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Pickup Music Review – Step By Step From 0 To Guitar Hero

Pickup Music Review – Step By Step From 0 To Guitar Hero

The days of jumping from one YouTube video to the other, struggling to find the next good lesson, are long gone.

Nowadays, online guitar course platforms offer a structured pathway to learning guitar without the hassle of figuring out the steps by yourself.

The only decision you need to make is to find the best guitar course website for you, and in this article, I’ll review one of the best modern alternatives that nails it in multiple ways: Pickup Music.

Being part of the generation that started the instrument from online courses and now a teacher and session guitarist, I put a few weeks behind reviewing the platform.

Taking the student approach but with the critical eye of a pro guitarist, I dwelled into the unexplored areas of my playing into jazz and neo-soul guitar and drew my conclusions on the site for players of all levels.

Bottom Line Up Front: Pickup music evolved from its early days as a community of independent artists and social media phenomenon to one of the best guitar course websites and beyond, offering all the tools and knowledge a beginner, intermediate, and even occasionally advanced player needs in his life as a guitarist.

The biggest upside of the platform is how easily it helps a beginner and intermediate payer navigate to the right lesson at the right time and the continuous live support of the community and teacher, whilst it can be slightly limiting for classic rock and metal players who’ll find the site focuses the in-depth lessons for modern RnB, Soul, and Jazzy guitar styles and lacks a rich library of popular songs to learn from.

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Discover your inner musical prowess with Pickup Music, the ultimate online platform for guitarists and musicians of all levels. From expert tutorials to a vibrant community, Pickup Music empowers you to elevate your playing skills and connect with fellow music enthusiasts.

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Pickup Music Lessons Review

The Structure

Structured Website and Lessons

The website gets a 9 out of 10 for ease of navigation, as there’s no insane amount of information you have on decade-old sites like Lick Library. It’s easy to find what you want or be guided to what you need; the same goes for how each lesson and pathway is structured.

A big topic divided into smaller lessons, each with its own exercises and backing material to support them, is the best way of navigation, not only for taking the step-by-step approach but also for going back to find the exact gap you want to fill. For example, I knew exactly where to go when I needed to recap on the dreaded diminished chords before learning Neo Soul licks.

Short lessons and the necessary one-off licks to add to your vocabulary are nicely put in a separate section whenever you feel like learning something easy and new, whatever your level or goal is. And I’m truly impressed by how often these get updated.

Quick Licks

The Teachers

There is a unified, uplifting feeling of friendliness and competence among all teachers, which I love. For beginners and intermediate players especially, they offer the right motivation and indeed surpass most other platforms when offering live lesson sessions to students.

All teachers are respectable musicians, masters of specific styles, and some are familiar faces of the YouTube world, like Ariel Posen, whose melodic playing I’ve been following for years. 

Ariel Posen

The sense of ‘uniformity’ over time, though, does not impact your journey much and, in my opinion, fades away some of the teacher’s personal characteristics and teaching style. Yet, that is not something that should impact your decision on the site, as when you reach a certain level of playing, there’s a tendency to go directly to ‘the meat.’

Regarding Masterclasses, they do not have the same number of guitar legends as TrueFire, where giants like Joe Bonamassa and Steve Vai scream their names on the website, or Lick Library with virtuosos like Guthrie Govan –  Yet you get modern prog masters like Plini and ferocious modern guitarist going through their styles.


Backing Material

My two highlights of the backing material, besides the typical backing track, are

  • Exercises with Interactive tabs
Interactive Tabs

Below each lesson are a couple of video exercises you can follow using interactive tabs, a written recap, and diagrams of chords and scales you use—nothing more to ask for.

  • Playing along to a real band 
Playing along to real band

Nothing can replicate the feeling and experience you get out of playing with other musicians – Pickup Music aims to come as close to that feeling as possible, filming a real backing playing for you to solo over.

It felt slightly odd at first playing along with musicians on the other side of a screen and is not a replacement for real life, but still, you get more of the natural groove and emotion of the real thing, far better than a quantized backing track with midi drums sites usually offer.

Audio & Video

High audio and video quality have become a standard even on free YouTube channels, so for a paid platform like Pickup Music, you will always get both at their highest, leaving no space for complaints. 

Each lesson is thought out and planned out so you have all the necessary camera angles when you need them, with a cinematic quality to everything. They don’t have the heavy-duty TrueFire desktop app for real-time tweaking of evey detail of the video, but it’s still impressive and just what you need. 

The Variety

The limited number of masterclasses and lessons in classic electric guitar genres and the lack of a dedicated ‘learn the song’ section is where Pickup Music slightly suffers if you’re looking for those.

The site nails the essential guitar skills for all levels but only goes one step further for modern playing styles of soul, jazz, and R&B, leaving classic rockers like myself wanting more. This said, it’s only an issue if you truly want more of that, and it solves a significant problem of big guitar lesson directories: overlapping lessons.

I wish it could improve by adding popular song tutorials on the site, besides the original compositions of the teachers who do a great job at them nonetheless. 

I would not let this be a turn-off, as it can easily be fixed with a one-off DVD series from your favorite players and YouTube videos, and the total will still cost you less than most other big website subscriptions.

Join the Revolution of Guitar Learning at Pickup Music

Discover your inner musical prowess with Pickup Music, the ultimate online platform for guitarists and musicians of all levels. From expert tutorials to a vibrant community, Pickup Music empowers you to elevate your playing skills and connect with fellow music enthusiasts.

Sign Up Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

The Extras That Make A Difference 

The Community Aspect

Active Community

Pickup Music started as a community of musicians and kept true to that even today. Even though I find their lessons extraordinary, you could, in theory, subscribe to another site and put in the work yourself to learn guitar – yet that’s the one thing. 

Pickup Music is the absolute best at this, as it hones the community of guitarists by offering live support, live sessions with teachers, personalized feedback, challenges, and an active forum.

These seemingly ‘small’ aspects can get a player through a rut and motivate anyone to push themselves. And it’s easy to tell that it works; you just need to read the comments and forum posts to know how useful players find being accountable for their playing and having a community to share their journey is.

Feel Accountable

The Artist Toolkit

Artist Toolkit

We all know that a tuner and chord library can be found everywhere, but an Artist Toolkit is an innovative, helpful addition for players who don’t just want to play better but also find a gig.

The website’s founder and most players are all self-made musicians who created their careers. The Toolkit tries to capture the knowledge and inspire you to get known out there as a professional guitarist – don’t expect much of a step-by-step process, as it’s a very tricky subject, yet you will hear what it’s like to tour with John Mayer.  

Is Pickup Music Suited For Your Level?

Pickup music is built exceptionally well for beginner and intermediate players who need guidance on what to improve and then have the right steps. Advanced players, on the other, might skip most of the learning pathways, but there is still space for them to fill gaps in their knowledge. 

If you’re unsure where you fit, each pathway starts with a well-thought-out quiz testing your knowledge on whether you’re ready for the lessons.


Pickup Music for Beginners

Step by Step Approach

If you just started playing, whether you can strum a few cowboy chords or not, the websites will quickly guide you to where you need to go and what to do daily. The 30-day beginner pathway is more than enough reason to go and try the website out if you fall into this category.

What I especially like is how all lessons focus on getting the basics right and guide you to move to the next step only when you get the proper feedback to do so. This way of teaching leaves no gaps for the future, some of which took years to fix for me, even after I started playing professionally.

Pickup Music for Intermediate Players

CAGED system lessons

If you know your pentatonic shape, a few notes on the E string, and can play barre chords and some classic songs, there is no better place to land than Pickup Music.

The intermediate pathways will take you further into mastering the fretboard, deepening the necessary CAGED system, lead, and rhythm guitar concepts, allowing you to practice your favorite genres with confidence. 

Pickup Music for Advanced Players

Explore new styles

If, as a session guitarist, I can be considered advanced, I can be proof of the usefulness of Pickup music. No player is a natural jack-of-all-trade, and I did go through the Neo-Soul in 10 days pathway with a touch of music theory to fill some gaps and crack some mysteries I had about the genres.

As an upper intermediate and advanced player, it becomes more apparent that the website’s primary focus at those levels is modern guitar styles like RnB, Neo Soul, and everything Jazz, with not much focus on metal or rock.

Pickup Music Alternatives

Only a handful of sites are worth paying for to learn guitar. Besides Pickup music, here are some of my favorite I’ve used or reviewed in the past.

Lick Library – Best for one-off DVD lessons

Lick Library is one of the oldest platforms, boasting thousands of lessons on songs and techniques. I find Lick Library is best if you want to learn songs or techniques in the style of rock and metal legends for all levels, yet Pickup music is still the better alternative for step-by-step learning. 

Fender Play – More affordable beginner-orientated

Fender Play’s most significant advantage over Pickup Music is the library of popular songs it teaches.

However, I find it more limiting and much more beginner-oriented than Pickup Music, a smaller but more compact option.

True Fire – The Best Masterclasses

True Fire has been around for almost three decades and has everything and probably every player you can think of teaching on the site. They are expensive but unbeatable for one-off masterclasses with guitar legends.

Wrapping Up: Is Pickup Music Worth It?

If you’re a beginner or intermediate player who wants to follow the structured way of learning guitar, yes. If you’re an advanced player, then It could be for you if modern styles of playing are your thing and if you’re into classic rock and metal or want to learn specific popular songs.

There is no loss in trying for free, especially when the website is confident enough to give a money-back guarantee if you see no change in your playing after 60 days, and everything is continuously updated to fill some of the gaps their content has.

Continuosly Updated Lessons

Pickups Music Pros

  • Easy to use website on desktop and mobile 
  • Incredibly easy-to-follow structured lessons from professional teachers
  • Continuously updated content
  • Finely crafted pathways for beginner and intermediate players
  • Among the best backing materials for players to learn and play along to
  • A very active and helpful community of players
  • Continuous stream lessons and feedback from teachers
  • The best lessons and resources for neo-soul, jazz, and RnB guitarists

Pickup Music Cons

  • Not yet a variety of lessons and masterclasses for the rock and metal guitar word
  • Not teaching popular songs.
Join the Revolution of Guitar Learning at Pickup Music

Discover your inner musical prowess with Pickup Music, the ultimate online platform for guitarists and musicians of all levels. From expert tutorials to a vibrant community, Pickup Music empowers you to elevate your playing skills and connect with fellow music enthusiasts.

Sign Up Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.


Question: Does Pickup Music Offer Bass Lessons?

Answer: Pickup Music offers one of the best lessons for bass playing for guitarists, yet it doesn’t offer specific in-depth lessons for bassists,

Question: Is Pickup Music an affordable platform?

Answer: The pricing point for pickup music is in the middle of the line, competing with the monthly True Fire model; however, you get access to everything with one subscription without paying extra for any feature or lessons.

Question: Does Pickup Music have metal guitar lessons?

Answer: There is an upcoming metal guitar pathway and lessons from prog Metal guitarists such as Plini and Manuel Gardner Fernandes.

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