The truth about taking guitar lessons online; can you master the instrument online?


Trying to learn a new instrument can be as intimidating as it is exciting. This beautiful mix of fear and willingness is often referred to as adrenaline. Following the path of adrenaline in your life can take you to overcome difficulties and be the best version of yourself. This is what this blog post is all about. I´ve been there, right in your shoes. Now these same shoes have been on some of the most acclaimed stages in the world. The path wasn´t easy but was full of magic. Read on and start learning to play the guitar today; you never know where it can take you.

Why you want to learn to play guitar?

The first thing we have to talk about before hitting the subject head-on is why you want to do it. The reasons behind this decision vary drastically from one person to the next. This difference can make your case more suitable to online lessons or tutorial videos.

· As a hobbyist – Taking up a hobby can be a great way to let some energy out of your system. As a hobbyist you don´t have to worry about perfection; in fact, your aim should be set on having fun.

· Turning pro – Most musicians (me included) never stop learning. Maybe it is mastering a new scale or how to transition from one mode to the next or chord inversions, etc. There are a million new things to learn and they become more specific along the way. The aim here is more into where the lessons can take you in how long rather than having fun (practicing scales is never fun but it really does make a difference).

The more specific you get, the more complicated it is to find the right instructor. Therefore, for a beginner guitar player, a hobbyist can benefit drastically from online lessons as well as tutorial vides.

On the other hand if you want to turn pro you need to focus on the outcome and the specificity of the lessons. There are online platforms for that too but are closer to one-on-one classes than massive-audience tutorial videos.

Going online

Options are definitely overwhelming. I did it myself; just typed “guitar lessons online” on Google and the results were infinite. Fear not, that is exactly why we are here: to help you out.

What about YouTube? (Hey! It´s free!)

The first option we all go for is this Google giant, the most popular search site in the world (Google itself is the second). There are some pros and cons to this approach, let´s take a look.

Pros

· YouTube is free to use as long as you have internet. This is important to notice because you can use it as a try-out test before spending a cent in it. For example, if you start out like I did with an inherited classical guitar, you can just give it a shot and if you´re not enthusiastic change to the flute or something else.

· There are many options to choose from. Due to the amount of potential viewers, YouTube as a platform is flooded with videos from teachers of all kinds. They strive to be the best generating a great-quality video and get the most views which become beneficial to students in the end.

Cons

· Communication flows one way. According to a recent paper by the University of Wellington, communication is a two-way process that needs student feedback to work properly in a learning environment. YouTube lessons are as general as possible to reach massive audience and hence you might develop bad habits without anyone correcting you.

· You´re not part of a collective. One thing that (future) musicians benefit from a lot when taking lessons is being a part of a musician collective. I remember my first guitar teacher telling me about his other students which ultimately turned to be my first band mates. This sense of belonging usually works as a great push forward for many of us.

Understanding the difference between YouTube and guitar lessons online

Here is where it gets a little more interesting. What makes a guitar lesson different from a tutorial video? I´ve learned many things by just watching tutorials like parallel compression for my studio mixes but I don´t think it works in such a long-term endeavor as learning how to play an instrument.

The main difference is the tailored approach. According to the 1983 book by Howard Gardner about multiple intelligences, not everyone learns the same way. In fact, there is a special type of intelligence coined in the book under the name of “Musicality”. This difference in abilities will have a huge impact on the speed of your learning and the end results.

A teacher can make amendments on the go to better suit your skills. The one-way communication of YouTube and such platforms will not contemplate this and thus you might even become frustrated with the instrument and give up on it.

Motivation is half the race

Much of the progress you will make with the instrument comes from practicing. Aimless practice is great for a hobbyist who enjoys just playing the afternoon away for the sake of it.

Now, if you are serious about your instrument, you can learn more and better by aiming your practice time to fill the gaps in your playing. Being involved in the process of getting better usually gives people the push they need to actually sit down and practice.

Motivation is half the race and hence, one-on-one lessons are miles ahead one-way platforms.

Some of the best guitar lessons online available today

There is a plethora of places to go and find the best guitar lessons online; in fact, there are so many options we get lost before even starting. We´ve done the hard work for you and here are the ones you should be looking at today:

Fender Play

The giant F never does anything half way; their disembark in teaching land is no exception. You get 14 days of free trial and after that it´s only $10 a month. The resources are huge and is all backed up by the biggest guitar company in the world today. Check this video to get more info about it.

ArtistWorks Guitar

This platform is excellent for those giving the first steps. While Fender´s is cheaper and more complete; the platform that ArtistWorks proposes for guitar players works more like a P2P work. The network connects teacher with student and you can get a detailed video response from your teacher checking your progress. It starts at $35 for a three-month subscription. You can check some testimonials here.

JustinGuitar

If one could compare the wealth in knowledge Justin has and the way he teaches it, we would have to name Fort Knox. This man has revolutionized the way guitar instructors work and all the beginner guitar lessons are free. In fact, much of what is in the site is free and you can voluntarily donate. He covers many different styles and techniques with a friendly and carefully-created set of lessons. Check the man himself telling you all about it in one minute.


Did anyone say apps?

Because not everyone owns a computer and because you´re not always in the mood of sitting down with it to study or practice; here are some apps that can be very helpful in your learning process.

Guitar Jam Tracks

This is a one-stop solution for guitar players around the world. You can learn by doing dissecting your favorite tunes and learning how to play over them with the scales used. The jam tracks are very realistic and with a good pair of headphones you can have a ton of fun learning at the same time. You can get it for $4.99 from the Apple Store.

Guitar Lessons – Guitar Tricks

Everything from beginner to pro gets covered in this platform that has over 11,000 lessons to choose from. You just have to go in and choose the style and you´ll get a ton of songs to start playing and learning from. The platform covers over 1,000 different songs from artists in every genre from all over the world. The step-by-step guided videos are a mix between the theory behind what makes the song great and how to actually play it. It is a free app that offers upgrades starting at $14.99.

TabToolkit

Whenever I think of the hours I spent smashing my ears with loud CD players trying to pick out every note from that guitar solo I feel amazed about the availability of tabs online for most songs. This app allows you to find and jam to your favorite tunes with all the chords and sound nuances at hand. You have to pay $0.99 for each full sheet of music (for all the involved instruments) of each song. There is also a $3.99 fee to download it from the Apple Store.

Conclusion – Start today

By now you should be aware of where to start and what to expect with the different approaches. The most important message of this post, though, is to get you off your feet and started on this amazing journey. Music soothes the soul and enchants the senses; yours and of those around you. The sooner you get going, the sooner it will bring happiness to your life.

Choose the right approach for you and get started today with some guitar lessons online.

Happy playing!