Guitar and Music Youtubers Worth a Watch

June 05, 2019 5 min read

Guitar and Music Youtubers Worth a Watch

Remember when music lessons meant going to the music store and sitting in a small room crowded with music stands, guitar cases and amplifiers for a half hour a week? No wonder so many of us quit lessons when we were young! Today, you can get a lesson any time you want about anything you ever wanted to learn and carry it with you on your phone everywhere you go. It’s crazy! Of course, we’re talking about guitar channels on Youtube and today we are going to look at three of the best we’ve found so far.

If you’ve ever wondered how so many young guitarists like Taz Niederauer and Taj Farrant have developed such good chops at such a young age, the lessons and information available on Youtube must be at least part of the equation. Being able to see a lead or daunting riff played at reduced speed and explained to you can help anyone develop the guitar techniques they’ve always wanted, but these Youtubers also teach us the subtle nuances of each musical phrase making it possible for us to play them with confidence and, most importantly, with feel.

Taz at NAMM

Of course, there are so many guitar-playing Youtubers that there is no way we can give anything but a smattering of what is available for the avid guitar enthusiast to learn, so we looked for what we thought were some of the most inspiring, funny, and entertaining Youtubers who had a lot of great videos and a lot to teach. Here are three Guitar Youtubers you’ll learn a lot from:

Ben Eller -Weekend Wankshop

Whether you are looking to learn new lead techniques, riffs from many of hard rock and metal’s leading acts fromVan Halen toMastadon, or Blues, Jazz and Fusion riffs from legendary players likeStevie Ray,Django andZappa, Ben Eller’s Weekend Wankshop is a great place to visit.

Uncle Ben’s thorough knowledge of modern guitar styles, coupled with his characteristic wit and humor give his lesson videos a binge-worthy quality that makes it hard to stop watching, even when Uncle Ben himself tells us to shut down the computer get 'wanking' on our own. With ample repetitions at ‘step-dad speed,’ and in-depth looks at what makes these iconic riffs tick, you can always count on Uncle Ben to offer all of the information you need with just the right mix of theory and technical tips to give you a full grasp of music he covers.

Below, Eller breaks down one of Stevie Ray Vaughan's most famous lightning-quick riffs:

Scuttle Buttin’ with Stevie Ray

Jim Lill - Country Picking and Professional Music Tips

Jim Lill is a Nashville session guitarist and Country Music Youtuber with an energy and enthusiasm for traditional Country guitar that is infectious to say the least! Every lesson, like the first one I watched,10 Country Licks You Need to Know, teaches you a lot more than just how to play some cool riffs. In each case, Lill takes you deeper, inside the music, explaining the most subtle nuances of the playing techniques, as well as the tricks the original musicians used to achieve the sounds you hear on the recordings.

Another useful feature of this guitar channel is the tabs that Lill runs under the video of each riff as he plays it, which, he explains, can be slowed down or paused while you get it under your fingers. Whether you are looking for tips on how to Chicken Pick likeBrad Paisley or want to learn more about playing classic Country leads like Luther Perkins or Roy Nichols, Jim Lill has all of the bases covered!

Beyond learning specific country licks, Lill also has a lot to show you about gear and classic country instruments that you may not be very familiar with, like thePedal Steel and theDobro, revealing classic riffs on these instruments that are sure to enrich your music. He also runs down all of the gear you need to get a professional sound (All the Parts of a Pro Guitar Rig) and even how to build a professional recording studio in your home! (Step By Step Professional Home Studio).

5 Things That Make Country Songs Great:

Rick Beato - What Makes This Song Great?  

The thing that first attracted me to Rick Beato’s channel was his ongoing series ‘What Makes This Song Great?’ After watching and learning from Rick’s in depth breakdowns of Rush’s ‘Limelight’ (What’s Makes This Song Great Rush) and Van Halen’s ‘Running With the Devil’ (What Makes This Song Great Van Halen) I was hooked and I binge-watched ten or so episodes in this series and ended up moving on to even more Beato videos, including interviews with Marty Friedman and Paul Reed Smith and videos on Radiohead (Why I Love Radiohead) andSmashing Pumpkins.

Just a quick perusal of Rick Beato’s channel will reveal a music obsessive’s delight of riches, with videos on every topic imaginable in the field of popular music, including Rock, Jazz, Metal, Fusion, and even Djent. Beato is equally at home explicating melodies and parsing out the subtleties of complex harmonies as he is discussing improvisation, gear and recording techniques. Just a couple of hours watching Beato’s Channel and you’ll gain a much greater appreciation of the complexity and richness of modern music, and an even fuller appreciation of our musical heritage and the long lines of musicians whose hard work formed the soundtrack of our lives.

What makes Beato’s videos so informative is his in depth knowledge of everything music. Not only does he show us how to play the riffs in each of the songs he explicates, but he also pulls apart the audio showing us how tracks are layered, taking a closer look at the bass, drums, keyboards and vocals and whatever else there is to listen to, showing us how our favorite songs tick. In terms of music, he breaks down the chords and modes musicians use in their melodies, harmonies and lead playing, as well as technical information about how the musicians created their iconic sounds. Where else will you learn that Runnin’ With the Devil’s vocal falls in the Mixolydian mode, or take a journey through the layered chord structures in Radiohead’s Paranoid Android? Only on Rick Beato’s channel!

What Makes This Song Great? Paranoid Android, by Radiohead

There are plenty more where that came from and in the future we will bring you more of our favorite guitar and music Youtubers who have a lot to teach us about our instruments, music and gear. If you know of a Youtuber you think we'll like, tell us about them in the comments below!

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