The English word “guitar” comes from the Spanish word “guitarra”. Before the Spanish version of the word was coined, the original word was likely formed from the Latin “cithara” and an ancient Sanskrit “tar” that meant string. While guitar-like instruments existed as early as 15th century B.C. in Egypt, versions closest to the models that we know today were not created until the 1800s by Antonio Torres Jurado, a Spanish carpenter. Today, many versions of guitars and genres of guitar music exist throughout the world as people continue to show interest in this stringed instrument. Below, you’ll discover over 40 resources that can help you learn more about the history of guitars, teach you about chords and scales, offer resources for tuning a guitar, teach you how to play different genres of music and much more.
General Guitar Resources
Find free courses, brief histories and timelines, infographics, guitar tabs, backing tracks and much more in this section of general resources.
Introduction to Guitar – This free online course from Coursera is offered in conjunction with the Berklee College of Music, which introduces the basics of the guitar and guitar playing.
Getting Started With Playing Guitar – Gain confidence with chord constructions and transitions with this free course by Erich Andreas that offers more than two hours of video and PDFs.
Developing Your Musicianship – From Coursera and Berklee comes this free course on music theory taught by Professor George W. Russell, Jr. This class addresses major and minor pentatonic scales, common chord progressions, song forms and more.
A Brief History of Guitar – This article written by Paul Guy details the history of the guitar and includes helpful pictures.
Timeline of Musical Styles and Guitar History – This extensive and detailed timeline, which focuses on the styles of guitar music, begins in 3000 BCE and ends in 2013.
Acoustic Guitar Infographic – This infographic details the types of acoustic guitars, the different parts of the guitar and much more.
Evolution of the Electric Guitar – From the 1931 Rickenbacker “frying pan” guitar to the 2008 Guitar Hero controller, this infographic details the evolution of the electric guitar.
Guitar Guide to the United States Map – Learn about the different guitar landmarks around America such as birthplaces of famous guitarists, guitar manufacturing headquarters and more.
The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Guitar Terms – More than just terms, this guide also defines the parts of a guitar, guitar accessories and guitar slang.
100 Easy Beginner Guitar Songs with Tabs – This site offers free, accurate tabs, sheet music and tutorials for beginners who want to learn to easily play the guitar.
Guitar Backing Track.com – Choose from over 17,000 backing tracks that can be played online or downloaded in MP3 form.
7 Best Backing Track Apps for Guitar – Check out these apps that will make backing tracks simpler to use via features like tempo changes, key selection and looping.
Guitar Chords Chart Resources
When learning how to play the basic chords or more advanced ones, these resources will make the task easier.
How to Read Guitar Chord Charts – Learn how to read guitar chord charts with the video and text resources in this helpful lesson.
Guitar Chord Chart from 8 Notes – Select the root of the cord you are interested in and then select “Show all cords” to see and hear every cord available for the root.
Beginner’s Guitar Chords – This PDF is a handy resource for novice guitar players who are learning open position chords and barre chords.
Guitar Chord Chart – Reference a chord in any key with this helpful chart from Guitar Tricks. This site also offers a free 14-day trial for video-based lessons.
Chordbook.com – This site offers a unique virtual fretboard that will help you learn how to build chords.
Guitar Scales Chart Resources
Whether your interest lies in mastering some of the most commonly utilized scales or you’re determined to master the lead guitar, check out the following resources for help.
The 6 Most Commonly Used Guitar Scales – Find out about the use and positions for some of the most common scales used in solo and improvisational guitar playing.
Mastering Lead Guitar: Guitar Scales 101 – This site offers plenty of text and video resources for mastering the various guitar scales.
Learn Guitar Scales and Scale Theory – The information on this site makes connecting scales to music meaningful by showing you how to apply them.
How to Practice Scales – This link takes you to a 5-day practice plan that will help you master the scales.
Guitar Scales Power – This app will help you improve your playing and is a great scale reference that offers a fretboard that can be manipulated.
Guitar Tuning Resources
This section of guitar tuning resources offers plenty of options for tuning your guitar even if you’re a beginner.
Free Online Guitar Tuner – This online guitar tuner is easy to use because it shows you the location of the note and plays its sound in tune.
Tuning a Guitar – This video offers standard tuning instruction for a six-string guitar and repeats each note multiple times.
Fender Tune – This app features auto and manual modes for guitar tuning as well as illustrated tips for beginners.
Guitar Blues Resources
This section offers informative resources about the history of blues guitar music and instructional resources for learning how to play the blues on a guitar.
History of the Acoustic Blues – Follow the link to view a detailed history of the acoustic blues that includes a timeline.
History of the Blues in 50 Guitar Riffs – Enjoy this entertaining tribute to the evolution of Blues music from the 20th and early 21st century.
3 Blues Riffs Every Guitarist Should Know – Anyone can use these as a launch point for blues improvisation, and some can be linked together.
Beginner Blues Rhythm Guitar Lesson – Check out this easy-to-follow video lesson to help you learn how to play the blues.
Robert Renman – If you’re interested in educating yourself in regards to the blues guitar, Robert Renman is the perfect choice. Renman has an extensive background in music theory.
Rock Guitar Resources
Rock-n-roll music and the guitar are a perfect match. Learn how to make your guitar strings sing with these classic riffs, songs and lessons.
100 Riffs: A Brief History of Rock ‘n Roll – Enjoy these 100 riffs in a single take that illustrate guitar rock-n-roll history. Hear excerpts and see portions of song sheets.
Rock Guitar Lessons – Take advantage of free rock guitar lessons from Guitar & Music Institute.
Rock Guitar Lessons Database – A searchable rock guitar lesson database by keyword, content and artist.
Bobby Crispy’s You Tube Channel – Bobby walks you through popular classic rock songs on the guitar to help you learn how to play.
Country Guitar Resources
Whether you’re interested in lessons or using your current skills to start playing a new genre of music, check out the resources below for assistance.
Country Guitar Online – Take advantage of the free video guitar lessons from experienced country guitarist Devin.
Learn to Play These 10 Traditional Country Songs – These 10 classic country songs only use between two and four chords and are easy to learn to play.
Learn 10 Easy Country Guitar Licks – Jim Lill offers video lessons to help you learn 10 guitar licks that will have you playing in authentic country style in no time.
From learning about the greatest guitar talents to hearing about used guitars and gear, these podcasts will keep you entertained.
The Guitar Channel – This podcast explores the different facets of the guitar, features interviews with famous guitarists and checks out guitar-related gear.
Guitar Radio Show – Lifelong musician Mark Daven’s mission with this podcast is to let the world know about the amazing guitarists out there who aren’t getting enough exposure.
The Scott’s Bass Lesson Podcast – Scott Devine, well-known bassist and educator, hosts this podcast in which he interviews some of the top bass players worldwide.
60 Cycle Hum – If listening to a couple of regular guys with a ton of guitar knowledge talk about everything guitar-related sounds like fun, then 60 Cycle Hum is likely a perfect fit for you.