When you decide on learning to play the guitar and becoming a self taught guitarist, you need to take into careful consideration the method through which you will teach yourself to play the guitar. The most popular ways of learning the guitar from home are through books, and through video lessons.
Beginner Guitar Books
There are literally hundreds of guitar learning books to choose from. The most popular ones have had several editions since first publishing, with improvements and refinements coming with each new edition. The most useful guitar books will have supplemental CDs and DVDs, making the learning experience interactive.
Pros of Guitar Books
- The book is always available, you don’t need an internet connection or a DVD player, just your guitar to start learning.
- Well written guitar books for beginners will have a structured flow of lessons.
Cons of Guitar Books
- It is hard to really learn music from books as a beginner, since you can’t hear what you should be playing right away. This is somewhat offset by books which have supplemental CDs.
- Pictures are a must in all guitar learning books, but the fact that you can’t see the instructors hand move along the fretboard, form chords, etc., is a huge downside.
- No personal feedback to the student.
Video Guitar Lessons
Learning from online video lessons or DVD courses is considered by many, to be the next best thing to having a private teacher.
Pros of Video Guitar Tutorials
- Video is multimedia, meaning you get a chance to hear what you should be playing, and also see the required hand movements.
- Videos where an instructor explains the material and demonstrates what should be played is more exciting that reading about it.
- Quality online guitar lesson websites offer personal feedback.
Cons of Video Lessons
- You are confined to using videos only when the technical equipment is available to you (PC, DVD player).
- Many people are tempted on learning from random free online lessons, which usually results in an unstructured method of learning.
All in all, deciding on the learning method is up to you and your available resources, the few dollars spent on getting a structured study course will be beneficial either way.
by Tom Fontana