You’re never too old or too young to learn the guitar—but you can be too busy. Let’s face it, not all of us have the time to shuttle back and forth from work to home to guitar lessons and back home, even on a weekly basis. The alternative? Online guitar lessons—courses you can do from the comfort of your own home, in your own time, even in your pajamas.
Online lessons have become increasingly popular as people, even children, adopted busier lifestyles. This applies even outside music, from art to academics. But in music, it’s a little complicated because it’s always a two-way affair. you don’t just want to learn notes—you want to be able to play well. Often, that means playing for someone. Many guitar lessons get the instruction part right, but aren’t good at prompting practice and assessing performance. This is one of the first things you should look for when choosing lessons.
High-quality video and audio lessons are a good way of assuring this. Jamplay, for example, has about 570 hours of video instruction from over 40 real-life experts. And it’s not just some scripted lesson plan, either: you get professional-quality videos and performances from your instructors, and they keep adding new ones every week.
Another great thing about this program is that it covers various musical genres, something that’s rare in the industry. Most guitar lessons will focus on a particular style, such as rock or jazz, but Jamplay offers lessons across the board, allowing you to try out new styles and eventually settle into something you like.
You also have to consider your level of expertise. There are guitar lessons for pros and lessons for those who’ve never held a guitar before. If you’re the latter, a good place to start is Beginner Guitar System from Railroad Media. Nate Savage, a guitarist with over 16 years of experience, walks you through all the basics, from common chords and power chords to skills like rhythm and timing. Even intermediate players can find some of the concepts useful.
Such programs are ideal for beginners because they don’t cost much—for instance, the Learn and Master Guitar program from guitar manufacturer Gibson offers about two years’ worth of lessons for a fraction of the price. If you’re not sure you want to be a serious player, or if you’re just trying to see if your kid will like it, it doesn’t make sense to pay a fortune for a private instructor’s time.