Learning to play guitar online shouldn’t be difficult if you get it right from the start. So often beginner guitar players are distracted by the next shiny thing and their learning becomes fragmented.
I know this because I have learned to play guitar exclusively online and have seen so many people quit because they couldn’t see progress quickly enough, their fingers hurt too much or they just didn’t think it would be this hard.
In this article, I will guide you in choosing the best way to learn guitar i.e. the best method, that will help you sustain your guitar progress so that you reach the level you want to.
If you are just starting to learn then just by reading this you will be streaks ahead of many beginners. You will make progress quickly, playing guitar will become an almost meditative habit and ultimately will become a lifelong passion.
So let’s get into it.
Best Way To Learn Guitar Online
The best way to learn guitar online is to choose a structured online guitar course like the Justin Guitar Beginner Course and stick with it until you have completed it. Practice daily for a minimum of 15 minutes, increasing to 1 hour a day after the first month and within 6 months you will be a competent beginner guitar player.
This, however, is easier said than done for many beginner guitar players and is often down to not knowing where to start and how to maintain a structure to their learning.
Also if this seems a long time and you will still be classed a ‘beginner’ then read my article here 6 Differences Between Beginner and Intermediate Guitar Players where we break down what you will need to know before you can really start to class yourself as an intermediate.
So to get started on the right foot and not waste a lot of time then my recommendation would be to choose a free structured guitar course. This would not be a mix of lessons from YouTube but an actual course.
There are many online guitar courses that you have to pay for, which will be pushed at you if you search for ‘best guitar courses online’ in Google. However, if you are just getting started there are actually some great structured courses that will cost you no money at all and aren’t shown in those search results.
If you want to know what these are then please watch my video below where I cover all the detail. All of the courses I recommend are worth taking and completing. One of the courses is also an extremely good online beginner course and most don’t even know it exists or how to get access to it for free.
If you feel there wasn’t enough detail in the video above then read my article here Best Free Beginner Guitar Course (it will open in a separate window/tab) where I break down each of the courses, provide links to them and show you what you can expect to learn from them.
So hopefully you have looked through those courses and one of the teacher’s styles, talking cadence and course structure have appealed to you. Now what? Just start playing right? Not quite.
Before you choose the course, read what I have written below, it is the next step in choosing the right course, and can make all the difference in your learning.
What Is Your Guitar Goal?
What you need to realize before you start trying to learn guitar online is that there is a mental game to understand and it isn’t always clear because all of the learning is left to you in your own time.
When should you move on from one exercise to the next? should you master it first then move on? should you get a basic understanding and that is enough? should you skip it entirely if it bores you or isn’t what you want to do?
All great questions and from my experience the best way to answer these questions is to know what your overall goal for your first year of learning guitar is.
If, for example, your goal is to be able to play some simple songs on an acoustic guitar with friends in a relaxed environment then the Udemy course I mention is ideal for you. However, if your main focus is on lead guitar and learning riffs for example then Jamie Harisson’s course will be the one for you. Perhaps you want a complete grounding in guitar first before specializing? then the Justin Guitar Beginner Course is for you.
You don’t have to have really detailed goals at this stage, just enough to know what you are interested in so that when you want to practice some songs or solos away from the course you know what to concentrate on.
This will help you down the line when things get tough and you feel the frustration and want to give up. I know this feeling and have been there. The thing with learning guitar is that there are plateau’s and that just has to be accepted. We can make big leaps and bounds in our progress in the early stages but then things level out.
Learning guitar is not always linear and it is frustrating so if you have started and feel this way then check out our article here 11 Tips To Beating Guitar Learning Frustration. We dig into the mental side of learning guitar and provide important advice about not comparing yourself to others, the guitar ‘weight loss’ effect and the best way to see improvement.
Barre chords, for example, they always stop a beginner in their tracks. So when this happens, and it will, you need to understand that it is ok to concentrate on the things you love about guitar, which is often the songs or solos and riffs. Practicing these away from your struggling point can help keep your passion burning and overcome the obstacle that you are currently facing.
What Are The Best Online Guitar Lessons?
Once you have outlined your goal then you can now choose a course that suits it, below I have written a quick outline based on the free courses that I have also talked about in the video above. There are obviously many more courses available on the internet that might suit your needs but these courses listed below are completely free.
You do not need to pay for lessons online when you first start, I wouldn’t advise it at all. These courses below are all very good and I completed one myself which you can see in videos further below.
|Udemy – Learn Guitar in 21 Days||Excellent Introduction – Simple Chords / Songs / Camp Fire Playing|
|Steve Stine – Beginner Course||Detailed Beginner Lessons & Introduction to Learning The Fretboard|
|Jamie Harrison – Ultimate Beginner Guide||Complete Guide With Songs but a Focus On Riffs and Solos|
|Justin Guitar – Classic Beginner Course||Comprehensive Course – Main Focus on Open Chords|
|Justin Guitar – New Beginner Course||Comprehensive Course – More of a Mix (Currently Being Completed)|
Not only are these courses free but they are also excellent learning resources and much better than trying to come up with your own practice routine when you are new to playing the instrument. That is a sure-fire way of drifting from your learning and can lead to quitting playing which is exactly what we are trying to avoid.
Avoid Shiny Objects
So now you know your guitar goal and you have chosen your course of learning that fits with it.
Once you have done this my advice would be to stick with that course until you have completed it. You can supplement it with learning songs, riff, solos, or other areas of interest as I have previously mentioned but do not leave that course for another one until you have completed it.
Your interest in guitar will change over time but in the early stages of learning, it is important to get a good grounding and a solid understanding of the guitar. You only really get this by getting a comprehensive understanding of the basics that you get from a course.
Once you have completed that course then things open up for you and choosing to learn different aspects of guitar will be a lot more accessible to you.
So my advice while taking the course is, as the subheading suggests, avoid shiny objects and complete the course.
Ok so you know what to do but how can you have confidence it will work, what proof can you provide?
We’ll as I mentioned earlier, I have learned to play guitar exclusively online so I will show you below that an average guy in his 40’s with no prior musical experience can learn so I am sure you can too.
Age and previous experience are no barrier, it is all about committing yourself and getting emerged in the world of guitar and making part of ‘what you do’ in life, making it a hobby and just enjoying it.
Is It Possible To Learn Guitar Online?
Yes, absolutely you can and below I will show you that it is possible.
I have learned to play guitar exclusively online and have posted my progress on YouTube in order to keep my self accountable but also to help inspire others. In fact, I have written a complete article on whether or not it is possible which you can read here, Is It Possible To Learn Guitar Online? where I talk about why it is possible, how long it takes and how to beat the frustration of learning to play guitar, so read that if you are having any doubts.
I shot weekly videos of my progress on my YouTube channel and below is the first video I ever did. I wasn’t very comfortable on camera and I have tried to work on this in the year or so I have been making videos so go easy on me.
I go through all the exercises that I was doing at that point on the course so you can see the level of my playing. Admittedly I had played around about 20 hours of guitar before but that was close 20 years prior to making this video.
So I continued with the course and shot weekly videos and worked diligently at what I was doing and after a month I had some progress to show for it.
The video below is from the end of my first month and I had started to get the hand of a number of songs.
I hadn’t learned them all the way through but because I had bought Justin’s beginner songbooks as well as watch his video tutorials along with working through his course I had made some good progress on them.
I say this because a number of people have asked me how I learned so much (if you watch the weekly videos on my YouTube channel, click here to go to it, you will see how I got to this point)
I had a good grasp of how to play them and moving between them and revisiting them as I progressed really helped me to grow in confidence and in my ability to play them.
After working hard at the course and on average practicing around 5 to 7 hours a week for 5 months, I completed the course.
If you haven’t taken the course then part of the final test is to be able to play 10 songs all the way through from start to finish. In the video below I had reached this point and whilst I don’t play them all the way through, you will get a good idea of what level I had got to.
So at this point, I considered myself a reasonably competent beginner. I didn’t class myself as an intermediate guitar player at this stage but I felt quite confident in my rhythm guitar playing.
This video has been the most popular video I have created so far (at the time of writing) and I also think it shows that you can learn to play guitar online.
So hopefully the case I have put forward in this article has convinced you of the best way to learn guitar online and I wish you the best of luck with your learning!