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Why Teach Yourself To Play The Guitar?

Can you teach yourself guitar? The answer is – it depends! Many self taught guitar players are highly skilled and successful, so it’s certainly possible to become an excellent guitarist by taking this path. Now, the self-taught route isn’t for everybody, because you have to be extremely motivated, and also very vigilant to avoid falling into bad habits. Some guitar styles (such as classical guitar) are also better learned from a skilled teacher.

Having said that, there are many reasons why people decide to learn guitar at home. Let’s take a look at some of these.

1. It’s Cheaper

One reason to teach yourself to play the guitar is that it’s much cheaper than taking private lessons. These often cost $30 an hour or more, which can soon add up if you’re going every week, or even twice a month. You then have to factor in travelling costs, and the cost of your time spent travelling.

By taking the self-taught route instead, your expenses will be limited to a few guitar instruction books or DVDs, or a course of online guitar lessons, which will be considerably less expensive.

2. You Can Progress Entirely At Your Own Pace

Another advantage of learning to play the guitar at home is that there’s no pressure on you to progress at a certain pace. Instead you can learn as quickly or slowly as you want to – it’s entirely up to you. And if ‘life gets in the way’, as sometimes happens, and you need to cut back on your practice time a little (you should never stop completely), you won’t feel like you’re wasting money on lessons during a period where the guitar is on the back burner for a while.

3. It Saves Time

question markAs mentioned earlier, travel can be an issue if you’re taking private lessons. This is especially true for those people who live in more rural areas, who may not have a local teacher nearby. Having to drive or take public transport backwards and forwards between lessons every week can get old very quickly if the journey is a long one.

If you’re teaching yourself to play the guitar, the commute is simply a few steps to your practice room – and all that time saved can be devoted to extra practice!

4. It Can Be More Enjoyable

For some people, having lessons with the teacher can be a very stressful experience, especially if any personality clashes are involved. And even with the nicest teacher in the world, some people just don’t feel comfortable playing in front of others, to the point where they simply can’t play well at all.

While this kind of stage fright will often disappear with experience, if you just don’t want to play in front of another person, it can be easier and much more enjoyable to learn by yourself at home. After all, there’s nothing stopping you from taking private lessons later on if you want to, when your confidence has grown.

So, although it’s not the best option for everybody, becoming a self-taught guitarist is the way to go from many people. If this route appeals to you, remember that the key to succeeding when learning guitar alone is to find a source of good quality instruction.

One mistake that many people make is thinking that just because they’re not having lessons with a teacher, they don’t need to follow any kind of lesson plan at all. Many of these people end up picking up bits of information willy-nilly, learning a few scales here and a few chords and songs there, but never really developing the solid foundation that they need in order to progress.

You can avoid this mistake by following a course of professionally produced guitar lessons. Some people opt for traditional guitar tutor books, but I think that courses that include video instruction are a better choice, because video helps you to see exactly what you should be doing. There are loads of great guitar lesson DVDs and online guitar courses to choose from, but I recommend the Jamorama guitar lessons, which include video, audio, written instruction, and a selection of jam tracks you can practice playing along with. Read more about my experience with Jamorama guitar lessons or click here for more information about the course.

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