As much as I like to lambaste the notion that being good at guitar means you can play single note runs really clean & fast, I am still very much pro-practicing. I think I’d say being good at guitar means you’re able to easily play the sounds in your head1. But most lesson books and scale websites are rather boring. Hopefully these sites will make things a little more fun.
Why it’s cool – Got 10 minutes and want to get a productive practice in? Throw your time in there and they’ll give you some stuff to work on. You can create an account (for free) that charts your progress. They claim more variety is coming someday.
Who it’s for – Anyone really can use the lessons here, but you’ll want to be comfortable playing chords, changes, and at least simple solos. Otherwise you’ll take way longer than they suggest for each lesson.
Why it’s cool – Only know 3 chords? This site will give you a ton of songs you can learn and play. Plus it kinda forces you to work on rhythm, strumming patterns, etc if you want to play the songs properly. As you’re getting comfortable learning new chords, you can expand your vocabulary a bit
Who it’s for – Beginner is in the name and it’s appropriate. It’s fun for anyone who is in a rut and just wants to play something different.
Why it’s cool – Steve Vai himself put these out, so the quality is super top notch amazing. As the name kind of implies3 it’s the songs without the lead guitar. There’s a LOT of stuff available.
Who it’s for – Gonzo level technical ability required.
Why it’s cool – Songs/riffs/etc in video form with tabs & chord charts synced up. Great when it’s not easy to follow the changes or in cases of really good videos, when you want to see hand positions and whatnot. It allows crowdsourced uploads, which is good and bad. Quality of content varies greatly.
Who it’s for – Anyone really, but especially if you’re somewhat new to learning covers or trying to advance to learning more complex stuff, this can be a big help. Lots of potential if you want to upload your own lessons
Why it’s cool – If you can navigate the confusing UI, there are some really richly developed lessons/references in here. The image above shows a simple Am7 chart, but the icons on the side let you see intervals, notes, fingering and play an audio clip. Pretty neat! There are also quizzes and an extremely nice “what do you call this jumble of notes” chord analyzer.
Who it’s for – Anyone, as long as you’re on a desktop, because it’s flash.
- That said, I suppose being a good artist/musician means you’re able to come up with more unique/interesting sounds in your head ↩
- Spotify account required – but if you’re on a desktop, it’s free ↩
- Although it’s Vai, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he put out videos of himself playing songs while naked ↩