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Guitar Lessons On-line

Study Jazz with Frank Vignola
Study one-on-one with one of the world's greatest! Cool site!

Guitar Lesson Archive at Harmony-Central, MIT
An archive of the now-defunct Guitar Lesson of the Week archive, Jim's Chord Study lessons, and many of the lessons from OLGA.

This site offers an extensive collection of free instructional material, including fingerboard charts showing chords, scales, modes, and arpeggios (with dots or intervals indicated on the fingerboard), as well as jamtracks, interactive instructional material, an online "fake book," and other material. Much of the material is also available for purchase in PDF format or on audio CDs; the profits help maintain the site. Ignore the obnoxious sound file that greets you on the opening page; just click through to a wealth of useful material.

The Essential Guitar Guide
Dale Churchett maintains this highly-rated online "practical approach to music theory" for guitarists. It discusses intervals, chord types, scales, and arpeggios, all with clear graphics and text. A good site for beginners who know little music theory; it does not go into depth, but will surely get you started.

Vision Music
Vision Music is the work of guitarist/bassist Mark Stefani, and offers a huge amount of guitar instructional material for free. Although there is an emphasis on jazz and blues for electric guitar, there is plenty here likely to interest acoustic guitarists. Most lessons are in standar notation with tablature, and often have MP3 sound files demonstrating the material. Topics include scales, modes, chords, stylistic examples, and transcriptions of signature licks of famous players. Also included are MIDI files with "jam tracks" for students to practice improvising to. An outstanding service to the online guitar community.

Dansm's Acoustic Guitar Page
An acoustic guitar page by Dan Smith. It is noteworthy for its attention to issues facing beginners, and includes a number of basic lessons on such topics as chord theory and fingerpicking.

Total Guitar Magazine
They provide tutorials (with audio accompaniment) on a variety of topics. At the time of this compilation, tutorials are available on scales, ear training, beginner's country and blues, and other topics.

Dimitris Dranidis's Introduction to Music Theory for Guitar
An introduction to chord and harmony theory from a guitarist's perspective.

Guide To Chord Formation
Howard Wright's extensive FAQ document on chord theory for guitarists, including coverage of intervals, triads, and many advanced and altered chord types.

Chord of the Week
Gawain Reifsnyder, guitar instructor and guitarist for the band Take 6, offers an in-depth look at a different guitar chord every week. Includes a complete description, photo, diagram with tab and a sound clip. This site is hosted by Guitar Net.

An Introduction to Harp Harmonics
Bo Parker's nice RMMGA post describing the cascading artificial harmonic technique originated by Chet Atkins and Lenny Breau, based on articles by Larry Coryell in Guitar Player.

The Rough Guide to Harmony
Guy Snape's introduction to the basics of Western harmony, based on a lecture Guy gave at a 1999 UK gathering of RMMGA guitarists. It includes coverage of the major scale and its related chords (triads and 4-note chords), minor scales, the cylce of fourths, common progressions and substitutions, and altered chords. It includes downloadable MIDI files demonstrating various concepts.

Western Swing/Texas Contest-Style Backup Guitar
Bo Parker's nice RMMGA post describing this style of accompaniment, including some arrangements of tunes with backup parts.

Accent On Music
Mark Hanson's publishing company, Accent On Music, hosts a constantly changing selection of free tablature, as well as descriptions of Hanson's highly regarded commercial publications.

Tom's Guitar Instruction
Guitar lessons online from engineer Tom Jager. Includes discussion of the CAGED system for visualizing/organizing chords; chord theory; scales; modes. Includes nice GIF diagrams along with the text.

Andy Polon Guitar Playin' Pages
This site offers lessons for fingerpicking acoustic blues a la John Hurt, Mance Lipscomb, etc.. It includs three chapters from Andy Polon's fingerpicking book in HTML format, including many tab examples.

The Hidden Art - Guitar Lessons
A series of lessons on fingerpicking and arpeggio excercises, hosted by The Hidden Art, a web site focussing on underground music and music and art education.

This site hosts interviews and lessons with a few famous players (e.g., Christopher Parkening and John Tapella), and also hosts a JavaScript chord identifier and music quiz for improving sightreading (with ear training exercises included). The site is constantly growing; recent additions include a large encyclopedia of scales and many new lessons, and planned additions include lessons for clarinet and trumpet. A slow server, many graphics, and many layers of pages will test your patience, but stick it out and you'll find lots of useful information.

Guitar Haven
This site hosts a variety of lessons on various levels in a variety of formats (plain text, PostScript, HTML) from a variety of authors on a variety of topics. Variety is the key word here! Very much worth checking out.

The InterChart Home Page
"An interactive scale and chord chart generator" in a Java applet.

Learn the secrets of this widely-used approach to guitar playing that will let you sound just like your favorite guitar heroes, even if you've never played guitar before!

Guitar Page
Gianluca Verrengia offers a few free guitar lessons, and also additional lessons for subscribers, at this site in Italy. The lessons are mainly directed toward electric guitarists playing funk, blues, and rock.

Carvel's Guitar Page
Carvel Avis's page of "tips, tricks and licks" in a variety of styles (jazz, classical, rock, and country), with extensive use of RealAudio so you can hear the material as well as see it. Informal.

Dave's GTR Instruction
Instructional material directed towards beginning and intermediate players produced by Dave Torres, a professional instructor. Topics include Beginner and Intermediate lead and rhythm playing, and reading chords, scales, and tab. Dave has also posted tab for his own arrangements to a number of classical, fingerstyle, and country standards.

Dan's Guitar Stuff
A small collection of lessons in HTML with fretboard graphics focusing on blues and jazz, with MIDI files providing audio examples. The site is maintained by Atlanta Georgia-based guitarist Dan Coy, who also offers email support. The lessons are authored by he and Professor George Miller.

Jazz Improv TV
Great video lessons from amazing players.

The Ultimate On Line Gutiar Tutor
A GeoCities site (inaccessible to Unix browsers under the SunOS, which means me), alleged to step you through buying your first guitar all the way to intermediate level playing.

Jos Durkstra's Guitar Page
Jos is a guitar teacher in Zwolle-Holland; his page offers a different guitar lick and interesting chord each month, as well as CD reviews.

Giovanni Chierico's home page has links to his Java-Tab applet (in Italian or English) that will display a table resembling a fretboard indicating the positions of notes in an arpeggio or scale. The interface and output are very awkward, but it's an interesting start on using Java to address this topic.

The German Flamenco Site (US mirror here)
In English, German, and Spanish. An extensive collection of Flamenco music and dance information. Contains...???

Hypertext Guitar Method
Rudimentary lessons in HTML format with inline images providing standard notation (no tab) and photos of hand positions. The first lesson, covering very basic notation issues, is free. To get the second lesson, you must pass a short and simple quiz. Subsequent lessons are $10 per lesson.

Omni Guitar Online Lessons
Ted Viera, author of the "Essential Concepts" guitar instruction book, offers excerpts from his book at this site in plain text, with notes indicated only by note name (no tab or notation). Ted is an electric jazz player.

Commercial Instructional Sites

If you are looking for printed instructional material, check the sites below, but also check out the distributors of printed music listed on the Music page.
Homespun Tapes
Based in Woodstock (yes, the Woodstock), New York, Homespun produces a wide variety of audio and video instruction tapes at all levels of proficiency. Many are from top fingerstyle guitarists, such as Martin Simpson, Preston Reed, Laurence Juber, and David Wilcox. They offer instructional material for many other instruments as well. Their videos are consistently highly rated by RMMGA readers.
Accent On Music
Accent on Music is run by Mark Hanson, one of the most talented and highly acclaimed transcribers of acoustic guitar music. They offer various instructional books and videos by Mark, including collections of transcriptions of music by Leo Kottke, Martin Simpson, Paul Simon, and others; guides to various styles of playing such as Travis picking or solo fingerpicking; and books on using alternate tunings. They also carry CDs from selected fingerstyle guitarists.
National Guitar Summer Workshop
NGSW hosts several summer workshops around the USA focusing on various guitar styles, including an acoustic workshop that has featured as teachers such luminaries as Martin Simpson, Ed Gerhard, Pierre Bensusan, and Preston Reed. Feedback from RMMGA participants has been uniformly excellent.

Music Lessons by Texas Music and Video
Instructional videos for all the major instruments used in bluegrass or country music.

Lessons Online -- Slack Key Guitar With Keola Beamer
The master of slack key himself provides lessons via tablature in Acrobat files and audio examples in RealAudio files, for the low price of $9.95 for a three month series of lessons.

The Only Complete Guitar Chord Method
Reijo Hiltunen's book on guitar chord instruction, teaching a simple method that will enable you to construct complex chords quickly on the fretboard. The method will also help you quickly name chords that you have built or figured out by ear. The site provides a PDF file demonstrating the technique. The book comes with a half-page card that serves as a portable reference. Highly recommended by some RMMGA readers and several professional reviewers.

Guitar Chord Theory
This site advertises a book of this title.

Sound Connection Guitar Workshop Courses
Instructor Ande Flavelle of Caldwell, NJ offers a series of courses in various styles of guitar playing and ear training for $14.95 each.

eMedia Guitar Method
eMedia has produced a CD-ROM guitar tutorial for acoustic and electric guitarists that includes 60 lessons with over 30 video clips and over 3 hours of audio from instructor/performer Kevin Garry, as well as an electronic tuner, metronome, and chord dictionary. Their site provides a description, reviews, sample screens, and order info, as well as a free Java version of their chord dictionary and a collection of links.

Charanga Presents GuitarCoach
GuitarCoach is a "CD-ROM guitar tutor for beginners. Specially commissioned video, audio and graphics integrated to provide enjoyable and effective guitar lessons." The course is divided into 5 levels of increasing difficulty. Several styles are covered. It is for PCs only.

The Ultimate Guitar Workout (also at
A book with audio tape (and money back guarantee) with exercises in tab and fretboard diagrams for electric and acoustic players. The site includes a detailed description, ordering info, and scans of sample pages of the book.

Today's Hero Guitar Instruction
Ryan Cain, a Guitar Institute of Technology graduate who has been teaching professionally since the mid 80s, runs this site that lets you access his lessons online for a fee by using a password. A free sample lesson on modes, including extensive fretboard graphics, is available at the web site.

Joni's Guitar School
Joni has been teaching guitar to students from nursery school age to retirement age since the early 80s, and offers here "personal guitar tuition over the internet." The site currently offers a beginner's course, providing HTML lessons with accompanying soundfiles, and feedback via email. The site offers free examples from the lessons.

Kent Murdick's Guitar Catalog
Kent writes instructional books that focus on the classical guitar, including music from the traditional classical repertoire and also music from the jazz, rags, and latin traditions.

General Music Theory

These are just a few of the more general music sites that may interest acoustic guitarists.
What Makes Music?
Although not directed toward guitarists, we just had to include this interesting web version of the Franklin Institute Science Museum's traveling exhibit on music, science, and technology. It includes online "exhibits" demonstrating concepts such as intervals and modes.

Absolute Pitch on the Internet
A web site hosting information that approaches absolute pitch ("perfect pitch") in a scientific way, including a resource guide to literature on the subject.

Chord/Scale Charts and Dictionaries

The Ultimate Chord Chart (Acrobat Reader PDF file)
Phillip J. Facoline's five page chart of fingerings for nearly 1000 chords in all twelve keys. Also available as a PostScript file.

OGRE: Online Guitar Chord Finder
A web form interface to Pascal Obry's GUITARE software, providing fingerings for a chord whose symbol (name) you enter via the form. GUITARE is available from OLGA sites.

On Line Chord Directory
A large table of chord names arranged by key, each a link to a Java applet that displays several fingerings for the chord in your browser window. 15 chord types are available in each key. Collectively, 100s of fingerings are available. Nice!

Hundreds of scales (with anywhere from 2 to 10 notes per octave), in standard notation, tablature, and fretboard diagrams.

The "Modes"
Mark Stefani's brief but clear single-page presentation of the major modes, in standard notation and tablature.

eMedia Guitar Method
eMedia has produced a commercial CD-ROM guitar tutorial for acoustic and electric guitarists described above (in the "Commercial" section), as well as a free Java version of their chord dictionary.

JavaScript Guitar Chord Chart
A JavaScript-enabled web page that provides a single fingering for some basic chords. The fingering provided is not always the most common or easiest!

Tuning and Alternate Tunings

Tuning the Guitar
Guitar builder and repairman Paul Guy here offers detailed discussion of many aspects of guitar tuning and intonation , in several articles. Included are practical tuning tips, as well as pages on the history of tuning and temperament and discussion of the Buzz Feiten tuning system. The best way to access this page is through the "Guitar Handbook" at Paul Guy Guitars. Paul has authored a textbook on guitar tuning. Although he started his musical career in his home country of England, he has been hand crafting electric guitars and doing acoustic and electric repairs in Stockholm, Sweden for so many years that he considers himself an "honorary Viking." 8-)
A list of some alternate tunings
Ted Hermary of McGill University posted this list of about 20 alternate tunings (with common names and tuning instructions) to RMMGA.
Alternate Tuning Guide for Contemporary Folk Music
A resource created by readers of the list server and the RMMGA newsgroup listing tunings to over a hundred contemporary folk songs performed in alternate tunings.
Alternate Guitar Tuning Applet/Application
A well-executed Java applet that displays chords or scales as note names or note numbers on a guitar fretboard, in a variety of tunings. A wide variety of chord and scale types is supported. A stand-alone version is also available as a free download for use off-line on Windows systems.
The Joni Mitchell Discussion List Guitar Tablature Database
This extensive and informative site is a labor of love created and maintained by guitarist members of the Joni Mitchell Discussion List. It includes a form-accessible database of Mitchell's tunings and of on-line transcriptions of her music. It also has a clear discussion of Mitchell's tuning numbering system; these can help a player organize tunings via "tuning patterns."
A Justly-Tuned Guitar
Classical guitarist David Canright here discusses his use of alternate intonations on the guitar, including use of interchangeable fretboards. For further background on the use of just temperment, see his home page.
Celtic/British Isles Music for Fingerstyle Guitar
Art Edelstein maintains this page that hosts a list of Celtic fingerstlye guitarists (with links to web sites when available), a selected discography, a discussion of use of alternate tunings in this music, descriptions of instructional books on the topic, and links of interest to lovers of this music.
Arbuckle's Celtic Guitar Tunes
Includes tunes in dadgad, dgdgad & dgdgcd tunings in standard notation and tab, and chord charts for Dropped-D and DADGAD tunings.
Han's DADGAD Guitar Page
This site hosts several charts of chord fingerings in DADGAD tuning.
Accent On Music Publications
This site describes commercial publications by Mark Hanson, including his Complete Book Of Alternate Tunings.
Precision Strobe Tuners
This site describes the precision strobe tuners for sale by Jim Campbell of Ann Arbor, Michigan; but it also includes a number of useful links on tuning systems, including discussions of the limitations of equal temperment and of the Feiten tuning system for guitar.
Relating Tuning and Timbre
The text of an article by William Sethares from Experimental Musical Instruments discussing the theory of alternative temperments to the equally tempered scale usually used on the guitar. An extensive technical treatment with many well-executed diagrams and plots.
A revised & updated version of an article which first appeared in Guitar Review, Summer 1990, on intonation of classical guitars. It describes how to compensate the saddle and nut to improve intonation.
The Compensated Nut
A revised version of a 1992 article by Stephen Delft for NewZealand Musician, describing nut compensation for improving intonation.

Nail Care

Fingernails and Fingerpickers
An article by acclaimed transcriber/teacher Mark Hanson, hosted by Accent On Music, his publishing company.

Medical Problems Facing Guitarists

Finger, Hand, and Wrist Problems
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Primer (with a special page on Musicians and Injuries)
Paul Marxhausen, an engineering electronics technician who is active on both computer keyboards and guitar fretboards, has put together a great web resource on RSI including links and references to other sources of information about various types of RSI (tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.).
Articles by Dr. Timothy Jameson
These articles were written by Dr. Timothy J. Jameson, D.C., C.C.S.P., for various music publications. Dr. Jameson is the director and owner of Bayshore Chiropractic Holistic Health Center for Performing Arts Injuries located at 3319 Castro Valley Blvd., Castro Valley, CA 94546. He has graciously allowed copies of his articles to be archived here. You'll also find these and other resources at his Bayshore Chiropractic Holistic Health Center Web Page. Dr. Jameson also hosts a Musician's Health Page that contains these and other resources:

Tendonitis Thread from RMMGA
Tendonitis has been a frequent topic of discussion on the RMMGA newsgroup. This is the text of a recent thread on the topic that included much useful information.
Typing Injury FAQ: A Guide to Comfortable Computing
The home page for the Typing Injury FAQ and Typing Injury Archive, including links to many other resources on RSI.
Computer Health Resources

Hearing Problems Newsgroup
A support newsgroup for victims of tinnitus, a condition whose symptoms include "ringing" in your ears or other noises perceived in the absence of any external noise source.
Tinnitus FAQ
The FAQ document on tinnitus maintained by Mark Bixby, also available as plain text by ftp from and mirrored at the MIT USENET FAQ FTP Archive. It is posted to a variety of newsgroups, including frequented by pro audio enthusiasts including a number of engineers at studios and mastering houses. This is a good forum to post queries about such things as good earplugs for musicians and tips for getting quality sound at moderate volumes.
The web site for H.E.A.R. (Hearing Education Awareness for Rockers), an organization devoted to educating the public to the dangers of hearing loss and tinnitus. The site includes information documents on hearing, hearing loss, tinnitus, earplugs, etc., including information and comments from well-known musicians.

Audio editing, recording and composing software for professional and home music makers. The software is shareware, economic and user friendly.