Ahh, lead guitar...there's nothing quite like screaming solos and complex riffs to fill out the sound of a band. And who doesn't want to have the ability to shred the neck of a guitar to impress people with their skills?

Lead guitar lessons will help strengthen your hands (and your confidence), so we found and rated all of the best lead guitar lessons online, and compared them side-by-side in this table:


Guitar Lessons JamPlay Guitar Tricks Jamorama
Logo JamPlay.com Review Guitar Tricks Review Jamorama Review
Rating

Our custom rating considers all of the guitar lessons' features, tools, quality, support, and personal & user reviews to save you time!

Rating: 98.2%
Rating: 96.8%
Rating: 79.2%
Lesson Format

Since guitar lessons are offered in many different formats, we classify each one we review to distinguish between them quickly (online lessons are our favorite).

Online Videos
& Community
Online Videos
& Community
Videos, PDFs
& Software
Video Quality

If these lessons offer video instruction (and we hope they do), this gives an idea of how well-filmed the videos are.

Extremely High Extremely High Extremely High
Total Lessons

The number of lessons offered by this community/instructor (and the total lesson time if available).

4,089 Lessons
1,158 Hours
8,000 Lessons
1,000+ Hours
208 Lessons
10+ Hours
Teachers

One benefit of Online and DVD lessons is the ability to learn from multiple instructors with different backgrounds, genres and skills.

72 Teachers 45 Teachers 1 Teacher
Full Review

This table compares the top 5 guitar lessons. Click Read Review to learn more about one option.

Read Review Read Review Read Review
Beginner

Does this product/service offer beginner guitar lessons? This is the most common level, crucial for getting started at any age.

Intermediate

Do they also have lessons beyond the beginner level? Once you've mastered the basics, you'll want intermediate lessons.

Advanced

Some teachers even have lessons designed for advanced players that have moved through beginner and intermediate lessons.

Song Lessons

Want to learn popular songs on the guitar? Some instructors work hard to get license deals to teach you specific songs step-by-step.

Live Lessons

The most efficient way to learn guitar is in-person live lessons. Some premium services offer live lessons through webcam & chat.

Tuner

Will buying these lessons give you access to a free guitar tuner?

Chord Library

Chords are the building blocks of all guitar playing. Having a chord library where you can easily look up specific chords is essential.

Scale Library

Scales are great exercises and can expand your soloing horizons. Scale libraries organize them by key and style to save you time.

Forum

Forums are a great resource to get answers to your questions from instructors and other students quickly and easily.

Live Chat

Though getting answers on a forum can be really helpful, sometimes you need an answer in real-time, so chat is even better.

Delivery

Delivery refers to how you will receive your guitar lessons and how long it will take to get access and start learning guitar.

Instant (Online) Instant (Online) Instant (Online)
Price

The current price of guitar lessons (not including any coupon codes, trials or discounts we find for you.)

$19.95/month $14.95/month $10/month
Cost/Lesson

Price divided by total lessons. Note: For online lessons, we use the annual membership price.

$0.04 / Lesson $0.02 / Lesson $0.36 / Lesson
Best Deal

To help you save money, we find deals and coupon codes for each of the guitar lessons we review.

Get 25% OFF
your 1st month!
14-Day
Free Trial
$60 for a year
($5/month)
Guarantee

The guarantee tells you how long you can try these guitar lessons and get a full refund of your money if it doesn't work out.

7-Day, 100%
Money Back
60-Day, 100%
Money Back
60-Day, 100%
Money Back
Visit Site

This button takes you to the official website to check out their guitar lessons and get started.


Lead Guitar Lessons

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with rhythm guitar (it serves an equal, perhaps greater role than lead guitar) the reality is that most people get into the instrument to play lead guitar.

Don’t agree?

Let’s play a game. Of the two guitarists, Slash or Izzy Stradlin, which one would you say is more well-known? Technically the right answer would be both because they are from the same band (Guns N’ Roses), but one plays lead guitar and the other plays rhythm guitar. Slash is by far more famous than the underappreciated Izzy Stradlin, and it’s a common theme throughout rock music.

Therefore, it is only natural that most beginners aspire to play lead guitar because of the fame the position traditionally entails. In essence, it is your opportunity to become the “star” of the band.

Lead Guitar vs. Rhythm Guitar

The guitar provides two main functions to the accompaniment: lead guitar and rhythm guitar.

In order to understand their roles more clearly:

  • Lead Guitar: a guitar part which plays melody lines, instrumental fill passages, and guitar solos within a song structure. It’s commonly the part of the song that stands out the most, or, the main melody.
  • Rhythm Guitar: the use of a guitar to provide rhythmic chordal accompaniment for a singer or other instruments in a musical ensemble.

Why Learn Lead Guitar?

Rhythm guitar (along with the bassist and drummer) generally provide the foundation of the song (the beat), while the lead guitar is in charge of playing the melody, instrumental passages, guitar solos as well as riffs within the song structure.

The rhythm guitar plays a supportive role to the lead guitar which is considered the “featured guitar” in standard tunes, a very common scenario in rock, heavy metal, blues, jazz, punk and fusion music.

Because of the licks you play with lead guitar, your passages usually stick out more and make your playing vital not only in the studio but also performing live. Consequently, your function is extremely important in the band, and likely a big reason they are who they are.

Lead Guitar Fundamentals 

Lead guitarists rely heavily on scales, modes, and arpeggios to create the licks or riffs heard in the song. The licks may be produced in a variety of ways with alternate picking, sweep picking, economy picking and legato just a few of the commonly incorporated techniques. In addition to finger techniques, lead guitarists often utilize distortion and other effects available on the amplifier or effect pedals.

The lead guitarist is also often very animated during the live show, impressing the audience with various ways to play the instrument (with your elbow, feet, etc) adding to the showmanship and mystique of playing guitar.

The techniques and approach you take to playing lead guitar will vary substantially depending on the genre. Hard rock and metal lead guitar will be flashy and obnoxious, but lead guitar on a country track may be nothing more than a few simple notes played in secession to drive forward the melody.

Acoustic vs. Electric Guitar

Commercial music has in the last couple of decades leaned more toward electric guitars, especially for the lead guitarist. However, acoustic guitar is still a viable option for genres like country, folk, and bluegrass music.

Lead Guitar Lessons

Given the interest and demand to play lead guitar, lead guitar lessons are quite prevalent. Depending on how you would like to learn, lead guitar lessons are available in book, online video lessons, CD and DVD format as well as a combination of any-of-the-above.

It is a good idea for beginners to first learn rhythm guitar, and once you have a good understanding of that role progress to lead guitar because many of the techniques utilized for lead are reserved for intermediate or advanced learners.

Conclusion: Best Lead Guitar Lessons

After buying and trying all of the most popular lead lessons online, we ran them all through our rating algorithm and found JamPlay came out on top. If you’re looking for something similar at a lower price with a free trial, Guitar Tricks is great too.