Are you wondering how to learn guitar with YouTube? Are you frustrated at not being able to find the answer you want amidst the many, many videos? Or do you know how and are looking for better ways of doing it?
In this post I provide some insight into how us guitar players can use this fantastic platform to become better guitar players. Let’s rock and roll.
The Benefits Of Using YouTube To Learn Guitar
Information On Anything You Want to Learn
You can type in something like “beginner chords guitar”, which presents you with all the information on beginner chords guitar you need to know.
Quality Content is Put First
20 years ago, the technology to ask a question like “how do I learn arpeggios on guitar” and get multiple answers from expert guitar teachers didn’t exist. Isn’t it crazy? You can find different personalities and styles covering the same topic, so you get a broad perspective. This helps you to form your own answer, and have different approaches to many situations.
Guitar teachers are at your fingertips, and the ones who provide the most value are shown first. You have the best of the best guitar lessons, and lots of them. Plus, they’re continually being updated, meaning the content only gets better over time.
You Can Access It Anywhere with a WiFi Connection
Train commute? Yep. Anytime at home? Definitely. The world is abundant, and the internet has opened up so much possibility. The only problem is that sometimes, you can have too much of a good thing…
What's Not Good About YouTube Guitar Lessons
Lack of execution
It’s too easy to watch videos when the execution of the ideas is what will really benefit you. Because of the way YouTube works, there will be endless quality content lined up, and you can follow the rabbit hole for hours, procrastinating hours of essential practise time.
Here are some common things that also hinder your progress:
- Boring/ Unenthusiastic teachers
- Flow of lessons can be rough and not enjoyable/ not structured well
- Unclear/ Impractical information
Keep in mind some teachers may be in the process of expressing their teaching voice; just like me! We’re not brilliant yet, but in time we will bring you immense value, with patience, consistency, and a genuine passion to help you learn to play guitar.
Not Knowing What To Search For
If you don’t know what you want to learn, or what you need next, then this can be a massive put off, especially if the next video you watch is of a guy making playing look unbelievably easy. I remember many times like this, where I would know I need to do something, but not what it was, and trying to search for it was frustrating as the guitar teachers could not point it out to me.
Too much information
Because there are multiple answers to a question, you will get a ton of different perspectives, when you may really need a specific answer. Going through all the different videos can be tedious and feel like a waste of time if you don’t find what you’re looking for, or the different information you receive conflicts with each other.
What You Can Do To Get The Most From YouTube
Build a Beginners Foundation
Here are things I recommend you learn if you haven’t already. There is only so much information you can learn in one video, and usually, guitar teachers will share ideas with the assumption that you already know these things:
- Learn Common Music Terminology & Theory Terms
- Get Your Timing Down With a Metronome
- Beginner Open Chord Shapes
- Beginner Scale Shapes
- Beginner Bar Chords
Set Goals For Yourself
Use these goals as guidelines for what to search for. Stick to one thing at a time. When you find something interesting you want to practise, stick to it to go deep into that area, instead of skimming loads of videos and going too broad. This way, you can extract the most value and progress the most. Also, you will usually find another direction you want to take by going deep into one area. Pace yourself; it’s a journey, a marathon, not a sprint.
If you have no idea, or the goals are broad like you want to learn fingerstyle guitar, then make it a point to narrow them down over time, which brings us to the next point…
This is a process and it’s best when you learn to enjoy it because that’s where long-lasting guitar playing happiness lies.
Look To Popular YouTube Guitar Teachers
They are popular for a reason! People subscribe to them because they consistently put out quality content that is watched a lot. Here are some of the best:
JimJam Guitar (As of 16/03/20 I’m not the best but I intend to be, and my drive is to provide the most value. These other guitar teachers are a HUGE inspiration and I have so much love and respect for them. Please check them out!)
Creative Guitar Lessons
Use Other Sources To Learn From
YouTube is used best alongside other learning methods, such as:
- Guitar books
- Connecting with other guitar players
- Live performance experience
- 1-1 Guitar Lessons
How To Search With YouTube
Finally, here is some practical advice to try.
Keep in mind Different variations of the same search topic will give you different results. Here are some search term variations to use:
how to play x
how to play arpeggios
how to play x on guitar
how to play arpeggios on guitar
x guitar lesson
arpeggios guitar lesson
what is/ are x
what are arpeggios
what is/ are x on guitar
what are arpeggios on guitar
You can also add a genre or the type of guitar you’re playing, i.e. acoustic or electric, within, just before or after these search terms.
Example: acoustic arpeggio guitar lesson/ arpeggio acoustic guitar lesson / arpeggio guitar lesson acoustic
You can look at sites like Quora or Reddit for guitar questions asked by guitar players. Simply look at the guitar lesson forums and see what people are saying. There are many communities about guitar playing within these sites; use the search terms you use to find guitar lessons to find these communities on these sites also.
Example: typing in “arpeggio guitar lesson”will bring up an answer to a question someone had about guitar arpeggios, and this answer will usually be within a guitar lesson community. Go into that community and explore other questions
The key points of this post are:
- YouTube is a powerful learning tool, but it’s not perfect
- You can easily procrastinate, so aim to focus your efforts on one thing at a time, and make sure you’re practising more than you’re watching videos
- Using YouTube alongside other learning sources is the best way to learn
Confused or want to know more? Let me know if you’ve got any questions, I’m more than happy to answer them!
Take care fellow travellers.