When I was learning to play guitar in the late 1980’s, it was difficult to find good instructional resources. Method books were not always well written and songbooks often used clunky inefficient forms of notation. Retail stores carried only a limited selection of books/videos and finding something like “The AC/DC Guitar Tablature Anthology” at a public library was not going to happen. Times have changes and the availability of instructional material for guitarists is vast. In the late 1990’s with the advent of online access to information, the learning process became very efficient.
Websites that host song lessons and transcriptions typically allow online users from the general public to create, edit, and comment on content, thus following a peer review formula. By the early-2000’s a website called OLGA (Online Guitar Archive) hosted the world’s largest collection of online written music for guitarists, but in the mid-2000’s threats from music publishers pressured the people who ran the website to shut it down. It didn’t take long before a replacement filled the vacuum in the form of Ultimate Guitar (www.ultimate-guitar.com) which exists to this day (see article below).
One problem with websites such as Ultimate Guitar is that too many incorrect/conflicting examples pass thru their moderation. You might search for instructions on how to play your favorite song and find multiple versions of the same song that are entirely different from each other. This is confusing. Websites that host content that is created by official publishing companies (www.musicnotes.com) have a higher level of accuracy but they do cost money, sometimes the layout is overcomplicated, they have a limited selection, and they are not always correct. If a website is moderated by one individual (or a small group) it will sometimes offer material that is easier to comprehend because these websites typically maintain a more consistent vetting process.
Guitar lesson websites that are managed by a single individual are difficult to find so I decided to help fill the void and create an interactive website that others can use to learn guitar. My entire teaching curriculum is available at no cost on my website (www.guitarstyles.org/lesson-plans). Developing and posting these resources for the public was an extensive project. It includes over 2,00 files! The majority of the work was completed in 2007 and at this point it takes minimal effort to update and maintain, so it is not nearly the chore that it once was. Keep in mind the material that I offer is not perfect, but it does give users a consistent point of view for learning guitar.
I am always looking for other teachers who are generous enough to share their lesson plans at no cost to the user. I have a preference for instructions that are written as opposed to video tutorials, because written material is easier to save and review when needed. I visited over 1,000 websites to find this limited directory of instructors who are willing to share their knowledge. Some of the sites are not entirely free and may request an upgrade charge for added content. In the year that I have spent collecting these links, a few websites have already gone down or now require payment to access content, so this is certainly a volatile list.
I also teach other instruments, so here are a few other resources: