The Best Way to Learn Guitar in 2017

best way to learn guitar

The Best Way to Learn Guitar in 2017

What is the Best Way to Learn Guitar?

teach yourself guitarA lot of people say they want to learn how to play guitar. Someday. But how many actually do it? And where do you start? What is the best way to learn guitar?

In this article, we’ll go through the best methods you can use to teach yourself guitar.

You’ll learn about different styles and types of guitar lessons online, and some great guitar learning tools and resources to bookmark.

I’ll also provide suggestions on which guitar and accessories you’ll need to get started, and some ways to accelerate the process to help you figure out the easiest and fastest way to learn guitar.

Hopefully one of these options will resonate with you. It might even change your life.

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Getting Started

Anyone Can Play Guitar

We’re all busy these days, with so many distractions and obligations demanding our time and money. But you only live once, and it’s definitely worth the effort to carve out time for hobbies you enjoy the most. And knowing how to play a guitar can be extremely fun and rewarding.

The internet has been a game-changer in many ways, and easy access to learning new skills is near the top of the list.

You can definitely learn to play guitar online, if you’re willing to put in the effort and stick to a practice schedule. You’ll find yourself improving fairly quickly, even in the short term.

And since you’re reading this article, odds are you’ll agree with my theory that music is one of the things that makes life worth living. Listening to music is fun, but making music is exciting!

Maybe it’s time to replace those air guitar solos with something more tangible.

I know you want to learn guitar fast, and that’s okay. Just remember that patience is a virtue – it takes time and effort to learn how to play a guitar. You don’t need to play like Jimi Hendrix to make it all worthwhile (though that would be cool!), but there is a lot of information to absorb. You need to understand what you’re doing, and teach your hands to change positions quickly and without thinking.

And honestly, just listening to music is enough for a lot of people. Many music lovers never learn how to play a musical instrument for any number of (excuses) reasons: it’s too hard, too expensive, too time-consuming. The list goes on.

But if you’re ready to dive in, techniques that seem hard at first will get much easier once you develop muscle memory in your fingers and hands. And it’ll happen pretty fast. 

Plus, knowing how to play the guitar can provide several great benefits to your life:

  • Impress your friends
  • Challenge yourself
  • Get inside your favorite songs and learn what makes them tick
  • Pick up a guitar at a party, beach or campfire, and just start playing
  • Studies have shown that playing music can help make you smarter and healthier

Now, beginners often have a few questions:

Where do I start?

How much money will it cost?

What guitar should I get?

How long does it take to learn guitar?

Am I too old?

What if I suck?

There’s no right or wrong answer to any of these questions. There are many ways to learn a new skill. And different methods work better for different people.

Listen: Learning how to play a guitar for beginners and sticking to a practice schedule is tough on everyone. But getting started in the first place is still the hardest part.

Certain people may have more talent or aptitude for music, but that’s irrelevant here. You’re not auditioning for the Beatles and you’re not trying to write the best song in the world (Tenacious D already did that).

All you’re trying to do is learn how to play a guitar.

How good you end up getting, depends largely on how much you want to improve, and how much effort you put in. In the end, being able to play something, anything, will make you feel great. And it’ll totally be worth the effort.

So repeat after me: Anyone can play guitar.

 

how to play a guitar for beginners

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Where Do I Start?

Where do you begin? Obvious first step: get a guitar!

Then go through some beginner lessons. I’ll highlight some great options below. These initial lessons will show you how to properly hold the guitar and pick, and teach you some basic strumming patterns and chords.

Your fingers may hurt a bit in the beginning, but you’ll quickly get callouses on your fingertips, and pretty soon you won’t feel a thing.

After you begin to learn guitar chords, you can start playing simple songs. You may want to work on these 4 chords first: G – D – C – Em. They’re easy to play, and can be found in a million different songs.

When practicing, change between chords slowly at first, with proper form, so that each one sounds reasonably good. Then slowly speed up as you get better at switching between chords on the fly.

Remember that guitarists are often playing either rhythm or lead. Rhythm guitar generally involves playing chords, and helping give a song its rhythm. Lead guitar often involves playing riffs or solos, and giving the song some flair. Even if you find soloing difficult, you’ll soon learn that some riffs are simpler than you think. The key is to learn to play them slowly, then speed up later.

But it’s perfectly fine to focus on strumming chords in the beginning.

Don’t worry too much about music theory at first, but as you progress, keep an open mind and you’ll likely find it helpful down the road.

The key point here is to stop procrastinating!

Just get started, and keep plugging away, learning and improving a little bit every time you practice, day by day, week by week.

Before you know it, you’ll be a guitar player.

How Much Money Will it Cost?

Here’s another question where the right answer is, “It depends”. Like many things, you can get this done by spending a lot of money, or very little money. It just might take a little longer.

If you have a guitar but no money, you can get pretty far with free online guitar lessons.

Obviously, if you decide to buy a guitar or pay for lessons, you’ll need to spend a little cash. If you don’t have access to a guitar, you can always buy a used or cheap starter guitar. If you’ve got more money to spend, you can either get a nicer guitar, or go with paid lessons. Or both.

You may also need a few accessories (see below for details). They’re pretty cheap.

Bottom Line: You can definitely learn to play guitar while spending little to no money, but can also speed up the process (at least a little bit) by investing a few bucks.

What Guitar Should I Get? how to learn guitar fast

Beginners are often confused about whether they should start out using an acoustic or electric guitar.

The truth is, it really doesn’t matter. People have long debated the merits of both types for new players, and each has its pros and cons. There is no “right” answer. If you already have a guitar, you can start with that one.

If you’re thinking about buying a new guitar and would like more information on exactly what to look for, check out my Best Beginner Guitar Guide.

It’s a detailed article that breaks down the various factors that go into this decision, including the pros and cons of acoustic vs. electric, different types of wood and guitar shapes, and some great beginner guitars to consider.

If you just want a quick recommendation on a reasonably priced guitar with great sound and excellent value, go with a Yamaha FG800 if you want an acoustic, or a Squier Affinity Stratocaster if you prefer an electric guitar.

What Guitar Accessories Do I Need?

In the beginning, you don’t need to worry about a lot of bells and whistles. Your main focus should simply be on trying to learn how to play the guitar, one step at a time. The main thing you need, of course, is the guitar!

However, there are a few essential accessories you should have at your disposal.

Some songs are easier to play with a capo, so if you’re particular about what songs you want to learn, a capo is a must. Also, some songs require a capo to get the right sound, and they come in handy quite often, so you’ll definitely want to get one sooner or later.

Check out a good-quality capo on Amazon here.

You’ll definitely need some guitar picks (which are dirt cheap). A guitar strap is also a good idea, so you don’t have to worry about supporting the guitar’s weight while you’re focusing on how to get good at guitar.

You’ll also need to tune your guitar frequently, so you may also want to buy a guitar tuner. Though there are lots of websites and apps that can help you with this as well.

Note that many beginner guitar starter packs include most of these accessories along with the guitar.

How Long Does It Take To Learn Guitar?

Everyone learns at their own speed, and has a different amount of time available for practice. As a result, how long it takes to learn, and how quickly you progress, will vary from person to person.

In general, you should definitely notice some improvements after 2-4 weeks of practice. And you should be able to play the guitar at a basic but competent level in 3-6 months, depending on the quality of the lessons and the amount of time spent practicing.

After 6 months, you may not be a superstar (yet!) but you should have a pretty good understanding of how to play a guitar, and be able to handle quite a few chords, including barre chords. You’ll be able to play several songs, and know a few advanced techniques as well.

It’s important to remember that even the greats never stop learning. So if you want to become really proficient at guitar, the learning process will never end. But since you love music (and hopefully will love playing the guitar), this is actually a positive, not a negative.

Am I Too Old to Learn Guitar?

best way to learn guitarAs mentioned previously, the goal isn’t to play like Jimi Hendrix. The goal is to have fun! And you’re never too old to learn a new skill.

Being older may actually give you an advantage.

Odds are you’ll be more determined to learn and better at time-management (at least a little bit!)

You may also be more disciplined when it comes to sticking to a practice schedule than someone with a short attention sp — um, what was I talking about again?

And if you have the opposite question, no, you’re not too young to teach yourself guitar either!

Unless you have a physical ailment preventing you from picking up a guitar and playing, age is just a number. Maybe it takes a little longer, but anyone can learn how to play guitar. Just keep practicing, and get a little better every day. You’ll get there eventually, I promise! But only if you stick with it.

So instead of using your age as an excuse not to try, use it as motivation to stop procrastinating and learn to play guitar already!

What if I Suck?

Honestly, who cares? Serious question.

Everybody sucks at the beginning, and there’s no denying that learning to play a musical instrument can be frustrating. Especially in the early going.

Keep at it, and you will improve over time. It just takes practice.

When you hear someone playing guitar effortlessly, keep in mind that you’re not hearing them when they were just starting out, or when they were practicing those parts. Like everyone else, they once had to learn everything they know, just like you will.

Even if your progress is slow, the only thing that will truly derail the learning process is giving up.

It’s a cliche because it’s true: Practice Makes Perfect.

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Best Online Guitar Resources

Guitar Tabs

Practicing chords and scales are important, but sometimes they can get a little boring. Pretty soon you’re going to want to learn some songs!

Guitar tabs are notations that show you which frets and strings to put your fingers on to play a note or a chord. Riffs are broken down into a series of notes.

I wouldn’t recommend using this as your primary learning tool, but if you want to learn some songs, tabs can be very useful. It’s easy once you get the hang of it.

If you’re unfamiliar, you can learn how to read guitar tabs here.

There are many tab sites out there, but the best is the Ultimate Guitar Tabs Page, with over 1 million songs listed. Definitely a site to keep in mind for future reference.

When you search for a song in the tab database, you’ll often get a lot of results. Each listing displays either (chords) or (tab). Chord versions will show you the chords needed to strum the song, and Tab versions provide notes and riffs for fingerpicking. Both usually include the lyrics as well.

Keep in mind that tabs are submitted by users of the site, so they aren’t always accurate. But you’ll see a star rating beside each submission (eg. 4.5 stars out of 5) along with the # of people who rated it. Just choose one that has a high rating and a lot of reviews.

Many songs have user comments at the bottom, and you can quickly determine whether a tab is accurate by reading the comments. Sometimes another guitarist will provide an alternate way to play the song, and you can choose the one that works best for you.

Backing Tracks

When just starting out, stay focused on your beginner lessons and learn how to play a few songs on your own.

However, after a while you may find yourself thinking it would be really cool to play along to bass and drums (perhaps even vocals and keyboard).

Guitar Backing Track is a community-based site where you can access a wide variety of backing tracks for free, and download some to your computer as well. Each song listing shows which elements can be found in the backing track (bass, drums, vocals, etc.)

Changing Strings & Tuning

These helpful videos will show you how to change guitar strings and tune your guitar.

Best Guitar Appseasiest way to learn guitar

Almost everyone has a smartphone these days, so after you’ve started to learn and master guitar, you’ll probably want to check out some apps.

Here are some of the best guitar apps out there:

Ultimate Guitar Tabs: I mentioned Ultimate Guitar’s awesome online tab database earlier, with over a million songs. It can also be accessed through an app when you’re away from your desktop.

GuitarTuna: This is probably the best free online guitar tuner app, and you can use it to tune your guitar from anywhere. It’s accurate and easy to use. The app also includes a metronome and chord library.

AmpliTube: After you’ve been playing for a while, you may want to start experimenting by adding loops and effects to your guitar sound. AmpliTube is a tone studio app that lets you set custom guitar settings, play in a wide variety of tones, and also do some recording. The iPhone and Android versions are not exactly the same, but both provide a wide range of effects and features.

GuitarToolkit: As the name implies, GuitarToolkit is a collection of essential guitar tools conveniently located in one great app. It includes a tuner, metronome, virtual instruments, scales and arpeggios, and a massive chord dictionary. In addition to guitar, the app also contains resources for bass, ukulele, banjo and mandolin.

It was even inducted by Apple into the App Store Hall of Fame!

It’s not a free app, and isn’t currently available for Android.

How to Learn Guitar – The Final Countdown

I’ll bet you’ve thought about this question before: what is the best way to learn guitar?

Let’s take a look at some of the best options and try to narrow it down to one that’ll work best for you.

Rocksmith 2014

Every one of us absorbs new information differently. Some may learn best from a textbook or a detailed article, while others respond better to video or audio lessons.

Maybe you aren’t super keen on learning from either books or videos, but love to play video games. If you ever played Guitar Hero or Rock Band in the past and wished they made a game using a real guitar, Rocksmith 2014 is right down your alley. It’s available for consoles and PC/Mac.

The games comes with a bunch of songs included, and you can also purchase additional tracks from a long list of options.

Song lessons introduce chords and notes slowly, and as you start to master the basics, they begin adding additional notes, riffs or chords with each playthrough.

One really cool feature of Rocksmith 2014 is the option to choose lead guitar, rhythm, or even bass parts for each song. You can also choose a section of a song and slow it right down, then loop it and keep practising until you’ve got it figured out.

The game also offers a Session Mode, where you can add computer-generated drum, bass, piano, or guitar tracks that react to your playing as you jam along. If you start to play faster, the virtual band will do the same. It’s a great way to start making a lot of noise in no time!

Rocksmith 2014 also includes guitar lessons, “Guitarcade” mini-games, and an in-game tuner.

I’ve played around with Rocksmith 2014 quite a bit, and can confirm that it’s a great game and excellent learning tool. Even if you go with online lessons or a private tutor, this game can still be a useful part of your guitar learning journey.

You need to plug your guitar into your computer or console using a special Rocksmith cable, so be sure to get the version that includes the cable. Also, make sure you get the newer “Remastered” version (released in 2016).

Check out Rocksmith 2014 (Remastered) on Amazon.

Tim Ferriss and the 80/20 Rule

You may already be familiar with the work of Tim Ferriss, but if not, he specializes in deconstructing what top performers do in order to learn new skills as quickly and efficiently as possible.

best way to teach yourself guitarHe became well-known with his 2007 book The 4-Hour Workweek, about online business, and currently interviews people from all walks of life on his podcast. These interviews are long and detailed, with stories and advice about various hacks to improve your life.

I highly recommend his podcast and blog.

One of Tim’s key concepts is the 80/20 Rule.

Basically, the idea is that 20% of your actions or inputs usually provide 80% of your desired results. Figuring out the right 20% to focus on in the beginning can help cut down the time and effort it takes to learn and master something new. Like how to learn guitar fast. Of course, if you keep learning, practicing and adapting, you’ll fill in the rest over time.

Tim discussed learning how to play a guitar for beginners in a detailed article, link below. It’s definitely worth checking out:

Private Lessons

The most personalized and comprehensive way to learn guitar is through private lessons. After all, there are clear benefits to one-on-one instruction.

A private tutor can show you the ropes, give you some beginner lessons, and most importantly, oversee the learning process. This includes helping you fill in gaps in your knowledge and answer any questions you might have. They’ll provide you with structure and monitor your progress on a weekly or monthly basis. Once they learn your strengths and weaknesses, they can modify your lessons and practice schedule accordingly.

The downside here is that private lessons can also be quite pricey. You won’t get very far with just one or two lessons (although some are better than none), and it does require a strong commitment of both time and money in order to schedule multiple lessons per week or month.

The key benefit is that you can progress more quickly this way. You can also tailor the lessons to your budget. If you have limited time or funds, you can schedule just a few lessons, or set them up once a week. Or a couple of times a month. Most private tutors are pretty flexible.

Private lessons are definitely not required to learn how to play guitar effectively.

But if you’re interested in this option, I’d recommend googling “guitar lessons” followed by the name of your town or city. You can also take a look at Craigslist, or just wander into your local guitar store. Odds are pretty good that someone working there either gives private lessons, or knows someone who does.

Guitar Lessons Online (Free)

guitar lessons onlineThese days the interwebs provide a huge advantage for anyone looking to learn a new skill.

Internet = No Excuses!

The number of online guitar lessons currently available is definitely a huge plus for a beginner, but it can also be a little overwhelming. So let’s take a look at some of the best ways to learn to play guitar online.

Justin Guitar: If you don’t have any money to spend right now but do have access to a guitar, check out Justin’s site over at justinguitar.com.

He’s been playing and teaching guitar for years, and created a series of quality video guitar lessons divided into Beginner and Intermediate sections. And they’re all free.

It’s a great place to get started for a beginner on a budget.

YouTube: A huge advantage for beginners is the ability to harness the power of YouTube. You’ll find thousands of videos there providing guitar lessons online.

The way it usually works is that a channel will offer a series of free beginner lessons, then charge a fee for advanced lessons. This can work to your advantage, as it allows you to check out multiple options until you find one who can help you teach yourself guitar most effectively.

If you progress through their beginner lessons and find them helpful, it’ll be worth spending a few bucks on the advanced stuff.

Here are some very popular YouTube channels that provide a lot of free, good-quality online guitar lessons:

Even if you decide to go with a series of private or online guitar lessons, I’d still recommend keeping an eye on YouTube going forward.

If you encounter a particular problem or want to learn how to play a specific song, someone’s probably already made a video about it.

Here’s a great example:

Some beginner guitarists experience difficulty developing the finger strength to make proper chords and change between them quickly in the early going.

In this video, Mark McKenzie demonstrates a useful pressing technique that can help you significantly cut down the amount of time spent working on chord changes. It’s simple, but surprisingly effective.

Imagine how much harder it was to learn to play guitar just a few years ago, without easy access to all this free information. YouTube’s huge variety of guitar videos is a powerful resource, and should remain a key tool in your arsenal.

Guitar Lessons Online (Paid Courses)

Free videos on YouTube are great, but they’re all over the map in terms of quality and consistency. Plus they often lead to paid lessons anyway.

Many people find it best to keep everything in one place, so they can follow a series of step-by-step instructional videos, with no gaps in the learning process and no need to wonder if they’re missing a crucial piece of information.

If this sounds like you, and you’d prefer not to spend a lot of money on private lessons, the best bang for your buck is to enroll in a series of paid guitar lessons online.

Udemy

One place to find quality online courses for many topics is Udemy. It’s a website where you can purchase a full video course for a very low price. Some are free, but the paid ones are usually better quality and more comprehensive. I’d recommend browsing through the options (most courses offer 1 or 2 free sample videos), and finding one that fits your personal needs.

Another option is to enroll in one of the many full online guitar learning programs out there. It’s a big step, but it can lead to some big rewards.

Disclosure: We are a professional review website that receives compensation for some products reviewed and discussed on the site, including the guitar learning programs discussed below. The opinions expressed are our own.

I’ve done a lot of research to determine which system provides the best guitar lessons for beginners online. And while there are several good options out there, in my opinion Guitar Tricks and JamPlay provide the best combination of a structured learning system, high-quality lessons, variety, tools and price. Both sites contain a massive amount of video and song lessons from multiple instructors and professional musicians.

Guitar Tricks

One guitar learning program that really stands out is Guitar Tricks. They started providing online guitar lessons way back in 1998, and have since helped over 2.2 million people learn to play guitar online.

They offer videos from over 30 different instructors, so you should be able to find one who’s just right one for you, or who covers your preferred musical genre.

A lot of people rave about Anders Mouridsen’s blues guitar lessons, as well as Lisa McCormick and Christopher Schlegel’s teaching styles.

Guitar Tricks Free TrialThe Guitar Tricks Core Learning System covers the full range of guitar lessons from beginner through advanced, and everything in between.

It will guide you through a series of videos on Guitar Fundamentals to help you learn the basics (don’t rush through this part!), and after that you can branch off into a specific set of lessons depending on whether you’re more interested in learning how to play rock, country, or blues guitar.

They also have plenty of videos for people interested in metal, jazz, classical, rockabilly, and several other musical genres.

Pros:

  • Specifically Designed for Beginners
  • Step-by-Step Guitar Learning System
  • Over 11,000 lessons
  • Over 30 Instructors
  • 700+ Songs, with Tabs
  • Videos are Short and to the Point
  • Cool Artist Studies
  • Active Community
  • 14-day Free Trial & 60-Day Money Back Guarantee

Cons:

  • No Bass Lessons available
  • No one-on-one Webcam Instruction
  • Not a lot of videos on Music Theory

Guitar Tricks has an app so you can access lessons and tools from anywhere. And they have an active community forum where you can read through previous discussions on all kinds of topics, and ask questions of your own if you get stuck or need advice. They also provide several useful tools including a metronome and tuner, Jam Station, and chord and scale finders.

Another key feature is their unique Artist Studies, with a series of videos about quite a few guitarists that examine their style and approach to the art of guitar playing.

The Core Learning System was designed to guide a beginner through the fundamentals with a clear step-by-step progression. Overall, the sheer volume of lessons available guarantees you’ll find something of interest.

A Guitar Tricks membership costs $19.95 per month, and you can test it for yourself with a 14-day free trial (plus 60-day money back guarantee). You can also purchase a yearly membership for around $170.

It’s a great way to learn guitar fast in a structured, comprehensive way.

 

JamPlay

Another high-quality comprehensive guitar learning course can be found over at JamPlay.

Like Guitar Tricks, they offer a wide assortment of video guitar lessons and songs, with over 80 instructors and more than 5500 lessons. Their videos are polished and well-edited.

They offer some live lessons and in addition to the guitar, also offer a series of bass lessons included with a regular membership.

Pros

  • Over 5500 lessons
  • Over 80 instructors, including professional musicians
  • 500+ Songs, with Tabs
  • Slick videos
  • More Genre-Specific Lessons
  • Bass Lessons
  • Some Live Video Sessions (not one-on-one)
  • Active Community
  • 7-day Free Trial

Cons

  • Free Trial is Only 7 Days (and no 60-Day Money Back Guarantee)
  • Live Videos Aren’t One-on-One

JamPlay also has an active online community, and offers a series of useful tools including a massive chord & scale library, metronome, guitar and bass tuners, jam tracks, and games.

Whereas Guitar Tricks utilizes mostly instructors with guitar teaching experience, JamPlay mixes it up with videos by quite a few professional musicians, including Steve Stevens, Bumblefoot, and Brent Mason.

JamPlay costs $19.95 per month. They also provide the option of signing up for 4 quarterly payments of $49.95, or one yearly payment of $139.95.

They offer a 7-day free trial if you want to give it a test drive with no obligation.

 

Guitar Tricks vs. JamPlay

So what exactly is the difference between Guitar Tricks and JamPlay? Which one should you choose?

Let’s start with the similarities.

They’re both high-quality guitar lesson programs, with a ridiculous amount of different instructors and thousands of song and video lessons available.

Both offer videos with multiple camera angles, have active online communities, and provide a series of useful guitar tools including a metronome and tuner, and chord and scale libraries.

Key Differences:

JamPlay offers bass lessons and some live video sessions, and a lot of lessons recorded by professional musicians. Their videos are probably a little higher-quality in terms of filming and editing, though of course we’re more interested in the quality of the information provided, which is pretty good on both sites.

Guitar Tricks has a lot more videos in their database, in terms of both regular video lessons and songs. Their Artist Studies are unique and worth investigating.

While both sites have videos on a lot of musical genres, Guitar Tricks is a little more focused on rock, country and blues, whereas JamPlay offers a wider variety of lessons on specific genres like metal, jazz, funk and bluegrass guitar.

So Which One Should You Choose?

If you’re just starting out, Guitar Tricks is probably a little more beginner-friendly. Their Core Learning System is set up with a clear streamlined, step-by-step progression, and will lead you through the guitar fundamentals most effectively.

They’ve been helping people learn to play guitar online for many years, and it shows. They have way more videos available, the Artist Studies are cool, and they provide the better introductory offer (14-day free trial vs 7-day trial, plus the 60-day money back guarantee not available at JamPlay).

If you’re already an intermediate or advanced player, or want to focus on specific genres like bluegrass or metal, JamPlay may be your better option. They certainly offer quality video lessons for beginners as well, but they’re organized by instructor, meaning you’ll have to find a teacher you like first, then go through their specific set of lessons.

JamPlay also offers bass lessons, and have a slightly deeper focus on music theory. They’re also the better option if you like the idea of watching video lessons made by pro musicians, or prefer to make quarterly payments.

And if you’re still unsure, why not try ’em both? Both Guitar Tricks and JamPlay offer free trials, so click the links above and check out both sites if you want a sneak peek before making a final decision.

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Conclusion – What Is The Best Way to Learn Guitar?

There are many different ways to learn how to play a guitar for beginners, and the best method is different for every one of us.

If you’ve got time and money to spend, and thrive on one-on-one instruction where you can get instant feedback, private lessons may be the easiest way to learn guitar for you. In this scenario, search online or inquire at your local guitar store for someone who offers private lessons in your city or town.

Private lessons are great, but the amount of time and money required is significant.

Rocksmith 2014 and Tim Ferriss’ article on how to teach yourself to play guitar are great resources and can be used to compliment your learning process, even if you do end up choosing a series of private or online guitar lessons.

learn to play guitar online

Many people prefer to learn guitar online, and YouTube’s huge selection of free online guitar lessons is a great resource.

If you’re on a tight budget, mixing and matching various YouTube video lessons is a good place to start, at least until you find that one instructor who’ll help you get the best results.

Be aware that bouncing between YouTube videos won’t provide a structured learning process, and may leave gaps in your knowledge base. This can lead to frustration, and may not be the most effective or fastest way to learn guitar.

If you really want to learn to play guitar online but don’t have any money to spend right now, check out justinguitar.com.

But if you’re able to invest a few bucks, choose one comprehensive guitar course, preferably one with multiple instructors, and go through the lessons methodically and in the right order.

It may not be as effective as private one-on-one lessons, but when you consider how much less money it costs, the overall value makes it the best way to learn guitar.

I recommend both Guitar Tricks and JamPlay as high-quality, comprehensive beginner guitar courses.

Once you’re ready to start your lessons, remember that sticking to the program and practicing regularly (minimum 15-30 minutes, 3-5 times a week, if possible) will help cut down the time it takes to learn to play the guitar significantly. You’ll find all the lessons in one place, with a structured system in place and a a forum where you can ask questions and get a quick response.

I wish you the best of luck in your quest to find the best way to learn guitar for your own personal needs. Regardless of what option you choose, make sure you choose one.

Remember: Anyone can play guitar.

For those about to Rock … we salute you!!

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