Monday, February 21, 2011

Learning Acoustic Guitar - Online, Personal Teacher or Self-Teach?

By Scott Forrester

It's fun to learn the acoustic guitar, but when you do so, there are some choices you should make. The Internet has made a lot of things more convenient, including learning acoustic guitar through online learning methods if you which. However, hiring a personal instructor has advantages as well. You can also get a lesson book and teach yourself sans Internet. In this article, we'll look at the pros and cons of each method so that you can make a decision that's informed.

The Internet has a lot of methods by which you can learn to play the guitar as a student. Most of these tutorials online are put together by professionals who know what they're doing. Some of these tutorials offer written lessons, some have video lessons included, and others offer both, in combination. In my opinion, the combination method is best, for several reasons.

One of the first reasons is that you can get the text lesson and learn from it, but you're not going to know if you're learning correctly, because this method doesn't give you any feedback or demonstration. A simple text lesson plan is the least effective method when it comes to learning how to play guitar. At the end of the lesson, there'll usually be a piece of music or little song that will encapsulate the lesson material. However, it's not likely that you're going to know how that should sound or whether you're reproducing it correctly.

If you learn from just a video, it's more effective, but you're not going to have the benefit of having it reinforced by seeing it on paper, too. What this means is that you see the material played by the person in the video and you can hear how it's supposed to sound, but you couldn't see what it should look like in sheet music. What that means is that this isn't the best situation, either.

If you use a video plus sheet music, this is probably the best way to learn the guitar. That's because it combines every proper learning and feedback method. You can see the music in print, you can hear how it should sound, and you can also see how it should be played. And if you wish, you can go over and over again until it sounds just the way you should be producing it, and until you've mastered each lesson.

The use of a personal instructor is another good way to learn guitar. A good instructor can show you the proper way to do everything. They can show you how to do it, listen as you play the material and point out areas that need work. He/she can also tell you what you are doing well and direct you that way. The only thing is if you don't practice, you may spend two or three lessons on the same material.

Self-teaching is actually a good way to go and may be underrated in some things. You can get a book and teach yourself the lessons, but if you just do that, will you have the ability to play guitar? Will you have become fluid or agile on the guitar? You're basically in the same situation as the person who chose to do text lessons online.

In any case, none of these methods will have a positive effect on your ability to play guitar unless you do one thing; PRACTICE! That is the key to becoming what you want to become as a guitarist. Take each lesson home and practice it until you can do it backwards in your sleep. In short, practice, practice, practice and then practice some more.

No matter how you go about learning how to play acoustic guitar, practicing is what is going to make you the best you can be. Whether you go to a teacher in person and pay for lessons, or whether you do a tutorial online, practice is what really makes the difference between success and failure.

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