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Taking Guitar Lessons

Updated on April 23, 2011

How difficult can it be? Have you ever asked yourself that question about taking guitar lessons? Many guitar enthusiasts envision strumming a guitar and possibly accompanying their playing with their own singing voices. Since these hypothetical people may have only actually played an “air guitar” there is awareness that guitar lessons are needed. Being an enlightened modern techno-person, guitar lessons are “Googled”.

What a welcome to the real world the wannabe guitarist receives from that point forward. An average Google search can bring up over 5 million suggestions in 0.25 seconds. Reality begins to sink in as to the basic knowledge needed to make the basic decision of who will teach you the basics of the guitar.

How do you go about choosing an online guitar site when there are so many out there to choose from?


Search Terms that Stand Out

You can begin by picking a few relevant search words to "google". The following key words could be helpful for anyone looking to check out a site before committing to it long term.

  • free guitar lessons
  • free video guitar lessons
  • free trial memberships
  • guitar lessons online.

This will still bring millions of results, far too many to check out one at a time, but you will avail yourself to the free trial memberships many guitar lesson sites offer.

A free membership that is good for thirty days or more will leave you plenty of time to check out the site and ask any questions before you decide if the teaching style is compatible to your learning style.

It is said, that on average most people only read through one or two pages of a search result. That being the case, the more specific your search; the more likely you will be to find the guitar lessons that best suit your needs.

Using your free membership, take note of unique areas of the site so that you can make a comparison to other online lessons.

From Totally Guitars

Finding the Type of Guitar Lessons Right for you

To further identify the type of website you like the best, try to focus in on what you hope to gain from the lessons. Are you a beginner or an advanced player? Do you want to play electric, acoustic, bass, or ukulele?

What is your learning style? Do you play by ear? Can you follow simple chords? Are there specific songs you wish to learn? With the answers to these types of questions in mind, search the sites using more narrow key words to see what you can find.

Would you like to watch videos of teachers actually playing the chords and songs, teaching you as they play? Then make sure to add the term “video” to your online search.

Searching a name of a specific song may be a quick way to find an online guitar course you would prefer as well.

Very Specific Guitar Lessons

We can use the "ukulele" as an example of a narrow search term. Not too many online guitar lessons offer ukulele instructions. My personal search revealed 588,000 entries.

Another specific term might be “free online guitar community”. Such a term would connect you with the sites that not only provide great guitar lessons, but also an entire guitar community providing encouragement, answering questions, and chatting about everything guitar related.

By typing in those four words, my search was narrowed down to just a little under 89,000 searches. Still a lot, but much smaller than the millions the other search words revealed.

Guitar Lessons Call for Commitment

It would be a waste of time and money to decide to play the guitar on a whim. Any musical instrument calls for an initial investment of money and time. Once you have found the online lessons you want to sign up for, follow through and stay with the schedule you set up so that your advancement will continue. There is nothing harder to do than to keep re-learning something over and over because you let too much time pass between lessons.

Practicing is an essential part of learning how to play musical instruction as well. If you cannot see yourself practicing between lessons, you will be pouring your money down the drain.

There are basic skills you will want to develop as quickly as possible. Stringing your guitar, tuning your guitar, keeping your guitar clean is just the start of the process.

Practicing enough to form hardened blisters or calluses on your fingers will be a little painful at first, but a welcomed addition once you begin playing on a regular basis.

Will you be playing with a guitar pic or using your fingers to strum the guitar? You have to learn how to master each style and a good guitar site will make that available.

Have the Right Guitar Before your Lessons Begin

If you are not able to reach across the neck of the guitar and hold down the strings to produce a clear sound, the guitar may be too big for your hand size. Remember to try out a guitar and get the size that is most comfortable for you before you begin taking lessons.

As a teenager I was able to play a full sized guitar with no difficulty. These days I play a ¾ guitar because I have problems with the strength in my left hand. Do you have any disabilities that make playing the guitar more of a challenge? Remember to make accommodations by either getting a smaller guitar or switching from steel to nylon strings, which are easier to press down.

Of course there is no accommodation that can be made for a poorly constructed guitar. It will not sound right no matter how large or small it is. Make sure you buy the best guitar you can afford so that you can begin your lessons with a good instrument.

Most importantly, don't forget to have fun! Playing the guitar is relaxing and enjoyable. Taking guitar lessons will be well worth the effort.

Lessons may be more convenient with an online site. Books are another source for guitar lessons

Have you tried taking online guitar lessons?

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    • Jen's Solitude profile imageAUTHOR

      Jen's Solitude 

      8 years ago from Delaware

      The sax should be interesting, BK. I think you are right to change instruments. Sorry your guitar just gathered dust, but the good thing about being able to read music is that it is easier to change instruments. Thanks for sharing your newest choice with me. Hope it provides much enjoyment.

    • BkCreative profile image


      8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I've been taking guitar lessons for the last 20 or maybe 25 years. And recently sold my beautiful guitar that was collecting dust. I've taken lessons, bought books, researched online but I think...

      You have to know which instrument really appeals to you and then you will pursue it with pleasure and make that commitment which I did not. Sigh.

      So recently I decided I was meant to play the saxophone and will invest in one soon. I think it is equally cool. And cool is important.

      I admire you for sticking to this! It is such an amazing instrument.

    • Jen's Solitude profile imageAUTHOR

      Jen's Solitude 

      8 years ago from Delaware

      I hope so ocbil. Any instrument can be relaxing and good for the nerves. I recommend the guitar still of course, I hope you will be able to get back to the lessons.

    • ocbill profile image


      8 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      that does help. online videos but it really isn't as easy as I thought it would be. Unfortunately, I sold it out of frustration. It was on my goals list a decade ago, hopefully I can get some more time to learn it.

    • Jen's Solitude profile imageAUTHOR

      Jen's Solitude 

      8 years ago from Delaware

      Hi there Paradise, so good to "see" you again! lol

      Yes, I am totally excited about these online lessons. I will be writing quite a few guitar articles in the future.

      It is a subject I never tire of researching. Thanks for reading.

    • Paradise7 profile image


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Oh, Jen, what a great hub, especially for the beginning guitar student. I wasn't even aware that there were free online lessons w/video...I always thought one had to find a local instructor to visit once a week...

      So glad to have another hub from you, Jen.

      Love from Paradise.


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