There are many options for learning how to play guitar online and many ways to go about it.
Some ways are better than others and some resources are better than others.
And what you get out of the resources depends on the way that you use those resources.
O.k. first let’s take a look at some of the options for learning guitar online, decide on the better options and then quickly discuss the best way to use those resources.
Random vs Directed
O.k. so really there are 2 main ways that you can learn guitar online.
Firstly, you can randomly search for video lessons, instructions and tips. This might involve looking at you tube videos, googling how to do a certain thing and learning bits and pieces all over the place.
Using this method is inefficient and ineffective, in my opinion.
Like anything you learn in life, if you don’t have direction then your learning will be slow, incomplete and often your technique can suffer because you are missing vital parts that you didn’t know you needed – how could you, you’re not a master at guitar. You haven’t spent years figuring out the best way to learn and the best order to learn in – and all the things that are vital to learn.
Directed learning – i.e. having someone teach you, in a specific order and making sure that you learn everything you need to – is a much better way to go about it.
You can learn guitar this way either with in-person lessons or online through professional, structured guitar lesson websites.
Read the post at the link above to see which would suit you better. If you choose online, then it’s really important that you choose a good online lesson provider.
O.k. pretty obvious to some I know but very important. Directed learning is a completely different universe to random learning when it comes to anything, in my opinion, and is definitely the case for learning the guitar.
Best way to Use Online Resources
Now, the way that you use the lesson provider that you’ve chosen is also important (this also applies to in-person lessons).
Consistency is Key
You are much better off practicing 15 minutes a day consistently everyday (or 5 days a week, say), than you are practicing 3 hours in one day and then not picking the guitar up again for a week or two.
When you are going through online guitar lessons there can sometimes be a temptation to go through lots of lessons in one sitting and spend hours going through the lessons.
There are two problems with this approach.
- You can get burnt out which can lead to dreading practicing or going through lessons. This is not a sustainable way to learn
- You won’t absorb the information as well this way. If you take in a lot of different information in one day or one sitting, then you won’t be able to process it all properly. If you learn in small chunks your brain can take it in better and “have it down” before moving on to learning something new.
Learning slowly and consistently is more sustainable and over time will lead to much faster improvement and will be much more enjoyable.
Don’t skip lessons
If you’ve never taken structured lessons, then it’s a good idea to start from the beginning.
Most online lesson providers (the good ones) have beginner courses and set things out in a logical and effective order.
Even if you’re not strictly a beginner, go through all of the lessons. If you’ve been playing for a while you can probably go through those lessons more quickly than a complete beginner but don’t skip them altogether.
After 15 years of playing guitar (and having only had structured lessons for a very short period of time in the beginning) I took online lessons. I went through all of the beginner lessons to see if there were any gaps that I was missing.
A majority of the beginner lessons included stuff that I knew, but there was definitely stuff that I learned that I’d missed because of my previously random way of learning guitar. And on top of that it was a great refresher.
Learn Things Properly Before Moving On
Another thing you might be tempted to do is to go through a lesson and think that you’ve now learned and move onto the next lesson.
Make sure that you’ve practiced what they are showing in the lesson and learn it properly before moving on.
You’re much better to learn 5 things properly than having 50 things that you can sort of do.
Because with online lessons you can start your next lesson whenever you wish, there is a danger that you might move on too quickly. Try not to do more than 3 or 4 lessons without really having down, smoothly and properly, the things that those lessons are teaching.
If this means that you spend a week practicing before moving to another lesson, so be it. This is how you would have to do it usually with in-person lessons. The advantage of the online lessons is that you can go back through the lessons that you are trying to master as many times as you like. So, as you are practicing, you can go back over the lesson and make sure you are doing everything correctly.
The other advantage is that, if you do master a lesson quickly, you can move onto the next lesson. You don’t have to wait until your next scheduled lesson because you can watch the video lessons whenever it suits your progress.
I hope this post has given you some insights into what online resources to use to best go about learning guitar online and some tips for how to get the most out of those resources.
For more on some of the best lesson providers and more practicing techniques check out the links below.