So, you’ve decided to learn the guitar but now you’re curious about how to go about actually learning. Don’t sweat it, every guitarist has been there and it’s something everyone deals with on multiple occasions.
In fact, this day in age is perhaps the greatest time to be able to learn guitar at home, with lots of online resources to help like Youtube and Guitar Tricks. Never before have guitarists had access to the amount of information that is readily available today.
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What Are The Various Ways To Learn Guitar At Home?
You’d have to live in a very isolated culture to not be able to see the effects of the internet. This one thing has completely revolutionized the way we do things on nearly every level.
Learning the guitar is no exception to the internet’s effects. Guitarists now reap massive benefits and can likely learn at a faster rate than in years past.
Generally, the ways to learn guitar at home are still very much the same as it was before the internet. However, the internet has allowed for some of these traditional methods to now take place in the home.
These 3 methods include:
- Taking private lessons from an instructor
- Online video lessons
As mentioned previously, there is now a near-infinite amount of information readily available at the push of a button. Any guitarist can certainly benefit from studying the guitar at home.
To know which method is right for you, the only way is to try each one out for yourself. Some people may excel with one method but not others.
However, to give you a general idea of each, we will go through the advantages and disadvantages. Each method does have its own unique flaws.
In the end, you might find that a combination of the 3 methods proves to be most effective for you. Try to be flexible in your approach so you can optimize your learning experience.
What Are The Benefits Of Private Online Lessons?
In the past, guitarists had the option (and still do) of learning and taking lessons from a private instructor. These lessons are generally scheduled weekly or bi-weekly and take place over a set duration of time.
With the advent of chat client software, these types of lessons can now take place over the internet. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, guitar teachers began using Zoom, Skype, and many other software services for lessons.
This provides an excellent range of benefits, with the first being that you don’t actually have to leave your house. You can be in the comfort of your home and still receive the lesson material.
Plus, you’ll get personalized feedback and lesson plans based on your own skill level and goals. This will also help to prevent any bad playing habits from forming.
Another plus is that you can ask any question and receive a response as it relates to you. You’re definitely not going to come away not knowing the basics of how to play the guitar.
These instructors will essentially pass on to you their own set of knowledge, experience, and wisdom. But, now with the internet, you can choose a teacher from any part of the world.
This inevitably opens up the door for the possibility of an extremely massive resource of knowledge to take advantage of.
Meeting with an instructor also gives your musicianship a level of honesty and integrity. You’ll be more inclined to keep up your practices as there’s nothing worse than showing up for a lesson unpracticed.
Another bonus is that you can schedule lessons for nearly any time of the day or night. It might be a necessity if you use a teacher on the other side of the world.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Private Online Lessons?
One of the biggest disadvantages to private online lessons has to be the cost involved. Some teachers are quite reasonable, but it really depends on what they offer.
Because of the internet, you could take lessons from bona fide professionals. You will end up paying for their expertise.
If you want to take recurring lessons from a professional guitarist on a frequent basis, this quickly gets expensive. However, if you keep up with your practices, it might be worth the cost depending on your seriousness.
Because you’re not in the room together, they might not be able to see subtle things in your playing. This could cause some minor habits to go unnoticed, hindering progress later.
Along with that, because you’re relying on an internet connection, you’re prone to interruptions. Network connections can get spotty, lag, or completely drop without a moment’s notice.
Generally, this isn’t necessarily too bad of a problem with a good internet connection. It can, however, become a significant annoyance for both you and the teacher.
You might need some extraneous gear such as an audio interface and a microphone, as well as some technical know-how. This will certainly provide the best audio for your signal, but it’s not always possible for some people.
What Are The Benefits Of Self-Teaching?
The method of self-teaching used to be the only way a guitarist could learn guitar at home. And really, there’s a sort of gray area when it comes to how it should be classified in today’s climate.
Because on the whole, choosing to learn with any of these methods is a choice that you made yourself. You’ll inevitably pick up new information from more than one resource.
When you reach higher levels of play, you become more of a self-taught player.
For that reason, this method’s classification is going to apply specifically to the beginner who is learning from square one.
Self-teaching generally includes:
- The usage of books (which may be accompanied by a CD or DVD)
- Learning songs by ear
Learning songs by ear is perhaps one of the best things a guitarist could do for themselves. It helps to develop the ear’s musicality, which in turn helps to develop the musician’s unique personality.
In fact, self-teaching is the best way for a guitarist to develop their own unique musical identity. This is an aspect that all the legendary guitarists seem to possess.
You’ll essentially learn exactly what it is you want to be learning at any given time. Plus, there are books that have been time-tested by millions of guitarists that have come before.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Self-Teaching?
The biggest disadvantage to this is that it can make learning the guitar take a very long time. Self-teaching makes it easy to not have a clear and linear path to learning the basics of the guitar.
Some books do a great job at this, but finding and having access to these books is another story altogether.
Furthermore, it can be very confusing for a beginner to know exactly what they should be learning. Without having years of experience, they’re left up to their own best guess.
Much more motivation is required to be able to make progress, as it’s all hinged on your own efforts. This gets easier said than done when you become frustrated, confused, and completely lost with regard to your studies.
Obviously, this isn’t an ideal situation for learning the fundamentals of the instrument. But, do keep in mind that elements of this method are always at play, even at advanced levels.
You will always have a choice when it comes to how you want to learn the guitar.
What Are The Benefits Of Online Video Lessons?
Online video lessons are becoming increasingly popular in today’s society. These types of lessons are quite ideal, as they offer bits of knowledge in small bites.
You can find online video lessons on YouTube as well as through various different lesson resources. Free lessons (such as those on YouTube) can provide you with a sufficient amount of knowledge to learn the basics.
In fact, you will also find more advanced lessons that you can incorporate if you are at that skill level.
One of the biggest advantages is the general amount of song-based lessons available. You can literally learn the basics of a song within minutes depending on the song.
That isn’t to say that only basic song lessons are available, either. Many lessons can be found going over the smallest musical details possible.
Lesson resources, on the other hand, exist behind a paywall and take advantage of multiple dedicated instructors. All of these instructors tend to have their own courses covering different topics.
If you’ve never played a note, these lesson resources can be great for learning the fundamentals. Quite often, there will be a sort of guided linear road map available for you to learn incrementally.
The biggest advantage here is the cost and the amount of information available. Whether free or not, these are still more inexpensive than private lessons tend to be.
Plus, you get to learn knowledge from people with different areas of expertise. This is a vast advantage over learning from just one instructor.
What Is One Of The Best Video Lesson Resources Available?
Whether you’re a beginner or intermediate player, Guitar Tricks is one of the best online lesson resources. This is a website dedicated to helping you learn the guitar in the most direct and linear way possible.
In fact, Guitar Tricks has 2 different dedicated courses designed to teach you the fundamentals of the guitar. Each lesson follows another in a cohesive and incremental manner.
The videos for each of the 11,000+ lessons are shot with multiple camera angles in high definition. You’ll get a clear view of the instructor, as well as both of their hands.
Furthermore, you’ll be able to change the speed of the video much slower or faster than at normal speed. This helps, especially during learning and practicing, to get tricky passages under your fingers.
Guitar Tricks gives you the benefit of being able to learn from a wide pool of different instructors. Each instructor teaches something unique based on their own expertise and experience.
There are currently 38 different instructors, with more likely going to be added in the future as the website grows.
Guitar Tricks also has a massive library of song-based lessons with a growing number well past 1000 songs. You can be sure there is no shortage of songs for any genre or difficulty to be found here.
As you can see, Guitar Tricks is a resource loaded with an overwhelming amount of information. They have everything in a guided format so there is no confusion about what you should be learning next.
The Fundamentals courses are perhaps the quickest way to learn the basics. From there, you can learn genre-specific techniques and also learn about some of your favorite guitarist’s styles.
This resource will get you ready for more advanced levels of skill in a relatively short amount of time.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Online Video Lessons?
The biggest disadvantage has to be the fact that these lessons aren’t exactly personalized. You’re learning information taught in a generalized way, designed for mass consumption.
This isn’t always a bad thing, but it can cause some problems. You could quickly incorporate bad playing habits without someone there to tell you otherwise.
Another disadvantage is that many video lessons tend to contain regurgitated information. It can make it incredibly difficult to find something worth your time.
Fortunately, this is more seen with free lessons rather than paid video lessons.
The other disadvantage is that it’s up to you to put in the practice. It’s quite easy to slack on practice and just watch the lesson videos.
What Are Your Goals?
When learning guitar at home, it’s important to know and understand what your goals are as a guitarist. You certainly don’t need lofty aspirations to begin learning.
Start with a sort of overarching master plan of where you’d ultimately like to see yourself. Then, work backward and figure out the logical path of goals necessary to get there.
This will give you a very rough guideline you can use to become the guitarist you want to be. It will also kind of help determine how much of a commitment you should be pouring into the activity.
If you’re aiming to be a professional, you might want to dedicate more time to your practices. A hobbyist, however, can afford to be a bit more casual in their quest for knowledge.
Keep in mind that your goals will likely change over time. Nevertheless, always be aware of the roadmap as you can measure your progress against it.
Develop A Routine
Once you’ve figured out your goals, it’s time to start setting the wheels in motion. Figure out which method of learning is most appropriate for your preferences.
Then, simply begin to learn the concepts of the guitar. If you’re watching video lessons, be sure to start out small.
Avoid the temptation to watch multiple lessons. Rather, devote practice time to mastering single concepts first before moving on.
Depending on your level of dedication, you’ll want to develop a practice routine for efficient use of time. Every guitarist has their own ideas for what the best routine is.
Generally, you’ll want to devote:
- 5-10 minutes of exercises
- 15-25 minutes of learning and practicing a song
- 25 minutes creating and/or improvising
This helps to get you warmed up and working on things while also boosting and exercising your creativity. If you have any lesson material to be practiced, it will fit within this practice schedule.
An instructor or advanced guitarist friend can help you craft a unique schedule for you.
Other Methods To Try
Be sure to actually put the knowledge to use by playing with others. Open mic nights and jamming with friends gives you that opportunity.
This can be a great way to meet people and really allows you to hone your personal craft. Plus, it’s extremely fun, which is what it’s all about in the end.
Music is very much a language, and sometimes, the best way to learn is by speaking with others.
Can You Learn Guitar On Your Own At Home? Final Thoughts
It’s quite possible to learn guitar at home, you just need to know what you’re doing. Fortunately, it’s never been easier than it is today to do just that, as Guitar Tricks guides you step by step along the way.
Be patient and kind to yourself in your learning journey. But most of all, don’t forget to have fun!