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Learn the guitar online. Is it possible?

Updated on September 27, 2011

Learn guitar online. It is easy, it is simple and it is definitely possible. Here is some top advice before you start learning the guitar online.

It was 31 December 2008 and I crashed at a friend's place after a night out with the girls. While we were in our jammies, one of us popped the question 'What is your new year resolution?'. After listening to things like 'I want to lose 10 pounds' or 'I want to go to Europe', I put forward my resolution. Plain and simple, I said "I want to learn the guitar". Well it has been a year and 5 months and I can say that I have gone past the beginner level and can play the guitar reasonably well. Coming to the point, I learnt to play the guitar from the Internet. For all you skeptics out there, I am living proof that it can be done. There are a few basic things that you need to watch out for. Believe me, put these little tips into practice and you will be on your way to guitar stardom.

Learn guitar online: Don't be fooled by 'pay-lessons'

Yes, there are many websites out there which promise you results in 15 days or give you those hard to resists offers that say 'Be a guitar pro in a month or your money back'. I made the mistake of subscribing to one such website and the content they provided was no different from the content that I got from the free sites. Okay it was a bit more fancy but hey, who needs all of that.

Learn guitar online: Don't even think of taking online lessons if you are not motivated

As you get familiar with the guitar, you will find out that learning the guitar is not about fancy software which will tell you where to put your finger. You will learn the guitar only when your curiosity gets the better of you. What curiosity? Well you'll need to have the drive from within to be curious about what, why and how the guitar functions as an instrument. As bad as this advice sound to you, let me warn you that guitar is not an easy instrument to learn. Don't, and I repeat, don't try to learn the guitar from online tutorials or YouTube videos if you are not highly motivated to do so.

Learn guitar online: Why do you want to learn the guitar?

As you might have guessed, Google will give you hundreds if not thousands of search results when you type in the words 'learn guitar online'. Before doing that, I recommend that you ask yourself 'Why am I learning the guitar?' I'll be honest. I learnt the guitar to impress my partner. The fact that I can now sit with him near the lake and sing him his favorite song is priceless. So get your priority right. Why do you want to learn the guitar? To belt out a few tunes to your partner? Or to learn the intricacies of the new instrument? Or to rule the fret board like a rock god? Or to be a lead guitarist?

Learn guitar online: Follow a tutorial and go over it again and again

Do I really need to explain this to you? Stop looking at ten tutorials at once. Pick a style and then pick a tutorial, website or a YouTube channel that suits your style. Keep going with it over and over again till you can get your fingers to move.

Learn guitar online: Strum your first song in a few weeks? Yeah right!

Let's face it. You are not going to become a guitar pro by simply reading tutorials or watching videos. I and fellow guitar learners will vouch for the fact that learning the guitar is probably the most difficult thing we've done in our lives. Forget few weeks, forget months, forget years. This journey will be one of the most epic journeys of your life. So be patient, and I mean very patient for results to show. It may take months before you can strum your first song.

Learn guitar online: Internet burn out

We all know how the Internet can burn us out. Too many options, too many websites and too many hours staring at the screen leads to maximum burnout. I think that the only way to keep on going is to you visualize your perfect moment, whether it is performing in front of your loved ones, playing on the stage, or just playing the guitar out in your backyard on a sunny day. Keep reminding yourself of this picture perfect moment – it will give you a boost every time you curse your guitar for being just too damn difficult.

Learn guitar online: Practice, practice and practice. And then do it all over again

Think of the hardest thing you've done in your life. Learn a new language? Learnt to cook a delicacy? A new sport maybe? Forget all that. Learning the guitar is going to be the mother of all achievements, especially when you do it online. So keep going over the basics again and again. The tabs, the chords, and all the other things that go with it. If you think you've perfected the basics, watch a few videos on YouTube and you'll find out that you are nowhere near good. So go back and practice again.

So there you go. I think this is all the info you need to get started on your online guitar saga. The whole purpose of this was not to overload you with technical jargon. Rather I wanted to forewarn you of the emotional and logistical difficulties that you are inevitably going to face when you learn the guitar online, from tutorials or from YouTube. And yes, it can be done.


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    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 5 years ago


      Absolutely right. The online approach works well only if there is enough motivation to learn the guitar. A couple of lessons from a teacher can be great to get the basics right and avoid bad habits when it comes to finger and arm positions.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!


    • Jon Green profile image

      Jon Green 5 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      Hi - this is a good article.The online approach will work if you have enough motivation,but I'd still advise taking 2 or 3 lessons with a teacher as well, just to save time and bad habits.

    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 6 years ago

      Hi September Girl

      I'm glad you found this hub useful. The thing about learning guitar online is that many websites promise magical results. You will bump into websites that say "Master the frets in 2 weeks" or "Be a guitar pro in no time" and many more promises that really don't mean a lot. The truth is, that to learn how to play the guitar, you need a lot of patience and a lot of practice. Just like any other thing in life, there are no short cuts while you learn how to play the guitar. Learning the guitar online is a great option especially with many videos and tutorials on YouTube.

      My personal experience says that learning online may be a bit more difficult than learning from a teacher, face to face. But learning guitar online also has its own charm. You learn the instrument more in-depth because you are on a journey of discovery and are on your own to find the tips and tricks that can make you a better guitar player.

      If you must learn from a teacher, you can ask your guitar teacher to show you the basics. Once you have got a firm grip on the foundation, like the frets, notes, chords and the technique to hold the guitar, you can move on to developing your mastery by practicing at home and learning further from the internet.

      Thanks for stopping by and good luck with learning guitar online!


    • profile image

      september girl 6 years ago

      I found this hub to be useful and interesting. I taught myself with my Momma's guitar at the age of fourteen, but I never was real good at it. This would be the way to go it seems now. : ) Thanks for sharing your experience and tips with this one.