#1
I'm talking about people who started from nothing and made it to where they are now with absolutely no instruction from another person. What did you use to teach yourself? Books? Videos? Both? Yousician? How easy was it to pick up the playing skills? 
Last edited by ImNeverSalty at May 29, 2017,
#2
I'm semi-self taught. I came to guitar after log time instruction & playing the cello. Taught myself guitar basics with the help of a book or two- mostly chords and basics of care.

Then I took lessons for about a year, and had to unlearn some of the mistakes I had taught myself,

FWIW, this was all before the internet really took off, much less all the instructional channels. But of course, there were lots of instructional videotapes and DVDs I could have used that I didn't.

Based on my experiences, I wouldn't recommend going 100% self-teaching unless there were truly no other option.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#4
I think you'll find probably most people around here are, myself included. Had a few lessons but nothing too serious.
#5
There's not really any such thing as a self taught guitarist. I mean, I never had formal lessons, but by the same token all the most important stuff I learned came from other guitarists...not books or lessons.

It's a bit different nowadays with YouTube but a video lesson can't give you feedback and advice, which are by far the most valuable part of lessons.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#6
Quote by steven seagull
There's not really any such thing as a self taught guitarist. I mean, I never had formal lessons, but by the same token all the most important stuff I learned came from other guitarists...not books or lessons.

It's a bit different nowadays with YouTube but a video lesson can't give you feedback and advice, which are by far the most valuable part of lessons.

I'm not so sure, I have a couple of friends who swear they taught themselves everything. Now I wouldn't consider them "experts" or whatever you would call a seasoned guitarist but they can play some songs and they have a basic understanding of theory. 
#7
I'm self-taught by your definition. I did have a few classical lessons, but I was pretty well set in my ways by then, and they had no lasting impact. I learned in the early-to-mid 60s, almost entirely by listening to records and the performers at the local folk club. Later I got books, then tapes, then Youtube. My learning rarelyincluded playing with anyone else. However, I did have some piano lessons a few years before I took up guitar, so I had some grounding in theory. I understood the concept of keys, for example.
#9
I'm not self-taught. And I have to agree with Mark, if you'd be truly self taught you'd probably be a horrible guitarist with a severely lacking knowledge of how music works. Every book you read or a youtube video you watch, even every tab you use was made by someone else. Even the fact that you use a pick is the result of you knowing that other people also use picks. I know the difference between a teacher teaching a student 1 on 1 and watching a video lessons, of course, but I'm just saying that to learn any instrument the first time, you're relying on others. If you, Salty, have friends who truly taught themselves everything, they probably suck really hard. I mean, playing a couple of songs and having a grasp on theory is really basic and can be achieved in no time on an instrument that's as easy to pick up as the guitar.

Even if it was the case that you could get decent by literally teaching yourself everything, why would you? It's slower and harder and more prone to mistakes than getting a teacher, and kind of has no positives. This whole self-teaching thing is a fad if you ask me, because it seems to impress non-musicians a lot more when you tell them "I'm self taught btw". No reason not to get a decent teacher if you have the option, you're just doing yourself a disservice by deliberately skipping that..

(and with "you" I'm not referring to you, Salty, I'm just using it as a general term.)
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#10
I've never had a formal lesson in my life, but learned a bit from books and the rest from listening to masses of music and watching film and video of guitarists.  I agree with the sentiment that you can never be truly self-taught unless you picked up a guitar and never listened to any other music.  Every piece of music you ever listen to, even advert jingles, goes in and adds to your experience of how music works and how it should sound.

The truth is, I wish I had had lessons and I wish I had learned piano as I think I'd have a far better technical understanding of music rather than the instinctive understanding I have.  
#11
Quote by Kevätuhri
I'm not self-taught. And I have to agree with Mark, if you'd be truly self taught you'd probably be a horrible guitarist with a severely lacking knowledge of how music works. Every book you read or a youtube video you watch, even every tab you use was made by someone else. Even the fact that you use a pick is the result of you knowing that other people also use picks. I know the difference between a teacher teaching a student 1 on 1 and watching a video lessons, of course, but I'm just saying that to learn any instrument the first time, you're relying on others. If you, Salty, have friends who truly taught themselves everything, they probably suck really hard. I mean, playing a couple of songs and having a grasp on theory is really basic and can be achieved in no time on an instrument that's as easy to pick up as the guitar.

Even if it was the case that you could get decent by literally teaching yourself everything, why would you? It's slower and harder and more prone to mistakes than getting a teacher, and kind of has no positives. This whole self-teaching thing is a fad if you ask me, because it seems to impress non-musicians a lot more when you tell them "I'm self taught btw". No reason not to get a decent teacher if you have the option, you're just doing yourself a disservice by deliberately skipping that..

(and with "you" I'm not referring to you, Salty, I'm just using it as a general term.)

i can see why it's a fad. "I'm taught myself everything brah, I'm better than you because you had to rely on other people. Music is a competition. Brah." 
#12
Quote by steven seagull
There's not really any such thing as a self taught guitarist. I mean, I never had formal lessons, but by the same token all the most important stuff I learned came from other guitarists...not books or lessons.

It's a bit different nowadays with YouTube but a video lesson can't give you feedback and advice, which are by far the most valuable part of lessons.


Still self taught. You taught yourself using material. If a school teacher teaches you history and uses a textbook and gives you reading material to supplement lectures, you wouldn't say that the book is teaching you, is it? Self taught doesn't mean you don't use materials. Instructional material is just that: material. It's not a teacher because even though you learn from the book the book isn't teaching you. There is a difference between learning and being taught.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#13
I taught myself from videos and books in the mid 1990s until about 2010, then I started getting into online lessons like Guitar Master Class, private online lessons etc.  II taught myself theory from books and learned some more advanced jazz theory - although I found it boring, but it was helpful as I was learning about chord substitutions and also got into reading from standard notation.  
#14
I sort of taught myself.  It was a time before the internet so I bought a tab book for the Counting Crows August and Everything After album.  My sister was a vocal performance major (she is now a professor at a well respected university) so I picked up some theory while enduring countless hours of her practice but I figured out tuning and most basic chords using that 1 book of Crows songs.
Not taking any online orders.
Last edited by CorduroyEW at May 30, 2017,
#15
I'm self-taught more or less.. I mainly learned guitar off of YouTube, but I've been a violinist for over a decade, learned from a teacher. I just carried over some of what I learned on violin and applied it to guitar. Everything else, I just picked up from trying to play along to songs.
Gear:
- ESP LTD MH-50
- Strandberg OS 7
- A cheap fender strat knock-off not worth naming
- Garageband
- Boss GT-1
- Potato
#16
ImNeverSalty 
Per your definition, I'm exclusively self taught... but no books or videos; I just listened to music (records) and figured out how to play what I heard. The result of that method is that I play everything completely by ear and grasp new songs instantly (as the host band guitarist for an open mic jam (10 years) I routinely performed songs I'd never heard before with people I'd just met for the first time). Now days I have two jazz bands, one playing standards and the other originals.
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#18
I'm self taught, and have been playing for 20 years. For me, it started with a basic dictaphone tape recorded which had the ability to slow down and speed up tape, so I would record Paul Gilbert playing and then slow it down and try to replicate it. It all grew from there,but - get this - 20 years later, I do not know how to read tabs. I mean, I get how they're written out, but if I had one in front of me now, I literally would have to try it before I figured out which was the high E and which was the low E. For me, it's been two decades of playing with my ears. Fun, if not efficient
#19
I'm self "learning" myself, not sure how I can teach myself something I know nothing about. I do feel the need for some professional instructions at this point though, I could just keep plugging along and have no problem with being patient, and I am actually enjoying the journey, but some lessons would certainly be extremely beneficial.
Flying in a blue dream
#20
andikravljaca dude, I have to ask, and I'm sorry that this is going to be a dumb question: are you the Andi from Aeon Zen?


As for something on-topic just to make sure I'm not spamming: I am not truly self-taught, in either sense of the term, but my methods these days are generally more autodidact than directed personal teaching.  I've spent a lot of time absorbing any and all material I can get my hands on to learn from, sadly these days I don't have the time I used to for practice but when I was practising all the time it was long, difficult work, and I've made many many mistakes over the years.

Make of that what you will.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#22
Self-taught. Made a LOT of mistakes. Finally starting to see some really good progress. The hardest thing for me was breaking bad habits. It's very easy to develop bad habits without an instructor. I had so much tension in my body when playing that I never felt in control or comfortable. Being self-taught requires a lot of discipline and self-criticism as there is no-one to point out you are doing it wrong.

I'm a bit of an information whore. I check out tonnes of YouTube videos, websites, and forums and draw on all of that to reach my conclusions. There's a lot of questionable advice out there, and as a beginner it's difficult to know what's bollocks and what's good advice. You'll get better at sorting the shit from the good over time, but yeah, it's hard. You will inevitably pick up some bad advice at some point and run with it until you eventually figure out a better way and have to unlearn that bad habit.
#23
I'm self taught. got a guitar when I was around 15, but I never really took it seriously, and it just laid around everywhere. After a few years I started learning songs using this site, and mxtabs, which I think is now songster. I pretty much learned to play from learning songs from bands and looking at their techniques. I never had lessons, or never had anyone to teach me anything. The biggest "lessons" I had were when my uncle bought me a guitar book that taught basic stuff like hamer ons,pull offs, even though I already knew how to do them, I just didn't know what they were called.. 

I think my biggest struggles when learning to play was learning to recognize what certain symbols meant, everyone had their own way of writing tabs down, some people used a "b" next to a note to show a bend some people used "^", and that's kind of where it was confusing on my own, but eventually I understood.
#24
Self-taught, played on and off for well over a decade, and just now getting serious about improving my technique and playing instead of just playing to play. From that experience, I've learned a few things about being self-taught (as you say, no lessons, no instruction at all). First off, you can absolutely do it. I learned by listening to bands and albums, figuring it out by ear, and taking what I gleaned from them and making something of my own out of it. What that's done is give me a fantastic ear - I can walk into any rhythm situation, listen to what they need me to play, and play it back relatively quick. It's also done wonders for songwriting and riff writing. As of now, I'm finally starting to work on my lead playing (which is what i meant by my first sentence about getting serious as I was never really interested in it until recently), and I take licks from guys way out of my league like Angel Vivaldi or Oli from All That Remains, break them into small pieces, and use those bits as drills slowed down, which is basically how I learned rhythm from the get-go. Now, while you can absolutely do it, you have to be aware that it's going to take you twice as long as someone who's got instruction (good instruction, mind you. Garbage instruction doesn't help you at all) and a live person there to provide instantaneous feedback. You're going to make a shitload of mistakes very often, and you can't get discouraged by that. 

Second thing I learned (via writing and recording with guys far better than me) is that having that instantaneous feedback from another person physically there who's way better than you is invaluable. Not purely from a technique standpoint, but from a philosophical one. The biggest issue I ran into wasn't raw technique - if you run a drill, lick, or passage long enough and start slow, you'll get it if you're consistent. But having different viewpoints on how to approach music is probably, to my experience, one of the most valuable things you can soak in. It's the reason why ten guys can play the same progression thirty different-feeling ways, and, in my opinion, it's critical to being a good musician. That can be gained from playing or jamming with other musicians as well, though, so it's not necessarily a teaching-capacity exclusive. 

Either way, yeah, you can do self-taught, but it's going to take way longer and be way more frustrating, but provide you with unique ways of accomplishing the music you hear in your head. You can also take lessons, which can be frustrating as well, but provide you with valuable insight into how other people view music and give you different avenues to accomplish the music you hear in your head. I've seen guys go either way, and generally, if you're dedicated, the results are similar. 

“We’re built of contradictions, all of us. It’s those opposing forces that give us strength, like an arch, each block pressing the next. Give me a man whose parts are all aligned in agreement and I’ll show you madness. We walk a narrow path, insanity to each side. A man without contradictions to balance him will soon veer off.”



silentfall.bandcamp.com
#25
I am self taught since 1984. Back then, there weren't a ton of options. When the magazine - "guitar for the practicing musician" came out with tab, It was great. Most of the books back then weren't that accurate and most were predominantly just chords and lyrics. 

Like most have said above, I would have preferred to take lessons, I would have progressed so much faster. 

Today, with so many resources, video and applications, I am sure people learn faster, but if possible, I would recommend a teacher. 
#26
Quote by an.interloper

Second thing I learned (via writing and recording with guys far better than me) is that having that instantaneous feedback from another person physically there who's way better than you is invaluable. Not purely from a technique standpoint, but from a philosophical one. The biggest issue I ran into wasn't raw technique - if you run a drill, lick, or passage long enough and start slow, you'll get it if you're consistent. But having different viewpoints on how to approach music is probably, to my experience, one of the most valuable things you can soak in. It's the reason why ten guys can play the same progression thirty different-feeling ways, and, in my opinion, it's critical to being a good musician. That can be gained from playing or jamming with other musicians as well, though, so it's not necessarily a teaching-capacity exclusive. 


   The lack of a skilled instrumentalist being around is my problem. Literally everybody I try to jam with end up being MILES behind me in terms of playing skill and they don't take criticism lightly. Whenever I try to give them my input they throw a fit and talk shit to the point where I just get up and leave.  

All of the people I that I know and would like to play along with are older than me by 5 to ten years and work 40+ hours a week (compared to my 15 or 20) so they have no time on their hands after cooking, cleaning, exercising, and preparing for work the following week. I hardly see these guys anyway except for the occasional dinner or lunch at some restaurant or a meetup at a show or festival. 

I guess I was just dealt a shitty hand in terms of available people to jam with. 
#27
By your definition I'm self taught until recently. It all depends on time I suppose. I think if you want to learn a few songs and do simple cover band stuff been self taught will do. But if you want to take your skills any further and progress a lot quicker to higher skills you need to have at least the occasional lesson or at least play regularly with a guitarist who is a lot better than you.

I not saying you can't become a good player if your self taught but if you have lessons it can really help speed up the process by making you stop bad habits and technique before you get too set in your ways.
#28
ImNeverSalty I picked up an old acoustic and looked up the tab for Metallica's One on this very site and tried to play it. I'm a pretty logical person when it comes to ergonomics so I figured out finger positioning fairly easily. It took a few days but I got the opening riff down.
I branched into books and lesson DVDs. I like books because they lead to less distraction. I use youtube a lot now but if you get distracted easily I wouldn't recommend.
Quote by Charles Ives
Stand up and take your dissonance like a man. I don't write music for sissy ears.

Quote by Béla Bartók
Competitions are for horses, not artists.
#29
100%.  My lessons and learning has always come from exposure to other musicians.  Starting new projects, exploring different styles even just for fun.  Listening to records old and new, discussing methods, learning riffs from others, and always immersing oneself to higher caliber musicians.

I remember joining a band, it was an accomplished post-hardcore type thing.  The drummer and guitar player were exceptionally versed in time changes and strange chord progressions.  At the time, half the chords they used I couldn't even play.  That was the hardest 6 months of my band experience, but I learned more than ever.  Unfortunately the band broke up before I could even tour with it, probably because the new rhythm guitar player sucked  

Edit: in retrospect I suppose this doesn't really qualify me for the question because technically I learned from another person.  I refuse to pay money though dammit!
"I definitely don’t write all my music in a blackout, like I used to, although I did come up with some good stuff in a blackout."
-Matt Fucking Pike
Last edited by Badluckpalms at Jun 6, 2017,