I want to learn guitar and I want it now! But how can I find a teacher? Maybe there is no teacher around here, let’s look up on the Internet! Wow, zillions results over there! How can I find out which one is good?
You recognize yourself in this scenario? I bet you do! You know, the very starting motivation is the strongest asset you will ever own for any craft or art you dream to learn. It’s not worth to just count on “today I’m feeling lucky” and just pick up the first result you find. But let’s get back again for a while!
Of course, the best and most effective way to learn the guitar (and I will mention this as much as it needs) is the real teacher teaching with offline lessons. Okay, but it’s not the easiest thing. You spend a lot of time to find contact, transportation, then maybe find out he (she) is not the person you expected or not finding the connection between you both, etc..
Here comes the tiny red line where you need a better and deeper research of the person you will rely on building your guitar skills. Whether if you do offline or online lessons, you need information before you start to confide! It is very important to feel you are in good hands, especially during your first steps.
Online guitar lessons – What’s that?
As you most probably already know, there are more than ten million results when you type in Google “Guitar lesson”. Well, yes. It’s quite popular. And it’s quite unusual to not find a free guitar lesson. They are on Youtube, on lesson marketplaces, on independent websites, Guitar magazines or Guitar online shops. But how, the heck, could we know which ones are okay and which system really works? You could spend years of your life researching. And still not be sure how to answer this question.
Here’s the thing: Yes, there are plenty of quality materials as well as non quality ones, but what makes the difference cannot be learned by reading only. You definitely need a reference. Either a friend or professional, one advice is a treasure, really. Just ask someone who knows guitar better than you. Guitar guys are generous – they will tell you everything! (if they are not like my first teacher who was keeping the best licks for his album and I never learned them). Actually guitar players love to share the best they can. Guitar is an art, after all, and art needs a stage.
So, after you have an advice, you have a base reference and you could compare. But remember: A Guitar lesson could be 10 seconds or few hours. It makes a big difference. So,first of all, you should.
Know what exactly are you looking for, based on what your goals are!
Start from the music you like. You maybe heard AC DC or Bruce Springsteen? Well they both play rock and roll and of course, rock and roll needs riffs and solos. You might be a fan of Michael Jackson or Jamiroquai – well, this is funk and rhythm. You might be in classical music with a classic acoustic guitar – then go look for a classical guitar lesson.
Next: you need to be aware of your goals.
You might want to just play around the campfire or occasionally invite friends to a home party and play the guitar at the end of the event. That’s fine – you will need chords and learn some songs. If you are a die-hard fan of Jimi Hendrix, you will need a serious solo guitar lesson with pentatonic scales and rock riffs. Fans of Yngwie Malmsteen know they will need fast licks and rolling the guitar around their body.
Look for guitar lessons with a good structure and possible feedback
First you need to tune. First you need to tune. Yes, first you need to tune. You cannot play anything if you are not tuned. And this is the first thing you need to learn. So there are no excuses for the lessons which are not beginning with “Tune your guitar” intro. It’s just a must-have.
Then you can go with fingering, stretching, frets and strings, chords, scales, etc.
This is a standard curriculum for most of the quality guitar courses, so watch out. Don’t get this wrong – It’s still possible to learn arpeggios before knowing how to play on a single string, but trust me, it’s not going to be easy for you to go back to the basics when you have 20 lessons behind your back. It also could bring negative emotions to your guitar learning process and it is dangerous. A good structure gives a guarantee that you will not miss anything complex and you will keep your motivation to play.
Next thing is feedback. If possible, find a lesson which has a feedback from your teacher. The real guitar lessons have real teachers and they write real replies to their students. If they don’t care about questions, then go away from there. There is another option, if the teacher is not available to answer – there should be at least a community that supports each other. So you can always ask for help. It is crucial to have a feedback. This will be your compass under the dark starry sky during the small hours before the dawn.
Choose a trustful mentor or a well known brand/person
You can go also with you favorite musician. There are many famous guitar players providing online guitar lessons. If you a real fan, you will find them, no doubt. But if you don’t want this, then research. Look some videos, pay attention to the empathy of the tutor, the dedication and the personality – these are the things that matter. These are the things that will shape you as a guitar player, so no compromise with it.
Internet is a wild place
You should always be prepared for underwater rocks, especially if you don’t know what you are looking for. A good final practice for finding the quality guitar course, is to write down all your criteria and start searching. Use all the sources you have to guide yourself and do not go with it if you are not 100% sure that this is YOUR lesson.