some intermediate lessons and take things up a notch!

Intermediate Guitar Chords

Once you’ve learned basic open chords, there are a few more chords that you must know if you want to call yourself an intermediate guitarist:

  • B Major
  • B Minor
  • C Minor
  • D Minor
  • F Major
  • F Minor
  • G Minor

To learn these chords go here:

For all of these chords, you will need to know how to ‘barre’ guitar chords. To learn some tips for mastering this tough guitar technique, watch this video from Mike:

Intermediate Strumming Patterns

Once you’ve learned how to strum, a cool way of developing your musicality is to learn some strumming patterns.

In this free article, you will learn 5 cool strumming patterns, check it out here: Strumming Patterns: 5 Essential Patterns

If you can learn a few strumming patterns, you will find it easier to play songs. With this in mind… If you want to learn some cool guitar songs, check out the following guides!

Intermediate Guitar Scales

Once you get to an intermediate level it’s important to know some guitar scales.

One of the most important scales you can learn as an intermediate guitarist is the pentatonic scale. These lessons will turbo-charge your knowledge in this area:

Another cool scale to learn is the blues scale.

To learn this scale, go here: Blues Scale – 4 Things You Need To Know

Intermediate Lead Guitar

Once you’ve learned the pentatonic scale, it’s time to dig into the detail of how to play lead guitar. Hold on tight friend… This is going to be amazing!

There are loads of different techniques which you can enjoy like string-bending, pull-offs and alternate picking.

You can learn about these techniques (and much more) in this poplar lesson: How To Play Lead Guitar

learn guitar online

Advanced Guitar Chords

Once you know all of the beginner and intermediate barre chords, it’s important to understand what keys these guitar chords come from.

The 5 main guitar keys that you need to know are C, A, G, E and D.

Remember this as “CAGED”.

If you’d like to know more about guitar theory check out these articles:

Important! To become an advanced guitarist it is vital that you learn how to work out the musical key of a song (and work out its chords too). To learn how to do this, go here:How To Quickly Work Out The Chords Of Any Key

Over 200,000 guitar-learners get our world-class guitar tips & tutorials sent straight to their inbox: Click here to join them

Advanced Strumming Technique

Once you have a solid understanding and “feel” of strumming technique, it’s time to try and broaden your musical vocabulary.

One way of doing this is to check out other genres of music. When you do this, pay attention to how different types of musicians approach strumming.

If you want to be the best guitarist you can be, it’s important to play a wide range of genres.

Check out these articles on classical and flamenco technique, there are some really cool strumming techniques here:

If you want to experiment with various types of strumming, you could also try playing the guitar with your fingers. This is often called “fingerpicking” or “fingerstyle”.

To learn finger style technique, check out this article: Fingerstyle Guitar Lessons: 5 Easy Ways To Sound Amazing

learn guitar online

Advanced Guitar Scales

Minor pentatonic scales are fantastic for intermediate guitarists but once you know how to play these scales, you may find pentatonics a tiny bit limiting and bland.

When you reach this point, it’s time to upgrade your guitar knowledge!

The full 2-octave major scale can be used across lots of different genres and is deceptively versatile.

To learn more about the major scale, go here: Major Scale Guitar: The Ultimate Guide To This Essential Scale

If you find that the major scale is too easy, the next step is to learn jazz scales.

Jazz up your playing with some jazz scales

Here are a few examples of some classic jazz scales:

  • Ionian (The Major Scale)
  • Lydian
  • Dorian
  • Aeolian (The Natural Minor Scale)
  • Mixolydian

You could also learn the:

  • Harmonic Minor Scale.

These scales are essential to know if you want to become an advanced guitarist.

To learn more about these scales, go here: Jazz Scales – 6 Scales That You Need To Know

Download our lead guitar cheat-sheet to make things easier

It can be disorientating for guitarists to understand which scales work with which keys.

With this in mind, we created a cheat-sheet; a key and scale-finder that you can use again and again.

Advanced Lead Guitar

Once you’ve grasped the concept of techniques like string-bending, alternate picking and sliding, it’s time to graduate and start trying different guitar-based genres.

The perfect genre for exploring lead guitar, is the blues. Blues is great for learning how to enhance your soloing and wring every last drop of musicality out of every note.

To learn how to play blues guitar, check out these articles:

Another way to spice up your lead guitar playing, is to learn some guitar tricks.

This is one of our most popular lessons: Guitar Tricks: 23 Essential Secrets Every Guitarist Should Know

Should You Learn Guitar Online? The Pros and Cons…

There are advantages and disadvantages to learning online.

Learn Guitar Online: Pro#1  – You have instant access to any lesson content

The internet is a big place. Whether you want to learn about blues, country, rock or finger style, you can find any type of guitar lesson on the internet. (And it’s usually available on demand.)

Learn Guitar Online: Pro#2  – Most of it is free

One of the best thing about learning guitar online, is that 90% of the tuition is free.

There are loads of freelancers out there who are providing guitar lessons on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.

Of course, the maxim “you get what you pay for” is often true. Sometimes, “free” does not equal “high quality”!

Learn Guitar Online: Pro#3 – No time pressure

If you learn guitar online, chances are you don’t have a teacher. So therefore, there is less pressure for you to practice every week. You can learn guitar in your own time and at your own pace.

Some people much prefer this pace of learning and lack of scrutiny.

learn guitar online

The “Cons” of choosing to learn guitar online

There are advantages to choosing to learn guitar online, but there are some drawbacks too. Let’s look at the “cons” of choosing to learn guitar online.

Learn Guitar Online: Con#1 – There is no way of developing a personal relationship with a tutor

Even though learning guitar through YouTube can be fun. There’s no way of actually developing a personal relationship with a tutor when you learn guitar online.

Sure, you can email them but this is not the same as meeting someone in person and learning guitar from them in the same room.

Learn Guitar Online: Con#2 – There are TONS of bad online guitar tutors

If you’re new to learning the guitar, it can be difficult to spot a bad tutor. When you learn guitar online, if you’re taught by a bad guitar teacher, you’re going to pick up their bad habits!

There are lots of good guitarists teaching how to play guitar online, but there are very few good guitar TEACHERS. (There is a huge difference between a guitarist and a guitar teacher, so tread carefully.)

There are good teaching sites out there… JamPlay, Yousician, Guitar Tricks, JustinGuitar etc…. So pick wisely!

And of course if you want high-quality, reliable, PROVEN teaching material you’ll find hundreds of hours of content right here on this site.

Learn Guitar Online: Con#3 – It’s difficult to motivate yourself

Following online guitar lessons can be fun, however when it comes to guitar practice, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to practice.

Your practice regime is a crucial element in your progress as a guitarist.

For practice tips, go here: Guitar Practice – 10 Essential Tips To Maximise This Precious Time

Learn Guitar Online: Con#4 – Online lessons can be difficult to follow

One of the worst things about choosing to learn guitar online is that so many guitar teachers teach too fast. They try to teach everything in one go. It’s like trying to drink from a fire hose!

Also, lessons rarely fit into any kind of overall programme. It can leave the student feeling disorientated and not understanding “how things fit together”.

This can actually SLOW your progress as a guitar player because it makes learning the guitar more difficult.


Is the internet bad for learning the guitar?

No. The internet is one of the greatest things which has happened to the guitar community! It has some AMAZING resources. We’re just saying “be careful”.

When you learn guitar online, try to be mindful of whether you’re learning from someone with experience. Are they making things simpler? Can they communicate clearly? Do you have ‘aha!’ moments while watching their lessons?

What Type of Guitarist Are You?

Take our 60-second quiz & get your results: Take The Quiz

Want free guitar tips and video lessons delivered to your inbox?

Join over 200,000 other guitar learners and subscribe to our guitar-tips-by-email service. (It's free.)

We'll send you a series of lessons that will move you to the next level of your guitar journey.

Learn how everything fits together quickly, easily and effectively. We share ninja tips (for instant fun!) but also timeless fundamentals that will deepen your understanding.

Popular Lessons

How To Learn Guitar: An 11-Step Programme For Beginners

10 Easy Songs For Beginners

How To Strum A Guitar

How To Choose The Perfect Beginner Guitar

Guitar Notes Explained: A Guide For Beginners

How To Play Lead Guitar

3 Easy Ways To Play Bm

More Cool Guitar Stuff

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