Welcome to a new Q and A. For this one, we have Andy Crowley from Andyguitar.co.uk.

Due to his laid back teaching style, his genuine focus on helping beginners improve and high quality tutorials, he is someone I respect highly. Most popular online tutors, especially those on YouTube say they teach beginners, but often their lessons are too difficult for actual beginners.

Instead, they (not always intentionally) aim their lessons at beginners, but can’t help themselves but to actually create lessons that beginners simply can’t keep up with. This is massively frustrating for those beginners, especially the ‘frustrated beginner’. Andy is legitimate with his lessons. They are very good at helping those actual beginners improve.

Andy is a fellow Brit, from further up north in Yorkshire. He is experienced and has been teaching on YouTube since 2009 and Andy now has one of the most popular guitar lesson channels on YouTube. His most popular video ‘Play 10 songs with 2 chords’ has become the all time most watched guitar lesson on YouTube.

Anyway, as you know I’m not a huge fan of YouTube (some of this is due to YouTube itself, encouraging you to keep clicking on endless videos) but Andy is a jewel in the Nile on that platform. Here is his Q and A….

Bands and inspiration


Who’s your favourite guitarist ever?

Dan Hawkins of “The Darkness”. For me, he hits the definitive rock sound, which to me is a kind of AC/DC-Led Zep hybrid that I love.


Who’s the best band/artist you have seen live?

AC/DC, Download festival 2010.


What’s your favourite album of all time?

“The Darkness – Permission To Land” (yep, I’m a fan)


Most enjoyable guitar piece to play?

Right now, “Mr. Sandman”, fingerstyle version.


Favourite song to listen to on a depressing day?

Something like “Hall And Oates – You Make My Dreams”.


Most difficult thing you’ve ever learned to play on guitar?

When I first started playing, the most difficult thing I knew how to play was a C major chord, so it’s all relative.

These days, probably some fingerstyle piece like “Cannonball Rag”.


Greatest guitar piece ever recorded?

“Johnny B Goode”


Best guitar of all time?

Jimmy Page’s Gibson Les Paul “Number 1”


Tips and advice

Any tips for readers?

Enjoy the journey, but set yourself achievable goals that you think are cool as hell to keep you going along the way.


If you have one, what’s your #1 tip to help guitarists improve faster?

Think of a musical goal that excites you more than anything else in life and go for it.


Greatest chord ever?

“The Hendrix Chord”.


Most useful or exciting scale you know?

The major scale, everything else comes from that.


What’s the most important thing to focus on, for beginners, to improve quickly? (e.g. technique, theory, repertoire, jamming, etc)

Techniques to learn songs faster and get how the whole thing works, such as diatonic chords.


Biggest mistakes you see beginners make?

  • Not practicing enough, or seeing practice as hard work, when it can be fun!
  • Not jamming along to recordings often enough
  • Lack of direction


Best advice for guitarists who are taking their very first step as a guitarist?

Download the free Andy Guitar app 😉

Then, find someone else who does play that can check your guitar out to make sure it’s OK, many beginner guitars are so much harder to play than they should be!


What one thing would you say to a beginner who is really struggling and is thinking of giving up?

Remember why you wanted to play in the first place, and remember how cool it is that this stuff even exists at all.


Many beginners struggle to make their playing musical, do you have any tips to help with this so they can enjoy their playing more?

Jam along to recordings, not enough people do it at all, do it every practice session where possible! (100% agree! This is a great way to improve faster – Dan)


Best advice for learning barre chords?

Keep your elbow in to your side, which will make everything easier.


How do you advise beginners on how to reach the next stage of getting to be an intermediate player?

Learn to break down songs to figure out what you need to practice i.e. is it the chord changes, strumming or single note playing that is your problem? Then focus on that, as well as finding more songs which play to your strengths.


General thoughts on learning guitar for our readers

My biggest inspiration for picking up a guitar is the scene from the movie “Back To The Future” where Marty plays the song “Johnny B. Goode” on a red Gibson ES-345 guitar. When I think back, that is my earliest memory of wanting to play, even if, at the time as a 6 year old- doing anything of the sort was a distant fantasy.

However, as a kid I was put off learning guitar time and time again because I thought it was too cool for me, or because my fingers hurt, I thought my hands were too small and I couldn’t see how practicing “Polly Wally Doodle” in school lessons would allow me to reach my goal of playing like Marty.

However, with a love for the music itself and support from my family, I kept at it, kept my goals alive and really made progress quickly in my teenage years. From reading comments and emails, it seems that my videos have acted as inspiration for some people, for they have taught them to play something where other lessons or teachers have failed.

Whatever your inspiration is, make it as big and bold in your mind as you can, and simply remind yourself of it as often as possible. It works for me.



Thanks to Andy for an interesting Q and A. He makes some great points and doesn’t beat around the bush.

A lot of what he says resonates with my own ideas on learning the guitar in the most effective way possible. Jamming with the recordings of songs you are learning is really important, lots of fun and will help you improve faster than if you don’t do it. Even if you are not ready to jam with the recordings at all, you can use them as a marker for what you need to aim for.

So many guitarists spend months on a song, learning it at the wrong tempo or with the wrong feel/groove and then months later, try to play it with the recording (or other musicians) and it bombs. Don’t wait, do it today.

It’s also really important as he says, to have direction and constant motivation. This is something I talk about in the 10 song challenge post.

Anyway, if you enjoy the books/courses, posts and videos on my humble blog you will enjoy what Andy has to offer. He is from the same genuinely enthusiastic school of guitar tutors as me and will certainly help you on your journey.

Leave a comment below letting me know what you think of this post. If you have used his tutorials before, let us know how Andy has helped you on the guitar.


January 3, 2019 Reply

Andy is a great teacher! I have seen many of his videos on YouTube. I really enjoyed this article, and looking forward to more!

Dan Thorpe
January 3, 2019 Reply

Yeah, he really is a good one – especially at breaking down the basics for beginners. Lots of YouTube teachers seem to get bored quite quickly and jump to the hard stuff – fun if you are intermediate but not for newbies or beginners!

Sandra Girard
May 4, 2019 Reply

What I love about Andy Guitar the most is his boy next door attitude. He seems like such a nice young man. He is so non threatening and humble . It is truly like learning from my son or a friend, and he truly knows how to make you want to learn more. He explains things in a clear way that even I at 71 find easy to understand. He is obviously very talented but does not talk over your head. He is not always pushing you to buy something, as well, which makes you wish that you had the money to buy his brand. It would be nice to know his history as well.
I watch him often. His videos are short and to the point. Thanks again Andy.
Sandy G

Dan Thorpe
May 12, 2019 Reply

Thanks, Sandra. Yeah, Andy is a lovely chap and very personable with his teaching. He is definitely an asset to the guitar world and teaching with the amount of great content he has put out there for beginners. Thanks for the comment!

Rick (beginner)
June 4, 2019 Reply

Andy’s lessons are excellent for absolute beginners. Best of all, his speaking is at a pace that I can hear, even though his accent is Yorkshire. There are other instructors that either speak too fast, or don’t speak loud enough or distinctly enough for the viewer.

Dan Thorpe
June 19, 2019 Reply

Hi Rick, yeah, is he great. His lessons are on the money and helpful for many students out there which is great. 🙂

Werner Botha
April 5, 2020 Reply

I think Andy is the best. A lot of other you tube teachers like to show if their skills rather than teach. I’m a beginner in my forties and thanks to Andy I’m now moving from 3 chord strummer to campfire guitarist!.

April 13, 2020 Reply

I’m a high school music teacher in Canada, and I looooooove Andy’s website. I’m a classically trained flute player (B. Mus, B.Ed), and taught myself to play guitar at some point during high school, university, and summer camp.

Andy’s lessons are SO clear, and the layout of his website is FANTASTIC, and that’s coming from a type A teacher who loves everything organized. The songs move in progressive order and build on skills from previous lessons, he’s clear, slow, and encouraging in his lessons. The way they build means that there’s something for everyone, especially as education strives to make the learning more and more personalized for students.

THANK YOU for all the hard work you’ve done in creating your website, it has been an invaluable resource in supporting my students in their guitar studies, and especially now that all my music lessons need to be taught from a distance. Your work is beyond appreciated.

Christine Zelehoski
May 8, 2020 Reply

I enjoyed hearing Andy thoughts on the questions. It’s very helpful.
I have wanted to play the guitar since I was in college and I am now 73!
It’s still on my wish list and Andy’s 10 free beginner lessons has me inspired.
I’ve practicing daily for over a month and enjoying it, thanks to Andy.

I bought his Beginner course but can’t figure out how to get into it. I’m hoping
it will be on video like the free one.
Can you tell me how to get into it.
Thank you! Christine

January 13, 2021 Reply

Andy method is fantanstic conversational easy to follow and repeats difficult lessons until they sink in the students brain, Does not rush the student but keeps them
motivated to keep on learning and remember what they have learned

Peter Setze
November 15, 2022 Reply

I really like Andy’s manner and teaching style. I’m probably a mid-level to advanced beginner, and his teaching pace and technique tips make learning easier and more fun. I have both an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar, and Andy has many lessons for both. There are many online guitar teachers out there, but Andy Crowley, Dan Thorpe, and Justin Sandercoe are head and shoulders above the rest!

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