Guitar lessons. If you’re new to guitars you’re going to need lessons to make meaningful progress. Heck, even experienced musicians take lessons to learn new things from those who are more experienced. Guitar lessons offer a structured learning experience that follows a proper, set path, allowing you to learn things in a logical order. This makes progress easier to see and track and allows an easy way for you to go back and put more time into areas you need improvement in.
Now you can pay for guitar lessons, or you can take the free route. Both have benefits. We’ll review these before getting to some useful videos and links below.
Free Guitar Lessons
The obvious benefit here is the cost. Zip. Nada. Zero. Which has a great deal of appeal to a lot of folks. You can hop on YouTube and find all manner of videos offering instructions. Quality varies greatly, however, so you may spend a bunch of time trying to find solid instructors. This path means you can choose exactly when and where you learn. Assuming you can find a quality series of videos, they’re on demand so you get to set the pace.
The downsides here are quality and the inability to ask questions in real time. There is simply no feedback loop, so if you think you’re doing something right, and you’re not, you may never know. One downside that might not seem like much as i explain it is that it’s a pain in the rear to watch a video and need to pause it to practice what you saw. I mean, you need both hand son the guitar, so when you’re new, you end up juggling between your computer and guitar. Small thing, but very real.
Paid Guitar Lessons
The biggest benefit here is structure. A teacher with a curriculum to follow. That logical flow is what most people need to make meaningful progress. You can often find times that work with even busy schedules. But this is also the downside. You need to schedule these lessons. The pace is not self-led either, so if you make more progress between lessons, you still need to wait for your next lesson. Costs vary greatly as well, so shop around. A business that offers guitar lessons will often be more reliable than an individual…and often much more expensive.
Of course, this being the Internet, you can also pay for guitar lessons online. And while the options below are free, the same person offers paid services as well. The old axiom holds true – you get what you pay for, so expect more value if you’re paying for something.
Here is A Starting Point
To at least offer a reasonable point to start, there are some videos below. Are they the best, from the best instructor? Tough to say as I haven’t seen everything online. I have, however, invested dozens of hours in watching guitar lesson videos. And I’ve come to the conclusion that there are a few good options. One of which is below. His YouTube handle is AndyGuitar (his real name is Andy Crowley) and he’s got a lot more videos that those shown here. These will give you some exposure to his style and process. From here you can explore as you like, but I’m confident this is a reasonable starting point for most people, whether you want to learn electric or acoustic, his guitar lessons are excellent and well presented.
Those are the first three of his ten videos in the YouTube beginners guitar lessons playlist. This playlist of ten videos is free on YouTube. The complete beginner’s guide on his website can be found here. This program is, he states, more in depth with material not shared on YouTube. It costs roughly $26 USD at the time this was written.
Another option similar to Andy’s is from www.guitarlessons.com. They offer a mix of free and paid options. I like GL’s simple layout. It’s easy to see the basic lessons and two clicks has you watching their large format, high quality videos. Perfect for viewing on mobile devices or your computer.
For The Record
I don’t know Andy Crowley, and I receive no compensation for sharing information about his program, nor do I receive compensation if you purchase from him. My only recommendation is for (and from) the YouTube videos he has posted because I have personally found them helpful and of high quality. If you choose to purchase from him, exercise due diligence and research everything first. For something like this (even though the price is low), it may be worth dropping him an email with any questions you have before buying.
Same applies to the GuitarLessons.com series. Don’t know them, not compensated by them for sharing in any way and I recommend researching before handing over credit card information.