So you're ready to learn how to play the guitar but you’re not sure if you should seek private instruction, or if learning online might be a better fit for you. Having been a student and a teacher on both platforms, I will try to help you to make an informed decision.
Private guitar Instruction
You can find a private guitar instructor through a local music store or through someone that teaches from their home or comes to your location. These days you can even get a private tutor online using skype or another similar platform. I don't particularly like the skype approach though. Even though it can be quite convenient, it just doesn't seem as good as being in person. Add to that any Internet access problems. Sometimes it's good to just take a break from the computer screen. Furthermore, having to actually leave your home and get to a private lesson may be a good way to ensure that you put forth more of an effort to learn.
With private instruction, your teacher is right there with you in real time, ready to answer your questions and show you what you need to know. He or she can give you a guided plan that will help you to stay focused on your goals each week. It's also a lot of fun to play along with another guitarist. If you really want to be a serious guitarist, this could be a really good way for you to start out.
Finding private instruction can sometimes be challenging though because of the limited availability of local teachers, especially if an instructor is highly sought after. Many times there will be a waiting list to book lessons with him or her. You may end up having to take lessons from a less qualified teacher. But hey, If you just want to play as a hobby and are not necessarily looking to become the next guitar legend, then having a top notch teacher may not be that important to you.
Private lessons typically last for only one half hour. Pricing can range from fifteen to thirty dollars per half hour, depending on the teacher. The lessons can go by real quick. But If you take lesson from a music store, you can still hang out at the store with other guitar enthusiasts after your lesson. If you enjoy socializing, and don't mind carving out some time to get to the lesson, then you may like taking private lessons from a music store.
Online guitar lessons
Thanks to the Internet, you can get instruction on any specific playing styles that you like and you can choose from many different instructors with a click of a mouse. You can access the lessons at any time that is convenient for you.
But as you probably already know, the Internet can give you a major case of information overload. You can easily waste hours on end watching youtube videos of guitarists showing off how great they can play. Videos of twelve year olds breezing through complicated classical etudes or shredding neo-classical metal with ease. All the while you don’t necessarily make any progress with your own playing. This can either inspire you or make you want to give up. I know, I’ve been there.
This is where you have to decide if you should consider paying for a lesson site or continue clicking through the free video lessons.
Paying for site access can be a good idea if the site is well organized. It can help to keep you stay focused and interested. Having said that, I really haven't found a site that isn’t overwhelming to me. I mean they have so many videos that it can be hard to figure out where to start. You pick one video to start out with, but the other titles are beckoning for you to click on them as well. Before you know it, you're right back to info overload. I guess they do that so you will have enough videos to learn from for years to come. But, maybe that’s something that won't or doesn't bother you. If you want to check out a few popular online learning sites for guitar, you can try Jamplay, Guitar tricks, or Lick library.
Another type of media, are instructional DVD's. These can help you to stay focused on a particular playing goal, without being tempted to click away to different websites or videos. You can find instructors that can teach you how to play solos or full songs from one of your favorite artists, or zero in on a particular playing style. I have purchased some really good home courses through Lick Library.
Some other issues to consider when taking guitar lessons.
Finding an instructor that is a good teacher and not just a good player can be challenging. You see, just because someone can play really well, does not necessarily mean that they will be a good teacher. There is a big difference between the two. I had a hard time transitioning from player to teacher.
Many students have complained that their teachers do a lot of showing off, playing fast licks and riffs, and they go through the lessons too fast for them to comprehend. It can be very intimidating to a beginning student to watch someone play so well when they can not. They are sometimes left feeling like all thumbs and embarrassed to play anything for fear of being laughed at. On the other hand, some students will be inspired, and want to emulate the fantastic playing of their instructor. It all depends on the type of personality of the person taking the lesson.
Another thing to consider is that all guitarists and teachers have a preferred style of music that they like to listen to and play. This can put limitations on how well they can teach a certain genre of music.
For example, although I enjoy all types of music, my preferred style to play on the guitar is rock, metal and blues. I like jazz, I like classical, but there's no way I could teach you how to play jazz or classical guitar. I mean, I would not be very effective at teaching you that style of music because it’s really not my thing. Country music is another style that a teacher needs to know really well in order to teach it well. Make sure that the style of music that you are most interested in learning, is also shared by your prospective teacher.
Only you know how much time you have to devote to learning and playing the guitar. If you have plenty of spare time but not so much extra cash, then the free video lessons on youtube may work out good for you. Teaching yourself through books can be great as well. But if your time is limited and you would rather learn faster with more organization and structure, then either a pay for access site, private instruction or a DVD course might be a better choice for you.
Well , I hope this has helped you out a little. Be sure to check out my site Beginner Guitar Online .
I put together 6 FREE lessons that teach you the basics of how to play the guitar fast and easy, and without all the clutter. You can also find other resources there for when you're ready to advance your skills.
keepin it Simple!