Learning guitar from the internet has its pluses and minuses. The good thing is that it's all free and free is good right? Not quite true, at least most of the time. There is an old saying that you get what you pay for and never has it been so true with the advent of the internet. These days anyone with a cell phone video and a guitar can "teach" you how to play. Not to criticize the occasional great amateur lesson out there, but most of it is not good.
This may sound funny coming from someone who is promoting their own online lessons but the emphasis of this article is promoting getting an instructor at least to tie the loose ends.
Beginning guitar is not advanced rocket science, most of you could teach yourself the chords and tab needed to play basic songs and cool riffs that will impress your friends and relatives. All you've got to do is wade through the hundreds of thousands of free lesson, tab and video sites available.
Getting What You Paid For
The big issue is that so much information in "webland" is presented by total beginners, who in reality, are not qualified and could never actually get a job teaching in a professional music school. That's not to say that there's not some really great lessons expertly presented but this leads to a major problem. How do you know what to follow? The short answer is you don't.
As a professional guitar coach who has been at it for over 30 years I find most of the information my students download and bring to their lesson totally laughable. 99% of the time it is so bad that I now I just tell them to not bother bringing it in anymore because it's not helpful. It's better to buy an artists tab book and I can help the student work their way through it by preparing lesson material that coincides with that particular artist's techniques etc.
The argument against online guitar education also applies to books CD and DVD methods The difference is that the information is likely presented by a knowledgeable expert.
The three biggest obstacles with doing it yourself is that
1. You don't always where to start
2. Sometimes it's hard to tell if you are doing it right and
3. Having the discipline on your own to keep up the follow through.
Frustrating for sure! The good news is that it's not usually your fault.
Be Like The Self Taught Famous Guys?
Quit your job, camp on various friend's sofas, starve, play guitar 16 hours a day, starve some more. Do that for a few years and you'll probably get really good. Next! Seriously most people starting out aren't able to put so much much time into so lessons are a shortcut. A good instructor can offer insights that he or she has gathered over the years.
Get an Instructor
Bottom line is that it's
really useful to have someone tell you "It's ok, it should sound like that at this point, and in fact you are doing everything right," or,"here are a couple of corrections so just keep practicing and it will work." The teacher also has the ability try multiple approaches that online lessons, method books, CDs and DVDs cannot. So keep teaching yourself for the challenge but do yourself a favor and get with an instructor.