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Thursday, February 3, 2011

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

Posted by patrick

By Scott Forrester

When it comes to learning the acoustic guitar, you have some choices to make. The Internet has made many things more convenient, but a personal instructor has it's advantages, too. Maybe you could just get a lesson book and teach yourself. Here, we look at the pros and cons of each so you can make an informed decision.

The Internet has many, MANY methods to offer the guitar student. Most of them are put together by professionals who know their stuff. Some offer written lessons, some offer video lessons and still others offer you a combination of the two. I would suggest a combination for a few reasons.

One of the ways you can do this is to get a text lesson and learn it, but this has disadvantages because you'll have no idea if you're actually learning correctly. Learning from a text lesson and nothing else is probably the least effective when it comes to learning acoustic guitar. At the end of this lesson, you'll usually get a little song or piece of music included (in text) that incorporates the lessons you've learned in the lesson a true, but you're not going to know how it should sound.

It's more effective to learn from just a video, but that doesn't offer you the benefit of seeing it on paper, too. You can see the guitar played by the guy in the video, and you can hear how it's supposed to sound, but you won't be able to see what it's supposed to look like on sheet music. That means that this isn't the best situation, either.

That's why a combination of video backed up by sheet music is probably the most powerful and effective way to learn acoustic guitar. With this method, you can both see the music in print and you can hear how it should sound. And, of course, you have the visual reinforcement of seeing it played properly so that you can copy proper form. Finally, you can also repeat the lesson as many times as you need to until you have mastered it.

Using a personal instructor is also another good way to learn guitar. A good instructor's tutelage can show you how to do everything properly. In addition to showing you how to do it, they can listen as you play and point out areas that need work. The instructor can also tell you what you're doing well and what can be fixed. However, you need to practice, which means that if you don't, you could spend several lessons on the same material.

Self-teaching is probably underrated in some areas. You can get a book and teach yourself all the lessons, but when it's all said and done, will you have gained ability? Will you have gained agility or fluidity? Basically, you are in the same boat as the guy who just learned from text lessons online.

What that means is that really, none of these methods is going to have a positive effect on your development of the ability to play guitar unless you practice. Practice, in fact, is key to becoming what you want to become as a guitarist. Take each lesson and practice it until you can do it backwards, forwards, in your sleep, and so on. In other words, practice is what's going to make perfect. Practice, practice, practice, practice and then practice some more.

Whatever way you choose to learn acoustic guitar, the practice is the gravy on the potatoes, baby. Whether you go online or go to a teacher and pay for hourly lessons, practice makes all the difference.

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