The best artist-led online guitar lessons

Take a lesson from these top-notch guitarists while staying at home.

Marc Ford performing live

Marc Ford, Photo: WIll Jacks / WireImage

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In the weeks since precautions against COVID-19 started taking effect across the world, we’ve seen gigs, festivals, tours and trade shows either cancelled or postponed. The live music industry has taken a massive hit – and for touring bands, time off the road is money lost. To tackle this, some musicians have turned to the internet, offering their tutelage and a rare insight into their playing through platforms like Skype and Zoom.

Keep track of the guitarists who are giving lessons online with this regularly updated list.

Who’s teaching now?

Johnny Marr

Over Instagram, Smiths guitar player Johnny Marr opens the floor to fans, taking questions, requests and breaking down the parts to various classic riffs. To date, he’s gone over three Smiths tunes: Girl Afraid, Nowhere Fast, and Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others.

Jeffrey Foucault

The country star has recorded an online bottleneck slide lesson, in partnership with Mule Resophonic Guitars, in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement follows his cancellation of both his US and UK tours, including shows in Phoenix, Santa Monica and Aberdeen, among others.

Foucault announced the lesson via his Instagram page saying, “If you always wanted to try open-tuned guitar, or bottleneck slide, but couldn’t figure out how to make it feel or sound right, this lesson should give you the basic primer.”

Guthrie Trapp

The Nashville-based session guru is returning to guitar tuition due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. To aid your lockdown blues, Trapp has published a selection of educational videos via his website. You can also get a taste of what he has to offer at artistworks.com.

From improv scale exercises to and slide-guitar tips, these online lessons are pulled from his lesson library to bring you one of the most comprehensive learning experiences available online.

James Bay

The Brit Award-winning and Grammy-nominated guitarist and songwriter has returned to his old profession: teaching. Bay announced via Instagram that he would be giving lessons on some of his hits, including Let It Go and Hold Back The River. Head over to his Instagram page now, with more lessons due in the coming weeks.

Jules Jackson

The Big Moon musician is offering guitar lessons over Zoom and Skype to fans while the band stay grounded from touring. The rest of the band have recently gotten in on this too, offering tabs of their songs on a donate-what-you-want basis. Proceeds go to the Trussell Trust food bank.

You can reach out to the band through their Instagram page.

Marc Ford

The blues-rock aficionado is offering lessons that encompass guitar playing, rig design and tone tips. Lessons with the former Black Crowes guitarist will be held over Skype and are in limited availability. Ford first announced the lessons when plans to tour with the Allman Betts Band fell through due to COVID-19.

You can get in touch with Marc through his Instagram page.

Mikey Demus

The Skindred guitarist and head honcho of Redbeard Effects is, for a limited time only, offering one-to-one skype lessons. We caught up with him at this year’s NAMM to take a look at Redbeard’s new Honey Badger octave fuzz pedal – take a look here.

Get in touch with Mikey via Instagram for more information on the one-to-one lessons.


Dave Ellefson Youth Music Foundation

Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson’s Youth Music Foundation has launched the #SCHOOLSOUT initiative, which offers one-on-one mentoring sessions and music lessons over Skype to students affected by the pandemic.

The foundation has recruited some of the biggest names in rock and metal to teach the lessons, with the following musicians offering sessions through the scheme:

  • Chris Kael, bassist of Five Finger Death Punch
  • Dirk Verbeuren, Megadeth’s current drummer and formerly of Soilwork
  • Jimmy DeGrasso, Megadeth’s former drummer and current drummer for Alice Cooper
  • Chad Szeliga, drummer of Black Star Riders and Black Label Society
  • Phil Demmel, ex-Machine Head guitarist and founding Vio-lence member
  • Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, ex-Guns N’ Roses axeman and guitarist of Sons of Apollo
  • Chris Poland, former Megadeth guitarist
  • Kiko Loureiro, current Megadeth guitarist
  • Clint Lowery, lead guitarist of Sevendust
  • Nita Strauss, guitarist for Alice Cooper

Talking to the Arizona Republic, Ellefson said, “We had an amazing list of gold, platinum and Grammy Award-winning artists ready to go. So it was really just a wonderful moment in time for everybody to rally together.”

Find out more about the initiative at the Dave Ellefson Youth Music Foundation’s Facebook page.


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