5 Tips To Help You Succeed With Online Guitar Lessons
The internet has totally changed the way we learn. Go back a few years and if you wanted to learn something new you had to borrow a dusty book from the library or befriended a wise old person. These days you just hop on over to Google or YouTube and the world is at your fingertips.
Technology is amazing and has made it possible for millions of people to learn to play guitar online. With so many courses and lessons to choose from learning to play guitar online is now a viable option and can be a godsend if you don’t have a local guitar teacher or the spare cash for private instruction.
Now, as awesome as the internet is at helping people learn to play the guitar there are a few vital things that will help you be more successful that often get overlooked. In this article I want to give you 5 tips that will help you be more successful with learning guitar online and it all starts with why you wanted to pick up the thing in the first place.
Tip 1: Know Your Why
With the huge number of courses and videos online it is important to know ‘why’ you wanted to learn to play guitar in the first place. This will help give you direction and something to aim towards, otherwise you are set to get lost in the black hole that is Google and left bouncing from one YouTube video to another with no clear direction.
There are many reasons people pick up the guitar, such as just wanting to learn a few songs to play at their next family gathering to embarking on a new hobby to help enrich their life. Whatever it is, knowing why you want to learn guitar in the first place will help you choose the right path and not waste time heading in the wrong direction.
To help you get started here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- What made you want to play guitar?
- What style of music do you want to play?
- Do you want to join a band and play live?
- Do you want to write and record your own songs?
Take a second to answer these and really think about your answers as these will help steer you in the right direction and give you clarity when looking online for courses, lessons & teachers.
Tip 2: Follow A Structure
I’m sure you’ve been to YouTube by now and typed in ‘beginner guitar lessons’ and then felt completely overwhelmed with the millions of results that popup. The main problem with Youtube is it is difficult to find structure and a solid course of instruction that will deliver results and turn you into a well rounded guitar player.
You will find most of the Youtubers have a different way of teaching and post videos jumping from subject to subject with no clear path to follow. Unfortunately, the only requirement to become a guitar teacher on YouTube is a WebCam meaning most Youtubers are guitar players but not necessarily great teachers, and yes there is a massive difference!
Now don’t get me wrong there is gold in that there YouTube mud, but you do have to be prepared to sift through the dirt to find it. YouTube is not the place to learn guitar if you are looking to develop a serious hobby, it is the place to pick up a quick tip or two or learn a new song and is ideal for guitar players who already have a certain level of skill but can be very confusing for complete beginners.
If you are serious about learning the guitar you will want to seek out a structured course to help you stay on track and make progress that has been developed and tested with beginner guitar players in mind, such as what we offer at Beginner Guitar Academy.
At Beginner Guitar Academy we teach a structured course that has been tried, tested and developed over the last twenty years. What makes our online school different though is the method ties in to all the other parts of the academy such as our songs, riffs and quick tips sections which helps remove the feelings of confusion and frustration felt by most beginners trying to learn online.
This is the power of structure and why it is so important for beginner guitar players especially to find a well structured course to follow.
Tip 3: Make Time, Be Consistent
One of the down sides to learning guitar online through home study is you have to be very self motivated, as you are not seeing a guitar teacher each week to kick your butt and help keep you motivated and accountable.
I am sure you are already aware, I am sorry if this is basic, but when it comes to learning any new skill it is repetition that makes things stick and guitar is no different. To succeed with learning the guitar it is important that you practice regularly, ideally everyday, even if it is for ten minutes or so, little and often is the key.
So before you start down the road of learning to play guitar make time in your schedule to practice. Try to find a time that you are at your best and can concentrate so ideally not after a 12 hour shift when all you want to do is crash on the sofa and watch TV. Look at the bookends of your day which means in the morning and evening as these are great times to practice before the day starts or as it ends and gets less busy.
The last thing is consistency, 10 minutes a day is much better than one hour once a week. Commit to a certain time and number of days and stick to it, use a practice log to track the minutes you have practiced. This can feel like a chore to begin with but trust me I have seen it work wonders with my students and will really help keep you accountable, if only to yourself.
Don’t forget the golden rule; never miss two days practice in a row.
Tip 4: Be Part Of A Community
Another downside of home study through an online courses is that you are on your own when it comes to working through the material, unfortunately the instruction is only one way and there is no way of getting feedback. This is one of the reasons why becoming a member of a community can be so rewarding.
There is nothing better to help motivate you than to be around like minded people who want to achieve the same outcome as you. This could be a Facebook group full of other beginners or a forum associated with a course you are taking. Whatever your reason, find a place you can go to get support, motivation and accountability.
Something to be careful of though, especially with the free Facebook groups I have seen is sometimes the advice is not always the best. Now don’t get me wrong it is great that people are giving up their time to help others, but because the groups are full of other beginner guitar players they simply do not have the experience to often give the best advice.
For instance, quite often I will see someone post about a particular problem they are having and most of the comments will be something like ‘keep practicing and you will get there’. Now sometimes this is good advice and repetition is what is required to really get something into muscle memory, such as a chord change for instance. However, more often that not it is bad technique that is causing the problem so merrily practicing more will not fix the issue and instead just hone the bad technique and cause more problems in the future.
Search for a community that is run by an experienced teacher who is actively taking part in discussions and has genuine concern for the members. This is why joining a paid community can be a better option than the free groups.
At Beginner Guitar Academy I check into the forums daily to answer questions and take part in discussions. We also have forums setup where members can submit their practice logs to help keep them accountable. There is also a private coaching section where only you and I can see your posts so you can get personalised one-to-one attention.
Tip 5: Get Uncomfortable
Hopefully you have taken on board the last tip and are going to join a community to help get you motivated, inspired and accountable. However, it is not just good enough to just join a community you have to get involved and be an active part of it. Being part of an active community will help to keep you moving forward and also allow you to get feedback on any problems or challenges you are experiencing.
It is important to get feedback every so often on your playing to make sure you have the basics down and have good technique, this will avoid getting a few years down the road and having to go completely back to basics because your technique isn’t up to scratch.
So post a question or a video in the community and become uncomfortable and vulnerable as this is the only way to grow and improve as a guitar player. Bring out the guitar at a party or just infront of your partner and perform, basically do something that is going to push you forwards and keep you moving towards your ‘Why’ that we identified earlier.
I hope you have found this article interesting and please let me know below if you have any tips of your own.