#1
Is it possible to learn guitar at home without a teacher? Or is a teacher vital?
I have a guitar at home, and I'm looking for some online lessons/videos that could help me. I'm not expecting to learn things like plucking, but I want to learn chords, bars, tabs etc.
I have taken a look at lessons at various websites, including this one, but all of them have the lessons in a mixed manner , ie various topics mixed. I'm looking for better organized lessons(no offence to ultimate-guitar.com ) where I can simply keep on going from Lesson1 to Lesson 2 and so on, advancing in difficulty.
Maybe I'm expecting too much for free, but I just wanted to ask.
#2
Well ive never had a teacher and I can play pretty well for a beginner.

My advice would be to just pick simple songs you like (Oasis- Wonderwall or something similar) and just learn the tab. but for what you were talking about i'd try justinguitar.co.uk

I dont use it but my friend does, think its got videos and stuff yeah. I think his video taught me save tonight when i started out, pretty good lessons. Hope that helps.
#3
i learned, starting learning just over a year ago, and i can do some sweeping and tapping and shizz. oh yeahh
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#4
learning without a teacher is ok but make sure you keep progressing my friend had played for 2 years and she never tryed learning anything new so after 2 years she couldnt tune the guitar or do anything cool and i have been playing for 7 months and can tap and use pitch harmonics (sometimes =)
#6
My best advice is to find a friend that knows guitar better than you. I am mostly "self-taught", I just follow some free online beginner lessons for now, but I have a 3-4 hour session with my friend at least once every 2 weeks and he gives me more stuff to learn and advice.
#7
Learning without a teacher is sort of like driving somewhere you aren't familiar with without a map. You might get to your destination with persistence, but odds are you will get lost along the way or give up and go home.

Trying to learn from the internet is like trying to follow the random road signs you encounter along the way. Some signs might help you get to your destination, but most will probably just get you lost even further.

A good teacher is your GPS, your guide. He will get you to your goals faster by following a more efficient route (learning plan). He will also help you understand why certain routes work better than others.

The downside to a teacher is of course, the cost. You have to buy the GPS before it will tell you how to get somewhere. But if you think about it, the gas money saved by not driving extra miles to find your destination makes the investment worthwhile. This is analogous to the hours upon hours you could save yourself by making efficient use of your practice time via a teacher's direction, rather than randomly dabbling around with articles on the internet.

Be wary though, not all teachers are "quality" teachers. One of the first teachers I had spent the better part of the lesson just writing out tabs to songs that I liked, when I could have just as easily looked them up in a book or of course...UG! A good teacher in my opinion spends the lessons teaching you how to become a great musician in addition to teaching the technical aspects of playing the instrument.

'Nuff said. Good luck!
#8
^^Well said. My best friend is a very good guitar player, and lives close by, so I'll try to convince him to teach me a bit. Meanwhile, I'll learn as much I can from justinguitar. Great website.
#10
I've been almost playing for four years. I've been taught by my dad for real basic stuff (like chords and barre chords, notes etc) and had some group lessons which didn't last long. I'm trying to get lessons now which I am hoping will start soon.

Basically I think I am a pretty good guitar player for a guy who has never had lessons. You can down the lesson path just depending on how serious you are going to take guitar for the moment.
#11
its simple, use you tube to teach yourself and pick things up. But the advantage of a teacher is that if you do something wrong, they can tell you, give you constructive feedback, and give you tips to improve yourself.

But now you know the u-g url you can post any problems in here, in fact ask me i have learnt a fair bit through my mistakes. Just pm me.
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#12
I am largely self-taught, and didn't have a lesson until about 8 years after I'd started learning. This was because I felt like I was in a rut and felt that something was wrong with my picking technique that stopped me from advancing.

I was correct, and it took an entire year to get out of the bad technical habits I had developed over 8 years. To think it could have been avoided if I just had some lessons at the start :P.

It's also worth mentioning that Paul Gilbert initially played only with upstrokes until a guitar teacher pointed out what he was doing wrong

In short - take lessons at least initially so you won't develop bad habits.
#13
I disagree w/ Fratman's post almost entirely, and here's why.

1) You're always going to have a teacher when learning...just depends on what type. Weither it be videos, a human, or some other form...it's a teacher.

2) I've learned a lot of what I know from the website (mostly by going through Justin's tutorials ). He shows you some good techniques, and has a lot of information (not to mention the forums are pretty useful too).

The only thing I agree with is the cost aspect of getting a human teacher. If you have the funds, and you want someone there physically teaching you...go ahead and pay for it. But, I just don't see how much difference there is between watching free, helpful videos and paying for someone to teach you for an hour or so.

Yeah, I know physical teachers can tell you what you're doing wrong and stuff, but if you just pay attention to what you're learning from you shouldn't have trouble fixing your mistakes.
#14
Quote by raevin
The only thing I agree with is the cost aspect of getting a human teacher. If you have the funds, and you want someone there physically teaching you...go ahead and pay for it. But, I just don't see how much difference there is between watching free, helpful videos and paying for someone to teach you for an hour or so.

Yeah, I know physical teachers can tell you what you're doing wrong and stuff, but if you just pay attention to what you're learning from you shouldn't have trouble fixing your mistakes.


I disagree; yes you can learn perfectly well without a teacher and the internet does have a lot of good videos but a video can never tell you exactly what you're doing wrong; a video will never be able to explain something in a different way so you find it easier to understand. A video will never be able to look at what you've practiced and tell you if you've done a good job.

Yes, the internet can teach you everything you need to know but if you have a good teacher it more than justifies the cost in my opinion. For a start you can jam with a teacher, when was the last time you jammed with a video?
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#15
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I disagree; yes you can learn perfectly well without a teacher and the internet does have a lot of good videos but a video can never tell you exactly what you're doing wrong; a video will never be able to explain something in a different way so you find it easier to understand. A video will never be able to look at what you've practiced and tell you if you've done a good job.

The thing is though, you take the risk with a teacher right in front of you as well. I know the chances of that is rather miniscule (sp?), but still. I see what you're saying, but...I dunno, I've just had good-to-great luck w/ learning via video.

Yes, the internet can teach you everything you need to know but if you have a good teacher it more than justifies the cost in my opinion. For a start you can jam with a teacher, when was the last time you jammed with a video?

I never have But, I do play along my teacher (name's Pro...Guitar Pro ).
#16
Quote by raevin
The thing is though, you take the risk with a teacher right in front of you as well. I know the chances of that is rather miniscule (sp?), but still. I see what you're saying, but...I dunno, I've just had good-to-great luck w/ learning via video.


I never have But, I do play along my teacher (name's Pro...Guitar Pro ).


Well yes you take a risk with a teacher but in my opinion you do take a much greater chance with the internet; there's so much misinformation and opinion-presented-as-fact it's very easy to go very wrong. I've learned both ways throughout my guitar-playing life and I can safely say I'd much rather have a teacher than the internet.

And by "jam" I didn't just mean playing along to some chords, there's something different about jamming with a person that playing along to a backing track just doesn't have; you feed off each other, bounce ideas off one another, get into silly little competitive moments where you try to outdo each other and I find that if you're jamming with another person you can push yourself to do things and play things that you wouldn't try or think of on your own. A backing track, video or guitar pro tab just can't match that.
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#17
you can...but never underestimate the help of a teacher
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#18
This is one of the best threads I have read on UG and not only because my website was mentioned on it (thanks for the shout out Aeroblast! ). First, it is a subject near to my heart and second because the responses illustrate great points of view and are well written. There is nothing I can really disagree with in all the opinions. I think it demonstrates how hard it is to give a 'one size fits all' answer to "Can I learn without a teacher"!

I am guitar teacher, both online and in-person. But I am also a musician and, as such, am still a constant student. I have learned from all types of books, magazines, videos and online sources. Likewise, I have been fortunate to learn from great teachers (Paul Gilbert for one) in person. Here's the thing: A book like Ted Greene's 'Chord Chemistry' will give you more information that 50 1/2 hour guitar lessons are likely to give you, at far lower cost. But, likewise, that book (or tab or video) can't tell you the position of your thumb is keeping you from playing that A13b9 chord!

For the price of a month of private lessons you can buy 6-7 books. But what a good guitar lesson with a good teacher reveals is priceless. A good teacher sizes up your goals, your gifts and your challenges and gives guidance on time-saving next best steps. I think, at some point, it is worth the investment. For how long is up to you.

If you are just starting out, many teachers out there should do a fine job. But often, finding the right instructor isn't as straight forward as calling the first name out of the Yellow Pages ads or strolling to the nearest music store. You a preparing to make an investment, both in time and money. Ask to meet with the teacher before paying. From my end, when I see a prospective student wavering on whether or not to take private lessons I offer them a free 'consultation'. 'Consultation' makes it sound like I don't just give away my services for free! I find a free half-hour on my book for the next week and book them as a regular lesson. It is my chance as a teacher to show what I can do, what value I can bring. A good student, the right student, might be with me for months or years. It is worth 20-30 minutes of my time and I think any decent teacher would think the same.

The start of this thread has made me give consideration to putting a step-by-step lesson plan on my site in the near future. With all the resources out there, I think it is a great time to learn the guitar!

Keep jammin' guys and good luck!
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#19
I'd like to clarify again, that I am going to take lessons from a teacher about 8-10 months from now. So, all I asked was a source on the internet, video, lessons, ebooks, anything, that can help me with the basic chords etc till then.

OT: I have a guitar, unused for about 2-3 years. Do I need to change it's strings? It's one of those semi-acoustic ones, and not of a very good brand.
#20
Strings are probably dead even though not used. . . Teachers don't matter though, if you are self taught and determined enough with the right books in hand and a decent head on your shoulders, you can learn anything you could ever need to know, and as far as anything else as far as technique, google it, sweep picking arpeggios to taps. . . then use guitar pro to straighten yourself out. I swear by guitar pro by the way.
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#21
Quote by cyanide911
OT: I have a guitar, unused for about 2-3 years. Do I need to change it's strings? It's one of those semi-acoustic ones, and not of a very good brand.


Oh God, change them as soon as possible, please.
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.
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#22
I learned playing with a book called "Solo guitar playing" written by Frederick Noad. It's for learning to play an acoustical guitar, but I used it for learning electrical. It was AWESOME. It did, as you say you're looking for, teach me very thoroughfully the basics and took me forward a little bit, as I was progressing. It taught me to read music very carefully and slowly and to get to know my instrument. I payed very close attention to do whatever it told me to do and I felt it was a very easy way to learn. It's an awesome book, I'm strongly recommending it. And even if it's a book about playing acoustical with fingerpicking, you can either learn to fingerpick or just use a pick instead.

Good luck dude .
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#23
You can do it, but i would definitely advise to get a teacher. I started off without a teacher and thought I was doing alright. But when i started taking lessons I found out my technique was off, my playing was sloppy, and I knew a lot less than I thought I did. Teachers can help you out tremendously, not only with technique and things to play, but with music theory which I'm a strong believer in. You may be able to play something , but knowing what you're playing helps you figure out how to finish writing the song, what sounds good with what, and how to resolve things to give that relived feeling.
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#24
Quote by raevin
The thing is though, you take the risk with a teacher right in front of you as well. I know the chances of that is rather miniscule (sp?), but still. I see what you're saying, but...I dunno, I've just had good-to-great luck w/ learning via video.


I never have But, I do play along my teacher (name's Pro...Guitar Pro ).



Ummm...video? Can you tell me where you got those?
#25
Quote by Fratman
Learning without a teacher is sort of like driving somewhere you aren't familiar with without a map. You might get to your destination with persistence, but odds are you will get lost along the way or give up and go home.

Trying to learn from the internet is like trying to follow the random road signs you encounter along the way. Some signs might help you get to your destination, but most will probably just get you lost even further.

A good teacher is your GPS, your guide. He will get you to your goals faster by following a more efficient route (learning plan). He will also help you understand why certain routes work better than others.

The downside to a teacher is of course, the cost. You have to buy the GPS before it will tell you how to get somewhere. But if you think about it, the gas money saved by not driving extra miles to find your destination makes the investment worthwhile. This is analogous to the hours upon hours you could save yourself by making efficient use of your practice time via a teacher's direction, rather than randomly dabbling around with articles on the internet.

Be wary though, not all teachers are "quality" teachers. One of the first teachers I had spent the better part of the lesson just writing out tabs to songs that I liked, when I could have just as easily looked them up in a book or of course...UG! A good teacher in my opinion spends the lessons teaching you how to become a great musician in addition to teaching the technical aspects of playing the instrument.

'Nuff said. Good luck!


I support him
#26
Quote by firstnamestorm
If you are just starting out, many teachers out there should do a fine job. But often, finding the right instructor isn't as straight forward as calling the first name out of the Yellow Pages ads or strolling to the nearest music store.

Personally, this is what's stopping me from getting lessons. I feel that until I've got to a point where I know enough to spot a, shall we say, less than brilliant teacher, I really would be just peeing in the dark (as in, I'll be satisfying the basic urge without knowing if it's going in the loo or down my jeans).

What makes it somewhat trickier for a relative oldie like myself is I've also got to try and find someone who'll be capable of dealing with fingers that have had a third of century's practice in Not Playing the Guitar, rather than the generally more willing-to-learn fingers of someone in their teens. Furthermore, whilst cost is much less of an issue for me than it would be for a younger player, time is a much more limited resource, so I'd need to find one who'll be able to work with my schedule (meaing I will miss the odd lesson, especially during the summer). Having looked around the net for teachers in my area, I really have struggled to find anyone who looked as if they were appropriate, despite there being apparently enough "guitar teachers" in the area to teach half the county to play.

One day... one day...
Oh, now I've gone and spilled my tea. This really won't do at all.
#27
Quote by cyanide911
Ummm...video? Can you tell me where you got those?

I mainly learned from JustinGuitar.com.
#28
I'm self taught via books and looking at live clips of bands.
I like to think I can hold my own against some guitarists. Not many, but some

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#29
yeah it would be pretty helpful if you learned the basic stuff first before you take the lessons. but only bad side is you might develop some bad habit with the strumming or the finger positions or whatever.. (not likely though..)

you should check out http://guitarteacher.com or http://www.youtube.com (guitar tutorials and stuff)

i've been self-taught for almost 2 years now, had lessons for a few months but i found the stuff easy and repetitive.. (i guessed my teacher was prolly in the same level as me...)
#30
I've never really had a proper teacher. I had a couple of lessons but they weren't a big impact. I just had to learn to read tab and I was all set. Speed and technique just seems to work itself relative to you over time. Just takes time, patience and passion.
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#31
jamarama is really good
it's not free
but good

type in jamarama to google and you should find it.
It's $40 (£20) when I bought it but i think it might have been on offer...

It has beginner book and intermediate book that you pay for and download. You can also get them in actual books posted to you but it's more expensive.

good luck!
#32
You could check out guitarmasterclass.net it's really good, lots of amazing teachers, some less amazing but a couple of them are really amazing. Still, the best site in the world can't help you as much as a human being.

But what you could do is to start learning yourself by ear. First off, sing a melody, play it on the high E-string. First find out the notes and memorize them, hum them as you play. Then you play it really REALLY slow, care about how every pickstroke sound. Hit the first note, did it sound good? yes or no. Angle the pick a little bit, hit the same note again, did that sound better? hit a little harder, did that sound good? hit softer, grasp the pick harder, try different motions. Try to find the way to hit the string that sounds the best and try to find a motion that lets your hands stay very relaxed. Also try to economize the movement with it.

So now you have your picking technique figured out, lets learn to use it. Play that melody you hummed on the high E-string over and over again, untill you can play it flawlessly with your "new" technique 10 times in a row, then switch to the B-string (second string counting from the bottom) and do the same frets there, then move to the 3rd string, 4th, 5th and 6th string. When you can do this about 5 times in a row, without mistakes and every note sounds good, then you'll have come a far way.

Now you can try to do like this. Play the melody on the 2:nd string, then play the exact same notes (not frets) on the third and first string. Then try to play the melody using the third, second and first string. Eventually you can move onto the pentatonic boxes, playing them up and down. Everything at a speed where you can play every note flawlessly.

This can be applied to everything. Want to learn how to play chords? Go get a very easy song, find out what chords it uses. Go and search the internet on how to play these chords. Play the first chord, once! Try to do it in many different ways and pick the way you like the best. Every note should ring clearly, then change to the next chord, repeat the process. Then the chord after that. Then practise to change between them, every note should be right and ring out clearly.

You need to be really picky, that's the key. Sit untill you're happy with what you hear and stay really REALLY Focused. Try learning one thing untill you master it, then move on to next - master it, move on, move on. Always move on, never stop. Make sure to set your goals and reset them once achieved.

This is how I would have started teaching myself guitar if I knew what I know now, back when I started.

Good luck pal.