Is the TrueFire Guitar Training Program Worth Signing Up For or Does it Fall Flat?
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Last Updated: November 2020
In this TrueFire review, we’re going to see how this guitar training subscription program stacks up to the competition.
We’ll go over what’s covered in the course, what it’s like to go through lessons and whether it’s actually the best option to learn how to play guitar.
Let’s get into it…
TrueFire is probably the OG of online guitar lessons. They started back in 1991. And it shows with their overwhelming collection of 40,000 different video lessons.
It’s kind of intimidating – and that’s the main criticism we have of all our top online guitar lessons.
Sure, too much content is a good problem to have. But the question remains, what’s the best program to help you learn guitar and become a better guitarist?
It has all the things you’d come to expect of a top-tier online guitar training site – beginner paths, advanced skills training and great bonuses. All in all, on the surface it seems like a great choice to learn how to play guitar.
Is TrueFire a better choice than something like JamPlay or Guitar Tricks, though?
Maybe… Read on to learn why or why not.
4/5 Stars Overall
Should You Subscribe: If you’re an absolute beginner, the NO, DON’T go with TrueFire. There are better options out there for complete beginners. With TrueFire, you don’t get a hand-held, guided lesson plan on how to learn guitar. There’s no A->B path, so it can be a bit confusing if you’re not already sure of what you need to be learning/practicing.
However, if you already know the fundamentals of playing guitar and know what skills you want to learn, then YES, TrueFire is a GOOD CHOICE. So in essence, it’s probably a better option for intermediate and advanced guitar players. But that’s not to say it’s absolutely useless for beginners, either.
Don’t get us wrong – you can absolutely learn to play guitar as a beginner using TrueFire. You just aren’t guided along the journey as well as other programs like Guitar Tricks. But the lesson quality, material covered and extras included with your membership are a great value.
And the company has been in business so long, they know how to teach people to become better guitarists. So you can’t go wrong – especially since there’s a 30 day free trial where you can take the whole system for a test drive. Why not try it out, there’s nothing to lose.
- $29 / month
- $249 yearly option available
- $2499 lifetime access option also available
- Over 40,000 different lessons and 30,000 tabs to play from
- Learn guitar, bass, ukulele, banjo or even harmonica
- Advanced interactive video lessons with tabs/notation that plays in sync with video
- Legendary guitarists as your teacher (like Steve Vai from Frank Zappa)
- Learn in the most popular styles – Jazz, Rock, Blues, Country
- 30 day free trial
- Tons of extras included in membership and new lessons added consistently
- One of the most expensive monthly membership prices
- Not a TON of songs to learn – more focused on skills/technique
- No easy-to-follow, laid out path for beginners
Go With a TrueFire Subscription If…
- You want the absolute largest collection of guitar skills/technique training out there
- You know the basics and want a wide variety of self-taught learning paths
- You’re a beginner that doesn’t mind creating their own learning plan
- You don’t need a easy-to-follow, laid-out-for-you way to learn guitar
- You value practice and want a lifetime access option
- You trust the brand of a company with 30+ years of satisfied customers
What’s Included in Your Membership?
The first thing you’ll notice about TrueFire is their beautifully clean, minimal design.
When you’ve got so much to offer, it can be easy to make your website cluttered and messy. But these guys designed things in a way that easy to navigate and find the most important things.
There’s a lot that you actually get when you sign up for TrueFire. Of course, the 40,000+ video lessons and 30,000+ tabs are just the beginning.
You get all the same bells and whistles that come with other popular guitar lessons – community features like a forum, tracks to jam along with, private tutoring options (extra cost), events and masterclasses and more.
So you’re not going to go wrong by choosing TrueFire. It’s just very overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Beginner’s need a clear-cut path to being able to play, not thousands of options that end up paralyzing them.
But if you’re looking for a literal treasure trove of different lessons on skills, techniques, and more then TrueFire is a GREAT option for you.
And I’d highly recommend trying out their free trial to see for yourself.
Here’s a closer look at some of our favorite features:
Their Core Lessons
The skill/technique/genre lessons are the back-bone of the TrueFire learning system. And there’s a ton. Over 40,000 lessons now. And a lot of them (not all) are in high quality 1080p resolution with something called Soundslice (more on this later).
All the lessons are high quality and easy to follow along with. In addition to this, you get a lot of additional lesson material. If you’re good at reading guitar tabs and already know basic guitar chords, there are tons of resources for you to practice along with.
This is one of the best features of TrueFire, because whatever you want to learn, they’ll likely have a lesson for it.
If you’re diligent enough with your study/practice, TrueFire alone can probably take you towards total mastery of the guitar.
Soundslice Video w/ Interactive Tabs
This is probably the coolest feature of TrueFire, compared to their main competitors. Soundslice is an interactive guitar tab player that is synced to the video lesson that you’re watching.
So you can practice along with the video and navigate both the lessons and exercises quickly and easily. We haven’t seen this with any other program, and is one of the reasons we really do recommend this program for some students.
Of course, any set of guitar lessons will only be good as the people that are teaching them. With TrueFire, they have this on lock. Some of the biggest names in music are the main educators in some of the lessons on the site.
Take it from us – learning from legendary guitarists is much better than learning from your local music teacher.
If you feel like you need a little more one-on-one tutoring, but still want the convenience and value of online guitar lessons, TrueFire comes through for you.
For an additional cost, you can book private lessons with their educators. The only problem is, it’s not a live session. It’s more of a “review and feedback” type of system. But it’s still well worth it, especially for some students.
In the Jam
This is another favorite section of ours. Unlike traditional Jam tracks you can play along with, TrueFire takes it up a notch. Their “In the Jam” section allows you to play along with great musicians (not in real-time, obviously) while you’re learning sheet music.
But what makes it different from others is that, you can actually mute out sections of the “jam band” that you don’t want playing. So if you want to focus on really locking in with the drummer, for example, you can.
Truly “On-The-Go” Capable
Most of the time, you’ll likely be learning in one place. But you don’t have to if you don’t want to. TrueFire is fully compatible with both Windows and Mac, as well as mobile devices. Hell, you can even use AppleTV.
You are also able to download lessons to your device, so you don’t necessarily need an internet connection to practice or learn remotely. Very useful.
Beyond all the stuff we mentioned above, there are some other things that make this a worthwhile program to try out:
- Learn more than just guitar – bass/ukulele/banjo/harmonica lessons included
- Live Q&A Sessions and other Masterclasses
- Community Forum
- Song Lessons
- Genre/Style-based “Learning Paths”
More About TrueFire Guitar Training
TrueFire is one of the most trusted names in online guitar training. There’s a reason they have a “lifetime access” membership option – becuase they’ve been around for 30 years and are STILL continually adding to their library of lessons.
It’s a treasure box of guitar skills and techniques.
It’s just not an easy-to-follow beginner system.
The main problem with pretty much all guitar training online is the sheer volume of lessons makes it confusing and overwhelming. And this isn’t truer for any other brand more than TrueFire.
Sure, they do have lessons that can teach you the basics like notes on a guitar or guitar scales
But like I said in the beginning – too much content is a good problem to have. Just not if you’re first starting out. You want a more guided approach – something like Guitar Tricks’ “Core Learning System” or Fender Play’s guided learning path.
Even though TrueFire does contain “learning paths” they’re more geared towards intermediate guitar players who want to learn the ins and outs of a specific genre/style.
But even if you’re looking for specific genre/style training, it’s not necessarily the best option – for that we’d recommend something like JamPlay. They’ve got a wide selection of genre/style lessons – more than most other options.
But if your main goal is to master your instrument and keep upgrading specific skills and techniques, TrueFire is likely your best option. They’ve just got an unmatched amount of lessons.
But you WILL pay for that amount of content – TrueFire has the highest monthly subscription price of any of the Guitar Lesson’s we generally recommend.
But, there’s no doubt that IT IS WORTH IT – if you already know what you’re doing and what you want to do next.
Bottom line: if you choose to subscribe to TrueFire and actually put in the work and utilize all the tools they give you, it’s the best path towards becoming a master guitarist.
Still unsure if it’s right for you or worth the premium price? You can try out everything they offer RISK FREE by signing up for a free trial membership. Once you see what it offers, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!