While the guitar is perhaps the most common musical instrument, the classical style is not very common, being heard mostly at orchestras and other formal concerts. But many music styles like blues and jazz trace their roots to classical music, which makes playing classical guitar a crucial skill for anyone who wants to master the guitar.
The classical style is not the easiest style on account of its heavy reliance on sheet music, which is intimidating to many guitar beginners. This also implies that you need a very good teacher to establish the correct foundational skills needed in a good classical player.
Online guitar lessons have been around for some time since the early 2000s when guitar players would upload music sheets and mp3 practice files on the internet, to today when lessons are streamed on live HD video and students, can interact with their tutors one-on-one.
Of course, face-to-face guitar lessons remain preferable to many people who may not access broadband internet. But some advantages come with online guitar lessons. You can take the lessons in a self-paced manner, and at whatever time is convenient for your career and family schedules.
You also have a wider choice of guitar teachers, among them world-class award-winning guitarists. Here are some guitar lessons you can check out.
15 Best Classical Guitar Lessons for Adults Review
1) ArtistWorks - Classical Guitar with Jason Vieaux
These lessons promise to take you from a beginner guitarist to an advanced player, but also offers a lot if you have been playing the guitar and need to fill gaps in your technique. There are hundreds of lessons to learn at your own pace, done in HD video.
You can play the video at different speeds and loop when you need more clarity in a technique. The lessons are categorized for beginners, intermediate and advanced guitar lessons. There is a section on the classical guitar; what sets it apart from other forms of guitar play and techniques including;
· How to tune the guitar
· Differences between the classical guitar and rock guitar
· How to begin on the classical guitar as a non-classical guitarist
· Learning the 3 c's: clarity, comfort & consistency
· How to accompany other musicians
· Using the arm sock
· What is the torso to leg ratio?
· How to write out your fingerings
· Introduction to phrasing, playing expressively
· Vibrato and barres
· How to select a guitar
· Introduction to "breakdowns" and relaxed breathing
These lessons are taught by Jason Vieaux, who was the Grammy award winner for Classical guitar instrumentals in 2015. The lessons are available on Udemy
2) Guitar lessons on guitartricks.com
Guitartricks has been around since 1998 and has claimed several awards for their teaching method including Davey awards, W3 awards, and Acoustic Guitar Player's Choice awards. This course promises to enable you to make music on Day 1.
The course is designed for the absolute beginner. The customized learning method here is called 'Core Learning System' which helps the learner put all concepts in a musical context for faster absorption of skills.
The lessons are designed to be taken step-by-step; the learner can press next or previous when learning for seamless learning. The learner has access to guitar tabs, jam tracks, and other learning aids. The lessons are recorded in HD video shot at multiple angles for maximum clarity.
All these are accessible in the learner’s workstation. Learners have the option of asking for 1-on-1 lessons or are part of a group lesson. There are hundreds of songs from all genres; jazz, metal, rock, blues, country, acoustic, soul and funk among others.
There are over 11,000 lessons and more than 1,000 songs for practice in the library. The teachers are drawn from all genres playing for both acoustic and electric guitar.
3) Guitar lessons on truefire.com
Truefire is a relatively new online guitar learning platform, but with several pioneering features. It has grown the number of lessons to more than 40,000 in different genres.
These lessons can be viewed on the website, and accessed on apps on different devices; iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Android. The more than 900 on-demand courses are shot in multiple angles HD video (1080p). The learner can play the video at different speeds and also loop for clarity.
There are top-notch guitarists as tutors, including Grammy award winners. You can easily follow the lessons on synced tabs, and track your progress along the learning path. Truefire allows you to go directly to your preferred genre, and build your playing skills in it.
There are beginner lessons specific to rock, country, blues, and jazz styles. There are hundreds of lessons on the acoustic guitar, covering picking, fingerstyle and many other techniques for different guitar skill levels.
You can try learning on Truefire for free for the first 30-days. There are no obligations for signing up for free.
4) Udemy - Classical Guitar Essentials - The Basics Part 1 by Hani Gamal
Fingerstyle guitar playing is a coveted skill, which is what you will learn in this course. It is designed for a person who has never picked up a guitar before, with lessons easy enough even for students as young as 12 years old.
The lessons are at a slow pace for easy following and the tutor tries to clarify terms and techniques as clearly as possible. As a beginner, you can expect to learn;
· The parts of a guitar
· How to tune a guitar
· Each string and its note
· Using your thumb
· Playing the rest stroke
· How to play two voices on the guitar
The lessons are in 10 segments;
· Welcome and Overview
· About the Guitar
· Beginning to Play
· How Guitar Music is Written
· Notes on the 1st String - E
· Notes on the 2nd String - B
· Notes on the 3rd String - G
· Open Bass Strings Plus Treble Notes
· Notes on the 4th String - D
· At the End
This course consists of 52 lectures lasting a total of about four and a half hours. It is taught by professional guitarist Hani Gamal. You can find it on Udemy.
5) Udemy - Classical Guitar Essentials - The Basics Part 2
This course builds on the basics course taught by Hani Gamal. It is designed for a player who has successfully absorbed the teachings in the basics course and has familiarity with standard sheet music. it starts with teaching notes of the 5th and 6th strings. It also teaches both major and minor scales, as well as discusses the importance of scales in the classical style.
These lessons also teach techniques for each hand. You will practice 5 chord shapes that will help your left hand adopt and stretch for more complex pieces. You will then switch hands and learn the chord technique with the right hand, as well as playing 2 or more notes concurrently.
These lessons will introduce the player to works by famous classical composers such as Mateo Carassi, F. Carulli, and Mauro Giuliani. You will then practice your skills on a popular flamenco tune, the Malaguena.
These lessons are in 44 lectures in about four hours. It is in segments;
· Notes on the 5th String A
· Chromatic Notes or Accidentals
· Notes on the 6th string E
· 5 Basic Open Chords
· Right Hand Developing Technique
· Introduction to Arpeggios
It is available on Udemy.
6) Udemy - Learn Classical Guitar Technique and play "Spanish Romance" by Brian Riggs
This guitar lessons promise that you will be able to play the beautiful classical tunes ‘Spanish Romance,’ J.S. Bach’s ‘Jesu, joy of man’s desiring,’ and ‘Pavan’ by Luis Milan. This course is for the casual guitar player who can play basic tunes.
This course will help you learn how to play music with several parts playing concurrently, and play chords on strings that are not immediately next to each other. This course will help you to improve skills by teaching you how to;
· Play with your right fingers, plucking strings to play complex music pieces
· Play the neck of the guitar with more accuracy using the left hand
· Put together classical pieces and play fluently and confidently
· Build on more complex guitar skills like hammer-ons, pull-offs, barre chords, and natural harmonics
This course is in 43 lectures of about 5 hours covering;
· Right Hand Techniques
· Left Hand Techniques
· Putting it All Together
· Pavan by Milan
· Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring by Bach
· Spanish Romance
This course is taught by accomplished guitarist Brian Riggs, and available on Udemy.
7) Udemy - Classical Guitar Essentials - Intermediate Part 1 by Hani Gamal
This is a build-up course on the Basics 1 and 2 offered by Hani Gamal. This course assumes that you are comfortable reading standard music notation. It dives into scales covering the whole fretboard of the guitar, and enable you to take on more complex music such as 'Swan Lake' by Tchaikovsky. You will also learn more in detail on playing arpeggios, which are crucial to classical music.
This course borrows heavily from the Grade 1 class of the London School of Music's curriculum. You build your technique using three pieces by Sor; 'Gigue,' 'Greensleeves,' and 'Andante op.31.' Some of the lessons covered are;
· Scales in two octaves – G Major scale, 6th string note scales, E harmonic scale, Flat sign, E blues scale
· Rhythm and position – Dotted quarter note, introduction to the 2nd position, tunes (Welsh Lullaby, Drunken Sailor, and Adagio)
· Arpeggios - G and C major arpeggios, A and E minor arpeggios,
· Building technique and repertoire – Chromatic scale on 6th string, Simple meter, time signatures, tunes (Waltz, Gigue, Greensleeves, and ‘Andante op.31)
These lessons are available in 28 lectures totaling about two and a half hours on Udemy.
8) Guitar lessons on Jamplay
Jamplay is a guitar learning online platform that connects teachers and students across the world. Learners on Jamplay have the option of streaming or downloading the lessons. Lessons are in HD video, shot at different angles; first-person view, student view, strum hand view, and dialog view. They can be streamed live or downloaded.
Jamplay has grown since 2007 to offer loads of guitar learning resources including;
- More than 100 accomplished guitar teachers among them real-life superstars, and Grammy award winners
- More than 450 on-demand guitar courses holding over 6,000 lessons
- Beginner lessons for an absolute fresh guitar player and self-taught players, as well as Masterclasses for advanced guitarists
- A huge library with thousands of chords, jamtracks, demos, licks, and riffs
- More than 400 songs for practice
- Loads of interactive tools that can be customized
- Practice games and progress reports
You can also opt for live guitar lessons in which you interact one-on-one with the tutor, and do live video call-in. Different teachers also offer Q&A sessions at fixed schedules, in which any Jamplay member can participate.
9) Gibson’s Learn and Master Guitar with Steve Krenz
These lessons are named after the renowned music instruments maker Gibson's, a brand that guitar pro, Steve Krenz, endorses. The lessons are delivered on DVD with more support offered on the site's forum.
These lessons are designed for all levels of players. You can opt to follow them step-by-step along your learning path, or jump to specific lessons if you are looking to perfect a particular technique. Some of the subjects you can expect on DVD include;
· Foundational techniques
· Basic chords
· Advanced chords
· Advanced electric guitar techniques
· Strumming techniques
· Ear training
· Soloing techniques
· Reading music notation and tabs
There is an active guitar community on the forum, where students and other guitar fans discuss different topics including;
· Guitar playing technique for both electric and acoustic guitars
· Gear – amps, effects, pedals, etc.
· Guitar care, repair, and rebuilding
· Guitar related gatherings and conferences
· Music theory
· Fretboard workouts
· Live sessions by Steve Krenz.
The lessons are offered in a set that includes;
· 20 DVDs with over 40 hours of lecture
· Lesson book with more than 100 pages
· 5 jam-along CDs
10) Beginning acoustic guitar music lessons with Jared Meeker and Greg Home
This course is designed for the absolute beginner, with lessons on fundamentals such as holding the guitar, playing with a pick, reading music notation, and the playing the basic chords.
The lessons become more complex as you go along and learn more complex skills such as music theory, barre chords, improvisation, and fingerpicking. Some of the subjects you will find in this course include;
· Basics – Tuning, fretboard, reading tablature, strumming, and chords
· Reading music – notes on all strings, rests, eighth notes, eighth rests and dotted notes, sharps and flats, sight-reading
· Chords – Bluegrass chords (strumming and Flatpicking), syncopation
· Fingering – hand position, fingerpicking patterns, alternating bass patterns, fingerpicking in waltz, Travis picking and pinching
· Improvisation, music theory and intervals – major scales, interval fingering, the Circle of fifths, harmony, and chords
· Playing blues – 12-bar blues, rhythm, improvisation
· Advanced techniques – Transposition, split strumming, switching chords during play, chords (power, thumb, barre), pull-offs and hammer-ons
· Expression, phrasing, and dynamics
This course is offered by two tutors; Jared Meeker and Greg Home. it is available on LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com).
11) Free guitar lessons on thisisclassicalguitar.com
You rarely get free lessons for a 'difficult' skill such as classical guitar, but thisisclassicalguitar.com offers lessons free; not trial periods, you don't even have to register. You visit the website, go through the learning material, and even download video lessons for free.
The lessons are designed for beginner and intermediate players. the lessons are offered by Bradford Werner and a few other professional guitar players and teachers. The lessons offered are very detailed despite being free of charge. The lessons are categorized by player skill level;
· Sitting and hand positions
· Basic technique
· Learning to read and play sheet music
· Fingernail play
· Right-hand tone
· Fingering, planting, and preparation for both hands
· Left hand stretching
The intermediate part is very detailed, with techniques for both hands extensively discussed;
· Right-hand techniques – positioning, tone, fingering, planting, articulation, alternating fingers
· Left-hand techniques – alignment, tension and relaxation, slurring, barre chords
There are also in-depth lessons on arpeggios, fingernail playing, and tremolo. The site offers lots of free material for the classical guitar student including sheet music, gear reviews, and a community of guitar lovers.
12) Guitar lessons on Classical Guitar Corner Academy
This online guitar academy walks the learner from the very basics of the guitar to the very advanced levels fit for orchestra play. The lessons are categorized in levels; the learner can learn gradually, or jump to a class.
All the classes are arranged on the homepage for easy access. There is a general knowledge section on the guitar including stretching and guitar mechanicals, and also a fundamentals section. The rest of the learning material is found depending on the level;
Level 1 lessons include;
· Notation and sight-reading
· Music theory and analysis
· Solo and duo repertoire
Level 2 lessons delve into more complex techniques of what was in level 1, e.g. Notation and sight-reading level 2. This is also done in level 3, with the addition of a lesson on Carcassi. Level 4 puts these skills to practice using JS Bach's pieces as well as Giuliani’s study No.5 Op 48.
The site offers masterclasses from accomplished classical guitarists like Fredric Hand, Gohar Vardanyan, and Ben Verdery. Learners can also access a library with loads of learning material.
13) LAGA Classical – Online Classical Guitar Lessons
The Los Angeles Guitar Academy (LAGA) promises to take beginners to competent players in a shorter time than expected while establishing good foundational skills and keeping bad habits at bay.
You will learn proper technique right from the start in choosing your guitar, warming up, taking care of your nails, and the right correct for playing the guitar. Each string's notes are explained, as well as sight-reading, such that you are competent on all strings at the end of the beginner course.
Higher levels will see teaching on arpeggiated chords, and other more complex techniques to an advanced level. The lessons are shot in a close-up HD video for clarity, as well as spot clips for practice. Higher levels also introduce music piece apart from the standard classical music repertoire, to enrich the learner’s technique, and encourage experimentation. Students also get sheets music and tabs for download.
LAGA claims that quick results are achieved by the emphasis on extensive feedback on student play by the faculty. Although there are no ‘tips and tricks,’ this style of learning helps the learner absorb skills quicker.
14) Fundamentals of classical guitar by Berklee Online
This is an undergraduate-level course offered by renowned music school Berklee College. Of Music. This is a comprehensive entrance course into the world of classical music for players who are familiar with the acoustic and pick-style guitar.
This course traces the roots of classical music and its artists and regions where it evolved. The student also learns of classical music influence in modern styles such as rock, Latin and acoustic styles.
The course introduces the learner to foundation skills such as arpeggios and picking before delving into more complex techniques such as harmonics, tremolo, and sarguedo. The course also explores other music genres such as folk, flamenco, tango, and Brazilian rhythm. At the end of the course, the student is expected to have learned;
· Fingerpicking arpeggios
· Playing with multiple right-hand finger combinations
· Play solo popular classical music pieces
· Using a variety of advanced techniques including tremolo, sarguedo, and harmonics
There are loads of other resources that you will access in Berklee’s online portal. This course is taught by David Newsman, who has been teaching at Berklee since 1989.
15) Classical guitar lessons on Guitar Compass
Guitar Compass offers a short teaser lesson to give the interested guitar student a taste of what is on offer for full members. This is a short practice session by instructor Peter Voigi, to work on right-hand techniques and playing tremolos.
The session goes through the thumb, ring, index and middle fingers on the same string, and then proceeds to use the thumb on a different string. The practice ends with playing bass notes on different strings.
This practice is supposed to be incorporated into the daily routine, for at least 10 minutes. This will help develop speed and accuracy on the right hand, which helps learn more advanced skills faster.
There are quick tips on developing correct skills as well, for example, turning the writs to match the angle of the string, or keeping the wrist away from the body of the guitar.
Guitar Compass also offers short teasers for acoustics, blues, country, and electric styles. You will access full content on all styles after subscribing.
Choosing the Best Classical Guitar Lessons for Adults
Learning to play classical guitar is one of the more challenging personal projects you can undertake, either for fun or professional goals. It is not easy but it can be done if you have the will and determination.
You also need a good teacher and learning aids to establish proper foundational skills. This is where online classical guitar lessons have an advantage over traditional face-to-face learning. You can access more learning material and a wider scope of teacher skills.
But if you have the time and resources, you could combine the two to make the best of advantages in both methods. Whatever method you choose, being a good classical guitar player is one achievement that will always give immense personal gratification.