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Are Online Acoustic Guitar Lessons A Good Idea?

Many people are choosing to learn to play acoustic guitar with the help of online lessons. These have a lot of advantages, but they’re not the best choice for everyone. Read on to find out more about the pros and cons of online acoustic guitar lessons.

What Exactly Are Online Acoustic Guitar Lessons Anyway?

Online guitar lessons do vary enormously in quality, but the best courses typically provide a multi-media learning experience, with a mix of video and text instruction, audio demos and jam tracks, and often software too, to help you learn specific skills. This makes them good for people with different learning styles.

The way in which the lessons are delivered varies – some can be downloaded to your computer, whereas others are only viewable online. Some have a one-time fee, and others are based on a membership model, where you pay for access each month (or year). Jamorama is a popular example of a course which is downloadable, with a one-off payment, whereas Guitar Tricks and JamPlay are probably the best examples of guitar lesson membership sites – these continually add new content, but you have to pay a monthly fee to access them.

You can also find some free acoustic guitar lessons online; in most cases, you get what you pay for, but there are some good quality free lessons out there too – Justin Guitar is one such example.

The Main Benefits Of Online Guitar Tuition

Whichever type of online lessons you prefer, learning acoustic guitar in this way has some definite benefits. Here are some of these:

  • Convenience – with online instruction, you can learn entirely at your own convenience. There’s no need to fit in with a teacher’s schedule, and your location is irrelevant, so long as you have your guitar and computer to hand. This makes them a great option for busy people, and those with variable schedules.
  • Cost – you can find some online lessons for no cost at all, and even if you decide to pay for a professionally-produced course, you’ll still be spending a lot less than you would for private guitar tuition. So this makes them perfect for anyone on a budget.
  • Time-saving – if you’re taking private lessons, you might spend a lot of time (and money) travelling to and from your teacher’s house each time. With internet instruction you don’t have this problem, leaving you more time to practice your guitar!
  • User-friendly format – as mentioned earlier, the multi-media nature of the best online lessons means that they’re great for people with different learning styles, and by presenting the information in different ways, they overcome the limitations of traditional guitar tutor books and DVDs.
  • Musical scope – you can find lessons that cover lots of different musical styles, so you have a lot of choice. This may not be the case if you’re looking for a private teacher, depending on where you live.
  • Teacher choice – with online instruction, you’re not limited to learning from just one teacher, or just those in your geographic area. You can pick and choose from acoustic guitar teachers around the world, with different teaching styles and musical specialities. Some courses are put together by one person, but with sites like JamPlay, you have access to a variety of different teachers, all within the one site.

acoustic guitar

Is Online Acoustic Guitar Instruction The Right Choice For You?

So, there are lots of benefits to learning acoustic guitar with online tuition, but it’s not always going to be the best way to learn. Why not?

For one thing, many people do better with in-person support from a teacher. It’s certainly very beneficial to have someone there to demonstrate the correct techniques in person, especially when you’re just getting started. If you get things wrong in the beginning, you’ll end up developing bad playing habits that could cause major problems later on. Good video lessons can show you what to do, but it’s up to you to be diligent about practicing correctly, when there’s no teacher there to point out any mistakes. A guitar tutor can also provide a lot of moral support and encouragement, whereas learning at home can be isolating (although the online communities run by some online lesson providers can help out here).

Another thing to consider is the type of acoustic guitar you want to learn to play. If you’re interested in learning classical or flamenco guitar, you’ll almost certainly be better off with private lessons, as it’s crucially important to learn the correct techniques to play these styles well. That’s not to say you can’t teach yourself – some excellent players are self-taught – but you do need to be highly diligent and motivated. At very least, it’s a good idea to have a few personal lessons to start off with, so at least you know you’ve got the basics right. Another issues is that there’s a relatively small choice of online lessons in these styles anyway, and those you’ll find often cater to more advanced students.

If you want to learn pop, rock, blues or other popular styles however, you’ll find there’s a wide choice of lessons available. While having this choice is a good thing, it also means you need to be careful about sorting the wheat from the chaff, as not all online acoustic guitar instruction is of high quality. If you’re looking for a downloadable course, I recommend Jamorama, whereas if you’re more interested in joining a membership site and having access to a wide variety of acoustic guitar lessons in different styles, you might like JamPlay or Guitar Tricks.

If you decide to learn with the help of online lessons, just make sure you take your time to research the different options to find the best for your needs, and that you’ll be self-motivated enough to stick with it.

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