Back in my day, there was no internet.
No online guitar lessons.
No tab sites.
Learning songs consisted of moving the needle back on the record player…
… over and over and over. And even after all that work, it was all still a guess.
Now, new guitar players have it good. In fact, it’s almost TOO good.
Let me explain…
There is a sea of guitar information out there. From how-to websites to YouTube. Podcasts, blogs, backing track sites—you can even find the individual recording stems from most popular songs!
Imagine being able to single out just the guitar and then slowing it down to turtle speed while keeping the pitch intact.
Then of course there are tab sites. From Ultimate Guitar to Songster to countless niche sites. If you want to learn a song, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find the tabs for it in minutes online.
What’s wrong with all this you ask? Well, nothing is inherently wrong with any of it.
Sure, there’s bad information. Bad tabs that make you wonder what planet the transcriber was on when he tabbed it. Bad teachers that assume you know more than you do or that just use their lessons as vehicles to show off.
It’s a blessing and a curse.
Since you are the one curating everything. You get to choose what you want to learn and when. But what often happens is you end up not knowing exactly what you should be working on.
After those first few chords and songs, you lose focus. Then procrastination sets in. It’s overwhelming to think about WHAT should you be working on.
Set goals. You can’t hit what you aren’t aiming at. It’s cheesy, but it’s true. Guitar players tend to think if they just play every day, learn a few songs here and there… they will just naturally get better. It doesn’t work that way.
You need goals and you need focus to see consistent progress.
Whether you set the goals yourself, or a personal teacher does it, or you use an online guitar lessons service, get a goal and work towards it. Today!
Which brings up a hotly debated topic: Paid vs Free guitar lessons.
Here is a PRO/CON comparison to help you make a decision:
Free Online Guitar Lessons PROs:
- They’re free!
- There are many good teachers.
- No commitment.
- Take at your own pace.
Free Online Guitar Lessons CONs:
- Could be getting bad info.
- Hard to take seriously without commitment.
- Not realistic to expect answers to questions.
- No guidance on what to learn when.
Paid Online Guitar Lessons PROs:
- Teachers are usually credentialed.
- Paying makes you take it seriously.
- Get answers to questions quickly.
- Guidance based on your goals.
Paid Online Guitar Lessons CONs:
- Costs Money.
- Causes Commitment.
Most students will play around with free lessons as a way to “dip their toes in the water”. Really just seeing if they are cut out for guitar. That is ok to start, just don’t jump around too much or you could end up being a “google guitar player”. Someone that only learns surface information about playing guitar.
If you’re serious about learning guitar, do yourself a favor and join an online guitar lessons site. Most are very reasonable in cost. You might as well take your learning seriously!
One last thing, many students today are supplementing their in-person guitar teacher with online guitar lessons. This is truly the best of both worlds because you get a once per week personal coach but also get 24/7 access to guided lessons online.
Whichever route you decide, remember:
“Get a goal and stay focused!”