Best Rock Guitar Lessons – 2021 Complete Guide

Craig
| Last Updated: March 23, 2021

It’s hard to imagine a good rock song without a guitar sound.

So, if you’re a true lover of this genre and wish to learn how to play most of the songs, an electric guitar is your instrument.

And, luckily, there are a handful of great rock guitar online lessons available.

Why Did These Rock Guitar Lessons Make Our List?

These aspects made a difference for rock guitar lessons we have picked:

Detailed and Well-adjusted Content

If you browse guitar lessons on YouTube you may find a lot of free stuff that covers similar topics. But, they usually don’t get detailed about it, so you may end up navigating to find all the information more than practicing your instrument.

The lessons we have picked are organized in that manner you won’t need any other resource for the particular topic and most of them will have in mind your current playing skill level and adjust the terms and approach.

Great Video Quality

There are not so many guitar lessons that have this level of video quality. Most lessons are recorded either in 4K or full HD with multi-angle coverage so you can take a detailed look at the part you’re interested in - fretboard, tonewood, or even from a player’s perspective.

Free Extra Tools

Most websites give you some tools for free starting from the online tuner and advanced metronome going all over to scale and chord library up to even some interactive music games that can help you learn how to read notation systems in pop quiz form.

Review of the Best Rock Guitar Lessons

These are the best rock guitar lessons we have found on the market so far:

PROS

  • Content suitable for metal music as well
  • Best course to build up your playing speed
  • Most complete guitar course you can find online
  • Numerous practical advice for playing solo guitars
  • 100+ lessons organized to match different playing levels

CONS

  • No refund option available
  • Might be expensive for beginners

Teacher Bio

When you say shred, it will be hard to forget Paul Gilbert as his speed picking abilities pretty much defined this term. But, apart from the great musical career, he has been always interested in sharing his knowledge including the column that he writes for Total Guitar magazine.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Playing fast is always impressive. But playing both meaningful and fast is something completely different and that’s what Paul Gilbert’s style is all about.

You will get an extensive grasp of the scales, bends, trills, licks, and patterns used for solo guitars and get great exercises so that both your left and right hand are in perfect coordination whether you’re playing lead or rhythm guitar.

Who Are These Best For?

While complete beginners might consider skipping this course, the rest should at least think about it. The whole course is split into three categories so you won’t get into the trap of learning something that’s beyond your current capabilities.

Bottom Line

If you want to play fast, the Paul Gilbert course is the best choice you can make. He knows a lot about it and he wants to show you everything a true professional needs within this course.

PROS

  • Useful tone setup advices
  • Nice set of additional tools
  • Great straight-forward course for beginners
  • Rhythm and solo guitars dedicated lessons
  • Chord progression and types fully explained

CONS

  • Could have a bit more music theory lessons
  • Advanced players may crave for something more challenging

Teacher Bio

Anders Mouridsen is a Danish guitarist with a degree with honors from Guitar Institute of Technology, Anders and has performed with many renowned rock artists such as Taylor Swift, Pink, and Faith Evans among others.

His style combines rock with blues and country music and he’s one of the most active instructors on the GuitarTricks website.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Guitar Tricks membership system is a single-purchase type. Once you buy it, you get access to all lessons and there is a special part dedicated to beginners where you can pick two courses dedicated to rock guitars where you will get all the info about chords, scales, patterns, licks frequently used.

We especially appreciate that Anders has devoted some time to explain to you what makes rock tone so special in general.

Who Are These Best For?

We find GuitarTricks content suitable for newbies and players who have just learned how to play the guitar properly. Those more experienced may love the song lessons and artist studies as it gives them an insight into what it takes to become a professional.

Bottom Line

This is probably our favorite course if you want to learn how to play a rock guitar from a scratch. Detailed, practical, and resourceful - we wouldn’t be surprised if it satisfies all your needs for online guitar lessons.

Best for the Money:
Fender Play Rock Path

PROS

  • Bunch of rock song lessons available
  • The best mobile app for guitar lessons
  • Rock course also available for acoustic and electric guitar
  • Exercises and lessons organized into 5 tiers and different genres
  • All essential playing techniques covered and optimized for rock guitars

CONS

  • Not available in all countries
  • Not intended for advanced players

Teachers Bio

Instructors from the Fender Play team might not be so well-known, especially in terms of a music career, but they do have a significant teaching experience, especially online. 

Some of them have hit over 90 million views for their guitar instructional videos and recorded hundreds of lessons so far.

Why It Stands Out to Us 

Fender Play is one of the latest platforms for guitar learning and also the most affordable one. The lessons are recorded in high-quality format and the mobile app works flawlessly. All lessons and exercises are organized into five levels based on playing skill required and there are also a song lessons 

And for the same price, you will also get an option to take a rock course for bass or acoustic guitar as well and many other genres.

Who Are These Best For?

We feel that Fender Play is an ideal choice for beginners, especially younger players. Those who haven’t played guitar before may find the interface very appealing as it’s very straight-forward and comprehensive while the gaming aspects included may motivate them further.

Bottom Line 

If you’re not sure if playing guitar is your thing, Fender Play has the most affordable solution on the market at the moment so for a price of 3 or 4 coffees you can get a monthly subscription and see how it goes.

Best Hard Rock Guitar Lessons:
JamPlay Lessons with Steve Stevens

PROS

  • Steve’s warmup exercises
  • Alternate picking build-up explained
  • In-depth showcase of using whammy bar properly
  • Songwriting, performing, and recording tips included
  • 9 detailed lessons about hard rock lead guitar essentials

CONS

  • Course could be a bit longer
  • Rhythm lessons would be welcomed

Teacher Bio 

You’ve probably heard of Billy Idol or Top Gun theme? Well, this is the guy who is responsible for that particular guitar work. 

He’s been an incredible session musician with huge mileage and a very distinctive playing style and nowadays he decided to share with you all the knowledge he gathered from numerous stages and clinics.

Why It Stands Out to Us 

Jamplay has included Artists Series and Steve Stevens course could be easily described as hard rock lead guitar essentials. You will get a straight and detailed tour about blues improvisation, different playing techniques including very handy whammy bar handling.

And best of all, you will also get a grasp on Steve’s advice about what it takes to be in a band, write a song or perform in front of the audience.

Who Are These Best For?

While beginners may find this content interesting, it’s those semi-pros who will benefit most from it as they will be able to understand what Steve is talking about. 

But, studio recording tips are always welcomed to be learned sooner than later.

Bottom Line 

There are not enough words to emphasize the importance of Steve Stevens in the world of guitar history, so getting lessons directly from him may give you a great insight into what it takes to have a true professional mindset.

Best Rhythm Rock Guitar Lessons:
Jamplay Rhythmic Synchronicity with Dean Brown

PROS

  • 32 lessons dedicated to rhythm guitar
  • Syncopated patterns and polyrhythm exercises
  • Various strumming ideas including chord triplets
  • Bunch of practical advice that can be applied to any band
  • Nice showcase how you can apply different genre experience

CONS

  • Not intended for newbies
  • Song lessons are missing

Teacher Bio

Dean Brown is a Berklee graduate and he’s been playing the guitar since 1982. He has a lot of studio work experience including four Grammy Award winners and also has decent experience with teaching classes and guitar clinics which even includes the instructional DVD “Modern Techniques for the Electric Guitarist”. 

Why It Stands Out to Us 

Not many courses put some time to explain the importance of being cooperative with other band members and especially the drummer. It might be awkward at first to learn bossa, funk, and Latin groove, but if you give it a chance you’ll figure out soon how all these patterns are already applied in rock music, especially if you plan to perform with the real band. 

Who Are These Best For?

Perhaps the beginners won’t get it as advanced players could, but we think both could benefit from it at least in the long run. Good rhythm is very important to rock music, but other players can also find purpose in this course.

Bottom Line 

We strongly advise you to check this course out as it’s going to broaden your views and the essence that you’re about to learn here can be applied in all playing styles and techniques you’re about to learn.

Best Lead Rock Guitar Lessons:
JamPlay Learning to Lead with David Isaacs

PROS

  • Advanced tips for key changing
  • Music theory glossary explained
  • 38 lessons dedicated to lead guitar playing
  • Excellent tool to build your improvisational skills
  • In-depth explanation of most frequent scales used in modern music

CONS

  • Song lessons are missing
  • No lessons dedicated to vibrato or tremolo

Teacher Bio

David Isaac is one of the best Nashville-based music instructors. He also holds classes at Tennessee State University and coordinates the annual TSU Guitar Summit. Speaking of his music career, he has published eight albums so far and he’s been an active performer and studio songwriter as well.

Why It Stands Out to Us

We love how David goes in-depth with a bunch of music theory terms used for lead guitar playing. With this course, you should be able to learn the scales and arpeggios in all positions and multiple fingerings. 

This also includes some advanced tips on how to build a melody right out from the chord notes and exercises dedicated to aural practicing or improving your articulation and dynamics.

Who Are These Best For?

Intermediate players are the best group for this course. Those who know how to play but would need to find different approaches so they can become professional players soon. And best of all, those tips aren’t strictly rock-oriented and can be applied anywhere.

Bottom Line

If you’re not getting enough ideas to improvise lead parts, David Isaac can help you out a lot. It will put your mindset outside of the box and you may discover a bunch of new things about your playing style.

Best Rock Guitar Lessons for Beginners:
JamPlay Basic Electric Guitar with David MacKenzie

PROS

  • Jam exercises included
  • Rock scales and chords explained
  • Tapping technique explained briefly
  • Lead guitar playing lessons included
  • 40 lessons tailored to fit new rock players

CONS

  • Song lessons would be great
  • Starter tips about the guitar tone would be great

Teacher Bio 

David MacKenzie is a multi-instrumentalist that has 30 years of guitar playing experience. He’s been playing mostly in hard rock bands and his style leans a lot on the sound of 80’s rock music. His teaching methods are often described as friendly, interactive, and fun.

Why It Stands Out to Us 

This is a very nice all-around course for new rock musicians as it takes time and explains all the basics you’re going to need to play rock music - scales, power chords, chord progressions, picking exercises, and a bunch of lead playing techniques such as vibrato, licks, bending, tapping, how to use tremolo properly and so on. 

Jams exercises in both minor and major scales are also provided.

Who Are These Best For?

It was meant for those players who know how to play the guitar but haven’t got any clue about how to use their knowledge further for playing rock music. It also contains some nice exercises that should build your skill further. 

Bottom Line 

Not all lessons are oriented toward beginners, so check this one out especially if you’re interested in rock music. The whole content is extremely comprehensive and should get you out if you’re stuck with the progress.

Best Acoustic Rock Guitar Lessons:
JamPlay Rocking on Acoustic Guitar with Will Ripley

PROS

  • Open and barre chords explained
  • Fingerpicking essentials explained
  • Song lessons integrated within the course
  • 43 lessons of playing rock acoustic guitars
  • Only “must-know” parts of playing techniques explained

CONS

  • Not meant for advanced players
  • Lacking exercise lessons in the course

Teacher Bio 

Will Ripley is one of the most active instructors at Jamplay and he has provided several courses already focusing on how to help beginners mostly. His style is inspired by classic rock music and blues with a pinch of 90’s rock.

Along with the Jamplay courses, he’s also teaching at Vancouver Guitar School.  

Why It Stands Out to Us 

Electric guitar usually comes along with rock music. Well, Will’s course will show you that acoustic guitar has its place in this genre, too, and along that road, he will explain to you only those techniques that are essential to get you going.

Besides covering all the playing techniques, Will also provided a brief insight into how Guns ‘N’ Roses, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and others utilized acoustic guitar in their songs.

Who Are These Best For

This course will come in handy to all those people who don’t have money to buy an electric guitar yet but do love to play rock’n’roll. It is oriented towards beginners as both terms and skills are tailored to match their skills.

Bottom Line 

If you need a quick course that will explain all the rock basics of acoustic guitar, this is a great choice. It might be a nice way to impress your friends how many rock songs can be performed on it. 

PROS

  • Slides and bending phrases
  • Learn how to build a melody motif
  • Mixing and merging different scales
  • 29 lessons of building up melodies for lead guitar
  • Advanced ideas on how to approach melody construction properly

CONS

  • No rhythm guitar lessons
  • Not suitable for beginners

Teacher Bio

Irene Ketikidi is a Greek guitarist that graduated from London’s Institute of Contemporary Music and she’s been very active on the European rock and metal scene.

Her performance got attention from Greg Howe, Alex Sklonick, and David Kilminister among others, and had the honor of performing in front of Steve Vai at his Guitar Nation Masterclass.

Why It Stands Out to Us 

Once upon a time, there was an era where the melody was a really important part of rock music. And luckily Irene’s playing philosophy emphasizes it throughout the whole course. Even those important playing aspects that are easily overlooked are covered so this course is both profound and versatile.

The ideas that you get here can be applied in pretty much any genre while the overall mindset behind exercises can be easily applied to rhythm guitars as well.

Who Are These Best For

This course was designed for intermediate players who want to put their lead guitar playing skills to the next level. Perhaps hard rock and metal players may find more use of it, but we believe that the main concept can be used in all genres.

Bottom Line 

If you want to get a course that will improve your solo guitar creativity in a non-technical fashion, check it out. It’s one of the rare guitar courses that puts focus on composing so that anyone can benefit from watching it.

How Do Online Rock Guitar Lessons Work?

Online Rock Guitar Lessons are organized in courses that cover certain guitar playing techniques or provide an overall course suited for rock musicians.

Once you enroll with the membership you can access the content whenever you want.

Lessons can be slowed down and Jamplay will even allow you to insert bookmarks on the parts that are important to you or create a loop so you can jam it repeatedly until you master it.

Apart from lessons, backing tracks and tabs might be also included. Artist Works will allow you to even send a video to your teacher so it will personally monitor your progress.

What Are The Benefits of Online Rock Guitar Lessons?

Here are some reasons why you should consider these lessons seriously:

Content Quality

Teachers that you can find online are usually at least Berklee graduates or players with decent playing or teaching experience. And as the whole concept is video-based, you can be sure that they planned and instructed the whole course carefully so you will get the most from it.

Lessons Can Be Repeated

Unlike private lessons, online rock guitar lessons can be repeated as long as your membership is active. This way you can re-watch for an infinite amount of time. And it’s not just about repeating - you can loop it, label the most important parts with the bookmark or slow it down until you get it right.

Various Teachers

Every teacher may excel at certain topics, but none will be great at everything. That’s why having access to the whole website that Jamplay, Fender Play, and Guitar Tricks has may come in handy as you can address the question to the teacher that understands it the best.

Songs Learning System

As you’re probably interested to learn to play your favorite songs, these online lessons will probably have it on their list, so, if you know how to play, you will learn your favorite song anytime soon. No matter how good a player you are, there will be a song lesson that may save you a lot of time.

Money-saving Solution

Online rock guitar lessons are a great way to save your money for an instrument or other equipment. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars to a private teacher every month, you can pay it once for an annual membership and access it anytime you want, and get a much more knowledge wider content when compared to what a private teacher could tell you.

Types of Rock Guitar Lessons

All online guitar lessons can be categorized in next few types:

Course

The course is usually focusing on a particular playing style or music genre. It may cover either practical exercises or music theory knowledge or even talk about technical guitar stuff such as setting up your instrument or adjusting a tone so it matches the music genre you’re looking for. Based on the content it can be useful for both pro and newbies.

Song Lessons

Some students have a decent playing technique but not so much practical knowledge so they may struggle with playing other songs properly.

So, until they work on their ear training lessons, song lessons may save them a lot of time as those lessons analyze specific songs thoroughly and provide you with the play-along divided into segments so you can take the whole song step by step.

Artists Series

Because of the popularity of Jamplay, they were able to provide a special course which involves famous artists talking about their playing style and giving you advice about career and specific techniques that they find essential at least for their performance.

These courses are intended for intermediate players and you can get an insight into how famous players are approaching their instruments and sometimes organize live lessons so you can even participate during Q&A sessions and ask them what you always wanted to do.

Artists Studies

Instead of inviting specific artists over, GuitarTricks have decided to provide you with the Artists Studies lessons. These lessons analyze the playing style and try to explain to you the overall workflow and mindset of the specific artist.

These lessons can be very useful for newbies who have mastered the basics and now need to pick up tips and tricks for upcoming live performances or recordings.

Final Word

Rock guitars have changed the music world, so regardless of what course you’re about to take, you can be sure that the lessons will be high quality as there is so much that could be said. If you want to go deep into guitar technique, these courses might be the best choice you can make.

Recap: 
Top 3 Picks

People Also Ask

Let us review some of the most frequent questions you can find about rock guitar terminology in general. We will cover some technical terms such as distortion effect, whammy bar, pick scraping while others will cover the concerns 

What is the Best Guitar for Rock?

As rock music is a very broad term, there is no clear answer. 80s lovers will probably adore Ibanez guitars, while for others there is still no clear winner between Gibson and Fender models. That’s why there are so many players having more than just one piece of gear in their arsenal.

Can I Learn Rock Guitar in 2 Months?

Instead of giving yourself a finite time, you should better ask yourself how much you plan to practice in those two months. It all depends on your level of interest so if you’re passionate and plan to play every day for more than an hour, then yes, it is possible to make significant progress.

What is Pick Scraping?

Pick scraping is a guitar effect of pulling the pick along the string creating a noisy sound usually found at the beginning of some rock songs. Take a listen to for example Van Halen - Atomic Punk and you’ll understand how extremely unique this effect can be.

What is a Power Chord?

The power chord is a playing technique that uses only the root and fifth note. It's a frequently used chord in rock music. Because they lack that third note which would define the chord into major or minor, they can stack a lot of volumes when combined with the distortion effect.

What is a Distortion Effect?

Distortion is what makes the guitar sound so powerful. There are different types of pedals and it’s a common term for various types of sound saturation. It completely changes the initial guitar sound, makes it more dirty and aggressive in a musical way and it’s pretty much what makes the initial rock guitar tone.

How Old Do You Need to Be To Take Online Rock Guitar Lessons?

We truly believe that even 6-7 years old kids can take some of these courses. This will go even easier if they are passionate about music in general. And even if they don’t master it at that point, they will build a great foundation so it will be much easier to finish it when they grow up.

Do You Need a Whammy Bar for Rock?

If you’re not so much into 80’s music and prefer rhythm parts over shredding then our answer is no. A Whammy bar can be a very expressive add-on to your music but it’s not mandatory to sound good. Take Slash for an example. But, if you are all about Van Halen, then whammy is a must-have.

How Much Are Rock Guitar Lessons?

Rock Guitar lessons are paid on a subscription basis and can cost you as low as $9.99 for the Fender Play program up to $29 for Artist Works. Other websites such as Jamplay offer only annual subscriptions and offer different packages starting from $99.95 up to $299.95.

Do Online Guitar Lesson Companies Offer a Free Trial?

It depends on the website. Most websites at least offer a 30-day money-back program so you can decide to cancel it if you don’t like it. But, while Artist Works may give you the best courses, be careful as they don’t allow any refund.

Craig

Hi there, my name is Craig. I took over Gear Savvy in mid-2019 and have had a blast writing content about music ever since. My role here is to steer the ship and ensure readers have the best information available for learning a thing or two. When I’m not working on content, I’m a husband and a dad. I enjoy spending time with my family, playing guitar, or messing around in my woodshop.