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30+ Insanely Useful Websites for Guitarists

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This post is part of a series called Creative Session: All About Playing Guitar.
An Overview of the CAGED System
Quick Tip: How to Change Guitar Strings

The guitar is an instrument that knows no genre and no boundaries--one of the reasons why it's arguably the world's most beloved instrument. Here are over 30 incredibly useful (and often entertaining) websites dedicated to the guitar and its admirers.

This post has been updated. Please see 50 Insanely Useful Websites for Guitarists – 2011 Update.

Must-see sites

1. Guitar Shred Show follows the escapades of Mr. Fastfinger, a Sumarai shredder with a gravelly voice who battles dwarves and accordion-wielding demons. Sounds weird, and it is, but the the site is part Flash game, part guitar lesson series, and all fun! Be sure to try the Lesson & Jam at the Mountain of the Tapping Dwarves. You'll find yourself creating a live shredding solo with the keyboard from some sensational samples.

2. Frets on Fire is kind of like an open source Guitar Hero-like game for your keyboard. I'd go on, but I realize Open source + the words 'Guitar Hero' are probably enough to get you interested!

3. really is for guitar geeks. Though it seemingly hasn't been updated since 2004, the site contains diagrams and listings of live rigs of famous guitarists, painstakingly researched from live photos and interviews. If you want to know how to achieve your favorite band's signature guitar sound, this site will help. Shame about the lack of updates, but if the rig you want to learn about is Kurt Cobain's, it won't matter.

4. Build Your Guitar offers free downloadable books on building an electric guitar. There's also another book on building a lapsteel guitar. The site also offers plans for a completed guitar, and a number of resources. If you've ever thought about creating your own custom monster, you'll love this!

5. The How and Tao of Folk Guitar is an excellent instructional book sold in book-stores and on Amazon. The author has also decided to make it available free as a digital download. Nice of them, isn't it?

Photo by Jsome1.


6. 100 Greatest Guitar Solos is a ranked list of the greatest guitar solos of all time with included tablature for each. While lists of this nature will always be controversial there are some classic solos here and the linked tablature is very useful.

7. 20 Greatest Guitar Solos Ever resembles the beginning of the above list, but with crispy and delicious YouTube videos for each entry.

8. MyGuitarSolo offers lessons and articles with an emphasis on educating the solo guitarist. If you're serious about guitar but aren't sure how to guide your practice schedule, check out their three hour daily practice plan.

Photo by Rich007.

Inspirational articles

9. Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time might not exactly reflect your own thoughts, but it could introduce you to a stellar guitar song you've never heard before.

10. 99 Tips to Help You Play Better features 99 pearls of wisdom from guitar wizards like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Jimmi Page. As a preview, here's number 99:

“Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It’s the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use.” —Stevie Ray Vaughan

11. How to be a Guitar God has some real pearls of wisdom for aspiring guitar legends.

Photo by Bombardier.

Free guitar tabs and guitar chords

The online guitar tablature community was in turmoil just a few months ago when the legal status of tabs was questioned. It appears that user-created tabs have been (rightly) given the green light once again, and hundreds of new tabs are being created each day.

12. Chordbook allows you to construct and digitally 'strum' any chord. You can use it to discover new chords or to learn how to play that G# dim which has you stumped.

13. is host to 950 classical guitar tabs.

14. has thousands of text tabs, Guitar Pro tabs and chord sheets. One of the most useful aspects is the tab rating function, where the crowd can rate each tab out of 5. Generally, a perfect tab will be rated 5 out of 5, with anything less containing at least minor but noticeable errors.

15. Chordie looks like another big tabs website, but its most interesting differentiating feature is its archive of user-created Songbooks.

16. 911Tabs is an aggregator currently linking out to 7 million+ tabs sourced from all over the web.

17. offers 24 video guitar tutorials on sign-up, but its overall database includes over 3,000 guitar video tutorials. Pretty impressive, but this premium membership does come at a price.

Photo by michael morel.

Free guitar lessons

18. GuitarLessonWorld has 47 guitar tutorials available on everything from Dropped-D tuning to flatpicking. Tutorials contain plenty of images but no video.

20. FreeGuitarVideos does what it says on the box. These sites are gold-mines for guitarists who are good at copying what they see.

21. offers text and image guitar lessons for the guitarist who wants to develop his/her Jazz chops.

22. has a selection of beginner guitar lessons, useful for anyone looking for a place to start. Each lesson touches on several different topics and should keep you occupied for quite a while!

23. WholeNote hosts over 2,800 user-submitted guitar lessons spanning across a wide range of genres and skill levels. As with all user-generated content, the quality varies, but there are some true gems to be found.

24. is host to hundreds of free text and image lessons.

Photo by deep_schismic.

Guitar theory

25. The Essential Guitar Guide is home to a number of theory-based lessons for guitarists.

More useful resources

26. Guitar Tuner provides you with a reference guitar sound for perfect EADGBE guitar tuning. Just because your tuner is buried in the nether regions of your room doesn't mean you have to go without perfect tuning!

27. Guitar Trainer tests your knowledge of the notes on the fret board through a Flash interface.

28. Guitar Scales @ allows you to see any scale on the fretboard. You can select the Patterns, Chords and Scales you want to view.

29. Metronome Online allows you to control the tempo of your own online metronome. It functions and sounds exactly like the real thing, without the price tag.

30. NowPlayIt is a video tutorials site. Another one, you say? This is a bit different. NowPlayIt features the actual artists behind the tracks explaining how to play them. Not only is it neat to receive a guitar lesson from a musician you respect, but you can also be sure the song will be accurate. The downside is that there is only a limited number of free video tuts (understandable considering how much the tuts must cost to make).

31. The Struggling Musician's Toolkit lists a number of apps and social networking sites musicians can use to make better music and collaborate with other musicians.

Are there any other non-obvious sites you would add to the list?

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