It’s possible to teach yourself to play the guitar in a number of ways including using online or offline resources so it is definitely possible to learn guitar online.
To me the better question to ask is – is it possible to learn guitar well online.
Teaching Yourself vs Being Taught
A lot of people throw around the term “self-taught” and this term is used in the guitar world to differentiate between someone who has taken lessons and someone who has used other resources for self-guided learning.
In reality everyone is, to a degree, self-taught. Even if you take weekly lessons with an instructor you are still doing a lot of the practice and work on your own in between lessons (or at least you should be) and you are probably exploring outside the lessons to some degree.
But you are being guided in what you should learn and the order in which you are learning it. You are shown good techniques and good practice habits – assuming you have a good instructor!
The difference for me is the guidance you get from lessons versus what can be an unstructured, haphazard way of learning if you are self-guided.
So to me the distinction is:
- Self-Guided; and
- Instructor Guided
Does Taking Online Lessons Make me Self-Taught?
So if self-guided = self-taught, then does taking online lessons make me self-taught?
That all depends.
If you are simply looking up random lessons as and when you need to learn a new skill/technique, you look up tab when you find a song you want to learn and you are simply using the online world as a resource for teaching yourself then yes you are self-taught.
If, on the other hand, you are taking structured lessons with a particular online lesson provider then, in my opinion this is the same as taking lessons from an instructor in-person.
The quality of those lessons will depend, as it does for an in-person instructor, on the quality of the lesson structure and the quality of the instructor.
But if you get a good online lesson system, with good instructors that has a structure that:
- covers all of the skills, knowledge and techniques you need to know
- does so in the right order; and
- and provides good practice methods and motivates you to learn and practice
then they can absolutely be as good as, or even better than, in-person instructors.
In a lot of ways there are actually advantages to taking online lessons and there are also advantages to taking in-person lessons. Which type of lessons you go with will depend on a number of things including learning style, personality, budget etc.
Check out the link below to help you decide whether online or in-person lessons are best for you.
So do I think it’s possible to learn guitar well online?
A resounding Yes-but!
Yes you can but it’s going to be unlikely to happen, and certainly not happen quickly, if you are self-guided. If you don’t know how to play the guitar in the first place then it’s very difficult to guide yourself in terms of what you need to learn!
But if you take good, structured, online lessons then this will be as good as in-person lessons in a lot of ways, better in other ways, and not quite as good in other ways. But you could definitely learn how to play. Not only learn how to play but learn how to become a very competent, talented guitarist – just as you could from in person lessons.
Again, some people are better suited to online lessons and others are better suited to in-person lessons. Check out the link below to help find out which type of lessons is better for you.
Thanks for Reading
I hope this article has cleared up the question of whether or not it’s possible to learn guitar online. Any questions or comments, as always, very welcome in the comments section below.
If you think you want to try online lessons then check out my lesson reviews either via the menu above or by following the link below. It’s really important that if you do decide to do online lessons that you pick the good ones – because the bad ones will be just as bad as, or even worse than, self-guidance.