Learning an instrument is a very rewarding experience. Finding the best guitar lessons, or the best way to learn guitar can make or break your experience.
What’s the Best Way To Learn Guitar?
Is Learning Guitar Easy?
Everyone has their own style of absorbing information therefore the best way to learn guitar is a matter of what works for the individual. Using the right tools and resources, learning guitar can be a very rewarding life-long experience,
The problem is, learning to play an instrument takes time, effort and patience – qualities that seem to be in short supply. The best guitar lessons will provide proper technique and good tools to carry you through the process.
Is it easy? I would say after teaching hundreds of students with incredibly diverse learning styles, most definitely yes – plus your options, tools and methods have become more accessible with technology. You just need to find the best approach for the individual.
Outside of the piano, guitar is the one of the most popular instruments due to its user friendliness, plus it’s cool. Imagine a DJ doing windmills across a double turntable deck slung low to his knees… ah… no. But it is possible.
As technology moves forward, you have that many more options on where to find the best guitar lessons – especially youtube.
Beginning guitar students in their early stages need a lot of guidance. Good techniques developed when you’re first learning will last through your entire musical career.
Conversely, bad habits developed early on will hinder a player from improving properly as they move forward through their music education. Instruction and guidance from qualified teachers will always trump the fast-food type of learning vehicles.
The best way to learn guitar involves the same principles used for many other instruments:
- Private Lessons
- Group Lessons
- Online Guitar Lessons
- YouTube Videos
- Guitar Books
Are Private Guitar Lessons Worth It?
H ands down, the best way to learn guitar, private one-on-one individual lessons with a professional instructor.
Until we have live streaming 3D in-house full sensory remote representation – and it is coming, guaranteed – private lessons will still be the best way to learn guitar.
The unsurpassed way to learn proper technique is by sitting across from an instructor who can demonstrate proper form, technique and even faithful sound reproduction.
You’ll learn faster and easier with a private instructor, however, professional real-time human interaction will always come at a relatively stiff premium.
The immense benefit though of being in the same room at the same time with someone who shares the passion for guitar. That in itself is infectious in the best way.
Is Learning Guitar In Group Lessons Better?
Group lessons are certainly one of the more cost effective ways to learn guitar compared to private lessons, but they have their drawbacks. On one hand, group lessons are great because you still have interaction with a teacher.
But the teacher will have to split their attention with all the other students in the class and you may not benefit from their undivided attention. The class will also progress according to it’s curriculum, again leaving an opportunity for some students to fall behind.
Nonetheless, group lessons are still a valuable way of learning to play the guitar – even under extraordinary circumstances.
One of the benefits of group lessons is the ability to learn from your peers. Sometimes learning in a group provides students a unique opportunity to learn from each other through example.
The teacher may have to give attention to a student, however, another student could give pointers on a passage you’ve been struggling with.
A good teacher will also play along with you giving you more opportunities to improve your technique and playing skills with others. In that sense, the social element provides a wonderful balance.
In either case, whether the lessons are private or group, it is imperative that the guitar is in good repair. A good setup will save tons of time and aggravation for all parties.
What’s The Best Way To Learn Guitar Online?
There are hundreds of online guitar tutorials for beginners on YouTube, lesson websites, and forums, but there are many factors to consider before choosing what is right for you.
Are you looking for an online guitar teacher or more broadly, just the best way to learn guitar online? Furthermore, do you plan on paying for the service, or would you rather learn for free?
Of course, there are many more factors such as ease of use, lesson diversity, and song guides that will also have influence.
But are online guitar lessons effective?
Let’s take a look at a variety of options from YouTubers, tab sites, online lesson sites, and other web pages, to see which option is the best way to learn guitar online.
Who Has the Best Online Guitar Classes?
Is it YouTube?
While YouTube isn’t an organized, structured learning platform like most guitar lesson sites are, it does have one of the largest collections of videos available.
However, it will be up to you to search for and determine which are the most helpful or best quality. If you’re willing to do the work,
YouTube may be the best choice as it simply is a warehouse for any and all videos guitar related, including many video lessons also featured on popular websites like JustinGuitar.com or JamPlay.com.
For those looking specifically for an online guitar teacher, someone who they can build familiarity and continuity with, YouTube is limited to only a handful of highly rated and largely viewed personalities that you will have to choose from.
What about online guitar lesson sites?
While there is a ton of variability from site to site, we can generally include TrueFire, GuitarTricks, JamPlay.com, and many other sites into one group for this perspective.
While the sheer volume of video content may be smaller on these sites than it is on YouTube, it will be more focused and surely higher quality with engaging paths and lesson plans to help get students started.
There is a reason many people consider these sites the best online guitar classes, and it certainly includes the diversity and reliability of the educational lessons available. Unfortunately, most of these sites will cost you a subscription fee however.
Is it forums or tablature sites?
I’ll save you some time, while these are excellent resources, they are best used as complementary tools to your guitar learning experience be it online or via a real live instructor.
Forums can give you great insight from other players about techniques, scales, or gear that may help take your playing up a notch but there will be few, if any lesson videos on these sites.
Any videos that are available will also likely be found on YouTube and referenced as you play.
Best Option: Guitar Lesson Sites
Who Can Teach You the Most Songs?
Does YouTube have the most songs?
When you consider over 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, the numbers are staggering! But when you look at immense variety of material, guitar-related songs for instruction represent the smallest of fractions.
Similar to the video lessons discussed above, song lessons are an important feature of your guitar learning experience. Songs are a great way to practice rhythm, playing techniques, chord progressions, or scales.
Songs are especially helpful when used to show how distinct skills learned in past lessons can be used in a musical setting. YouTube will have tons of options as stated before, but will they all be the best?
Will they all include tabs? Likely not and you’ll be left trying to zoom in on chord fingerings and neck positions in some cases.
One pro for YouTube though is that many online lesson sites are limited in song selection by licensing costs or resources to produce the video lessons.
YouTube is filled with both many highly rated instructors and die-hard fans capable of teaching you songs from any artist, genre, or style.
Do guitar lesson sites have many songs?
Just one established guitar lessons site can have many hundreds of songs, plus you get the benefit of thousands of extras in accompanying tools and resources. Therefor the numbers become very significant indeed.
What the lesson sites like Fender Play or JamPlay may lack for in options, they make up for in detail and quality. Most, if not all, video lessons will come with tablature or musical notation written out on a screen next to the video.
And videos often feature multiple screens showing close ups of how the instructor fingers the chord and where on the neck it is played.
Most importantly, these sites also guide you towards song lessons that illustrate important guitar or bass playing concepts that help you develop skills you can translate into harder songs later.
Furthermore, many sites feature live lessons, private lessons, or just one online guitar teacher, that will be able to help you focus in on song or technique options not generally available on the site.
What about forums, other websites and tablature sites?
Tab sites, like Ultimate-Guitar.com or songsterr.com, start to be more competitive with the other options here as they have user rated tabs, chords, and notation options for almost every song ever written.
Songs are contributed from amateur players and fans all around the world and are a great way for you to test out the skills you learned from your YouTube, lesson sites, or other online guitar tutorials for beginners.
But once again, this work best when partnered with your online guitar teacher or lesson plan.
Best Option: Qualified Lesson Sites
Who Offers the Best User Experience and Extras?
Is It YouTube?
YouTube has come a long way in this regard thanks to one big feature, you can slow down or speed up the playback speed of each video lesson.
This makes watching tabs or song covers much easier if you’re looking at how the musician is physically playing the notes.
However, YouTube pales in comparison to the streamlined lesson plans, help options, and tools of subscription lesson plans.
Things like online guitar tuners, notes sections, and chat help functions simply aren’t available here, losing them points in this online guitar lessons review.
Is It Guitar Lesson Sites?
So many of these great lesson sites feature even great tool boxes or linear learning paths that are easy to access, follow, and pick up where you left off.
Videos can be slowed down or sped up, tabs pop up next to the screen, tuners and chord finders are built in for easy access. Better yet, they often have links on your homepage to pick up where you left off mid lesson plan or mid video.
Also, because they are designed specifically for guitar lessons, the user interfaces and webpages are easy to navigate and have helpful links everywhere on your personalized page.
What about forums, other websites, and tab sites?
Unfortunately, these online options once again can’t compete with the video lesson options.
With the sheer number of easy guitar lessons online from YouTubers or lesson sites, there is no reason to solely rely on tab pages or forums where toolboxes aren’t necessary, and help isn’t moderated by experienced instructors.
Best Option: Online Lesson Sites
Considering Your Options, What’s The Easiest Way To Learn Guitar?
Popular Online Lessons May Offer The Best Way To Learn Guitar
Times are changing and that’s a fact. But then, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Oui?
The Internet and modern technologies have opened up great new ways of learning guitar, or any other instrument, and will continue to do so.
Online guitar lessons, such as an industry leader Guitar Tricks, clearly provide the best balance of convenience and cost to learn to play the guitar.
With a premium account you have the ability to ask questions, interact and gain feedback on your technique and progress.
The issue here comes down to feedback.
With entirely hands-off modern tools such as video, audio, or text, they all have the same drawback – they are all one way dialogues.
Want a better experience? Pay the price and get playing better, faster and with fewer headaches from the millions of questions you’ll have. Learning to play the guitar is an adventure.
There are plenty of people who pick up a guitar and learn to play. Regardless of the form of lessons you decide to choose, your progress solely depends on you.
The more practice you put in, the faster your progress and the better you will get. Most importantly, learning to play should be fun.
YouTube Videos May Be The Best Way To Teach Yourself Guitar
There are tons and tons of videos on all types of guitar subjects. From playing a single note to a full on orchestrated composition. You have to sort through a ton of thumbs to find the the best YouTube videos or best channel on youtube to learn guitar.
Some YouTube instructors are very modestly gifted and just trying to help, others are absolutely stunning, blowing your mind with their skills.
And then there’s cat videos…
You get what you pay for
There are countless videos with teachers instructing students who are eager learn guitar for free. With your guitar in hand, you can sit in the privacy of your own home and follow along with the instructor in the video. Easy peasy – and you get what you pay for.
As an anecdote, I once needed to brush up on a particularly intricate fingerstyle piece which had become a bit rusty. So I took the easy route and turned to YouTube to find the answers to my missing formations in the hopes that the process could be expedited. After over an hour of fishing I found that not one video was accurate, not a single one – I was dumbfounded.
Without representation from the original artist, that is, a video that lets you see exactly how THEY did what they did first hand, the whole experience is a question mark.
But again, that’s in the context of reproducing someone’s pre-existing material. Naturally, without original authorship, we have to deal with interpretation.
In a nutshell, YouTube makes it easy to learn how to do just about anything. But how do you know who is delivering the best online lessons?
Thankfully, over the past few years the better online lessons services have setup very good youtube channels. They tend to populate their channels with a very good mix of free lessons combined with offers to join their programs.
The problem is, you may wind up spending an enormous amount of time trying to find the best guitar lessons that fit both your learning style, and your budget.
Btw, Guitar Niche DOES have a YouTube channel. It may not feature lessons on how to play guitar specifically, but it does feature great, qualified content on how to maintain your instrument.
What About Guitar Lesson Books & Literature?
Tried and true, a timeless instructional media.
From the driest educational textbook to the cover of the latest rag that objectifies the female form.
I’ll go so far as to bet there isn’t a single reader here who doesn’t have some form of printed guitar oriented instructional such as Hal Leonard’s Guitar Method or similar print product.
We still rely on hard copy as a reference. Something we can leaf through, something physical that conveys the information we seek through brilliant shiny ink on paper.
I don’t think that will ever change, although the storage of such things will continue to evolve – hello Kindle and online guitar books.
In Summary, Which Method is the Best Way to Learn Guitar?
The fact is, there are so many different ways of perceiving new information, the best method for learning guitar is simply a matter of trying. It really doesn’t take too long to figure out which method resonates with your style of learning.
Whether it’s videos, books, subscription services, courses, or private instruction, the point is to try and keep trying. The payoff will last a lifetime.
In Our Opinion, Online Lessons Are The Best Choice
Since we live in a state of constant connectivity, and many of us have the desire to teach ourselves in our spare time, the question is: “What’s the best way to learn guitar on your own?“.
Yes, there may be an extra cost to your guitar learning experience, but the higher quality lessons and tools available should make you play better, and faster.
At the end of the day you’re getting a streamlined, more personalized learning plan that focuses on providing you with top rated guitar lessons.
The alternative is having to search through hundreds of video options from amateur instructors on YouTube. With very little exception, you get what you pay for.
Forums, guitar websites, and tab sites make great additional learning tools for you to pursue more in depth or genre specific info. The downside is that they can’t be relied upon to be the best qualified method to learn guitar.
For the time being, established professional lesson sites remain the best place to learn guitar online. If you find yourself having trouble picking one, be sure to check out our many helpful online guitar lesson guides.