There are many different ways to go about learning the guitar, more so today than ever before. The advent of new technologies such as the internet has brought a tidal wave of new learning methods within reach of anybody wanting to learn to play the guitar. These include websites, downloadable guitar courses, interactive software, and video guitar lessons, alongside more traditional books and magazines. In this article, I’ll focus on online guitar lessons, and try to explain why they’re one of the most effective methods of learning the guitar available today, as well as tell you what makes a good video guitar lesson, and where to find them. If you’re looking for a great way to learn the guitar we recommend Jamorama.
Not so long ago, if you were trying to teach yourself to play the guitar, your only option was to rely on books. Books can be a great resource, and you can learn a lot from them, but they have many limitations. They can be expensive and hard to find, and it’s difficult to translate what’s written in a book into actually playing something on the guitar. Today, the internet and high-speed connections have changed all that. Thanks to modern technology such as digital video cameras and powerful computer software, anybody can create high-quality videos and post them to the internet, on sites such as YouTube, for all to see. There are millions of videos across the internet about almost any subject you can imagine. Learning guitar is one of them.
As there are literally thousands of video guitar lessons on the internet it can be hard to know where to begin looking for the ones you want. There are several different options available to you at this point. Your best bet is simply to type ‘video guitar lessons’ into Google or another search engine. Amongst the results, you are likely to see two or three different types of website. The first type is the generic video hosting site like YouTube. These sites can be a fantastic resource and are completely free, although the quality of some of the guitar lessons on offer is not always that great. The second type of website is a dedicated guitar lesson website. These tend to have better quality guitar lessons but some require a membership fee to access them. The third type, are sites that offer downloadable video course, such as the excellent Jamorama, which can be a fantastic way to learn, working through a complete and well-structured course.
But with so many videos available, how do you know which ones are good or bad? Well, what you’re looking for are videos which actually show, in detail, how to physically play something. A lot of videos, especially on YouTube, are just people showing off their skills. Whilst these videos may be entertaining to watch, they’re not particularly helpful for learning, so watch out for those. The best videos are the real instructional videos, with close-ups, and multi-angled cameras, showing both hands along with clear instructions from the player or teacher. These will be the most effective for learning from.
So, we’ve dealt with what to look for and where to find them, but now let’s look at some of the benefits and advantages of using video as a way of learning the guitar. Being able to see what somebody is doing, and copying them, is a far quicker way of learning something than having it explained to you. By being able to actually see where each finger goes, and what strings to play, you’ll be able to learn things on the guitar much quicker than you otherwise would. Particularly with more difficult techniques, such as hammer-ons and pull-offs, string bending, vibrato, and tapping, having the ability to see exactly what your hands should be doing not only makes it easier and quicker to learn them, but it also ensures you don’t learn improper technique, or develop bad habits that might hinder your playing later on. It really is almost as good as having a private tutor. Plus you’ve got the ability to pause, rewind, and replay the videos as many times as you need, until you’ve got it.
In my opinion, video guitar lessons are probably the best way to learn guitar if you can’t afford, or don’t want, private lessons.