Many think of YouTube as a time waster, but really it’s a treasure trove of guitar knowledge (and the occasional cat video). You can learn so much for so little by just logging on and searching a topic you’re interested in. Want to learn the Mixolydian scale, how to play an A chord, or what the circle of fifths is? No problem! Between learning, entertainment, and reviews you could binge watch guitar videos for days.
Like anything that’s free though, it helps to know where to start, to cut through channels that aren’t so great yet, and to find out what’s helpful. Check out these five YouTube channels for guitar players.
Update (June 2018): Chasing Sound now has a YouTube channel. I’ve been posting lesson vids, gear reviews, Q&A sessions and lots more. You can check out the channel here.
Music Is Win / Tyler Larson
I’ve linked to Music Is Win a ton of times before, because he puts out a ton of great videos each week. Tyler has a good mix of instructional, review, and hilarious skit videos touching on problems every guitarist has. Whether that be losing your pick (how many have shown up in your washing machine?) to excuses guitarists make, Tyler is a guitar player’s guitarist. He’s a graduate of the Berklee School of Music in Boston, and has a ton of real guitar knowledge to share.
I’ve also picked up a few of his guitar classes on Udemy, like Guitar Super System, Jazz tips and tricks, and others. They’ve been some of the most well laid out courses I’ve seen so far. Check out Tyler’s channel, which he’s built over the last couple of years. There’s bound to be a video that you’re into.
Ben Eller Guitars
I first found out about Ben Eller when I was procrastinating on Instagram. I saw a bunch of Ben’s swirls he’s done for guitars, and then I got into his Weekend Wankshop series on YouTube.
There are so many great videos on Ben’s channel, but if you’re just getting started, take a look at his “This Is Why You Suck At Guitar” series, which has so many great videos to get you learning the guitar right way from the start, or can break you out of bad habits if you’ve been playing for a while. I’ve worked a lot on my economy picking by going over the lessons he has, and have been getting better and better week after week.
Once you’re done checking out the lesson on YouTube, head over to Ben’s Instagram channel for tabs, sexy guitars, and cool shots of good beers. Tell Ben Uncle Brian sent ya’.
Tim Pierce is a tone monster. He plays beautiful lead lines that are super musical, and is always inspiring to watch on YouTube. He also has a great show with another fantastic YouTuber, Pete Thorn.
Tim can teach you everything from Hendrix to Soundgarden, and has lots of guitar tips videos too. I always get inspired after watching one of his videos. One of my favorites was of 5 quick tricks when you’re stuck. Occasionally watching videos like this is just what you need to get out of a rut.
Rick Graham from the UK is a scary good guitar player. When you first see Rick run through a riff for the first time, it almost makes you laugh a little, because it looks so difficult and seems near impossible. He reminds me of Guthrie Govan in that way.
Thankfully, Rick’s a great teacher, and breaks down the riffs and techniques he uses into chunks. It makes playing some of these riffs seem do-able.
I’ve learned a lot from watching his arpeggio videos, shred training and more. Rick’s playing is musical, but if you’re trying to get your right hand technique down, you should sit down and watch a ton of his videos to get that going! Also, check out this hilarious video of Rick being a “student” in one of Tyler Larson’s online lessons.
The Guitar Nerds is a guitar YouTube channel that features lots of gear reviews. I love how the guys pit expensive vs. inexpensive guitars against each other. It lets you see how big a gap there is or isn’t between some of these models.
They’ve also reviewed a ton of great effects pedals (I’ve found so many that I’ve wanted through this channel - my wallet hates you!). If you’re ever in the market for something new on your pedal board, it’s a possibility that they’ve put it through its paces already. Most guitar pedals are too pricey to pick up sight unseen, so the Guitar Nerds channel helps when you’re doing “important research” for your tone.
Another awesome thing that the Guitar Nerds feature is turning a cheaper guitar into a better instrument by modding it. With a combination of mod videos, gear reviews, facts videos, and much more, this is a great channel to check out.
Who’s your favorite guitarist on YouTube?
I’d rather not divulge how much time I spend on YouTube watching guitar videos. For the most part though, the channels I listed below are really helpful, and can make you a better guitar player.