Beginner’s Guide to Learning How to Play Guitar

This “how to” article is not going to give you a list of specific steps to do in order to play better.

No article like that exists. You can’t read a list of steps and suddenly get better at the guitar. You need proper instruction and practice.

This article simply lists the different methods and resources you can use to enhance your skills.

Over the last few years I’ve researched so many different tools to help beginners master the guitar.

What I’ve discovered is that there are really only 3 ways to learn how to play the guitar.

Each of these categories is slightly different, and will have a few options.

I’ve done my best to highlight the top choices within each category, and will continue to update this site as new learning products come out.

One thing I can say forsure is that there are so many good resources available for those who want to really learn guitar. The tough part is actually choosing which one to go with.

So all you really need to do is commit and take action.

1. Real In-Person Lessons

in person guitar lessons

At the end of the day, you can’t fully substitute real in-person lessons.

When you have someone right next to you it’s pretty darn helpful.

But there are also so many cons about this learning method compared to the others:

  • It can be expensive
  • You can’t get help 24/7
  • You usually need to travel to lessons
  • Are there good instructors in your area?

One of the biggest downfalls with real lessons is convenience. With millions of people wanting to learn the guitar, there just aren’t enough good teachers for everyone.

Many people don’t have access to one, and many people can’t afford them.

I would only recommend this method if you have a budget for it, and you have easy access to a really good teacher.

2. Online Video Lessons

Sample video example

When you jump into the world of online video lessons, you begin to see the huge value created by the Internet and the growth of technology.

These have really replaced any DVD or CD course. These still exist, and some are good, but I feel their days are numbered.

What often comes to mind when thinking about this section is leverage. Why pay a guitar teacher 30 or 40 dollars an hour, when you can share that cost with thousands of other people, making the cost of one lesson next to nothing.

That’s one of the main benefits with online guitar lessons.

Basically you pay a monthly or yearly fee, and you have access to thousands of online video lessons. There are beginner lessons, specific guitar style lessons, and you can even get lessons on playing your favourite songs.

These membership websites have millions of users. Guitar Tricks offers over 600 song lessons and the other popular website JamPlay, offers weekly live lessons.

Compare paying for a year of online lessons, versus maybe 4 or 5 in person lessons. You simply can’t beat the value here.

The main con is that you won’t get that instant feedback, however it’s pretty close. There are websites which offer live lessons, chat rooms, and some offer a video exchange feature where you can upload yourself playing and get feedback.

For more information, visit the main section for online lessons here.

3. Games and Apps

guitar app display of Yousician

The other way to learn how to play guitar is with games and apps.

There are seriously so many options to choose from in this category, I can’t list them all. There are guitar tab apps like Songsterr, all the way to learning apps like Yousician.

There are also popular guitar video games like Rocksmith.

One of the main advantages to this type of learning device is that it’s fun and easy to use. If you’re comfortable with downloading apps, you’ll have no problem getting started.

Many of these options will have a scoring system built it which makes learning fun and keeps you coming back for more, however the overall instruction is not as detailed as you’ll get with the other choices above.

I personally always find myself moving back to the video lesson websites, however these are a good way to mix up your learning.

You can find more information in the guitar app section of the blog.

Where Should You Go?

If you’re a beginner who really wants to learn and improve your skills, I would recommend you check out the online video section first.

In my opinion it’s overall the best avenue for learning and getting value. You can find my recommendations here.

I think for most people, it’s the way to go.

About The Author


I'm Tyler, the webmaster here at My passion is music, and my job is to supply reviews and articles about all the different ways you can learn and produce music online. I hope you find this website helpful.