You probably already spend a lot of time watching YouTube videos, but did you know that YouTube contains a treasure trove of content that can help you become a better guitarist and musician? Whether you’re looking for a tutorial on how to play a song, a walkthrough of a guitar technique, an informative gear review or a vintage lesson, it’s all available on YouTube if you know where to look! Guest blogger Andrei Kryssov breaks it down.
Tutorials on how to play songs
If you’re like me, you got into playing the guitar by learning how to play the songs of your favorite bands. In the pre-YouTube era your options to learn a song consisted of learning the song by ear, finding a guitar tab or having someone teach it to you. YouTube is now filled with thousands of free video tutorials where guitar instructors break down how to play a song in detail. From grammy winning pop hits to progressive metal rockers, you can find tutorials for almost any song you can imagine. In certain cases you may even find videos of the original artist teaching you how to play the song, like this lesson by Rush’s guitarist Alex Lifeson where he teaches you how to play “Limelight”. A pro-tip: use YouTube’s playback speed control in order to slow down video playback of any lesson!
YouTube channels with tutorials on how to play songs:
Technique & music theory
After you’ve learned some of your favorite songs, you’ll want to progress by learning new guitar techniques and music theory so that you can compose your own songs! Whether you’re looking to learn a new scale, how to improvise, how to improve your rhythm or lead playing, or maybe an over-the-top lick to impress your friends, you’ll be able to find an endless amount of lessons covering technique and music theory. Because there is so much content on YouTube, determine what your guitar priorities and goals are and look for videos that cover those topics.
YouTube channels with lessons covering technique & music theory:
To quote Joe Satriani, “you need to feel comfortable with your gear”. Having gear that you’re comfortable with allows you to stay focused on your playing instead of dealing with faulty gear. Shopping for a guitar, amplifier, pedal, studio gear or ancillary items like a clip-on tuner? YouTube has thousands of detailed gear review videos that will break down the pros and cons of any piece of gear that you can think of. Many of them are also very entertaining to watch. Remember, when investing in new gear you want to make an educated decision so that you feel comfortable playing with your gear!
YouTube channels with gear reviews:
Vintage instructional videos
Before YouTube, guitar video lessons were recorded by professional guitarists and released on VHS tapes. A single video could cover guitar techniques, music theory and guitar gear. Guitarists like John Petrucci from Dream Theater would produce instructional videos. Many of these videos have made their way to YouTube and are a treasure trove of knowledge that can make you a better guitarist and musician. There isn’t a single dedicated YouTube channel that hosts these videos, so you’ll need to search based on the production company. One series is the Star Licks productions. Another is the Young Guitar videos produced by Young Guitar Magazine from Japan. Or you can search by an artist name and a keyword such as “lesson”.
Vintage instructional videos on YouTube:
With these examples I’ve provided a small glimpse into the richness and variety of guitar related content available on YouTube. Whatever topic you’re interested in learning about, you’ll likely be able to find a lesson on YouTube. I encourage you to explore the channels that I’ve linked to in this post and look for other channels as well. The journey of developing as a guitar player is never-ending and you’ll never run out of content on YouTube.
In closing I’d like to ask what are some of your favorite guitar-related YouTube channels and videos? Share your feedback in the comments below!
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Andrei Kryssov is the founder of Modern Guitar Hub, a site that publishes concise guitar-related articles and lessons for guitar players who have busy schedules.
A guitarist for over 20 years, Andrei has recorded and performed with various Rock and Jazz bands.