Loopers are simply fantastic, they are useful for any guitarist,
TrueFire – a true place for real guitarists.
Learning the guitar can be really easy if you have made the right choice for a guitar learning website. Almost all of the guitar learning sites are aiming for beginners, so if you are a beginner, you have quite a bit of a choice.
But if you are a progressed guitar player that has already gone through the basics and you demand a bit of a challenge, finding a good online learning website can be difficult. You might find yourself feeling confused about what to learn next or bored with all the beginner sites and the lessons they offer.
So where to go? Well, since you have found your way to this TrueFire Review, you are definitely in the right place.
Who can benefit from TrueFire?
As a guitar player and a guitar instructor, I have worked with players from different levels and I know exactly what they need.
Taking that into consideration, I can say that TrueFire does have good tutors and valid methods for beginners, but it is not the ideal place for beginners since they are not their main audience. If you are an absolute beginner, you will be better off trying GuitarTricks.
Although the lesson choice is great, they give quite a bit of freedom to choose your lesson which is not very good for beginners since they might require more direction during their learning process.
If you leave them to choose their own lessons, they might end up missing some key lessons that will harm their process in the long run.
This can slow down the learning or eventually kill the desire for playing because of blind spots or irregular progress.
However, even though TrueFire might not be the best place for beginners, they are the best place for progressive guitar players, and that is something that is rare amongst their competitors.
You just need to know the basics and have an idea of the direction in which you want your learning progress to continue.
From the financial point of view, TrueFire is within the standard for online lessons and thanks to its large selection of lessons for advanced players it is definitely worth the money.
One thing that is a downside for TrueFire is that they charge for downloading and streaming of each lesson. This can limit your access to different lessons and courses.
What do we need to know about TrueFire?
Because it has been around since 1991, this site offers more than 40 000 lessons in over 820 courses. This includes 30 000 tabs and notation and 20 000 jam tracks.
In addition to the impressive number of lessons, one of TrueFire’s strongest sides is that offers lessons from guitar legends such as Steve Vai, Andy Timmons, Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, Henry Johnson…
These 40 000 lessons cover the most popular genres of music. The list includes guitar lessons for rock, hard rock/metal, blues, jazz, funk, classical and everything in between.
Another side of TrueFire is the lessons for soloing, rhythm, scales, chords, techniques, exercises, songwriting, gear tips, theory…
Besides the guitar, TrueFire includes lessons and lectures on banjo, harmonica, bass, ukulele, drums, saxophone, piano, singing, etc.
The most impressive and interesting part of TrueFire are the master classes, private lessons, and classrooms, as well as the jam tracks they offer to help you see what you have learned from the lesson.
However, the song list and the number of lessons that aim at learning specific songs is not impressive. This is due to the focus of overcoming techniques and expanding guitar skills rather than just learning how to play a specific song.
Nevertheless, this is a big minus because the realization of songs is a great way of expanding knowledge and studying the way the performers play.
- Lessons for advanced guitarists
- A great selection of styles and techniques
- Lessons for more instruments
- Lessons from the greatest names in the guitar world
- No step by step program
- A small selection of song lessons
- Downloading and streaming are an extra charge
How does TrueFire work?
TrueFire has a great website that is very straightforward and easy to navigate. There are several sections on it that will make it easier to find what you need. We will start with the Courses section.
This section contains most of the lessons that can be found on the site. The list of courses starts with, of course, guitar styles lessons. The choice is quite large and covers almost all music styles.
The list includes blues, blues rock, jazz, jazz blues, rock, hard rock/metal, country, acoustic, fingerstyle, classical, funk, RnB/soul, americana, rockabilly, flamenco, and world and multi-style.
By selecting any of them there is a specification of the courses, lessons, the jams, and the educators. The courses are sorted by top picks, most reviews, highest rated, release date from newest to oldest and best selling. This sorting helps you find exactly what you are looking for and makes it easier to navigate your search if you are not exactly sure what you need.
Each of the course has info about the instructor and each instructor has a review score. The ratings are a standard one to five stars.
After selecting the course, there is a video and a written introduction for it on the left. On the right side, there are tags depending on the instrument, the course level, curriculum, and style.
The lessons are of a high quality which is normal for a site of this level. The list of course lessons is on the right side of the video. This helps to find the lesson that you want to focus on. Besides course lessons, there is also a playlist of lessons that you have chosen and want to listen to again.
For each lesson, there is an option to mark as incomplete, in progress or completed and the last feature is the option to download and stream the course which is an extra charge.
Under the Courses category, there is also a section named Other for other instruments besides the guitar. Besides Bass, banjo, ukulele, and harmonica there are also lectures for instruments such as drums, sound, saxophone, mandolin and vocal.
Proof that TrueFire is not focused on beginners and song learning is the fact that the division of levels and song learning is not even listed first in the Courses category, which is usually the case. The lessons for beginners and song learning can be found under the title – Learn to play.
Under the category Guitar Topics you will find courses for rhythm, soloing, applied theory, essential references, style studies, technique, chords and progressions, slide, scales and modes, pentatonic, improvisation, CAGED, chord melody, songwriting, workouts & exercise, tone and gear, arpeggios and alternate tuning.
No matter the level you are at guitar, you will find something new to learn from the lessons and courses covered in the Guitar Topics category. This provides lessons even for the most experienced guitar players.
To search for a specific category of courses there is also a search section titled Browse. The courses here are divided into All Courses, New & Hot, On Sale, Pre-Orders, Recommendations, Free Lessons and Public Playlists.
If you do not have All Access the most useful part is The TrueFire Free Lessons.
The last group of lessons under Courses is Series.
Here you will find categories such as, Learn & Play Guitar, Masterclasses, Essentials, Licks You Must Know, Trading Solos, Focus on, Survival Guilds, 1-2-3 Guitar, Chords Studies, Guitar Jim, Guitar Lab, Take 5 and Greatest Hits.
TrueFire’s Learning Paths
This is the best place to start if you are using the site for the first time. The list of courses consists of the most popular genres of music amongst the guitar lesson sites – blues, jazz, rock, acoustic, country, and bass.
The content of these lessons is mostly the same as in the first category on the site – Courses.
The title itself tells us exactly what we can find here.
The lessons are Personalized, 1-on-1 Instruction from TrueFire’s Top Instructors. The selection consists of 49 instructors. This is pretty impressive and it definitely gives TrueFire an edge.
Individual lessons here are however much more expensive than the regular TrueFire membership itself.
The price depends on the instructor himself. If you need interactive instruction and have a money surplus, this is a good place for you.
This is a very useful feature. Here are the most popular forms of music that, in addition to jam tracks, contain extra information on how to play them and develop yourself as a musician and grow.
Above each video, there is a link that leads to a lesson with content related to the track itself.
The fact that you choose the jam track you want to play is used as an indicator of your skill and preferred style.
And the lessons associated with the tracks you choose are the ideal way to advance your favorite playing skills.
In addition to the standard jam tracks, there are also premium jam tracks.
This is a place where you can learn a lot from the experiences of the other members of TrueFire and share your opinions.
Here you have access to the channels of TrueFire instructors where all the videos from each of them are stored. This is useful if you are interested in a specific instructor.
How much does TrueFire cost?
Now that we know about what you can find and expect from TrueFire, let’s look at it about the price and you can make up your mind if it is worth the price.
TrueFire free trial
One of the good sides of TrueFire is a 30-day free trial. This is more than enough time to experience what exactly is on TrueFire and whether it’s for you or not.
Among its competitors, TrueFire has one of the longest free trial periods.
This way you will have plenty of time to browse the site nicely and start to learn something new even before you pay your first membership.
This is especially good for those who are not free all the time due to work and obligations. Which is most of us.
TrueFire monthly cost
The monthly subscription of TrueFire is normal for this type of online guitar lessons site and it is $19. If you have already taken advantage of the TrueFire free trial, but still want to use to site for a little while, you might be best to use the pay by month option.
If you are the type of person who outgrows things and you are only interested in learning a specific thing, the monthly membership is definitely the way to go.
TrueFire annual cost
The annual cost comes about $199. This variant is good if you are sure that you want to use TrueFire for a longer period of time. With the annual membership, you will save about two months worth of membership.
So if you are serious about learning how to play and actually progress in your learning, you might find decent use of the annual membership. So take advantage of the savings and get to learning.
TrueFire Lifetime cost
The price of this variant is $ 1,999. Although the term Lifetime sounds appealing, I think it’s too much, and I do not believe that the site with online lessons will take you more than two years to go over them. So you are bound to outgrow the site in a period of time.
For the price of a lifetime membership, which you will definitely not use for the full length of your lifetime, you can buy a good guitar, an amplifier or a pedalboard.
This is the TrueFire virtual currency that you can collect with every purchase of something from the site itself.
This money can be used for discounts on products like downloading and streaming courses. The discounts can go up to 25%.
What do people think?
TrueFire does have a forum section where you can talk to users of the site and see what they think and even exchange tips and tricks. But if you are interested to hear more opinions and not just from current users of the site, you need to do a bit of digging.
Or just read on, because I already did the research. I went through comments and reviews to make sure I don’t get stuck in biased opinions and actually hear to full story when it comes to TrueFire. So after extensive research, here are some of the opinions I found for the site. Read on and make up your mind.
What are the alternatives in case TrueFire does not have something that you might need?
Although TrueFire is one of the best sites for online guitar lessons, it still has its weaknesses. We will now look at the shortcomings and look at alternatives.
The biggest flaw in TrueFire is the lack of a good strategy for beginners. Normally, as I mentioned at the beginning, the focus on this site is at lessons for advanced guitarists.
So, as an alternative to beginners, I recommend Guitar Tricks.
GuitarTricks is the most popular option for beginners. Their unrivaled Step by Step program keeps them at the very top in this category. So if you are a beginner this will be your ideal solution.
Another shortcoming of TrueFire is their small song list. If you are interested in learning specific songs, you might not find a large number of lessons on TrueFire to do so. In that case, you might want to check out JustinGuitar.
Justin Sandercoe is the man behind JustinGuitar.com.
Although most of the lessons are just his own, his extensive knowledge and analysis of songs make him among the best learning sites for songs and also makes his high ranked for general guitar learning.
Proof of this are the praises of the greatest guitarists of all time, such as Tommy Emmanuel, Mark Knopfler, Brian May, and many others.
So what’s the verdict?
With the huge increase in the popularity of online guitar lessons and the growing competition, to be among the best is a very big deal and means that you bring a certain level of quality. So you definitely need to have an X factor, and TrueFire does.
Even though it might lack in lessons for beginners, it is still one of the best sites out there.
The reason for this is because they aim at progressive guitar players, and not a lot of sites do that.
Another site might offer slower pace lessons and step by step programs for beginners, but TrueFire has the best program for people who take playing guitar seriously.
No matter the level you are, you will always find something to learn from TrueFire.
The site’s visibility, the great program for advanced guitarists and the collaboration with some of the most famous names in the guitar world are the strongest weapons that make TrueFire the true place for true guitarists.