Guitareo review: What is it?
For the purposes of conducting this review, we were granted full access to the Guitareo platform.
There is no shortage of amazing tools to help you learn the guitar online. From all-encompassing mega-tools which will help the greenest beginner, through to entire vaults of content designed to guide the advanced polymath player toward the outer reaches of their talent, it’s never been easier to find an online guitar lesson provider to suit your specific circumstances.
There’s always room for another option though, which brings us to our review of Guitareo. Part of a broader family of online learning tools including Drumeo, Singeo and - presumably because the naming convention didn’t work - Pianote, Guitareo is geared entirely towards people at the very start of their learning journey. It has a bold, bright interface, guided curriculums and a gamified learning system designed to keep you coming back for more. But what marks it out as different from the competition which, in this space, is fierce?
Upon loading Guitareo up in your browser - it’s all browser-based - you’re immediately presented with a simple to understand, clearly laid out front page, which fulfils its purpose magnificently. Of all the tutorial sites we’ve reviewed at MusicRadar, this is one of the cleanest, and we’d have no hesitation letting young children play around, confident they’d find what they were looking for in no time.
A selection of guided learning paths means there is a clear structure to follow, so you’re not logging on and wondering what to do or where to go, while a small number of affiliated coaches offer up videos and Q&A sessions to help learners along their way.
Guitareo review: Performance & verdict
It’s difficult, in a way, to offer a comparison between sites like TrueFire (read our full TrueFire review) and Guitareo. Where TrueFire offers everything any guitarist, of any level, can use to make progress, the experience is a little less ‘hand-holdy’. This is great for some players, who prefer to learn in their own way and at their own pace, but can be a bit overwhelming for learners who need a bit more guidance at the start. While we have all no doubt met players who start learning and within weeks are nailing pentatonic runs across the fretboard, others may need a bit more grounding in the fundamentals.
Guitareo seems perfect for exactly this crowd. It’s not the most exciting thing in web design, but navigation does have a crucial effect on how we interact with a site and, more importantly, how quickly we get bored with it and do something else. Simply surfing around Guitareo is a pleasant experience, with everything where you’d expect it to be and good use of colour to inject a bit of life into it.
The site is broken down into sections. ‘Method’ is your absolute “here’s how to hold a guitar”, ultra basic but vital-type lessons, with very friendly tutors delivering the fundamentals in a clear, coherent way that anyone could understand. Each ‘level’ comprises a number of video lessons, which load in a large player on the screen. Underneath that are some simple tab diagrams of your assignments, ie. what you should learn before you progress to the next section. As you go along, you tick off these assignments, building your talent base as you go.
The site’s coaches, including YouTube phenom Rob Scallon, are on hand to offer video tutorials on a range of subjects, although if we’re honest the selection isn’t that broad right now, both in terms of the number of tutors and the content on offer from them. This is clearly a growing platform, however, with new content appearing regularly.
Guitareo has a decent sized selection of chord sheets for well-known tracks, which are pretty basic in their presentation but will work well for beginners. There is also a big bank of chords and scales you can refer to at any time, which is always useful.
So who is Guitareo for, and why would a budding player pick it against its competitors? Essentially, we’d probably advise Guitareo as being ideal for anyone who is starting off and favours learning in short, sharp bursts. It’s laid out in such a way that you can quickly and easily find a lesson that works for you, and it has a general ‘light touch’ style that won’t intimidate younger players.
It lacks the depth of content and some of the functionality, like live tabs or the ability to slow down tricky parts, of sites like Fender Play (read our full Fender Play review) or JamPlay, but as the first port of call for a novice, Guitareo is a decent choice.