With the advent of YouTube tutorials for just about everything, it’s only fitting that there are a lot of videos out there claiming to be able to teach you how to play guitar. While you might think this is a quick and easy way to become a pro, you’ll want to make sure you have all of the information before diving in headfirst.
When you’re surfing the Internet, you’ll come across many different websites with prerecorded tutorials to help you learn guitar online. But the keyword there is “help,” as they’re never going to be personalized enough to be the only resource you’ll need to learn guitar properly. It’s all too easy to learn guitar online incorrectly, such as poor strumming patterns or improper chord fingerings, without a private instructor to guide you.
In between scheduled lessons, however, using online tutorials can be a great supplemental resource to keep you motivated. When you’re working with a private instructor, either in-person or online, he or she may have some suggestions for tutorial videos for the new techniques you’re learning. Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher for a few videos that can help you master the new lesson material after the instruction time is over. A good teacher will recognize that one of the best ways to learn is repetition, and since it’s impractical to have instruction time every day to go over the same techniques, the next best thing is to watch (and mimic) tutorials that properly describe the new techniques.
Live, Online Lessons
In addition to prerecorded tutorial videos, there’s also another method to if you want to learn guitar online: live, online lessons. These are great if your schedule doesn’t allow for consistent in-person lessons. If you have a busy travel schedule, for example, scheduling online lessons is a great way to learn guitar online. There are many instructors out there who are able to provide online lessons through Skype or other video chat services, and most have flexibility in scheduling to make sure that your life and your lessons don’t get in each others’ way.
If you’re going to go the online guitar lesson route, you’ll need a few extra things aside from your guitar: a broadband Internet connection, and a webcam to use with your video chat service. Most instructors use Skype for this, but some might prefer other services such as FaceTime and Google Hangouts. All of these chat services are free to sign up for.
Of course, one big disadvantage of online lessons is the lack of actual face-to-face contact. If you’re developing a new technique and start showing signs of a bad habit, a private instructor may need to physically manipulate your hand position, which can’t be done through a computer screen. Even so, most private teachers are able to do a good enough job explaining where you’re falling short and can help you break the bad habit through video chat.
Best of Both Worlds: Combine Each Resource
If you want to get the most out of your guitar lessons, you can combine in-person lessons, live online lessons, and online tutorials. Even if you can only meet in-person once a month, and then have the other weeks where you’ll be conducting the lesson over video chat, you’ll still have the chance to have face-to-face contact and can continue learning through video chat.
When you’re looking to learn guitar online, there’s a lot of information available. Most of the tutorial videos have the best intentions at heart, but it can be easy to pick up bad techniques if you’re not careful. Working with a private instructor to keep you on the right path is key!
Photo by Jazmin Million