If you want to learn the guitar, or improve on your skills, you have a few options.
Right now you’re obviously wondering if you should invest in guitar lessons, or try and learn by yourself.
We need to first break this question down into two parts: In Person Lessons vs. Online Lessons.
There are essentially two ways to learn the guitar. You can pay for lessons where you go and see a guitar teacher, or you can learn online.
For answering this question we’ll consider “learning online” to refer to “teaching yourself”.
Why I Don’t Recommend In Person Lessons
I don’t want to paint a negative picture of paying for in person guitar lessons. There are some great teachers out there, and you will get better after seeing them.
But for so many people this is probably not the best option. These lessons can be expensive, you will have to commute most of the time, and your access is limited.
Plus, many people simply don’t have a good guitar teacher that lives close to them.
So these are the main reasons why I don’t recommend in person guitar lessons, and why I think you should try learning online first.
Teaching Yourself = Learning Online
Let’s be real, you can’t teach yourself the guitar without some help.
You either need to buy a book, watch a DVD, play a game, or study material online.
In the world of learning the guitar online (teaching yourself), there are free resources, and paid resources.
You need to be careful with free guitar lessons. Firstly, you’re always going to be limited to how much you can learn with free lessons. Sure you can learn a few chords, but most of these lessons are not step by step, and don’t lead you on to the next level in order to progress.
Even the websites that are labeled as “free”, almost always push you towards buying a guide book, DVD course, or some other type of promotion.
So understand this: If you want the best learning experience online, you will eventually need to pay.
There are some awesome free trials available to allow you to see if you like learning through online video lessons, but to really improve you will want to invest in some type of membership.
I've mentioned this a lot in the past, but let's quickly cover some of the costs associated with your options.
In person guitar lessons will vary in costs. There are quite a few factors that come into play:
- Experience of your instructor
- Your geographic area
- Where you are taking the lesson (home or in studio)
- Online via Skype
From what I've seen, the standard rate for 1 hour is $40. Some teachers do 30 minutes for 20 or 25 dollars.
So that's for 1 lesson!
For $19.95, you can have 24/7 access for a whole month to thousands of online video lessons, hundreds of guitar song lessons, and step by step instructions.
For 4 hours of in person guitar lessons you could have access to the best online guitar lesson website for a full year!
There's really no comparison.
What Online Resources Do I Recommend?
I’ve actually reviewed and rated 6 of the best online guitar websites here.
After researching and testing all the different options you have to learn the guitar online, I have come up with my top 2 recommendations:
Guitar Tricks and JamPlay
They offer so much when it comes to learning the guitar online.
I’ve had memberships with both of these websites and currently still have a membership with Guitar Tricks.
I’ve created a full video that compares these two programs so you can see exactly what type of lessons you get.