Online Guitar Lessons

How do online guitar lessons work?

Learning guitar has historically been viewed as something that requires a very hands-on approach. Most people instinctively feel that they need someone sitting there with them, physically showing them where to place their fingers in order to be able to learn guitar. While there are undoubtedly benefits to this learning style, it is by no means the only, or even most comprehensive and effective way to learn guitar.

Online guitar lessons are a means to provide that same level of technical know-how, and step-by-step procedures for learning all the necessary skills in order to progress and advance. Instead of just one instructor (who you might not necessarily connect with), the student is provided with a whole host of instructors with different teaching styles to choose from. Instead of just one specialty or technique, the student has access to every playing style, technique, and genre that you could possibly imagine.

Online guitar lessons are also designed in such a way that they enable the student to learn at their own pace, and at their own time. There is no such thing as “falling behind in class” when learning online. You can pause, repeat, and refer back to previous lessons at any time in order to make sure that a particular skill or concept has truly bean learned in the best way possible. At Guitar Tricks®, the student can bookmark (or favorite) lessons that they want to come back to, and can spend as much or as little time on a particular lesson or concept as they wish. It truly is freedom to design a program based on each individual learning style.

How the structure of online guitar lessons work

Guitar Tricks® has over 11,000 video lessons and tutorials that are designed to give you an immersive, in-depth approach to learning the guitar. The lesson plans are designed to help you develop and progress in the most efficient way possible. Each specific tutorial has a series of lessons designed to guide you step-by-step through the process of learning and mastering a particular skill or technique. As you move through the lessons, your progress is recorded on an easy-to see progress bar.

One of the largest motivating factors in a person wanting to learn guitar, is because there is a specific song (or series of songs), that they have always wanted to be able to play. The amazing thing about online guitar lessons is that once you have an understanding of the basics, you can start playing your favorite songs right away! Guitar Tricks® has a library of over 600 fully licensed songs. This is more than just the tabs like other sites. These are fully developed video tutorials that guide users through the different stages of playing each song. Everything from how to tune the guitar for that particular style, to advanced licks and riffs designed to make you sound like one of the greats.

The tutorials and songs offered are in a wide range of difficulty. There are songs for those just starting out, and there are the most difficult guitar songs you can imagine. All of them accessible with an amazing instructor who will guide you every step of the way. The best part is, they are all in one place. No more searching the internet to try and find the best tabs for each song. In the Guitar Tricks® songs section, you can sort them by popularity, difficulty, by artist, etc.

To help get you started, we have compiled some of the most commonly asked questions regarding online guitar lessons:

Q: I am completely new to guitar, where should I even start; what is a good beginner guitar to buy?

The best guitar is one you can afford & play easily. You should also consider your goals & musical tastes. For example, if you want to play blues songs & licks like BB King or Stevie Ray Vaughan, then you need to get an electric guitar & amp that can achieve that sound once you have built your skill set. Or, if you want to sing country songs & accompany yourself then you should get an acoustic guitar that sounds good strumming chords.

The best way to go about find a guitar to buy is to ask friends & go to music stores to try the guitars! Pick them up & put them in your hands! Does it feel good in your hands? Against your arms & torso? Does it feel too big or small? Even if you can't play yet, you can still get a vague idea of how well or not any given guitar might suit you.

It's hard to know if a guitar is right if you are a total beginner. But look for a guitar that has a good neck width for your hands. Pick up a guitar & ask yourself or a salesperson:

  1. Is the guitar neck too narrow or wide or thick for your hands?
  2. Is the string spacing too small or wide for your fingers?
  3. Is the action too high? Can you press the strings down at all? This might mean that the strings are so far from the fretboard that it could hinder your ability to learn & play.

These are things that can make it so difficult to learn that a beginner might give up! Some people give up without ever realizing that it wasn't a lack of practice that stopped them, but an inferior instrument. The solution is to try lots of guitars & ask questions of guitar playing friends & music store personnel.

Q: What are a few suggestions for guitars for people starting out (electric and acoustic)?

Electric rock: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PPEGEGL1EBCH
Electric blues: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/StratPkFM10Bk
Acoustic country, folk, etc.: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FA100Pack
Acoustic with electronics: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PPGREEP4NACH

Beginners can get the best value with a starter package deal from a reputable store. These are great options because you buy new & get a warranty, buy through a local store & get customer service! Buy something new & inexpensive. You can always upgrade later!

Q: Also, what are some particular warm-up exercises, techniques, or reading materials that you recommend for people to get started?

The best warmup exercises & techniques are built into the GF courses! This is how & why Guitar Tricks® designed the curriculum for each course: anything & everything in each course is designed to be exactly the best thing at that stage for beginners that are working on building knowledge & skill.

Having said that, here are a few outside of the courses.

How To Practice Guitar - Caren does a great job of showing good practice behavior, staying focused, prioritizing.

Guided Guitar Practice - Lisa does a great job of showing beginners how to practice chord changes more effectively.

And most beginners have an extreme of lack of strength & dexterity. The only cure for this is patience & repetitious practice. There's just no way around the fact that some things are physically difficult to do on the guitar & you have to keep plugging away at it until you get where you want to go. But you can practice smarter! The index finger is already the strongest & most nimble finger from normal manual dexterity tasks. So, this tutorial helps to get your other fingers built up enough to get up to speed.

Building Pinky Strength & Dexterity

I don't like to recommend reading materials. There are books that can help inspire or motivate. But my entire teaching approach is: play your guitar! Stop wasting time doing anything that isn't putting your hands on your guitar & teaching your fingers, ear & mind to make music with that machine.

Too many times people use "extra materials" or "resources" as an excuse to avoid just making time to play the guitar. I completely understand that you may need to put some info about reading materials in this project. You might say: here are some reading materials, but don't use them as an excuse to avoid practice!

Q: What is the value of online guitar lessons?

Online lessons require that you motivate yourself! You have to be a self-starter & be honest with yourself. You have to rely on yourself to make time to practice, to get in there & work hard every day! The great thing is that the lessons are available in the privacy of your own space, on your own time, anytime & every time you are ready to go, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can watch the lessons as many times as you want to get every last bit of info. No worrying that you missed something your in-person instructor said & you'll have to wait a week to ask! You've got a completely integrated curriculum that goes from square one to advanced playing in many of the most popular styles. And a growing database of the most accurate, legally published song lessons on the web.

It's important to point out that GT has a forum to ask the instructors questions for advice or feedback. GT subscribers are encouraged to post audio or video samples if they desire to get feedback, also. Here's the link: Guitar Tricks Forum

Now get out there and start playing!