The Best Guitar Teachers on YouTube
This guy covers a wide swath of artists with some special emphasis on Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and The Who. He has that uncanny ability to pick up the nuances in songs by ear, and he communicates them to the viewer in a simple and humorous way. He also relates some little known background to the way the artist goes about composing, recording and performing the songs. Unfortunately, privettricker recently stopped contributing to this channel due to the less than intelligent and belligerent responses he received on a regular basis. Fortunately, the videos are still available, and he started a new non-troll channel that's highlighted next.
This channel is indeed privettricker reincarnated. It's the same guy doing his usual great job of interpreting guitar parts from some iconic and lesser known songs of the past. Many of his lessons are geared toward the intermediate to advanced guitarists, but some of them are closer to the beginner level. Just remember, if you comment, keep it positive, this is a no negativity channel for folks who are interested in improving their guitar proficiency, not a place where trolls and unhappy jealous people are welcome.
Marty Swartz covers a wide variety of song styles and artists on his channel. The engaging Swartz tends to examine guitar parts in slow detail with the beginner and novice guitarist in mind. He's got a great trove of songs to choose from, a great teaching method and an attitude that makes learning th guitar a good experience. If you're having a down day, just play one of this guy's videos and watch your blues blow away.
One of the great things about Mahalo is the large staff of instructors that cover a mountain of music styles. I've used Mahalo to unlock some musical mysteries from artists as diverse as Jimi Hendrix, Jack White and Lindsey Buckingham to Hank Williams and whoever wrote The Christmas Song. They feature everything from a three chord country song to more complex pieces like Led Zeppelin's Rain Song. The more complex the song, the more attention is given to individual phrases and techniques. A great channel for guitar players of all skill levels.
Bobby Crispy is one of the best at explaining the various popular guitar riffs we've all heard on FM radio a million times. He's also good at opening up the blues scales used on so many classic rock albums, and how the player can use them as a basis for improvisation. He also includes tabs on many of his lessons to familiarize the player with the tabulature method of documenting guitar notes on paper or video that can be translated just like written music. It's like a unique guitar language that simplifies the structure of a phrase. For me, Bobby took a little getting used to because he's so deliberate with his lessons. In the long run, I think this helped me to slow down and really think about what I was learning, and that translated into me retaining his lessons more easily.
Some Thoughts on What Guitarists to Study
For what it's worth, I thought I'd give you some personal thoughts on the guitarists that continue to shape my comprehension of the instrument.
I personally put Jimmy Page at the top of my guitar hero list, and not just for the incredible rock riffs of his that have become part of our collective consciousness. Jimmy paid his dues as a session musician before coming into his own as a rock and blues guitarist. That session background gave him such a wide variety of musical styles to draw upon when he moved into his vaunted Led Zeppelin phase. His inclusion of country, blues and even Old English style acoustic guitar permeates the Zeppelin years, and gives an aspiring guitar player a deep well of styles and technique to draw upon.
No discussion of the modern-day electric guitar could ever be complete without acknowledging the genius of Jimi Hendrix. This was the guy all the other guitar slingers looked up to before his untimely death at the age of 27. What set Hendrix apart was his incredible interpretation and improvisation of the minor and major pentatonic scales married with his unique chord voicings. Long guitar solos can become boring, unless Hendrix is the one doing the playing.
Keith Richards made the open G tuning and The Rolling Stones synonymous from the late sixties up to the present day. His less-is-more approach to rhythm guitar is a great way for a novice player to get into the game of good old rock and roll music. Like all great musicians, Richards hasn't been a one-trick rock pony. He stretched out into country, jazz, funk and even eastern music to fill his amazing musical tapestry.
Pete Townsend brought a symphonic approach to his guitar playing once he started composing rock operas, and the world of the guitar has never been the same. His range extends from down and dirty three chord rock to something approaching classical supernova. A great guy to study if you're looking to expand your guitar playing beyond the ordinary.
Finger picking is an essential part of a well-rounded guitarists repertoire, and there's no one better than Lindsey Buckingham to get some pointers on the intricacies of Travis picking. Lindsey brought his early days as a banjo player to the acoustic and electric guitar. He has a truly unique approach and mastery of the guitar that every guitarist should aspire to.