8 Great Youtube Channels For Learning Guitar

If you play the guitar, you probably already know the power of Youtube to teach you stuff for free (and in the comfort of your poorly ventilated computer room). I’m gonna assume that you already know about the big two: Marty “Hey Marty Schwartz here” Schwartz and Justin “Hey How’ya doin’ Justin here” Sandercoe, and if you don’t, I definitely recommend you check out most of the stuff Justin’s done, because he’s probably the best guitar teacher on Youtube right now: nice, precise, super positive, the whole shebang.

 
Creative Guitar Studio
 

Andrew Wasson, the guy giving the lessons on the channel of Creative Guitar Studio is another one of those soft-spoken teachers who just know their stuff. His lessons cover so many different topics it’s crazy; no tutorials on songs, but a ton of theory and technique, which is great if you’re trying to get your playing from intermediate to advanced level. Most of the time you can skip the intro where he simply reads and answers a question from a viewer (the text is always in the description for the song), and get right on the actual teaching.

 

 

GuitarLessons365
 

Don’t be fooled by the incredibly common name of this channel: Carl Brown, the guy giving the lessons, is an amazing guitarist and his lessons are incredibly thorough. Where most teaching channels just cover the main parts of songs, the guy explains pretty much every single note, solos often included, which explains why they are so long. He also uses two cameras, which helps if you’re struggling with the picking hand as it often happens. And if that weren’t enough, he also performs the songs in their entirety, and they’re quite enjoyable for themselves.
If you’re looking for theory lessons, he’s got another channel dedicated to them over here.

 

 

Cifra Club
 

Now bear with me a minute: sure, this channel’s in Portuguese. Sure, you (probably) don’t speak the language. Nevertheless, you don’t really need to understand anything those guys say, because they provide precise tabs for pretty much every note in the songs they teach. The real awesome feature here is that they first play the song entirely with close-ups, lyrics and chords, which is perfect if you just wanna check out a few details of a song (and see if their version sounds right). You might also notice that most of the top voted comments on Youtube are English speaking humans who agree that the channel is great, even though they don’t understand a word of Portuguese, which is a testament to the quality of their videos.

 

 

Guitarings
 

You need to fulfill one of two requirements to care about this channel: already be kind of a decent guitar player, and like Tenacious D. If you fulfill both, it’s perfect for you: Kage and Kones (the two guitarists from the band, basically) go through many of their most famous songs and give little nuggets of information that any fan can appreciate. If you’re not that proficient with your guitar, you might not get as much from the channel, as they pretty much never explain tedious things like strumming patterns or picking techniques for instance. Sure, they’ll play the parts slightly slower than the album version and explain the chords, but that’s about it: hence the need to be good enough to get it from short demonstrations. That being said, the videos are funny and entertaining and are worth a watch, if only for the raunchy humor of Kyle Grass.

 

 

Warren Music
 

Just like with Guitarings, this is a channel that you’ll be interested in if you wanna learn songs from a specific artist: in this case, Radiohead (and a few Thom Yorke songs in the mix). Not only are the lessons stunningly accurate (which is quite impressive considering the complexity of some Radiohead material), Warren knows his stuff and often explains the theory behind the music, which is something that’s often essential but missing from other channels. He also does the best covers of the band to go along with the tutorials, so check those out as well.

 

 

PapaStache
 

All riiiight! You can’t help but love PapaStache, the guy’s just so cool and passionate. He teaches mostly old goodies (Hendrix, Zeppelin, etc.) which is perfect if you don’t know what to play but know it must have stood the test of time. His Youtube channels are kind of confusing though, but from what I understand he’s got this one dedicated to songs and that one to theory, but then he’s got this other one and… Well, I guess it’s better to have many channels than none at all.

 

 

ToneDr
 

Oooh, because Tone Doctor! I just got that! Anyway, tonedr is a very soft-spoken guy, and what else to say except that he’s a great guitar player, his tutorials are thorough and you can just see he knows his stuff? He mostly explains old rock songs, although there’s some jazz or classical and technical tutorials in there as well – he even plays the mandolin! His channel is also definitely a good place to find great songs that you may never have heard of.

 

 

PrivetTricker
 

PrivetTricker is so active it’s crazy. He started in July 2009, and at the time I’m writing this, he’s had more than 1500 videos uploaded already. Some of them tutorials, some of them simply featuring him playing over songs. He’s not the most technical guitarist, but very often he’ll be the only one with a decent tutorial on Youtube, especially when it comes to classic rock. He figures songs on his own and by ear, and listening to him explain how he thinks this or that makes sense is also quite interesting, especially if you’re trying to train your transcribing skills. Moreover, he’s not trying to get you to sign up for anything or buy anything: you can just the guy does it because he likes to play and teach the guitar, and that’s it.

 

 

There’s probably a lot more channels I haven’t talked about, simply because I haven’t found out about them, or they haven’t struck me as being as good as those above. You might also notice that most of these teach rock / hard rock songs or general theory. If you have any channels you’d like to share, the comment section is there for you!

Pilotpriest – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Pilotpriest has some awesome artwork to illustrate his albums – as awesome as his music, in fact. Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is a 25 tracks album (more than two hours!), and like most good space music produced today, it sounds like something from another time, a time when synthesizers were the new cool thing to play, and when electronic music didn’t even know it existed yet.

 

 

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack evokes old science fiction movies on VHS tapes – perhaps unsurprisingly, Body Double, the first tune of the album, was once mistaken for a new Daft Punk track, back when the Tron Legacy’s OST was the hot topic of the day. All in all, the album’s dark tone is somewhat contrasted by the presence of a few songs that could almost be called disco music, keeping the whole thing interesting from beginning to end. Oh, and I really love The Canyons, a bonus track that starts like a clich√© disco songs but evolves into something much more intense. This particular song reminds me of Ulrich Schnauss, a dude you should all know about.

 

You can buy Original Motion Picture Soundtrack on Bandcamp for less than a dollar! Awesome beans!

Skeewiff – Electro Swing & Gospel Breaks

Lastfm has been recommending Skeewiff to me for years, and I’ve only now decide to look into their (Alex Rizzo and Elliot Ireland’s) music. And about time! Their Soundcloud is full of amazing stuff, and the album Electro Swing & Gospel Breaks in particular is worth your time:

 


 

You might notice that the songs are tagged not only as Skeewiff , but as them and another artist. In most cases, one could say Skeewiff are more producers than remixers, as the songs remain often close to the originals. A great way to discover old classics!

 

You can buy the album on Juno and iTunes, or browse more music by Skeewiff on Amazon!

One Self – Bluebird

I’m always amazed at my ability to miss songs, especially when it’s been years after they’ve come out. Logically, I should have heard the next one before, since the album it’s from was out in 2005 and it’s gotten quite the views on Youtube, but I haven’t – until yesterday, that is. One Self (not to be confused with Oneself) are signed on Ninja Tune, a label that never ceases to surprise me, and I actually had heard DJ Vadim before, one of the guys behind the band. Anyway, here’s a… classic, I guess? that you also might have missed:

 

 

I found the track thanks to Boycom (I wrote something about him over there) and his All Of These People Are Awesome Mix, which I highly recommend. The rest of Children of Possibility (the album where you can find Bluebird) is decent, but I’d rather listen to this song for an hour instead of the album, so I can’t say I really recommend it. One Self have a Soundcloud if you want to explore their sound further, though.

 
Buy that sweet tune on Amazon or on iTunes!

The Snake The Cross The Crown – The Great American Smokeout

Damn it 2007, what happened to you? You used to exist! Anyway, The Great American Smokeout happens to be the second track on Cotton Teeth, an awesome album by The Snake The Cross The Crown:

 

 

If you’re wondering about their name, it is apparently “a reference to the logo of Italian car company, Alfa Romeo, where Kevin Jones’ [leader of the band] father owned a repair shop that burnt to the ground”, according to Wikipedia. I guess there are worse reasons to name your band than fire, so I’ll allow it. If you’re looking for more, might I suggest – from the same album – Gypsy Melodies, a great jam that ends up exploding all over your ears, and you won’t even be mad; moreover, the choruses on Electronic Dream Plant should make you happy, given you’re a reasonable person.

 

It’s worth it, so buy the album on Amazon or on iTunes!

Xploding Plastix – Sports, Not Heavy Crime

I think there’s a lot to learn from bands that don’t fit into any easy category. Not because they are necessarily better than bands that do, but because they push the boundaries of what music is and can be. It’s when musicians make the effort to pursue something strange and unheard of, whilst still being able to play pleasant stuff, that you get some of the most rewarding albums I know. Norwegian duo Xploding Plastix are that kind of crazy people, and I’ve had a blast listening to Amateur Girlfriends Go Proskirt Agents again, their first album, which I hadn’t heard in years. The first track on the album should give you an idea of what it’s about:

 

 

One of their first songs, Treat Me Mean, I Need The Reputation is another favorite of mine on the same album. Is this electronic music, downtempo, jazz or maybe nu jazz, a vast category where you can put pretty much anything that sounds unusual? Who cares; but if you like it, the flash player on their website is a good place to continue this musical journey.

 
Buy the album Amateur Girlfriends Go Proskirt Agents on Amazon!

The Little Ones – Let Them Ring The Bells

Here’s a song I love: Let Them Ring The Bells by The Little Ones. It’s getting fairly old now (about 7 years old in fact), and the video on Youtube doesn’t have that much views. But I don’t forget. I never forget a good song. NEVER.

 

 

This track is so gay, marrying it with another gay song is illegal (well, in most countries at least). If there’s a better reason to be pro gay marriage, I don’t wanna know about it. On that note (hah!), the rest of the Sing Song EP where this tune comes from is perhaps as fabulous as it is good; check out Face The Facts for instance, or maybe High on a Hill if you wanna get better acquainted with The Little Ones. No penis joke.

 
Buy the Sing Song EP on Amazon or on iTunes! Why not?

Over The Rhine – The Long Surrender

I’ve been listening to The Long Surrender by Over The Rhine quite a lot these past few days, and that’s all thanks to MusicFog, a channel on Youtube filled with brilliant live recordings of various Americana artists. It’s not the first very nice thing I’ve found on their channel, and I strongly suggest you check it out. Before I ruin the surprise by telling you what kind of music it is (oh wait, I already did), here’s probably my favorite song from the album (and the live version on MusicFog is over here):

 

 

I could go on and talk about the gospel influences, the perfect balance between Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist who sing, play instruments on the album and also happen to be married on… the life. I could continue with some other terrible sentences about the universe, music and such, but I don’t like to ramble on. Instead, I’d rather point you to their song Bluebird which is pretty breathtaking, as well as The King Knows How, the two tracks which stand out the most on the album for me. Oh man, I almost forgot! Soon! Soon is one of the best songs I’ve heard in a long time! Go listen to it, there’s even an awesome amateur clip featuring (seemingly) real monks on Youtube!

 
Be way cool and buy The Long Surrender on iTunes or on Amazon!

John Paul Jones & Paul Gilbert – Going To California (Led Zeppelin Cover)

Can’t help listening to this cover (can you really call it a cover if one of the musicians was in the band who wrote the song?) of Going to California (from Led Zeppelin obviously) by John Paul Jones (bassist, keyboard player, mandolin player, etc. of Led Zep) and Paul Gilbert (who for once in his life plays a guitar slowly):

 

 

I’m not sure if I actually prefer this version to the original; this one is less melancholic, the mandolin occupies most of the space and reinforces the bluegrass (and I’m not just saying that, JPJ has been playing and producing with bluegrass bands lately) feel to the song. And if you’re looking for something heavier, might I suggest this cover of Nobody’s Fault But Mine, another Zeppelin classic? Ah, and I noticed that the whole concert is up on youtube, and it’s definitely worth it. I just discovered Gettin’ Betta by Pat Travers which has one of the best riffs I had never heard of.

 
I don’t expect you to buy it, but here’s a link to the album on Amazon anyway!

BadBoE – Pump Up The Funk

In my mind, I pronounced BadBoE like badboy, since the E is capitalized. But after listening to his album and all the featuring artists calling him “badbo”, I guess I was wrong. Why capitalize it then? I guess we’ll never know. Anyways, BadBoE‘s new album, Pump Up The Funk, has been out for a few months and it’s really found a sweet spot in my heart; call it funky breakbeat or nu-funk, it’s full of old school samples that will inevitably grow on you with each listen. If you’re in a hurry, you can give a listen to the 7 minutes preview of his album on Youtube, which should give you an idea if you’ll dig the whole thing or not. I couldn’t choose a favorite from the album (Hit It Maestro is definitely up there though, because it smells so much like electroswing), so I uploaded a song which wasn’t on Youtube and am putting it here in order to shamelessly get more views on my account:
 

 

Oh, and if this tickles your fancy, check out the album launch mix on mixcloud from BadBoE, which alternates between classics and songs from the album, a great way to discover other artists of the same type.

 
Be way cool and buy Pump Up The Funk on Amazon or on iTunes!