I often get questions about learning guitar online.
People want to teach themselves guitar.
I get it.
We don’t have time for lessons.
It’s just so convenient to learn from home.
Here are some of the most frequently asked online-guitar-related questions…
What is an online guitar lesson?
Online guitar lessons can mean anything from youtube lessons to live skype lessons.
Will they work on any computer?
Yes. Well… probably.
Most of these services will easily run on Apple based machines like Macs, iPads, iPhones, iPods.
Most will work on Android phones, Blackberry phones, and PCs as well.
There are a few exceptions. Some services provide games and chat functionality. Depending on the software used, you may not be able to run them on your computer, phone, or tablet.
I haven’t personally experienced any issue with this aspect of JamPlay or Guitar Tricks while using my Mac or Android phone.
If you’re worried about it, you can alway just check with each companies respective customer service department, most will issue a refund within the first week of using the product.
Do I need a webcam?
Nope. At the time of this writing neither of these services required a webcam.
This is good and bad.
Good: Because you don’t have to deal with additional hardware.
Bad: Having a webcam allows their guitar teachers to watch you. This means they could catch your mistakes and help you fix them.
Maybe at some point you will have this interactive option, but until then you probably need a guitar teacher for this.
Do I need any special guitar software?
Nope. As I mentioned above, as long as your computer can handle their software (which is strictly accessed through your web browser) you’re good to go.
No need to download any additional guitar related software.
Both of these services have an app that you can download to access their service (via your iPhone or Android device).
I don’t consider this software even though it kind of is…. I guess.
We’re all use to downloading and using apps at this point – if you can’t handle that you should probably stick with a live, in-person guitar teacher.
Is it just watching videos?
Oh no. There’s a lot more to it.
There are live lessons.
Live Q & A sessions.
Chord and Theory libraries.
And yes – a lot of videos too.
If you want a more detailed look into the features of these services, check out this article about the best way to teach yourself guitar.
Are there actual teachers?
Yes. There is a steady roster of guitar instructors.
There are generally between 50-100 teachers.
Teachers provide both live chat and pre-recorded video lessons.
The teachers are well versed in various styles and techniques.
Lessons are constantly updated (average around 5 new lessons each week).
Can I ask questions if I get confused?
Both services have forums where you can ask questions to teachers (and other members of the community).
The live chats provide a great opportunity to get feedback.
So yes – it is very interactive (just not as interactive as a live face-to-face lesson would be).
How much does it cost?
Most of these services range from $12 – $20 per month depending on the type of membership you get.
They are all monthly subscription services.
This is far cheaper than an actual guitar teacher.
It’s obviously more expensive than YouTube (free) or online tabs (free) – still it’s certainly affordable.
Does it actually work… will I learn the guitar?
Yes – if you put in the work.
No – if you don’t put in the work.
These services aren’t as effective as something like actual live in-person guitar lessons.
Nor are they as feedback sensitive as something like Rocksmith or Yousician.
But Rocksmith will probably leave you more dependent on your computer or video game.
And live lessons will definitely cost more than $20 each month.
Are things like JamPlay or Guitar Tricks good for me?
You’ve already demonstrated your ability to teach yourself.
In other words, you have the motivation, focus, and discipline.
That’s it! If you have any questions drop them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer/update this article!
(Jake Posko does Online Guitar Lessons and Coaching as well as in-home lessons in the Annapolis, Maryland area including: Annapolis, Edgewater, Severna Park, Pasadena, Crownsville, Arnold and Kent Island, inquire about lessons by e-mailing him at email@example.com).
(Photo Credit: Sam Foles)